Joined Mar 23 2010
New York, NY
Avant-garde musician and concert-performer; musical composer; musical instrument-maker; actor; singer; and poet.
Alan is an internationally recognized avant-garde "santurist", and theleading exponent of the New Santur style. After passing throughmultifarious phases of musical composition and performance on hissupremely delicate yet highly sophisticated musical instrument — hisself-made hammer dulcimer or santur —, ranging from traditional Easternmusic, to fusions of Western classical and Eastern mystical music, tojazz and world music, as well as futuristic and avant-garde music, AlanKushan is still audaciously and earnestly experimenting in the musicalrealm. His techniques on his self-made santur are indeed altogetherfascinating and breathtaking.
He studied music composition in Zurich, Köln and Berlin as well asCanada and USA; he also studied with Sir Yehudi Menuhin, KarlheinzStockhausen and other master musicians.
Not satisfied with the range and capacity of his chosen musicalinstrument, Alan decided to apply his skills as an instrument-maker toexpand the range of his instrument by adding elements from the modernpiano, the harp and the guitar. The result is an amazing, unique andpowerful instrument, which embodies the musical textures of the ancientand the new.
He joined the avant-garde "culture" in 1985, and his talent forself-publicity quickly made him conspicuous. He cultivates eccentricityand exhibitionism, claiming that this is and has been a prominentsource of his creative energy. Indeed, one of his well-known acts atthe opening of the Swiss surrealist exhibition in 1986 was hisstartling appearance in a Roumi outfit.
He appears to have taken over the surrealist theory of "automatism"and transformed it into a more positive method of expression, which hehas named "essential encounters". According to this theory one shouldcultivate genuine delusion against a backcloth of constant "galacticbuzz" while remaining residually aware at the back of one’s mind thatthe control of both reason and will has been deliberately suspended.(He claims that this perspective should be applied not only in artisticand poetical creation but also in the more mundane and platitudinousaffairs of everyday life). With this in mind, Alan Kushan’s performancemethod employs an academically meticulous technique that is,paradoxically, in stark contrast to the unreal "dream space" hegenerally endeavours to depict, and its markedly other-worldly,hallucinatory character.
Alan Kushan has travelled to and sojourned in many places on the globein quest of artistic self-realization : Persia, India, Pakistan,Israel, Russia, China, Turkey, Greece, Japan, Europe, Central Americaand North America. It is these experiences that laid the foundation forhis unique love and understanding of global music and cultures. He isarguably one of the most dynamic forces within the respectivecontemporary and world music scenes. He has performed and collaboratedwith some of the most outstanding musicians on the world stage,including Miles Davis, Paco de Lucia, Max Roach, Billy Cobham, PeterGiger, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Mickey Hart, Robert Dick, Daniel Patumi,Roy Campbell Jnr., Richard Horowitz, and Leo Smith, aka Wodada Smith.