Category: Press Releases

John Zorn: Game Pieces

What: Prolific composer John Zorn presents two of his game pieces, Cobra and Xu Feng at Roulette in May.
When: Saturday, May 6, 2017, 8pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $30/25 Online/Doors, $40 Premium
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368 =
Tickets: General Admission $25, Premium $40, $30 Tickets at the door

Brooklyn, NY –  Roulette is thrilled to welcome back prolific composer John Zorn to present two of his game pieces, Cobra and Xu Feng. This will be the second time Cobra is performed at Roulette since the 2014 performance celebrated the work’s 30th anniversary.

Game pieces, or controlled improvisation, is a concept of experimental music with roots in composers Iannis Xenakis, Christian Wolff and John Zorn. With no pre-arranged sequence of events, game pieces unfold freely according to certain rules. A number of methods can be used to determine the direction and evolution of the music, including hand gestures and shuffled cards. Cobra, which has been recorded several times for various labels, uses a combination of cards and gestures and can be performed by an ensemble of any size and composition.
John Zorn is an accomplished saxophonist, a versatile composer, an improvisational maestro, and an ardent promoter of experimental music. His music often defies convention and explores the spaces between and among genres. In his eclectic orchestrations, including solo works, chamber ensemble pieces, and compositions for complete orchestra, Zorn dismantles, reconstructs, merges, and refines disparate musical idioms Zorn is a largely self-taught artist who, since the mid-1970s, has been at the center of the downtown music scene. He founded the record label Tzadik in 1995 and has served as curator and artistic director at numerous New York music venues, including the Knitting Factory, Tonic, and The Stone, which he founded in 2005. A highly prolific artist, Zorn has over one hundred recordings and compositions to his name and has toured throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Spectral Streams: ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) and Ensemble L’Itinéraire

What: ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) and Ensemble L’Itinéraire present three generations of French and American spectral music.
When: Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 8pm
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 hosts a French-American collaboration between two leading contemporary music ensembles: ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) from New York / Chicago and Ensemble L’Itinéraire from Paris, conducted by French-Canadian conductor Jean-Michaël Lavoie. This Spectral Streams tour, initiated to celebrate the 70th birthday of Gérard Grisey (one of the founders of Ensemble L’Itinéraire), features works by French and American composers associated with the spectral school of composition. Three generations are featured throughout the tour: seminal works by Grisey (“Périodes” and “Partiels”), chamber pieces by “post-spectral” French composers (Philippe Leroux, Franck Bedrossian), and works by recent IRCAM-trained Americans such Ashley Fure and Christopher Trapani— whose new work “PolychROME,” commissioned specifically for this collaboration, receives its world premiere at Roulette.

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is an artist collective committed to transforming the way music is created and experienced. The ensemble’s 35 members are featured as soloists, chamber musicians, commissioners, and collaborators with the foremost musical artists of our time. Works by emerging composers have anchored ICE’s programming since its founding in 2001, and the group’s recordings and digital platforms highlight the many voices that weave music’s present.

Ensemble l’Itinéraire is one of the main European ensembles dedicated to the performance of contemporary music, known in particular for its performances of spectral music works. Based in Paris, the ensemble was founded in January 1973 by Michaël Lévinas, Tristan Murail, Hugues Dufourt, Gérard Grisey and Roger Tessier. Since its creation, the ensemble has collaborated with many composers and created hundreds of art pieces.

[GENERATE] Huang Ruo’s Sonic Garden

What: Huang Ruo convenes Ensemble FIRE and Momenta Quartet to present five pieces for small ensemble.
When: Monday, April 24, 2017, 8pm
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 – Celebrated Chinese composer Huang Ruo convenes Ensemble FIRE and Momenta Quartet to present five pieces, including “Wind Blows” for cello and piano; “Red Rain” for solo piano; String Quartet No. 2: “The Flag Project”; and “Drama Theatre No. 3: Written on the Wind” for pipa, voice, and visuals.

Described by The New York Times as “vigorous” and “inventive,” Ensemble FIRE is dedicated to the future of music. Specializing in multimedia and cross-genre projects, FIRE is widely praised for its innovative programming and performances. Founded in 2005 by  Huang Ruo, FIRE has performed at the Lincoln Center Festival, Le Poisson Rouge, Guggenheim Museum, Asia Society, Aspen Music Festival, Santa Fe Opera Festival, Rubin Museum of Arts, and the Esplanade in Singapore. Comprised of both Eastern and Western instruments and some of today’s most gifted and promising young musicians, FIRE advocates music in a wide variety of styles, ranging from avant-garde modernism to world music, visual arts, and experimental music.

Momenta Quartet derives its name from the plural of momentum – four individuals in motion towards a common goal. The ensemble’s eclectic vision encompasses contemporary music of all aesthetic backgrounds alongside great music from the recent and distant past. Momenta Quartet has premiered over 100 works and collaborated with over 120 living composers and, in the words of The New Yorker’s Alex Ross, “few American players assume Haydn’s idiom with such ease.”

Huang Ruo has been lauded by the New Yorker as “one of the world’s leading young composers.” His vibrant and inventive musical voice draws equal inspiration from Chinese ancient and folk music, Western avant-garde, experimental, noise, natural and processed sound, rock, and jazz to create a seamless, organic integration using a compositional technique he calls “Dimensionalism.” Huang Ruo’s diverse compositional works span from orchestra, chamber music, opera, theater, and dance, to cross-genre, sound installation, multi media, experimental improvisation, folk rock, and film. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in composition from the Juilliard School. He is currently a composition faculty at the Mannes College of Music at The New School.

[DANCEROULETTE] Stephanie Skura: Surreptitious Preparations For An Impossible Total Act

What: Stephanie Skura directs 7 elder-inclusive stellar improvisers for two back-to-back evenings of [DANCEROULETTE].
When: TuesdayWednesday, April 1819, 2017, 8pm
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 –  Stephanie Skura directs a group of seven stellar improvisers representing a diversity of ages and nationalities to perform two evenings of Surreptitious Preparations For An Impossible Total Act. The cast is comprised of five women in their 60s and two in their forties who consider immersed, empowered, individualistic performing to be their top priority.

The project began in 2014 with Skura unable to raise funds for a complex movement-theatre work. After feeling stuck for a time, Skura invited a few beloved colleagues to do what they love, without having to raise a large sum of money. In a manner befitting their nomadic, frugal choreographer lifestyles, the group met in studios around the world wherever they intersected. This process evolved into a performance project, directed by Skura, with a with a group of seven of her dream collaborators. The improvisations are informed by specific scores and structures. The scores, frequently oxymoronic, elicit a multi-faceted movement and vocal language, fluid in narrative and emotional content. Though structures and even personnel can change, underlying values remain constant: diversity, individual autonomy, respectful collaboration, valuing the subconscious, and deep connections amidst differences.

Stephanie Skura has created interdisciplinary movement-based performances for three decades. Her process focuses on the power and totality of each performer, collaboratively discovering and developing material. Hailed as “a major American experimentalist,” she has an international reputation for adventurous work, performing and teaching all over the United States and in 15 countries. With a deep respect for individual diversity, and a sturdy respect for the subconscious, Skura’s work is guided by integration of body / mind / heart, creativity and technique, form and content, intellect and intuition. She received her BFA and MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

[COMMISSION] Lucie Vítková: OPERA

What: Lucie Vítková presents OPERA, a utopian whole evening piece realized by singing instrumentalists.
When: Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 8pm
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 – Rising Czech composer Lucie Vítková prepares OPERA, a new evening piece for singing instrumentalists with visuals. The piece will take the traditional musical form of opera filled by contemporary and experimental music materials, written for singing musicians playing harp, saxophone, flute, theremin, accordion and oboe. OPERA is based on utopian thinking and its environment includes sound, visuals, fashion and movement. The libretto of the piece is based on theoretical texts concerning voice, expressed via Morse code.

Lucie Vítková is a composer, improviser and performer (accordion, harmonica, voice and tap dance) from the Czech Republic. She is a 2017 Herb Alpert Awards in Arts nominee in category of Music and an emerging artist of Thomas M. Messer Bohemian Creative Hub at the Czech Center New York. Her compositions focus on sonification (compositions based on abstract models derived from physical objects), while her improvisation practice explores characteristics of discrete spaces through the interaction between sound and movement. In her recent work, she is interested in the musical legacy of Morse Code and the social-political aspects of music and art in relation to everyday life.

Contemporaneous: Transcendental Geometry

What: Contemporaneous presents Transcendental Geometry, a performance project exploring new music written with non-traditional tunings from around the world.
When: Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 8pm
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 – Transcendental Geometry from Contemporaneous will explore new music written with non-traditional tunings from around the world. While most of the music heard in the United States is created in “equal-temperament,” the system of tuning used by the modern piano, the program will explore the music of the broader world using entirely different pitches.

Contemporaneous’s commitment to alternate tunings is particularly rare for a large ensemble. By commissioning and performing new works using non-Western tunings, Contemporaneous seeks to expand the vision for what music can be, down to the very notes themselves. The ensemble has commissioned three composers for this project, each approaching tuning from a different vantage point: Kyle Gann, whose writings on American microtonality are the seminal works in the genre; Shawn Jaeger, whose music intricately explores the beautiful precisions and imprecisions in rhythm and tuning in Appalachian hymnody; and Kristofer Svensson, whose music draws on both the tuning traditions of his native Sweden as well as his own stunning and whimsical invention. The evening will also feature the world premiere of the revised version of Katherine Balch’s New Geometry — a transcendent work which passes from microtonal intricacy to vast splendor.

Contemporaneous is an ensemble of 21 musicians whose mission is to bring to life the music of now. Recognized for “ferocious, focused performance” by The New York Times and for its “passionate drive…setting an extremely high bar for other ensembles to live up to” by I Care If You Listen, Contemporaneous performs and promotes the most exciting work of living composers, with an emphasis on music by young and emerging artists, through innovative concerts, commissions, recordings, and educational programs.

Fast Forward: Octopoda

What: New York composer Fast Forward presents original music works for solo and small ensembles.
When: Monday, April 10, 2017, 8pm
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 – New York composer Fast Forward presents a program of solo compositions, as well as performances and works by small ensembles ranging from as far back as 1986 to the present day. The program will include solo works for bicycle handlebars and steel pan performed by Fast Forward, as well as ensemble works for guitar, voice, and percussion, an ensemble work for two trombones and two percussionists, and a New York premiere for quartet.

Fast Forward is a New York based composer / musician who makes music with almost anything. He toured extensively with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company under the musical direction of Takehisa Kosugi from 1995-2011, as well as directing and performing in Robert Ashley’s legendary opera That Morning Thing at The Kitchen. He composes large scale music-theatre works for diverse instrumentation, such as Feeding Frenzy, a culinary concert for multiple musicians, cooks, waiters, and the audience, most recently performed in Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden and Lithuania. Covalent Bond, a collaboration with Miami filmmaker Barron Sherer utilizes a custom made “pool table” of a 100 gallon tank of water in which instruments are played on the surface of the water. Trommelfeuer for 8 musicians was performed at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin in 1989 before the demolition of the Berlin Wall.

[GENERATE] Curated by Meredith Monk: Phil Kline with Jim Jarmusch: Not OK

What: Composer Phil Kline collaborates with filmmaker Jim Jarmusch to present Not Ok, a program of past, present, and future work.
When: Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 8pm
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 – Composer Phil Kline, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, mezzo-soprano Jacqueline Horner, pianist Kathleen Supové, and percussionist David Cossin perform past, present, and future work, including music from Kline’s upcoming album and two theater works-in-progress, “I Am Joan Crawford” and “Tesla.” The program will feature Horner singing two songs and an aria from a work-in-progress, Supové performing a solo piano piece, Kline and Cossin playing a section from a work-in-progress, and Kline and Jarmusch performing feedback improvisation over a composed bed played on 24 boomboxes, framed by projections of footage of NYC shot by Thomas Edison.

A veteran of New York’s downtown scene, Phil Kline stands out for his range and unpredictability. From vast boombox symphonies to chamber music and song cycles, his work has been hailed for its originality, beauty, subversive subtext, and wry humor. Early in his career he cofounded the rock band the Del-Byzanteens with Jim Jarmusch and James Nares, collaborated with Nan Goldin on the soundtrack to The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, and played guitar in the Glenn Branca Ensemble. Some of his early work evolved from performance art and used large numbers of boomboxes, such as the outdoor Christmas cult classic Unsilent Night, which is now an annual holiday tradition celebrated around the world. Other notable works include Exquisite Corpses, written for the Bang on a Can All-Stars; the politically-infused Zippo Songs and Rumsfeld Songs; John the Revelator, a setting of the Latin Mass written for early music specialists Lionheart; and the Sinatra-inspired song cycle Out Cold, written for Theo Bleckmann and premiered at BAM’s Next Wave Festival. Phil hosts a daily radio show on WQXR / Q2 in NYC and is currently collaborating with filmmaker Jim Jarmusch on a music theater spectacle about Nikola Tesla.

Jim Jarmusch is an independent film director known for such works as Stranger Than Paradise (1984), Down by Law (1986), Dead Man (1995), Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), and Only Lovers Left Alive (2013).

About the Series: Curated by Meredith Monk features performers selected by Monk who are following his or her own path, asking questions, finding places that fall between the cracks of genres or categories.

Matt Mitchell plays Førage (Music of Tim Berne) // Berne + Mitchell Duo

What: Two sets of original music from pianist Matt Mitchell and saxophonist Tim Berne.
When: Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 8pm
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 presents two sets of original music from pianist Matt Mitchell and saxophonist Tim Berne. For the first set, Matt Mitchell will perform Tim Berne’s music from the new album førage on Screwgun Records, followed by Mitchell and Berne playing duo versions of their original compositions.

The compositions of saxophonist and bandleader Tim Berne have earned renown for their intensely kinetic, dizzyingly intricate quality. With the album førage, listeners have the chance to experience Berne’s music as never before, in versions for solo piano. On førage, Mitchell creates mash-ups of multiple compositions, improvises new angles off the music, and often slows it down to reveal hidden beauties.

Tim Berne is an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Described by critic Thom Jurek as commanding “considerable power as a composer and … frighteningly deft ability as a soloist,” Berne has composed and performed prolifically since the 1980s.

Matt Mitchell is a pianist and composer interested in the intersections of various strains of acoustic, electric, composed, and improvised new music. He has taught extensively with the Brooklyn-based School for Improvisational Music, as well as at the New School, NYU, and the Siena Jazz Workshop. He is also a 2015 recipient of a Doris Duke Impact Award and a 2012 recipient of a Pew Fellowship from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.

Spring 2017 Season (April – June) Announcement

What: Roulette spring season highlights include John Zorn presenting two of his game pieces, Joan La Barbara honoring her 70th birthday with the premiere of new work, and [DANCEROULETTE] performances from Stephanie Skura, Sally Silvers, and Biba Bell.
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Roulette is pleased to announce the release of their spring season from April 4 to June 30, 2017.

The month of April begins with the duo Matt Mitchell and Tim Berne playing music from Førage, a new recording on Screwgun Records, followed by downtown veterans Phil Kline and Jim Jarmusch performing a feedback improvisation over a composed bed played on 24 boomboxes, with projections of footage of NYC shot by Thomas Edison. Former Merce Cunningham Dance Company composer Fast Forward presents Octopoda, a selection of works for solo and ensemble featuring bicycle handlebars and steel pan as instruments; Contemporaneous presents Transcendental Geometry, a performance project that will explore new music written with non-traditional tunings from around the world; and Lucie Vítková presents OPERA, a new commission based on utopian thinking and its environment, including sound, visuals, fashion, and movement. For two back-to-back evenings, choreographer Stephanie Skura directs seven elder-inclusive stellar improvisers to present Surreptitious Preparations For An Impossible Total Act, and International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and Ensemble L’Itinéraire collaborate to present three generations of French and American music spectral music.

May kicks off with John Zorn performing two of his game pieces, Xu Feng and Cobra, followed by Matthew Goodheart and Matthew Ostrowski presenting Action Without a Distance, a program of solo compositions based on computer control of musical and non-musical objects. Composer and installation artist Miya Masoaka performs A Line Becomes a Circle, a Noh chamber opera, with text from Haiku fragments of the dying poet, Shiki Masaoka. Haitian electronic music composer Val Jeanty presents Dancing The Divine, a collaboration between her AfroElectronica soundscape with fire dancer Ra Nubi as part of her artist residency; Guy Klucevsek debuts his accordion quartet Bellows Brigade, featuring the premiere of “Pauline, Pauline,” in memory of Pauline Oliveros; Alex Weiser presents And All The Days Were Purple, including a new work commissioned by Roulette; and Joan La Barbara honors her 70th birthday year with the premiere of The Wanderlusting of Joseph C, inspired by the obsessions, visions, and dreams of visual artist Joseph Cornell. The month concludes with Cholera Nocebo, JG Thirlwell‘s surround sound immersive cinematic presentation. and The M6 vocal ensemble performing rarely heard compositions by Meredith Monk, as well as the world premiere of a new piece by Monk.

June is a strong month for Roulette’s dance programming and residencies + commissions series. Residencies include James Brandon Lewis presenting Heroes Are Gang Leaders, a program of original works inspired by Amiri Baraka, David Murray, and Sun Ra Arkestra; the Tomeka Reid Large Ensemble; and Brendon Randall-Myers premiering Dynamics of Vanishing Bodies, which features two large pieces by Randall-Myers written from opposing angles: a set of microtonal electro-folk songs for soprano Eliza Bagg, and an ethereal electric guitar quartet for Dither. Gemma Peacocke’s commissioned piece, Waves + Lines, is a multimedia song cycle adapted from Afghan women’s folk poems collected in Eliza Griswold’s book, “I Am the Beggar of the World.” The Curated by Meredith Monk series concludes with Song Out! Folk ‘n’ Pop Fantasies featuring new songs by Dick Connette, Rachelle Garniez, and Mimi Goese, followed by Ensemble Connect celebrating the voices of immigrants in the nation, featuring works by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Shulamit Ran, and Anna Clyne. Other performances include Hans Tammen’s Third Eye Orchestra performing Clepsydra, a score produced from electronic sample and hold procedures, and Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan supporting the release of their duo album, Small Town, on ECM Records. The spring season concludes with two series of [DANCEROULETTE] from Biba Bell and Sally Silvers.