A shared energy brings GNR8RZ together. The quartet—Anthony Coleman, Simon Hanes, Aliya Ultan, and Calvin Weston—find common ground in kinetic melodies and constant motion, zig-zagging between blown-out chaos and hypnotic grooves. They first thought to collaborate because of their individual passions for vigorous sound, wondering what might come out of a combination of Hanes’s potent electric guitar and bass, Weston’s ultra-powerful drums, Ultan’s incandescent cello, and Coleman’s undisputable improvisatory wisdom. The result is GNR8RZ’s pummeling music, built on the tenets of close communication and unstoppable vigor.
Each artist brings their own perspective to the group’s blazing sound: Hanes’s work as a composer bridges Italian soundtracks with contemporary classical and improvisation, heard in groups like his band Tredici Bacci; Weston’s drumming has been heard in a wide range of jazz ensembles, including groups like Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time Band and The Lounge Lizards; Ultan’s cello and vocal music bridges her classical training with improvisatory and multidisciplinary ideas; and Coleman, a veteran improvising pianist from New York’s downtown scene, often makes music that draws from his Jewish heritage. Together, they build a sound based on the sheer abandon of noise and shredded melodies, the surprises of improvisation, and the joy of making music in the moment.