In this Newsletter:» The Art of the Improvisers
» John Zorn: Bay Area Connection
» Rova + Wrack
» Other Upcoming Shows
» Favorite Street – Bruce Ackley
» RadiOM - Improv:21 series archives
ROVA NEWS :: August - September :: 2010
The Art of Collaboration
Collaboration has been a hallmark of Rova’s work since the early days of the quartet. It’s been 30 years since we rehearsed and performed with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, followed soon after with a week of performances with Kronos as an octet! In the interim we’ve added drums, electronics, strings, guitars, and more horns; assembled various sized rock-leaning bands and jazz ensembles; and commissioned nearly two dozen composers to write for us. We’ve perennially worked with dancers, visual artists, and writers to expand the scope of our work and excite new ideas from our brotherhood of the horn.
It’s with pleasure that we anticipate 3 exciting collaborations in the next couple of months—two in August and one at the beginning of October. Read on for details on Art of the Improvisers, featuring 4 musicians visiting from Mexico; our quintet date with John Zorn; and the collision of Rova and Chicago-based band Wrack.
ROVA Meets Members of Estamos EnsembleThe Art of the Improvisers
In a cross-cultural evening of improvised music, Rova will perform with an extraordinary group of visiting improvisers from Mexico in a special musical collaboration based on Rova’s Art of the Improvisers format. Rova and guests will perform in various small and large group combinations, to spontaneously create new works.
The visiting musicians will be in the Bay Area as part of the Estamos Ensemble , an amalgam of players organized by pianist, Thollem, from north and south of the border, performing in various venues around the City. See: thollem.com for complete details on Thollem’s website.
The Art of the Improvisers concert will feature: Julián Martínez Vázquez, violin; Alexander Bruck, viola; Carmina Escobar, electronics/voice; and Emilio Tamez, percussion. The musicians hail from various parts of Mexico—including Mexico City, San Luis Potosí and Michoacán. Each brings a broad range of musical experiences, contributing to the artistic diversity that will come into play at the concert. This first-time collaboration promises to be a colorful and provocative concert experience.
Saturday, August 14, 8:00 PM
The Community Music Center
544 Capp Street
(Between 20th and 21st Streets)
Admission: $10, seniors and students $5, FREE to CMC students
John Zorn: Bay Area Connection
Native New Yorker John Zorn has had very deep ties with San Francisco since his first visit here in 1974. His yearly visits have deepened his connection with local musicians and venues and many of his closest collaborators still live right here in the Bay Area. On August 26 through 28, a special series showcases him performing with many of San Francisco's best musicians, offering the world premiere performance of his popular tribute to the Bay area, ALHAMBRA LOVE SONGS; his first ever duo concert with the legendary California composer, Terry Riley; his ingenious game piece COBRA; and an exciting Rova + Zorn sax quintet with the 5 long-time reed associates.
Our recent quintet set with Zorn in New York was further confirmation of the simpatico between the quartet and Mr. Z. While the Stone set was all improvised, the quintet will present both composed and improvised pieces at Yoshi’s. When we worked with Braxton in the 1980’s, Jon Raskin always claimed that the group sounded better as a quintet: the addition of a 5 th player (and Zorn no less!) really increases the richness and intensity of the palette.
ROVA +JOHN ZORNGame Pieces and Improvisations
Saturday, August 28, 8:00 PM
Yoshi’s San Francisco
1300 Fillmore Street at Eddy
For a complete listing of Zorn performances for his 3 day run at Yoshi’s San Francisco: yoshis.com
ROVA + WRACK + Robair/PerkisOn Procedural Grounds
Local improvising oboist and composer Kyle Bruckmann will premiere On Procedural Grounds for Rova in collaboration with percussionist, composer and conductor, Gino Robair; computer electronics wizard, Tim Perkis; and his long-standing quintet Wrack.
“I can cite a 1993 Rova performance I witnessed while an undergraduate conservatory student in Houston as a seminal experience, instrumental in launching me onto the creative path I’ve pursued ever since.” -KB
Kyle Bruckmann, oboe and English horn; Jason Stein, bass clarinet; Jen Clare Paulson, viola; Anton Hatwich, bass; and Tim Daisy, percussionFriday October 1, 8:00 PM
ROVA + WRACK + Robair/ Perkis
Community Music Center
544 Capp Street
(Between 20 th and 21 st Streets)
$12, $8 students/seniors, FREE to CMC students
Other Upcoming Shows
Sunday, August 22, 7:30
Guitarist and sound artist, Julia Miller will bring fellow Chicago musicians to the Bay Area for several performances, including this set opposite Bruce Ackley / Kjell Nordeson Duo for the SIMM series. Rova recently had the opportunity to work with Miller in Chicago in a highly successful night of improvisations with other the guitarist and other local players. This is a rare and special opportunity to hear the quartet in San Francisco.Julia Miller, electric guitar
Frank Abbinanti, piano/accordion
Julian Berke, synthesizer
Nick Alvarez, drums
The foursome work as an ensemble and also work individually and in various combinations—each setting having a particular identity and repertoire, including both composed and improvised music. The duo groups are Ghostrunner (Berke and Alvarez) and Volo Solo (Miller and Abbinanti); trio is Gimlet Eye (Miller, Alvarez and Berke); the quartet is Hedge Fund Junkies.
Ackley and Nordeson began playing at the beginning of the summer and are finding ample room to create and explore a thorny lyricism riddled with sturdy rhythmic underpinnings.
Friday, Sept 24, 8:00 PM
Saturday, September 25, 8:00 PM
1751 Sacramento St at Van Ness
Favorite Street–Bruce Ackley
Teresa Sterne and Nonesuch Records
When Teresa Sterne was hired by Elektra Records in 1965 as a producer for their Nonesuch subsidiary, the label was largely focused on reissuing European recordings of baroque and classical music. Their programming was anything but adventurous. But, when Sterne took over, she set Nonesuch on an innovative path that would enlarge millions of listeners’ awareness of traditional musics from around the world, electronic music innovations getting under way, and American and European contemporary art music of the 20th century.
Thanks to the pioneering work of Sterne and Nonesuch we now have beautifully recorded documents of Balinese and Javanese gamelan; instrumental and vocal music from many parts of Africa, South and Latin America, and the Pacific Islands; Eastern European folk music; as well as great performances of works by composers Elliott Carter, John Cage, Charles Wuorinen, Lucas Foss, George Crumb and many (at that time) under-represented European composers. During her tenure at the label, which lasted from 1965 – 1979, Sterne was the ‘coordinator’ for over a hundred records. Corporate scoundrels fired her when Elektra became part of media giant WEA (Warner-Elektra-Atlantic). Even though 10 Pulitzer Prize winning composers came to her defense in hopes of retaining her job (and maintain the direction of the label), the bottom line spoke clearly and definitively, and Sterne was let go. Happily, Nonesuch continued on to release many dozens of significant recordings over the next 30 years, in large part due to Sterne’s visionary legacy.
I’ve been revisiting many of my favorite Nonesuch records from the Sterne era and am struck by how consistent they are in quality. Not only is each recorded and mastered with care, but they are thoughtfully programmed, contain marvelous performances, and are accompanied by informative liner notes. Below are some favorites that are in my current rotation. (Links to the Nonesuch Store are provided if the recording is currently available on CD or MP3—otherwise, you have to find the vinyl.)
Shakuhachi, The Japanese Flute
The Music of India
Javanese Court Gamelan
Village Music of Bulgaria A Harvest, a Shepherd, a Bride
RadiOM - Improv:21 Archives
Want to sample some of the Improv:21 informances?
Here’s what’s available at the moment. Chris Brown/Tim Perkis and Zeena Parkins have just been added.
Chris Brown and Tim Perkis
Contribute to Rova:Arts
We want to express our deepest gratitude to all the generous private and public donors who contribute to Rova:Arts. Your support has been essential to the successful presentation and documentation of our projects over the year.
Formed in 1977, Rova’s been in a state of continual artistic renewal for over 3 decades. Rova:Arts, formed in 1986 to support the activities of Rova, has been instrumental in producing local projects and advancing an ongoing cultural exchange between local Bay Area artists and the international scene through its Rovaté concert series. These events, made possible by funding to Rova:Arts, have engaged Bay Area musicians and composers—as well as musicians from around the world. Rova:Arts projects are often reproduced in other parts of the world, thereby bringing the work to a broader audience. Also, many Rova:Arts events have been recorded, resulting in releases which have been enthusiastically celebrated.
Click here to find out more and to Join Rova:Arts. Thanks for being part of the art.
:: WATCH FOR MORE ROVA NEWS IN OCTOBER ::