The Sax Cloud

This rare opportunity to convene 16 of the most committed and creative players in the Bay Area and beyond for a special Rova collaboration was a dream of Steve's and Jon's and they created an evening of engaging sonic beauty. Ambitious projects like the Sax Cloud generally only happen once, so we're excited to make available the recording of the second set, Jon Raskin's piece. Repeated listening to this work reveals its structure, magic and the unique contribution each saxophonist made that evening. Click here to listen to The Sax Cloud

In addition to Rova, the performers were: Aaron Bennett, Sheldon Brown, James Fei, Vinny Golia, Frank Gratkowski, Phillip Greenlief, John Ingle, Kasey Knudsen, Jayn Pettingill, Daniel Plonsey, Aram Shelton, and Cory Wright

Sax Cloud Graphic Score
Part of The Sax Cloud Graphic Score

Performance Notes by Jon Raskin

The Sax Cloud is a work that is quieter than naught, and the resulting spatial relationships play an important role in defining the Cloud's musical language. Each pair of ears in the audience has a unique location in the sonic membrane that is created around them. Conceptually, the 16 saxophonists are divided into four sax clouds, each led by one of the Rovas who is responsible for the sounds and processes from each of the quartets.

Rova has developed similar improvising strategies in their collective work, Radar. Raskin has combined the Radar approach with his graphic score language he has been exploring for the last several years.

Gino Robair conducted from the center of the space to coordinate the creation of the performance sound clouds. Robair's conducting process derived from the spatial concepts of aerial photographs of ancient sites taken by Georg Gerster. The patterns captured by the images are especially remarkable, considering the point of view of the site builders. They lacked of awareness of the overall structure that they helped to create - analogous to each Sax Cloud players' limited perspective as the work unfolds.

Click Here for Full Article by Jon Raskin

The Sax Cloud graphic score
Tone Rows
Six Box Elements
Codex Seraphinianus Elements

Some Aerial Photographs of Ancient Sites Taken by Georg Gerster
Ancient Fields and crescent dunes
Askia Mausoleum at Gao
Band-i Amur Dam
Burial Mounds at Se Girdan
Cisterns at Herash
City of Hatra
Crooked Wood