Jess Rowland – piano/laptop
These three pieces for piano and electronics were commissioned and written specifically for THE SHAPE OF POISON, a work of dance by SHIFT >>>> PHYSICAL THEARTER, Manuelito Biag, Artistic Director. Recorded live at ODC Theater in San Francisco, CA. February 2-4, 2007
Window photography by Miranda Thorne. Dance photo by Adrienne Nishina. Special Thanks to Colleen Nagle, Jeff Parsons for help with engineering Eric and Rob at ODC, and to Manuelito Biag for commissioning.
Tracklist: 1. The Waves Sound Sometimes Close and Sometimes Far Away 2. A Dragonfly Tries Vainly to Settle onto a Leaf 3. Kotekan Seniman Alam/Waves Fade into the Distance
Shape of Poison
for solo piano performance and electronics, mixes unique live electro-acoustic experimentation with cut-up gamelan, crunched-out Casio tones, and other uncharted sonic landscapes. The pieces documented on this CD were recorded live at a February 2007 artist-in-residence performance at ODC Theater in San Francisco, commissioned by choreographer Manuelito Biag. Intended originally for dance, the music creates an enveloping environment in which drama and movement play out.
is a figment of her own imagination. Like an electron, she is neither here nor there, and like absolute space, she is neither up nor down. Mostly she is sideways. Also, she is a composer, artist, scientist, writer, world-class snack food eater, and an aspiring bicoastalite.
Oh, I like this. Working with a piano and laptop computer
Rowland creates near-ambient pieces grounded in minimalist piano lines swaddled in reverb and subjected to heavy, near-endless delay, a ghostlike sound augmented by loops, glitch electronics, and actual snatches of melody. The three lengthy pieces on this disc were recorded live at the ODC Theater in San Francisco in February of 2007, as part of a performance commissioned by choreographer Manuelito Biag. It’s not hard to see how these exotic-sounding pieces could work in the context of a dance troupe, but it would certainly have to be an exotic one, composed of dancers used to performing in the context of avant-garde work. The beautiful-sounding piano parts are offset by glitch sounds, stuttering piano motifs that sound like samples of a skipping cd, and other unnatural overlaid sounds that provide interesting textural counterpoints to the minimal piano playing, but have the potential to be most distracting to all but the most intensely focused dancers. Minimalism and repetition are constant motifs through all three pieces, forming the backbone of a sound that is often laced with unexpected sounds and bursts of glitch electronica as well as intermittent snatches of melodic piano that appear without warning, only to fade away in great washes of reverb and delay. Rowland has some highly creative ideas about the use of the piano, both in terms of actual musical content and in the unusual shape of sound, and a fresh ability to see the use of one of music’s oldest and most traditional instruments in a new and startling way. Her ability to compose such fractured pieces with a surprising level of emotional resonance, and her talent for integrating modern electronica textures into these pieces, says much about her skills as a conceptualist and a composer. This is an excellent release, and I sincerely hope she continues to explore this direction in future performances. – RKF, The One True Dead Angel
What’s significant is the juxtaposition of brutality and romanticism that Rowland applies, snatching the music from the hands of expectedness to give birth to congruous artistic impact and, yes, the perfect soundtrack to a hypothetical intuition of new forms of body movement… – Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes
a unique sonic experience that will surely appeal to avant-garde lovers of all ages. – Pete Pardo, Sea of Tranquility
Jess Rowland’s score … is lush and spell-like. – San Francisco Chronicle
inspired – San Francisco Bay Guardian
…engaging, mixing slow but heavy piano with fast paced gamelan…Overall, the disc is a pleasant listen… – eskaton, Chain DLK
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)