:: NOV - DEC  2014 ::

In This Dispatch:

Rova Meets Ryan Page

Favorite Street: Larry Ochs

+1 - Guest Contributor: John Schott

Remember David Wessel – Matthew Goodheart

Rova Member Shows

Join the Rova:Arts Community

Rova’s collaboration with inkBoat (dancers Shinichi Iova-Koga, Dana Iova-Koga, and Dohee Lee) and computer electronics wizard, John Bischoff, Vessels for Improvisation, was an exciting event—both artistically satisfying and engaging for those who attended. In case you missed it, this dance-music performance, presented by the innovative theatre group, We Players, took place last month onboard the vintage ferryboat, Eureka, docked in San Francisco Bay. We’re delighted that all involved have started to look at this as an annual event in the fall. Don’t miss us in 2015, and be sure to find out more about We Players productions.

Members of Rova, John Bischoff and inkBoat, October 4, aboard the Eureka ferryboat. Photos by Pamela Z    

We were saddened to learn of the sudden passing of innovator David Wessel on October 13. Rova appreciated his ongoing support and interest in our work, and his important research into the world of computer electronics. He was a trailblazer that opened the way for all who have subsequently used the personal computer and specially designed software programs to compose, improvise and perform in the electronics realm. His friend and colleague, Matthew Goodheart, has contributed a heartfelt tribute to David below.

In December Rova will collaborate with Ryan Page, an artist who creates visual performances with live laser disc and video manipulation. We’re excited about his work, and encourage you to check out the combination of his compelling imagery, and Rova’s ongoing development of structured improvisational strategies. Our decades-long history of engaging like-minded artists like Ryan has allowed us to deepen our awareness of the creative process employed in other forms, elevating our work. This is our first collaboration with Ryan.

Rova is looking forward to a busy 2015, with planned concerts in the Bay Area, the US southwest, and in Europe later in the year. Feel free to share this communiqué with friends, and spread word about upcoming events.

Rova Meets Ryan Page


Saturday, December 13, 8:00 pm

Rova Meets Ryan Page 

Rova’s looking forward to our collaboration with Ryan Page, a live video performer who uses circuit bent laserdisc players, prepared discs, and custom video mixing circuits to create a vibrant, mysterious visual language. Ryan brings the improvisational fluidity of a musician to the world of video, while finding the strange resonances that lie behind the imagery of mainstream cinema. You can view Page’s work on Vimeo. Combined with the unique group strategies of Rova, the results will be memorable.

Center for New Music
55 Taylor Street
San Francisco 94102
(415) 275-C4NM (2466) 

Details on all events will be updated regularly on our website, and the Rova:Arts Facebook page. (Be sure to ‘like’ us!)


Favorite Street: Larry Ochs

Films, DVDs, CDs, Books

Filmmaker Vincent Moon

Free documentary films online by Vincent Moon: Filmmaker John Rogers and I travelled to the Chicago Music and Movies Festival last May, where Rogers’ two films together called “Channeling Coltrane” were being premiered, featuring Rova’s 2012 performance of Electric Ascension. We got a chance to see a lot of other films either framed by or simply about music. The ones that moved me the most were by a French director named Vincent Moon. Moon was there; his pre-films rap was inspiring, and many of his films are as well. Most are under 30 minutes, and many of them are documenting music of rare shamanic rituals or very cloistered and usually unknown religious moments. He finds himself shooting in places that most of us wouldn’t dream of even approaching in the current political climate. You feel watching these films like you’re right down there with the practitioners. This feeling of intimacy helps to impress the viewer with its power on the filmed participants. All Moon’s work is published under a creative commons license. So if you go to his website there are many, many films there for your perusal.

See more of Ochs's favorites at rova.org


+1: Guest Contributor, John Schott

Guitarist, composer, band leader, educator, scholar, and all-around working musician, John Schott has been a good friend to the Rovas for decades. His contribution to the Bay Area scene and beyond has been enormous, and his irreverent wit and unapologetic passion for all traditional musics make his contemporary music scholarship all the more engaging. I love to talk with this guy about music: musicians, listening to music, buying music, recording and production of music, composers, side musicians, forgotten musicians, food to eat while listening to music, agonizing over music…you get the idea. Schott’s screed below offers unexpected views from the proletarian perspective. You can catch John playing regularly with his trio at the Actual Café, and on December 5, 6 with the Paul Dresher Electro-Acoustic Band with Amy X Neuburg at Zellerbach Playhouse—both in Berkeley.

Another Day at the Office                                      

Well, it’s been a pretty good week for me, as a working musician in the Bay Area. Last Friday I played with my friend John Finkbeiner for a reception for members at the UC Berkeley Art Museum. This is a pretty chill gig, we’ve done it before: ten minutes from home, play standards for two hours, pick up a check for 30.5 times the amount I made the last time I played for the door at the Berkeley Arts Festival.

We were down on the bottom floor of that cavernous cement relic, the museum, quite far away from the people we were supposed to be entertaining. I would say no one noticed us, but that’s not strictly true: there were a bunch of people I knew there, including my friend Jim Sugarman, who works there. He kept throwing things at us from the balcony overhead, mostly crumpled up pieces of paper on which he wrote requests. We were told we could eat of the buffet and its many offerings, but as often happens where there is free food and no crowd control, the wait in line was twenty minutes, not feasible for the likes of us. By the time we finished there was the dregs of the shrimp cocktail. All gigs divide for me along the lines of: I got free food, or I didn’t get free food.

A woman came up to us, while we were playing, and said “I am enjoying this very much. You know, I once saw Andres Segovia give a concert at a private residence; I was as close to him as I am to you now.” I replied “Wow, how wonderful. And now you can tell people that you saw John Finkbeiner and John Schott, and not only were you this close to them, but you actually talked to them while they were playing! Tell that to ol’ Andy!”

The next night I played an Oktoberfest event at a German – sorry, “Bavarian” – restaurant in San Leandro.

[Read the full article at rova.org...]


Remembering David Wessel – Matthew Goodheart 

David Wessel (October 6, 1941 – October 13, 2014)

Speaking about the death of someone is like speaking about music. There is no way to voice the totality – each utterance may point toward some real thing, but the whole recedes and remains unsounded. I have tried to find a way to speak about David– that he was a complex timbre in the music of the world, that we have lost a giant, that we have lost a compatriot, that we have lost a friend, that we have lost a visionary, that we have lost. . . it is what gets stuck in the throat that becomes its own articulation: death is a generative absence. One can begin to list David’s import; that he helped found the field of psychoacoustics, that he demonstrated how timbre was central to our hearing of the world, that he helped shape the nature of computer music and instrument design, that he founded one of the most important computer music centers in the world, that he worked closely with many of the great artists of the last half-century, that he gave spaces to perform to international and local musicians alike, that he inspired generations of students from music and neuroscience and computer science and. . . Or one could talk about him personally; that he was as in love with the sensual world as he was with the intellectually esoteric, that he made no personal distinction if you were a “giant in your field” or a “just some interested person”, that his stories would flow smoothly from Pierre Boulez to the sauce he was using on his barbecued ribs, that as a young man his VW Beetle had no surface undented because he kept mallets and drumsticks inside so that everyone could “play the car” as he drove, that he loved music, loved to make music with others, and made some damn good music in his time. 

There is no way to voice this totality. He will not make sound again. I have watched in these last days how word of his death has literally spread across the world, and how waves of grief have reverberated back. He will make no sound again. But the resonances of who he was—that still vibrates the living and shapes the sound of what we, and generations to come, will say when our voices will allow. 

-matthew goodheart

Be sure to view these wonderful videos of David Wessel, performing with Jon Raskin, Matthew Goodheart and Vladimir Tarasov: How Many Electrons On A Head Of A Pin, and also with long-time collaborator, Roscoe Mitchell.


Rova Member Shows


Friday, Nov. 7 at 7 pm (note unusual start time!)

Hanes/Adams with Shinichi Iova-Koga

Steve Adams – laptop computer
John Hanes – laptop computer
Shinichi Iova-Koga – movement

Mills College Art Museum
5000 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland 94613


Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 7 pm

Friendly Galaxies: An Evening of Celebrating Sun Ra at 100

The Ubu Ra Big Band led by Joe Lasqo with Jon Raskin – sax, Steve Adams – electronics and flute, and many others.

Also appearing: Reconnaissance Fly and Electropoetic Coffee

Center for New Music 
55 Taylor Street
SF 94102


December 5th, 9:30 pm

Larry Ochs’ “Fictive Five” 

Ochs – saxophones
Nate Wooley – trumpet
Ken Filiano – bass
Pascal Niggenkemper – bass
Harris Eisenstadt – drums

The Firehouse Space
246 Frost Street 
Brooklyn 11211


December 10th

The Strobe Sessions presents
"Extraordinary Popular Delusions" 

with special guest Larry Ochs
Mars Williams, Jim Baker, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt, Larry Ochs

Strobe Recording 
2631 W. Division 
Chicago, IL.


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About Rova:Arts

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. If you are interested in getting involved in a more hands-on-way, feel free to contact us: http://www.rova.org/contact.html. Thanks for being part of the art.


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