L O N A K O Z I K
Lona Kozik (b. 1974) is a composer and pianist. Born in Tucson, Arizona, she grew up in multiple locations in the United States and the United Kingdom. She studied piano performance and music theory at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, music composition at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and improvisation and electronic music at Mills College in California. In 2003, she moved to Devon in the United Kingdom and quickly established herself as a musical presence. She taught piano and composition at Plymouth University, Exeter University and Dartington College of Arts. She founded the Totnes School of Piano in 2012 and the School of Music Theory in 2019.
Creatively, Lona is interested in the overlap of acoustic and electronic sound techniques, traversing the line between ambient and performative practices, the contrast of long tones versus tightly-knit rhythms, the cyclical nature of both of those things, and the music of Erik Satie. She has written music for solo piano, duo pianos and various mixed ensembles. She has produced electronic pieces, sound installations and radio works that have been broadcast on Soundart Radio and across the Radia network. In 2009 her suite of piano etudes, Fast Jump, was issued on the Innova label by the American pianist, Danny Holt, and received favourable critical review. In 2015, she released an album of piano and percussion improvisations called Spelaeology with Chris Golinski on Edgetone Records. Her compositions have been played in the UK, Europe, the US and Canada.
"Drummer Chris Golinski and pianist Lona Kozik present their first work, titled ‘Spelaeology’, named after the scientific research in caves and similar environments. They choose the title as an metaphor for their search for the “underworld of traditional musical approaches”. Kozik seems to play some kind of prepared piano, if not she choose for a percussive way of playing the piano. They develop their ideas in three very determined improvisations and play with timbre, colour and texture. In ‘Discovery’ also melodic elements are explored. ‘Return’ has parts of long sustained abstract sounds changed for percussion dominated parts, playing all kind of patterns. Their playing is very fresh and self-conscious. They create a rich and full grown sound world of their own, with many engaging passages passing by."
"Brightly shaded incisive attacks give appropriate luster to the CD’s title work; Lona Kozik’s Fast Jump; Etudes and Interludes for Piano. Kozik writes brilliantly for the piano, inhabiting an earnest, postmodern language rife with virtuosity. “A Tangled Web We Weave (We Keep our Demons Intact)” is filled with whirling arpeggiations and punchy repeated clusters. Traversing the entire keyboard, it alternates registers in strategic, dramatically-charged juxtapositions. Another highlight is “Disperse (the quick but calm spread of sunlight – on water – at dawn)” is an appropriately Impressionist etude in polyrhythmically overlapping arpeggiations, creating a diaphanous swath of shimmering harmonies."
"Lona Kozik’s music also speaks to me very directly, though its incredible virtuosity makes it a bit more challenging to bring to life. It’s well worth it, however. The etudes and interludes that make up Fast Jump span the gamut from serene, impressionistic textures to aggressive fits of rhythmic energy, always with a keen sensitivity to rhythm and groove. The influence of early 20th century composers (Bartók, Ravel, Debussy) and late 20th century composers (Glass, Ligeti) collides with rhythmic structures and sonic sensibilities derived from North Indian classical music, with an occasional hint of Harlem stride thrown in for good measure. I especially love the crazy bursts of energy juxtaposed with moments of quiet."
"Lona Kozik’s Fast Jump is subtitled 'Etudes and Interludes,' and these eight pieces date from 2002–03. At two to three minutes each, her pieces do not wear out their welcome, while comprising a compelling, varied, and rewarding cycle that reveals a consummate familiarity with the resources of the instrument. There is no apparent attempt here to explore “original” expressive devices, but the pieces do not sound hackneyed or derivative in the least."