Vijay Iyer

Photo by Ebru Yildiz

Equal night (2020)

PRIMAVERA I the wind

from the composer 

Equal night” is a direct translation of “equinox,” the moment in the earth’s orbit when night and day are of equal lengths. So this piece is about spring, but also about fall, which has an equinox of its own. The piece takes the form of a mini-suite, which I hear as a small collection of short stories, each segment finding its own balance of light and darkness, inner and outer, or high and low. 


Described by The New York Times as a “social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker and multicultural gateway,” composer-pianist Vijay Iyer has carved out a unique path as an influential, prolific, shape-shifting presence in twenty-first-century music. He received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and a Grammy nomination, and was voted Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year four times in the last decade. 

Iyer’s releases include 2021’s Uneasy (ECM) with Linda May Han Oh on bass and Tyshawn Sorey on drums; The Transitory Poems (ECM Records, 2019) with pianist Craig Taborn; Far From Over (ECM, 2017) with the Vijay Iyer Sextet; A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) with composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; Break Stuff (ECM, 2015) with the Vijay Iyer Trio; the score to the film Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi (ECM, 2014) by filmmaker Prashant Bhargava; and Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (Pi Recordings, 2013) with poet-performer Mike Ladd. 

Iyer’s concert works have been commissioned by Brentano Quartet, Lutoslawski Quartet, Ethel, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, LAPhil Group for New Music, and soloists Matt Haimovitz, Claire Chase, Mishka Rushdie Momen, Shai Wosner, and Jennifer Koh. Iyer teaches at Harvard University.