Category: Press Releases

[RESIDENCY] James Brandon Lewis & Chad Taylor // Heroes Are Gang Leaders

What: Saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and drummer Chad Taylor honor the great saxophone + drum duos of the past.
When: Monday, June 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 – Roulette artist-in-residence James Brandon Lewis presents a program of original and arranged works inspired by John Coltrane, Rashied Ali, Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, and Ornette Coleman.

The passing of poet Imamu Amiri Baraka in 2014 was a major loss for various facets of Black Radicalism. A strong figure in politics, culture, and community, Baraka inspired many to follow in his footsteps. Formed from the love and respect of Baraka, a group of poets and musicians, led and founded by James Brandon Lewis and Thomas Sayers Ellis, come together for this evening as Heroes Are Gang Leaders.

With a name lifted from one of Amiri Baraka’s stories, the group embarked on a recording session last fall that blended poetry and music to “outishly” echo and honor Baraka’s legacy. In the tradition of the protest song, the group’s style combines jazz, groove, black hollerin with extensions of paged and oral literary text by Gwendolyn Brooks, Bob Kaufman, and Baraka himself.  

Saxophonist and composer James Brandon Lewis has received accolades from cultural tastemakers such as Ebony Magazine, who hailed him as one of the “7 Young Players to Watch” in 2013. Lewis has shared stages with icons such as Benny Golson, Geri Allen, and Dorinda Clark Cole, as well as Roulette artists Ken Filiano, Darius Jones, and Jason Hwang. Lewis attended Howard University and holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.

Curated by Meredith Monk: Song Out! Folk ‘n’ Pop Fantasies

What: New songs by Dick Connette, Rachelle Garniez, and Mimi Goese, featuring vocals by Suzzy Roche and Ana Egge.
When: Friday, June 2, 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 – A new group consisting of Dick Connette, Rachelle Garniez, Mimi Goese, Steve Elson, Kevin Kuhn, Derek Nievergelt, and Karen Waltuch perform songs from Connette’s 2017 album Oysters Ice Cream Lemonade. The songs will be performed by the instrumental ensemble in various combinations, and will feature guest vocalists Suzzy Roche and Ana Egge.

Dick Connette has been composing, performing, and recording music since 1970. His work has been presented by The Kitchen, LaMaMa, Arts at St. Ann’s, New Sounds Live at Merkin Hall, and Central Park’s SummerStage. Over the last 30 years, he has devoted himself to writing music and songs based on American folk and popular traditions. Two albums of this work, under the project name Last Forever, have been released by Nonesuch Records. He is also active as a producer, and has his own label, StorySound Records, which features composers, arrangers, and singer/songwriters with similar interests and enthusiasms. In 2009, Connette won a Grammy for his work on Loudon Wainwright III’s 2-CD set High Wide & Handsome.

Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and vocalist Rachelle Garniez is a native New Yorker. Known as a “diva with a difference” (Billboard) and a “certified free spirit” (The New Yorker), her genre fluid story songs and stream of consciousness performances delight and thrill audiences from the NYC metropolitan area to Europe.

Mimi Goese’s musical pursuits have included the seminal dream pop band, Hugo Largo, the band Mimi, as well as collaborations with Moby, A. Leroy, Hahn Rowe, Porl Thompson (of The Cure), Hector Zazou, and, most recently, Ben Neill. From 1988-1990, Mimi worked with Dick Connette on the creation and development of his Last Forever project.

[GENERATE] The M6: Meredith Monk Music Third Generation

What: The M6 vocal ensemble perform rarely heard compositions by Meredith Monk, including “Dolmen Music.”
When: Wednesday, May 31, 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 – The M6, a vocal ensemble dedicating to performing more rarely heard compositions by Meredith Monk as well as new material, performs a collection of solo and group works, including the world premiere of a yet to be titled work for six voices. Selections from Monk’s “Our Lady of Late” (1973) for solo voice and wine glass, “New York Requiem” (1993) written for Tom Bogdan during the AIDS crisis, “Calling” from “American Archeology #1: Roosevelt Island” (1994), “Basket Rondo” (2007) and Monk’s seminal “Dolmen Music” round out the program.

The M6 is a vocal ensemble dedicated to continuing the musical legacy of legendary composer, singer, and director Meredith Monk. The members of the group were among 19 singers chosen from around the world to participate in a professional training workshop offered by Monk and the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall in January 2006, culminating in the Meredith Monk Young Artists Concert at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. In 2007, The M6 formed out of the desire to continue learning Monk’s work through direct coachings with the composer herself, as well as with past and present members of her Vocal Ensemble. Since the majority of Monk’s work has been created and taught in the oral tradition, the group is devoted to immersion in this process and believes it is vital in order to assure that her extraordinary work lives on. Individual members are also working to transcribe more of Monk’s work in an effort to help document it for future generations. Appearances have included concerts at Zankel Hall, Whitney Museum, La MaMa, Symphony Space, The Stone, Roulette and Issue Project Room, as well as performances and residencies at Trinity College in Hartford, Syracuse University, Bronx Community College, and Sarah Lawrence College. The M6 is Sasha Bogdanowitsch, Sidney Chen, Emily Eagen, Holly Nadal, Toby Newman and Peter Sciscioli.

[GENERATE] JG Thirlwell: Cholera Nocebo

What: JG Thirlwell presents Cholera Nocebo, a 50 minute electro-acoustic surround sound immersive cinematic presentation.
When: Tuesday, May 30, 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 – JG Thirlwell presents Cholera Nocebo, a 50 minute electro-acoustic presentation performed with software and sampling, autoharp, prepared piano and small electronic and acoustic objects and instruments. By incorporating musique concrète and electronic sound along with live instrumentation, the composition is dynamic, cinematic and diverse with stylistic left-turns, often creating a tension between time and anxiety. Thirlwell was inspired to create a work incorporating live re-composition and improvisation into its structure, which could expand and contract fluidly with flow and spontaneity from pre-ordained building blocks of sound.

Thirlwell will person alongside projections of multiple time-lapse car journeys on the Long Island Expressway, providing the illusion of hurtling into a void. The accompanying projections will culminate in footage captured during the blackout in Lower Manhattan in the aftermath of the Hurricane Sandy. The film was shot and edited by gea with additional footage by Sebastian Mlynarski.

JG Thirlwell is a composer, producer, and performer based in Brooklyn. Thirlwell has completed commissions for Kronos Quartet, Bang On A Can, Thyssen-Bornemisza ArtContemporary, Experiments in Opera, Zephyr Quartet, Great Learning Orchestra and League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots, and is a member of the“freq_out” sound-art collective, curated by CM Von Hausswolff. Thirlwell has also featured as producer, remixer, collaborator or arranger for a wide variety of artists including Karen O, Noveller, Excepter, Zola Jesus, Melvins, Swans, Nine Inch Nails, Lydia Lunch, Coil, Z’s, Nick Cave and many more. In 2007 he was selected to be showcased in the “Composer Spotlight” series at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Thirlwell also creates the musical score for the Adult Swim / Cartoon Network show The Venture Bros and the Emmy-winning FX show Archer, and has created several motion picture scores, including Tony Oursler’s Imponderable. He recently completed a composition for solo contrabass for James Ilgenfritz and a commission for solo cello for Jeffrey Zeigler.

[COMMISSION] Alex Weiser: And All The Days Were Purple

What: Soprano Eliza Bagg premieres a substantial new song cycle from composer Alex Weiser.
When: Monday, May 29, 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 – Soprano Eliza Bagg premieres a substantial new song cycle from composer Alex Weiser. Bagg will also play violin and will be joined by pianist Lee Dionne (of Ensemble Connect), New Morse Code (Hannah Collins and Michael Compitello), and andPlay (Maya Bennardo and Hannah Levinson). Weiser’s songs feature poems meditating on life, love, and death, in both English and Yiddish, by poets Anna Margolin, Abraham Sutzkever, Mark Strand, Rachel Korn and Edward Hirsch. The concert will open with a new arrangement of Weiser’s 2016 song cycle “Three Epitaphs.” Originally performed by Kate Maroney and Cantata Profana, “Three Epitaphs” features texts on love and the transience of life by Williams Carlos Williams, Seikilos, and Emily Dickinson.

Broad gestures, rich textures, and narrative sweep are hallmarks of the “compelling” (New York Times), “shapely, melody-rich” (Wall Street Journal) music of composer Alex Weiser. Born and raised in New York City, Weiser creates cosmopolitan music combining a deeply felt historical perspective with a vibrant forward-looking creativity. An energetic advocate for contemporary classical music and for the work of his peers, Weiser co-founded and directs Kettle Corn New Music. Weiser is Public Programs Manager at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, where he curates and produces programs that combine a fascination with and curiosity for historical context.

Lineup:
Eliza Bagg – Singer
Lee Dionne – Piano

New Morse Code
Hannah Collins – Cello
Michael Compitello – Percussion

andPlay
Maya Bennardo – Violin
Hannah Levinson – Viola

[GENERATE] Joan La Barbara: The Wanderlusting of Joseph C.

What: The world premiere of “The Wanderlusting of Joseph C.,” a new song cycle composed by Joan La Barbara.
When: Wednesday, May 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 – Joan La Barbara is a composer, performer, sound artist, and actor renowned for her unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques, influencing generations of composers and singers. Her numerous commissions include composing for multiple voices, chamber ensembles, theater, orchestra, interactive technology, and soundscores for dance, video and film, including a score for voice and electronics for Sesame Street broadcast worldwide since 1977. Recordings of her work include: ShamanSong, Sound Paintings, Voice is the Original Instrument, Tapesongs, and 73 Poems, which was included in The American Century Part II: Soundworks at The Whitney Museum of American Art. La Barbara is a member of the Music Composition Artist Faculty at New York University and the College of Performing Arts Faculty at Mannes School of Music at The New School.

Monique Truong is a Vietnamese-American writer based in Brooklyn. Her first novel, The Book of Salt (2003), was a national bestseller, New York Times Notable Fiction book, and recipient of the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. Her second novel, Bitter In The Mouth (2010), received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was named a best fiction book of the year by Barnes & Noble and Hudson Booksellers. Truong was named a 2015 U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Fellow, 2012 Visiting Writer at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, and 2010 Guggenheim Fellow. Her essays have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, and numerous national magazines. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia University School of Law, Truong is also an intellectual property attorney.

[RESIDENCY] Val Jeanty: AfroElectronica Dancing The Divine

What: Haitian electronic music composer Val Jeanty explores sound, body, and spirit in collaboration with Ra Nubi.  
When: Monday, May 22, 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 – For her first residency of the 2017 season, Haitian electronic music composer Val Jeanty explores the correlation of sound, body and spirit in a collaborative sound + dance performance with fire dancer Ra Nubi. Jeanty’s AfroElectronica soundscapes combine the spiritual medium of electronic voudou with a the fire spirit element in order to inspire and engage a wider depth of spirituality.

Haitian composer Val Jeanty creates esoteric sounds that tantalize the subconscious while creating a healing, cosmic frequency. By synergistically combining acoustics with electronics and the archaic with postmodern, Jeanty incorporates her African Haitian musical traditions into the present and beyond.Her AfroElectronica installations have been showcased in New York City at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, and The Village Vanguard. She has performed internationally at The SaalFelden Musical Festival in Austria, Stanser Musiktage in Switzerland, Jazz à la Villette in France, and the Biennale Di Venezia Museum in Italy.

Ra Nubi is a Washington, DC-based performance artist and creative director. Her work is focused on the use of movement and dance as a channel to connect to the deep seeds of the Spirit and soul memory. Her most recent works include a self-produced interdisciplinary collaborative performance entitled “The Evolution of Blackness” and a featured performance alongside NagChampa at The John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Nubi is currently working on her role as the deity Osun in Shaina Simms “AFROFUTURO,” which will be staged in Havana, Cuba in March 2017.

[GENERATE] Miya Masaoka: A Line Becomes a Circle

What: A Line Becomes A Circle is a Shomyo-Noh chamber opera featuring a libretto with Haiku fragments.
When: Wednesday, May 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 – Miya Masaoka presents A Line Becomes A Circle, a Shomyo-Noh chamber opera featuring a libretto with Haiku fragments written by the composer’s ancestor, the poet Shiki Masaoka (1867-1902). Inspired by a Fulbright trip to Japan in 2016 to study Noh, the piece is both sparse and rich, weaving together bel canto opera with Shomyo and Noh vocalizations and percussion. A Line Becomes A Circle was recently performed at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and Theater of Yugen in San Francisco.

A Line Becomes a Circle pays tribute to Miya’s distant relative Shiki Masaoka, yet brings the text into a contemporary context by setting the words in both Japanese and English. Masaoka considers the highly condensed and minimal Haiku format to be “the non blank space,” akin to the materiality and minimalism in gagaku music, visual art, and poetry of the traditional Japanese arts. The title of A Line Becomes A Circle is a play on words from the quote by the Indian Hindu Monk, Swami Vivekananda, who lived in the same time period as Shiki Masaoka. Five lines is the number of lines of a Tanka poem, and there are five lines in a pentagon shape that can be curved to morph into the shape of a circle. The implies movement and motion — the act of transformation, evolution and embracing a new identity.

Miya Masaoka resides in New York City and is a classically trained musician, composer and installation artist. She has created works for traditional Japanese instruments, chamber ensembles, symphonic orchestra, mixed choirs, telematic performances and designed interactive wearable textiles. She has composed pieces using spatialization, sonification of data, and has mapped behavior of plants, brain activity, and insect movement to sound. She was a Fulbright Fellow to Japan in 2016, where she researched Noh, Gagaku and the mono chord koto. She is the Director of Sound Art at Columbia University, and has been a faculty member of the Bard College MFA Sound / Music Department since 2003.

Matthew Goodheart & Matthew Ostrowski: Action at a Distance

What: Matthew Ostrowski and Matthew Goodheart play activated objects – sound reembodied in objects, light reembodied in sound.
When: Monday, May 8, 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 – Matthew Goodheart (piano, computer-controlled metal percussion) and Matthew Ostrowski (electronics, fluorescent lights) perform solo compositions based on computer control of musical and non-musical objects, while also performing together as an improvising duo for the first time.

Goodheart’s work centers on transducer activated metal percussion, deriving and designing sounds tailored to each instrument’s the unique acoustic properties, often integrating them with his idiosyncratic pallet of solo piano techniques. Derived entirely from the amplified and processed sounds of a quartet of fluorescent lights, Ostrowski will present Negative Differential Resistance No 2. Limited to a minimalist palette of white light and 60-cycle hum, this work creates an optical and aural theater whose ultimate topic of investigation is our own awareness: as pattern maker, cognitive agent, and embodiment of time. The second half of the evening will feature a duo from these two seasoned improvisors, pairing Goodheart’s piano and extended transducer work with Ostrowski’s gesturally-controlled digital electronics.

Matthew Goodheart is a composer, improviser, and sound artist currently residing in New York. Following an early career as a free-jazz pianist, he has developed a wide body of work that explores the relationships between performer, instrument, and listener. His diverse creations range from large-scale microtonal compositions to open improvisations to immersive sound installations. Goodheart’s approach results in a “generative foundation” for exploring issues of perception, technology, cultural ritual, and the psycho-physical impact of acoustic phenomena. He is currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University.

A New York City native, Matthew Ostrowski has been creating art with electronic and digital media for over twenty years, having worked as a composer, performer and installation artist, exploring work with music, multimedia, video and theater. Using digital tools and formalist techniques to engage with quotidian materials — sonic, physical, and cultural – Ostrowski’s work explores the liminal space between the virtual and phenomenological worlds. His work ranges from live electronic performance to installations incorporating video, multichannel sound, and computer-controlled objects. Ostrowski has collaborated with a large number of artists in the US and abroad, including David Behrman, John Butcher, Diamanda Galás, more.

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.