Category: Press Releases

Phill Niblock: 6 Hours of Music and Film

What: Downtown legend and intermedia artist Phill Niblock presents his annual 6-hour Winter Solstice concert.
When: Thursday, December 21, 2017, 6pm—12am
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – As the longest night of the year unfolds and the journey of our planet nears the point when Winter commences in the Northern Hemisphere, Phill Niblock’s stages his annual Winter Solstice concert for the 7th consecutive year in Roulette’s Atlantic Avenue theatre space. Starting at 6:00 PM, the performance will comprise of six sublime hours of acoustic and electronic music and mixed media film and video in a live procession that charts the movement of our planet and the progress of ourselves through art and performance at its maximal best.

Niblock’s minimalistic drone approach to composition and music was inspired by the musical and artistic activities of New York in the 1960s, from the art of Mark Rothko, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, and Robert Morris to the music of John Cage and Morton Feldman. Niblock’s music is an exploration of sound textures created by multiple tones in very dense, often atonal tunings (generally microtonal in conception) performed in long durations.

Phill Niblock is an intermedia artist using music, film, photography, video, and computers as his medium. Since the mid-1960s, he has been making music and intermedia performances which have been shown at numerous venues around the world, including The Museum of Modern Art, The Kitchen, The Institute of Contemporary Art in London, and World Music Institute at Merkin Hall. Since 1985, Niblock has been the director of the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in New York where he has been an artist and member since 1968. He is the producer of Music and Intermedia presentations at Experimental Intermedia since 1973 (with 1000 performances to date!) and the curator of EI’s XI Records label. Niblock’s music is available on the XI, Moikai, Mode and Touch labels. He is the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Foundation for Contemporary Arts John Cage award.

Vicky Chow & Ben Reimer Duo: Softcore

What: Vicky Chow & Ben Reimer perform works by Canadian composers Nicole Lizée and Vincent Ho, plus Christopher Cerrone.
When: Saturday, December 16, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – In lieu of her aforementioned performance as X88, pianist Vicky Chow will now perform as a duo with percussionist Ben Reimer. On tap for the evening – newly commissioned solo and duo works with multimedia by Canadian composers Nicole Lizée and Vincent Ho, as well as a new arrangement of “Double Happiness” from Rome Prize-winner Christopher Cerrone.

Montreal-based percussionist Ben Reimer and Vancouver-born Brooklyn-based pianist Vicky Chow met several years ago at the Bang on a Can Summer Institute at Mass MOCA. In 2016, Chow and Reimer united as a duo by commissioning Canadian composers Nicole Lizée and Vincent Ho. The two made their debut performance in January 2017 at the International PuSH Festival in Vancouver, co-presented by Music on Main, which featured John Luther Adams’ “Four Thousand Holes” and the premiere performances of Lizée’s “Softcore” and Ho’s “Kickin’ It!” After a successful debut, the duo is now a fully fledged commissioning, recording, and touring project.

Canadian pianist Vicky Chow has been described as “new star of new music”  by Los Angeles Times and “one of our era’s most brilliant pianists” by Pitchfork. Chow is the pianist for Bang on a Can All-Stars, X88, Chow / Reimer Duo, Grand Band, New Music Detroit, and others. Her sophomore album A O R T A on New Amsterdam Records was hailed as “imaginative” and “compelling” by I Care If You Listen and “a triumph of curation” by Second Inversion. In 2013, she gave the North American premiere of Steve Reich’s work “Piano Counterpoint,” the world premiere of John Zorn’s new piano trio “The Aristos,” and an evening-length work by Tristan Perich for solo piano and 40 channel 1-bit electronics titled Surface Image, presented at Roulette.  Vicky Chow is a Yamaha Artist.

Winnipeg-born percussionist Ben Reimer became captivated by the drum set at an early age. Now based in Montreal, Reimer has established himself as a leading figure in contemporary drumset performance, commissioning solo works such as “Ringer” by Nicole Lizée, “Full Grown” by Scott Edward Godin, and “Train Set” by Eliot Britton. Reimer is a member of Architek Percussion in Montreal and is a Sabian Cymbals, Yamaha Canada and Vic Firth artist.

UnCaged Toy Piano Festival: Automotoy

What: A variety of works incorporating mechanical musical instruments with live performers and John Cage‘s Amplified Toy Pianos.
When: Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – Automotoy offers the rare chance to hear John Cage’s seminal Music for Amplified Toy Pianos as it was meant to be heard — on a toy piano! — complimented by performances from Margaret Leng Tan, Phyllis Chen, Adam Tendler, Tristan McKay, and Alexa Dexa. Originally founded in 2007 by pianist and composer Phyllis Chen, the UnCaged Toy Piano is a composition competition designed to expand the music for toy piano. Given the large number of submissions received through the years, UnCaged Toy Piano has since become a biennial festival hosting three different events in New York City in December. The festival premieres many of these new works and curates a three-day event, showcasing other artists, performers and makers who are using toys and toy pianos in new music.

Invented in 1872, the toy piano was mostly considered an educational toy for children, until John Cage’s seminal work, Suite For Toy Piano (1947) single-handedly turned the toy piano into a concert instrument. In recent decades, a growing number of musicians and audience members have embraced this instrument for its fresh, unassuming yet quirky quality. With time, the UnCaged Toy Piano hopes to develop idiomatic repertoire for the instrument such that it becomes its own artistic entity, giving attention to a relatively unknown instrument with a unique sound and voice.

Dennis Russell Davies & Maki Namekawa: Celebrating Philip Glass

What: Two of Philip Glass‘ closest collaborators perform an all-Glass recital for two pianos and piano four-hands.
When: Saturday, December 9, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – A late, great addition to Roulette’s fall season — two of Philip Glass‘ closest collaborators and friends, Dennis Russell Davies and Maki Namekawa, perform an all-Glass recital of music for two pianos and piano four-hands. The evening’s program features highlights from Glass’ impressive catalog, including the two-piano suite from Glass’ opera Les Enfants Terribles; a selection of music for piano-four hands including “The Chase” from Orphée; the New York premiere of the musical interlude from The Voyage and “Stokes,” as well as Glass’ dynamic “Four Movements for Two Pianos.”

Dennis Russell Davies has had a distinguished career as both a pianist and a conductor in both the US and in Europe. Founder of the American Composers Orchestra, he has held esteemed positions with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Bruckner Orchester Linz, and the Stuttgart Opera. Beginning with Glass’ “Violin Concerto No.1” which premiered with the ACO at Carnegie Hall in 1987, Davies has played a large role in bringing Glass’ concert works to the stage as both a pianist and conductor, including arranging the commissions of ten of the eleven extant Glass symphonies. Dennis Russell Davies was born in Toledo, Ohio and studied piano and conducting at the Juilliard School. He is Professor Emeritus of Orchestral Conducting at Salzburg’s Mozarteum, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the French Ministry of Culture has appointed him “Commandeur des Arts et Lettres.”

Renowned piano soloist Maki Namekawa has the distinct honor of recording Glass’s complete piano études, released on Orange Mountain Music in 2014. Her forthcoming solo piano album of the complete soundtrack to the film MISHIMA is forthcoming on OMM Records. Namekawa has toured regularly for years with Philip Glass, presenting his Complete Piano Études in cities around the world, most recently including the Barbican Centre in London. Following studies at the Kunitachi Music University in Tokyo, Namekawa pursued advanced work under Pierre-Laurent Aimard at the Musikhochschule in Cologne as well as studies with Werner Genuit and Kaya Han at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe and Stefan Litwin in Saarbrücken. Namekawa has been performing the music of Philip Glass with Dennis Russell Davies since 2003.

Darius Jones: Samesoul Maker

What: A follow up to 2014’s The Oversoul Manual, Samesoul Maker is a new composition for male voices in an invented language.
When: Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – Darius JonesSamesoul Maker is the second installment of a three-part work utilizing a new language and compositional approach fully created by Jones. For his 2014 compositional debut at Carnegie Hall, Jones presented the second iteration, The Oversoul Manual, an a cappella work comprised of 15 pieces performed by his vocal quartet, the Elizabeth-Caroline Unit. An elemental part of Jones’ Mani’sh Boy mythology, the piece is a fully illuminated, radical expression of Jones’ profound love for the voice, which remains at the foundation of his creative life.

Samesoul Maker explores the commitment of the father figure during the process of childbirth on the planet Or’gen. The father figure becomes the Samesoul Maker through a daily mantra performed in a 15-part cycle using an ancient instrument to embroider the repetitions. Each cycle is seeding the love, desires and support of the father for the creation of his child. The father figure repeats this action every day to lend psychic and emotional energy, thus strengthening the bond being amongst the mothers of his Unit as they sing The Oversoul Manual.

Samesoul Maker will be proceeded by LawNOrder (pronounced “law no order”), a new 45-minute game piece dealing with social justice and American history. Each player represents a separate character (unknown to the others player) and is handed a law to follow at the beginning of the piece.

Darius Jones is a critically acclaimed alto saxophonist and composer. In 2008, Jones was awarded the Van Lier Fellowship by Roulette, which he used to launch his chamber ensemble, the Elizabeth-Caroline Unit, a project dedicated to new works for voice. Roulette continued their support for Jones’ work through a Jerome Foundation Commission, awarding Jones an Artist-in-Residence opportunity for the Elizabeth-Caroline Unit to premiere his vocal composition, The Oversoul Manual, in spring 2014. Following that performance, Jones made his compositional debut at Carnegie Hall with The Oversoul Manual in October 2014.

In 2013, Jones was nominated for Alto Saxophonist of the Year, and for Up & Coming Artist of the Year two years in a row by the Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards. He was one of Jazz Times’ Debut Artists of the Year for 2009, and his 2012 release, Book of Mæ’bul (Another Kind of Sunrise), was listed among NPR’s Best Top 10 Jazz Albums of that year. Critics have called him “robustly creative” (New York Times) and “one of NYC’s most incisive and passionate saxists” (Time Out New York). Jones has collaborated with Gerald Cleaver’s Black Host, Oliver Lake Big Band, Eric Revis Quartet, Nasheet Waits Quartet, Trevor Dunn’s Proof Readers, Matthew Shipp, Branford Marsalis, Jason Moran, and more.

Jeremiah Cymerman: Systema Munditotius

What: A hypnotic and mysterious piece for clarinet and percussion inspired by psychologist CG Jung from Jeremiah Cymerman.
When: Tuesday, December 5, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – Composed in 2017, Jeremiah Cymerman’s Systema Mundtitotius is a hypnotic and mysterious concert length piece written as a concerto for two improvising percussionists with the accompaniment of clarinet choir. Employing a system of alternate fingerings and pitch specific electronic feedback, the clarinet choir surrounds the percussionists in a sonic environment that propels and informs the performances of the soloists. Drawing inspiration from and paying tribute to the writings and mandala drawings of Swiss psychologist CG Jung, the first iteration of Systema Munditotius took place at The Stone in New York City as the final performance of Cymerman’s 2017 week-long residency, with subsequent performances at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, CT.

For the past fifteen years, composer and performer Jeremiah Cymerman has become an increasingly integral part of the New York Downtown scene, charting a colorful career as a clarinetist, improviser, sound artist, recording engineer, archivist and podcaster. Frequently using the recording studio as a primary compositional tool, Cymerman’s work reflects a passionate interest in improvisation, electronic manipulation and production, as well as solo clarinet and ensemble performance practices. As a performer, he has worked closely with John Zorn, Toby Driver, Mario Diaz de Leon, Brian Chase, Christopher Hoffman, Evan Parker, Nate Wooley, Joshua Rubin, Anthony Coleman, Matthew Welch, and others. He has performed in over twenty countries as well as numerous cities in the United States, from grand concert halls to anarchist squats. Having released two albums on Tzadik Records, since 2012, he has been releasing music on his own label, 5049 Records, with six full length albums to date, featuring artists Evan Parker, Mario Diaz de Leon, Nate Wooley, Toby Driver, Peter Evans and others. Since 2013, via his 5049 Podcast, he has been documenting long-form, one on one conversations on a weekly basis with an increasingly diverse cast of the most important and distinctive living musicians.

Go: Organic Orchestra: Murmuration

What: New work from Adam Rudolph’s Go: Organic Orchestra, a 21st century vision of a “future orchestra.”
When: Monday, November 27, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – Ever since its first performance at Roulette in 2006, Go: Organic Orchestra has embraced a 21st century vision of a “future orchestra.” Artistic director Adam Rudolph‘s prototypical approach to composing and improvisational conducting embraces music forms and cosmologies from around the world. Using a non-linear score with his unique approach to rhythm as the seed material, Rudolph improvisationally conducts the musicians in concert, creating spontaneous orchestrations serving as both context and inspiration for the musician’s improvisational dialogue. Murmuration is a new work performed by a 35-piece orchestra.

The New York City-based Go: Organic Orchestra is a multicultural and multi-generational chamber orchestra combining western and non-western instrumentation to present a serious contemporary music. For the past four decades, composer, improviser and percussionist Adam Rudolph has performed extensively in concert throughout North & South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Hailed as a “pioneer in world music” by the New York Times and “a master percussionist” by Musician Magazine, he has released over 25 recordings under his own name, featuring his compositions and percussion work. Rudolph composes regularly for his ensembles Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures, Hu: Vibrational percussion group, and Go: Organic Orchestra, an 18-to-54-piece group for which he has developed an original music notation and conducting system. He has taught and conducted hundreds of musicians worldwide in the Go: Organic Orchestra concept. In 1995 Rudolph premiered his opera The Dreamer, based on the text of Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy.

“The Go: Organic Orchestra sounded unbelievable. But it was believable because we were listening to it.”

—Yusef Lateef

The Nubian Word for Flowers; A Phantom Opera // Rainbird

What: Premiere of The Nubian Word for Flowers by Pauline Oliveros and IONE, plus scenes from Rainbird by Aaron Siegel & Mallory Catlett.
When: Thursday, November 30, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – Experiments in Opera, ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), and M.o.M., Inc. celebrate the life and legacy of Pauline Oliveros with the premiere of her opera collaboration with writer / director IONE. Encompassing the Nubian Diaspora and the life of Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener of Khartoum, the opera uses live performance, electronics and moving images to create a deep dream exploration of Nubian soul and Colonial Mind. EiO will also present selections from Rainbird, a work-in-development between EiO co-founder Aaron Siegel and director Mallory Catlett, based on the work of author Janet Frame.

IONE is an author, playwright, director, and improvising text-sound artist. She has taught and performed throughout the world with her partner and spouse of 30 years, Pauline Oliveros. IONE was Artistic Director of Deep Listening Institute for 15 years and currently works as a Deep Listening Certification Instructor at the Center for Deep Listening in Troy, NY. As Founding Director of M.o.M., Inc. (The Ministry of Maåt), IONE encourages and supports women’s well-being and sustains a vibrant international community of writers, visual artists, and musicians.

Experiments in Opera is a composer-driven company focused on re-writing the story of opera. EiO invites composers, directors, designers and performers to create new work that embraces unconventional mediums, a range of production scales, and explores collaboration between all types of artists working to share their visions. International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is an artist collective committed to transforming the way music is created and experienced. As performer, curator, and educator, ICE explores how new music intersects with communities across the world. M.o.M., Inc. (The Ministry of Maåt) is an international spiritual and educational organization nurturing the a harmonious and balanced world community.

Raz Mesinai: Sleepwalker 3

What: Sleepwalker 3 for piano, violin, bass and electronics combines dub, contemporary composition, and sound system design.
When: Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – Roulette dives into dub with Raz Mesinai’s Sleepwalker 3, a piece for piano, violin, bass and electronics that combines dub, contemporary composition and sound system design. The evening’s performance will be the third iteration of the piece, with the first version having been performed nearly seven years ago.

Dub producer, film composer, and sound designer Raz Mesinai has been producing records since 1989 on a wide range of labels including the legendary punk / hardcore dub label ROIR, John Zorn’s Tzadik imprint, and others. His work has been featured in films by Darren Aronofsky and Ridley Scott. In 2014, Mesinai formed Underground Producers Alliance (UPA), an innovative school for music production, with legendary producer Scotty Hard of Wu Tang Clan and Jungle Brothers.

Violinist and composer Todd Reynold has performed with Bang On A Can All Stars, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Reich Ensemble; while bassist Shahzad Ismaily has performed with Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, and Brian Eno. Both musicians serve as mentors at the Underground Producers Alliance.

David First: The Western Enisphere

What: Western Enisphere presents new work for ensemble & electronics exploring hyper-minimalist microtonality.
When: Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 8:00pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25/20 Online $20/15 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: General Admission $20, Members/Students/Seniors $15, $25/20 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY – Hyper-minimalist microtonality and sensual phenomena take center stage as Western Enisphere presents new work for ensemble and electronics. Formed by David First and Jeanann Dara in April 2012, Western Enisphere seeks to develop a body of hyper-minimalist, audio / video just intonation and microtonal works steeped in First’s concepts of Gestural Improvisation, defined as a set of procedures that isolates musical elements and elevates them to the level of most significant extrapolative detail. Comprised of a cast of in-demand musicians in New York City, the ensemble has worked extensively to internalize what First calls “a virtuosity of slowness and safecracker focus, with the goal of both resonating with, and attempting to subvert, the laws of nature.”

David First has always been fascinated by opposites and extremes. At age 20, he played guitar with renowned avant-jazz pianist Cecil Taylor in a legendary Carnegie Hall concert. Two years later, he was creating electronic music as an artist-in-residence at Princeton University and leading a Mummerʼs String Band in Philadelphia parades. As a composer, First has created everything from finely crafted pop songs to long, severely minimalist microtonal droneworks. First’s performances often find him sitting trance-like without seeming to move a muscle, unless he is playing with his psychedelic punk band, Notekillers, at which time he is a whirling blur of hyperactive energy. He has been called “a fascinating artist with a singular technique” in The New York Times, and “a bizarre cross between Hendrix and La Monte Young” in the Village Voice. First’s most recent project, Same Animal, Different Cages (Fabrica Records), is a series of solo LPs on a variety of instruments, including acoustic guitar, analog synth, harmonica (forthcoming September 2017), and sitar (forthcoming early 2018).