In September 2015, drummer Terry Bozzio released Terry Bozzio: Composer Series on the Japanese label Ward Records. It comprises more than 70 individual pieces or movements of compositions with a painting in a booklet that accompanies each title, along with detailed liner notes for each piece, explaining Bozzio’s concepts, feelings, processes, and approach for each. The set is now available in the US, Canada, and Europe.
Ward Records states that Terry Bozzio: Composer Series will become available in a large vinyl-sized box set that includes the book of artwork, three audio CDs, and a solo drum performance DVD that was recorded in Japan in 2015, which will include bonus footage, interviews, audio tracks, and more. The material will also be made available in a smaller CD size package for record stores, as well as in downloadable formats online.
“I’ve been composing — not just songwriting, like for Missing Persons and Jeff Beck — since the ’70s,” Bozzio says. “I compose in all styles, as one might classify them, from classical to ambient, electronic, film-like to fusion/rock or jazz. I have my own character or personality; it’s unique. I work with many different processes from writing notes on paper, to recording live, to several different computer software applications that are suited to the particular result I am trying to achieve. Both Zappa and famed musicologist Nicolas Slonimsky encouraged me to compose, and I have had my Chamberworks performed at the Vienna Jazz Festival and in Holland with Metropol Orkest.
“I first got interested in art and sketching at the encouragement of renowned artist Don Van Vliet [aka Captain Beefheart], who I played with on my first Zappa/Mothers of Invention tour in 1975. Don was always carrying markers and paper, and it looked like fun, so I bought some myself and started. He was very encouraging. Last year, I released my first project called Rhythm & Sketch in collaboration with the art group Scene Four. It’s been successful and inspired me to do more.”
Bozzio fulfilled two-and-a-half-month US solo tours in 2014 and 2016, in which his artwork served as the stage set while he performed melodic, tuned melodies on his drum set.
“I thought it would be great to share this music, which I’ve been working on and keeping to myself for so long,” Bozzio says. “I hope to show a different side of my expression from what people are used to seeing from my solo drumming. And I wanted to have an abstract painting to represent and be paired with each title to create this hybrid project of music and art.”