In this Newsletter:» Looking Ahead - Rova:Arts in 2010
» Rova.org - New site launched
» Upcoming Rova shows
» Pandaemonium - Rova at Other Minds 15
» Upcoming Rova member shows
» Ochs Reports from the Front
» Favorite Street: Jon Raskin
» RadiOM - Improv:21 series archives
ROVA NEWS :: JANUARY—FEBRUARY :: 2010
Looking Ahead - Rova:Arts in 2010
Rova and Rova:Arts are poised for an exciting and active 2010. The new Rova.org website has launched, offering access to more music and information on Rova and its community of artists. In February we expect the release of the Celestial Septet CD on New World. The Quartet is preparing for local shows, including the premiere of Carla Kihlstedt’s Pandaemonium at Other Minds Festival 15. Rova will be off for a quick tour in the Midwest and East Coast in March, and then return for more Bay Area shows in April and June. Possibilities for fall touring are being explored. Stay tuned.[TOP]
New Rova.org site launched!
With the launch of the new rova.org website we are embarking on a major project to bring more online visibility to Rova and the contemporary improvisation scene—with updated content, and offering access to Rova’s growing archive of audio and video recordings. Soon we plan to make available streaming audio and video versions of concerts from the past 3 decades, and also offer special high quality recordings exclusively to paid members of Rova:Arts through member-only downloads. Our long term dream is for Rova.org to serve as a portal for improvised musicians and their work, realizing more opportunities for building community and creative work. Come visit the new site! www.rova.org[TOP]
Upcoming Rova Shows
February 6th, 8:15 PM
Returning to our San Francisco homebase at the Noe Valley Music Series, Rova will premiere new works highlighting its signature blend of improvisation and composition. New pieces will be presented from individual quartet members, as well as new developments in the ongoing group project, The Glass Head—an innovative composition combining improv strategies with open-ended composed elements. This special evening offers a rare opportunity to hear Rova on its own, performing in a friendly and vibrant acoustic environment.Noe Valley Ministry
1021 Sanchez Street
(Near 23 rd Street)
Pandaemonium is a newly commissioned work for Rova by composer, violinist and band leader, Carla Kihlstedt, which will be premiered by the Quartet at Other Minds Festival 15 in early March. The work is partially informed and influenced by the intriguing book by Humphrey Jennings, a collection of “images” culled from Industrial Revolution, and Pandaemonium promises to be an important contribution to the saxophone quartet cannon. In the coming weeks we will post videos of Carla and Rova discussing and rehearsing the piece on our website. In addition to Rova, musician Matthias Bossi, and actor and Mime Troupe legend, Joan Mankin, will provide dramatic readings from Jennings book.
Saturday, March 6th, 8:00 PM
Rova Premieres Carla Kihlstedt’s Pandaemonium
Other Minds Festival 15
Jewish Community Center, SF
3200 California Street
Carla Kihlstedt: Pandæmonium (2010)
Heads Up! NY, Detroit and Chicago:
» March 17th: Rova @ the Hideout, Chicago
» March 18th: Rova @ Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, Illinois
» March 19th: Rova @ MOCA Detroit
» March 20th: Rova @ The Stone, New York
Full details in the March newsletter.
Upcoming Rova member shows
Community Music Center
2 + 2 graphic scores and improvisations
6 hands on 2 pianos
Magda Mayas is a pianist and curator currently based in Berlin, Germany. Mayas studied jazz and improvisation with Misha Mengelberg and Georg Graewe, and she has developed techniques for inside-the-piano performance. http://www.creativesourcesrec.com
Matthew Goodheart is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, and as a composer, improviser, and pianist, Matthew Goodheart explores a variety of contemporary music forms—from free improvisation to strictly notated chamber music. His broad foundation, technical innovations, and compositional sensitivity have allowed him to develop a solid reputation as both a solo performer and collaborative artist. http://www.matthewgoodheart.com
Monday, January 25th, 10:00 PM
» John Shiurba - electric guitar
9:00 PM Set
» Kjell Nordeson - percussion
Friday, January 29th, 8:00 PM
Gino Robair – stuff; Bruce Ackley - saxes, clarinet; Tom Djll - trumpet;
Gino Robair presents a ‘Company’-style evening of free improvisation with various small groupings of the players, in memory of guitar master and fearless improviser, Derek Bailey.
21 Grand - Oakland
Tuesday, February 9th, 9:00 PM
The Oakland Active Orchestra is a new improvisers/composers collective performing compositions of its members. The concert will feature new works by Jon Raskin.
Phillip Greenlief, Aaron Bennett, Aram Shelton, Cory Wright – saxophones and clarinets;
The Uptown Nightclub
Music tours tend towards being predictably unpredictable. That may sound interesting, but most of the unpredictability is musical—as it should be. In other words, most days (or daze) on my tours go like this: wake up early.... grab some breakfast at the hotel if you don’t have to leave it before 7 am, go to a train station or airport, load onto a train and try to grab some sleep before having to unload from train A and switch to train B or grab a plane, or get picked up for a drive to some remote location...Grab a sandwich somewhere in there...Go to hotel and clean up and if lucky go for a very short walk or nap; Sound check around 4 or 5 PM. Eat a bit of dinner before the concert. Finally: perform for 2 hours or so; spend some time talking to members of the local audience. Return to hotel; repack; grab 3 to 6 hours sleep. Start over.
But then, and here’s the reason for my writing this up: just as the story seemed to have faded away there came a new event, courtesy of The Guardian. At some point a week or two later, Wynton Marsalis had called The Guardian reporter to ask for the name of the original complainant so that he, WM, could reward him with a collection of all WM’s CDs. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/dec/21/wynton-marsalis-jazz-purist-fan
This came to my attention on December 21, about 30 minutes before I was to drive to my family’s ranch in Oregon from Berkeley. Despairing that my “vacation time would now be taken up by more of this craziness, I sent a quick forward to some friends (including Dave Douglas and John Zorn) saying: “Can someone please wake me up?” Something being taken fairly lightly by everyone suddenly seemed like it could get very serious. I learned the next day in Oregon, however, that Marsalis’ publicist had announced that Wynton did not mean for this to go public—but of course it was way too late for that: the same buttons had been pushed again.
At the end of the year a Portuguese jazz critic sent me a series of questions he’d written up for me to answer, including some that related to this incident. Here is a choice one:
Imagine that Siguenza set up an inquisitorial jazz tribunal, in resemblance to those that existed in Spain between the 15th and 19th centuries. What penalty should be given to musicians, like you, who transgress the boundaries of Jazz?
I laughed out loud when I saw the question, and I thought that the best way to answer this would be to send it out in this newsletter and get a set of answers from the readers. But then I thought: actually, if we sent this to Wynton, he wouldn’t laugh at all, would he? And that led to this question: What in the world is going on in this time-period, when everyone seems to be drawing lines in the sand beyond which they won’t tolerate anything “more” (or “less”)? How can we ever get everyone to be open to the idea of living together in a tolerant world with various ways of viewing that world and being in that world when, within the confines of even the arts world, people like Mr. Marsalis feel the need to publicly censor “the other”? There is no doubt that the Drum Core (and Rova) plays art-music that expressly draws ideas, sounds and inspiration from jazz; no one would argue with that. So of course we should be presented at jazz festivals looking for something adventurous to present. My opinion: no one owns the right to decide what qualifies as jazz or not-jazz. (In fact, this issue is dated and irrelevant except at a capital-J Jazz Institution. But then that institution has every right to limit who it allows to enter its own realm anyway, so there’s no reason for anyone to feel threatened, correct?) And it seems to me that any promoter who loves improvised music including jazz, should have the right and the ability to hire any band that they wish to, if they believe that their audience would be surprised and stimulated by, and (even) enjoy, the music.
After December 22nd, probably thanks to the holidays, there were no more stories that I am aware of, although the report continued and continues to appear in various languages around the internet. But in Spain the curator of the festival and his associates were writing emails up to 10 hours a day from the day after the December 7 event until some time into the new year, so the issue is not quieting down as fast there. (And I have an interview scheduled for January with a Spanish Jazz magazine.)
By the way: (1) The audience in Siguenza gave us a mutli-curtain call after the concert ended. I guess whether it was or was not jazz didn’t matter to most of them. (2) My answer to that question about the Inquisition was: “Prop open my eyelids with toothpicks and force me to watch and to listen over and over to the newly released movie Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.”
Favorite Street: Jon Raskin
Buddha’s Little Finger
The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind, and Body
An Anthology of Noise & Electronic Music Volumes 1-5
OHM: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music
This 3 CD anthology features the work 44 different artists and a 98 page booklet of archival essays, photos, and notes from the composers. The set covers diverse artists, from Vladimir Ussachevsky to Brian Eno, Steve Reich to Sonic Youth.
F for Fake
F for Fake, little known film by Orson Welles released in 1974, has several narratives around art forgery. It tells a story of art forger Elmyr de Hory and Clifford Irving, who writes a book about Elmyr. During the telling of the story, Clifford Irving is exposed as a forger of a Howard Hughes biography. The film incorporates Oja Kodar as a love interest of Picasso, and uses an amazing sequence of her walking through Ibiza with hidden cameras filming the men watch her.
Orson Welles uses the film to talk about truth and fakery, examining what is the “lie” and what is fake, adding in his own hoaxes as well. The Criterion edition has wonderful commentaries from Oja Kodar.
INTERNET VIEWING:Favorite YouTube: The Long Take
Music and Video by Henry Kaiser
A long take is an uninterrupted shot in a film, which lasts much longer than the conventional editing pace either of the film itself, or of films in general, and usually lasting several minutes.
RadiOM - Improv:21 Archives
Want to sample some of the earlier Improv:21 informances?
Here’s what’s available at the moment:Wadada Leo Smith
Lawrence “Butch” Morris
To get news from Other Minds click here .
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.
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