Category: Press Releases

[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 Hockey 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 Hockey. This will be the second time Cobra is performed at Roulette since the 2014 performance celebrated the work’s 30th anniversary. A concert experience of extraordinary vitality, the musical thrills and astoundingly visual interaction of the ensemble is deeply satisfying, seductive, and thought-provoking.

Zorn’s game pieces, a series of which these two are superb examples, rely on the use of tactics and strategy in a mix with musical imagination, communal and subversive instincts, personal style, and chutzpah wrapped inside a healthy set of rules. With no time limit, written musical material, or pre-arranged sequence of events, game pieces unfold freely under the prompter’s watchful eye. A number of methods are used to determine communication between ensemble members and the prompter and the direction and evolution of the music, including hand gestures and cue cards. Cobra, which has been recorded several times for various labels, will be performed by an all-star ensemble of some of New York’s most cutting edge improvisers. Hockey is one of Zorn’s earliest and most unique game pieces and features the composer himself on game calls, the classical virtuoso Mike Nicolas on cello and Aaron Edgcomb, the punk-jazz drummer from Trigger on percussion.

John Zorn’s untangling, extending, and illuminating of unresolved, highly potent concepts dangled by artists from Artaud to Braxton to Earle Brown to Hieronymus Bosch, his study of and immersion in Jewish culture, mysticism, military strategy and tactics, aural traditions, cartoons, cinema, and brutal noise has produced one of the most important bodies of musical work of the last century, and opened a path for the next. Beyond his compositions, Zorn is an accomplished saxophonist, bandleader, and an ardent promoter of experimental music. 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 creator, Zorn has hundreds of recordings and compositions to his name and has toured throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Cobra:

Eyal Maoz – Electric Guitar
Taylor Levine – Electric Guitar
Matt Hollenberg – Electric Guitar
Ikue Mori – Electronics
Sylvie Courvoisier – Piano
Michael Nicolas – Organ
Trevor Dunn – Acoustic Bass
Simon Hanes – Electric Bass
Ches Smith – Vibraphone
Tim Keiper – Percussion
Kenny Grohowski – Drums
Jim Black – Drums

Hockey:

John Zorn – Game Calls
Michael Nicolas – Cello
Aaron Edgcomb – Percussion

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.