Exiting News

My feature length music documentary GRIOT is now available online.


Opening Ceremony July 14 2018

Dear Friends, 

I am very excited to announce that Sonic Gates, the project I have been working on for over a year, is opening on Saturday July 14 at 1:00 pm.

Come out to see the unveiling of eight innovative sound sculptures. I had the great honor and pleasure to see, learn and work with amazing artists and sculptors Alassane Drabo, DB Lampman, Lina Montoya, Jeremy Munson, Arthur Simms and Scott Van Campen. I would also like to thank my friend, mentor and artistic advisor Sam Samore.

There will be art performances by Dawn Crandell, James Shipp, Xi.Me.Na, Yacouba Sissoko, Martita Abril and surprise guest artists.

Special thanks to the project's sponsors Staten Island Arts and Design Trust for their invaluable support.

Please check out this link for additional details including the reception:


I will also be performing in Spain and France with my dear friend, African Harpist and Griot musician Ablaye Cissoko:

July 19, Cajarc, France - AFRICAJARC
July 24, Lanuza, Spain  - PIRINEOS SUR
July 28, Veruela, Spain

More exiting news soon!



Image above by artist Youri Lenquette
images below by artist Sam Samore 

Sonic Gates is made possible through the generous support of the New York City Department of Small Business Services and Neighborhood 360, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, NYC & Co Foundation, Citizens Committee, Empire Outlets, BFC Partners, Lighthouse Point, Triangle Equities, Thornton Tomasetti, 100 Gates, and Great News Brew Caps. Sonic Gates is deeply grateful to our City government partners who have made the project possible: Staten Island Borough President James Oddo; the staff at the Office of the Staten Island Borough President, especially the Office of Tourism and Cultural Affairs; New York City Department of Administrative Services; New York City Parks; and the New York City Department of Transportation

Sonic Gates / BRIDGES at Kennedy Center / Jazz & the City - Salzburg - Fall 2017



I'm very excited and happy to announce that my proposal Sonic Gates - a series of sound sculptures - received funding!

As of now it's the first Sonic Hike in New York City. It is part of Future Culture's pilot projects in partnership with Staten Island Arts and Design Trust funded by the Small Business Bureau of New York City.

This week an interactive exhibition showcasing the cool cultural world of the North Shore opens featuring public art pilot projects including Sonic Gates, community initiatives, and new ideas from visitors.

Opening reception: Thursday, September 14, 7 to 9 pm. On view through December 9, 2017.

ArtSpace @ Staten Island Arts
23 Navy Pier Court
Staten Island

I would love to see you there to experience some of the prototypes the artist team has produced. These are amazing artists who have taken my ideas to the next level: Arthur SimmsJeremy MunsonDB LampmanScott Van CampenAlassane Drabo and Lina Montoya.

I will also be working with the youth of Universal Temple of the Arts and Projectivity to build parts of these sculptures. And special thanks to DB Lampman and Scott von Campen from Makerspace who came on board as key partners early on and artist Sam Samore, the artistic advisor to Sonic Gates. 

I'm also very excited to announce that my quintet, Bridges, will be performing at the Kennedy Center on October 23. And I'm bringing my quartetquintetand trumpet/kora duo to Jazz & the City  in Salzburg.

A little fun game this time: Whoever can name most places in below's 360 travel video will receive a free copy of my new quintet album BRIDGES

Secret Island (World Premiere) 2017

An audiovisual concert curated by local artist, composer and performer Volker Goetze together with renown photographer and artist Sam Samore. Inspired by stories of  Staten Island opening new perspectives featuring Grammy wining Oran Etkin (bass-clarinet), Dan Pappalardo (bass) and Mario Layne Fabrizio (drums).



Secret Island is made possible by a DCA Premier Grant from Staten Island Arts, with public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Special thanks to the Turtle Bay Music School for providing their space for composing and rehearsing the music. The compositions were created with the support of the EtM Con Edison Composers’ Residency, administered by Exploring the Metropolis. The EtM Con Edison Composers’ Residency program is funded by Consolidated Edison, The Amphion Foundation, the George L. Shields Foundation, AOH Foundation, DJ McManus Foundation, The Reed Foundation and individuals.

Unique Places of Death NYC & Secret Island:

A pre-performance of excerpts including a panel discussion with Melinda Hunt from The Hart Island Project


May 2017


Spring has arrived! Mario Layne Fabrizio, Matt Malanowski, Joshua Myers and Chris Torkewitz had a blast on the tour with my quintet in Europe. I enjoyed seeing my music come to life with these amazing musicians! In Paris, we connected to our Korean fan club at Sacre Coeur:

Mario, Josh and Matt did this on their off day in Berlin, which touched me knowing that they deeply appreciated the tour:

Thank you guys!

Back home I am sad to see my Exploring the Metropolis ConEdison Composer's residency coming to an end.

I have been working mainly on two projects:

1) I visited the “Unique Places of Death” throughout the city for inspiration capturing 360 Videos and ambisonic sounds.

2) I've also been working on “Secret Island” a photography and music project about the forgotten borough of New York – Staten Island. The project tells the untold stories about historic events which shaped Staten Island going back to the prehistoric ice age up until today.

Here is a 360 video excerpt from "Natural Strength" from the "Secret Island". (click here)

It has been an extreme honor and pleasure to have worked closely with photographer, artist and magician Sam Samore on this project (please refer to the first image of this newsletter - it was taken from a collection from the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art currently exhibited at the Staten Island Museum "Compassion").

Lastly, I want invite you to a pre-performance of excerpts including a panel discussion with the amazing Melinda Hunt from The Hart Island Project on Tuesday May 23rd at 7pm.

For more details click here. It is a free event!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 7:00 pm
Turtle Bay Music School
244 E 52nd St New York, NY, 10022

We will have the honor to hear these amazing performers:

Oran Etkin – Clarinet
Max ZT – Dulcimer
Yacouba Sissoko – African Harp
Nick Dunston – Upright Bass
Mario Layne Fabrizio – Drums

Hope to see you on Tuesday May 23rd!

European Release Tour next week / Pre-Orders Start Today


March 2017


Dear Friends, 
I just arrived in Europe and finished a concert with Ablaye Cissoko at La Spirale in Fribourg.

I am excited to be touring with my quintet next week in Europe. We will be playing in Paris, Cologne, Berlin and Gütersloh. Feel free to share and invite friends! You can pre-order the CD on iTunes in Europe beginning today!

Here are the exact dates and links to the tickets:
March 22 Paris - Sunside - France
March 23 Cologne - Stadtgarten - Germany
March 24 Berlin - B-Flat - Germany
March 26 Gütersloh - Weberei - Germany


If you are based in the US, please reach out to our elected officials to fight the proposed budget cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and mention how important art for our society.

All the best to you all!



Exclusively for you for being subscribed on my newsletter another video:

Ding Ding Borlaba is now public - feel free to share or pre-order the CD here and receive the full song before the official release in June 2017.

Staten Island Arts funded "Secret Island" and "Displaced!"


February 2017


I am extremely honored to be awarded the NYSCA Community Art Partner Grant for "Displaced! A 3D audio and 360 visual installation giving the homeless of Staten Island a voice."


The second project involves recording an album with new original music and produce an audiovisual release concert in collaboration with the Alice Austen House. The music and photography - curated together with the Alice Austen House and local artist, composer and performer Volker Goetze - will be inspired by stories of human interest, historic figures, social activists and current events of the "forgotten borough" Staten Island. Our goal for this project, "Secret Island,” is to inform and open a new perspective on the island.

New Support recieved from Rycote, Zoom and Noisemaker AMBI Head!


November 2016



I am very happy to announce that Rycote provided their windshield and windjammer for the Sennheiser Virtual Reality Microphone. This will enable to me to capture 3D Sound in extremely windy conditions.


On top of this great news, Zoom provided their newly developed Field Recorder for the project "Unique Places of Death NYC." It really sounds amazing with very clean preamps and I am extremely happy with it. It is robust, simply works great and is very reliable.  Meanwhile NoiseMaker was so kind to provide their AMBI Head plug-in, which enables me to play back the 3D recordings for quality control. I want to thank Kolor for providing a discount for their Stiching Software.

New York State Council on the Arts Commission for "Unique Places of Death NYC" / ConEdison Composer-in-Residency Exploring the Metropolis / Sennheiser AMBEO Mic


October 2016


The New York State Council on the Arts has awarded me a composer’s commission to write a new original musical composition about Hart Island’s mass grave of unclaimed bodies of NYC incorporating 360 video and 3D audio technology.

This is perfect timing as I also received a Con Edison Composer-in-Residence through Exploring the Metropolis at the Turtle Bay Music School, which provides me with a space to develop and rehearse ideas while working on Unique Places of Death NYC.

Sennheiser has also agreed to let me test and use their newly develop AMBEO Virtual Reality Microphone for use with this project. 

I also have the honor of working with some of the finest and greatest creative improvisors of jazz and world music on this project. I love their ways of creating magical moments in music. I consider each one to be AMAZING:

Richie Barshay - Percussion
Oran Etkin - Bass Clarinet
Tomeka Reid - Cello
Yacouba Sissoko - Kora
Max ZT - Dulcimer
Aidan Carroll - Bass

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