Astro-Electronics: Tania Caroline Chen & Ikue Mori with guest Jim Staley

Tuesday, November 5, 2019. 8:00 pm

Roulette is excited to host the first collaborative performance by inimitable sound artists Tania Caroline Chen and Ikue Mori. The duo brings a conceptual and multi-dimensional vision that evokes the dreams, sonic experimentation, and popular cultures of Europe, London, Tokyo and beyond. It explores the aesthetics of time shift, polarities, and density, and navigates the visible and latent electronic and acoustic layers of highly viscous and transparent dream sound realms. They will be joined by Roulette founder and trombonist Jim Staley.

Tania Caroline Chen – piano and electronics
Ikue Mori – laptop and electronics
Jim Staley – trombone

Tania Caroline Chen has made a name as a compelling and unpredictable sound artist utilizing the material worlds of piano, objects, and electronics. Based in New York and London, Chen explores the sonic potential of piano, astro-electronics, and the intrinsic sonorities of objects, words, and dream landscapes. Her commissioned video, acoustic and electronic compositions “Strands,” “Themes for a Story,” “Icons of Elegance,” “Color Fields,” and “Solo for Circuit Bent Radio,” have been performed live in the USA, Europe, and Asia and aired on BBC Radio 3 and KPFA Radio, California. Some of the artists she has recorded and performed with include Stewart Lee, ‪Steve Beresford‬, Henry Kaiser, William Winant, Wobbly, Wadada Leo Smith, ‪Thurston Moore‬, ‪David Toop‬, Anna Homler, Joe Moffett and Carl Stone. She plays in the electronics band TENDER BUTTONS. And has also revisited scores from a 21st-century perspective: an electronic and video realization of Luc Ferrari’s “Madame de Shanghai”, Morton Feldman’s “Triadic Memories” and ‪John Cage‬’s “Indeterminacy”. Her recent album John Cage’s “Electronic Music for Piano” was nominated in 2018 for a Grammy award. Tania Caroline Chen is currently writing a book while sitting in airports and on airplanes and recording a duo album with ‪David Toop‬. This performance will be her debut appearance at Roulette.

 Ikue Mori remains unsurpassed as one of the foremost electronic sound artists of the twenty-first century. After moving to New York from her native Tokyo in 1977, Mori began playing drums in seminal No Wave band DNA with fellow noise pioneers Arto Lindsay and Tim Wright. In the mid 1980s, Ikue began to employ drum machines in the context of improvised music. While limited to the standard technology provided by the drum machine, she nonetheless forged her own signature style. Throughout the 1990s she collaborated with numerous improvisors throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, while continuing to produce and record her own music. After becoming involved with the city’s flourishing improvisational scene via John Zorn, she began experimenting with drum machines, and in recent years utilizes the laptop as her primary instrument. Ikue has lead workshops and lectures at the University of Gothenburg, Dartmouth College, New England Conservatory, Mills Collage, Stanford University, and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Roulette Intermedium founder and Artistic Director Jim Staley was most recently a recipient of the American Composer Forum 2018 Champion of New Music Award. In addition to his work at Roulette, Staley is an accomplished improvising musician and occupies a unique position among trombonists, crossing genres freely between post-modern classical music and avant-garde jazz. He has released numerous albums, played on many records, and is a member of the Tone Road Ramblers, a new music ensemble formed in 1981.