Wednesday, February 22, 2017

new video at charlie james gallery

i will be showing a new video at charlie james gallery in downtown LA in chinatown.
very happy with the piece.

CJG-new logo

Jennifer Dalton -  Participation Trophy
February 25 - April 1, 2017
Artist's Reception February 25th, 6-9pm

A Mere Sum of Parts - Organized by Sydney Croskery
Featuring works by Chad Attie, Sadie Barnette, Sarah Conaway, 
Sydney Croskery, Kim Fisher, Erik Frydenborg, Chyrum Lambert, 
Fay Ray, and Steve Roden
February 25 - April 1, 2017
Artists' Reception February 25th, 6-9pm

Friday, January 13, 2017

from twitter

How I got Lou Reed and Steve Roden mixed up is beyond me.

(well it made me pretty happy :-)

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Friday, October 21, 2016

Fear in porcelain kickstarter

dear friends, 
i am part of a kickstarter with choreographer sam kim
i am doing the sound. 

Premiere of Fear in Porcelain, a new dance by Sam Kim that radicalizes the solo, November 9-19 at The Chocolate Factory Theater in NYC.


 here is more info from sam:

Dear Friends and Supporters,
Fear in Porcelain, the new dance I've been developing since 2014, will premiere at The Chocolate Factory Theater, NYC, for a two-week run, November 9-19.  Please come!
I’m asking for your help to pay the exceptional artists who are integral to this work which includes performers Tess Dworman, Amanda Hunt and Katie Dean, sound artist Steve Roden and lighting designer Madeline Best. I am so grateful to all of them for saying YES to the peculiar ride that is my process, and for infusing their work with so much curiosity, sensitivity and commitment. I humbly ask for your help in compensating them for their talent and hard work––all Kickstarter funds will go directly to paying artists fees. We cannot do it without your support!
I am deeply excited for the premiere. And frightened. In equal measure. But it’s good fear—the kind that stabs you lovingly in the heart and lets you know that you are DOING SOMETHING IMPORTANT AND WORTHWHILE.   I’ve been making dances for a long time and I have to say the confluence of this work, these artists and this theater feels momentous.
Please consider making a contribution!  No amount is too small (or too large) and would be deeply appreciated!  No matter what you give, you will play a pivotal part in making Fear in Porcelain happen.
We are so excited to share this work with you!  We hope you are excited, too.  Please help spread the word far and wide by sharing, tweeting, or talking about Fear in Porcelain with any kindred spirits.
I look forward to seeing you at Fear in Porcelain at The Chocolate Factory in November!Tickets are available now and seating is limited!
With love and gratitude, 

Thursday, September 08, 2016

october 2, 2016 – january, 2017
“mas alla del sonido”
group exhibition
muntref-centro de arte contemporaneo, contemporary art centre, buenos aires, argentina
eddie ladoire, steve roden, edgardo rudnitzky, tintin wullia, samson young

Saturday, September 03, 2016

AMN Reviews: Steve Roden – Striations (Spekk)

Striations consists of a single work, “Distance Piece”, music for an outdoor installation mounted at the Sculpture Center in Long Island City, complemented by a looped silent film playing indoors. It is itself part of a body of work Steve Roden calls “Stone´s Throw”, created while processing the passing of his grandmother, herself a sculptor, and a group of unfinished stone carvings she left behind. While the film “Striations” was being shot with colleague Mary Simpson, the sounds of its making were also recorded. In the editing room, Roden decided to separate the sound from the image – traffic, birdsong, tapping stones, bowed cymbal, words exchanged – and processed these happenstance field recordings within the framework of a low, pensive guitar, “whose notes were determined by a score based on the vowel structure of a text, written by Henry Moore (the sculptor), that my grandmother had taped to her studio wall”.
Spindly, deliberate and elongated, a mantis making its tentative way from twig to twig, “Distance Piece” shudders at the will of the slightest breeze. There is an ongoing whimper, like a sad flute or an abandoned boat nudging a dock, longing to be tethered before it drifts away.
A leafy, delicate thing, and we have a particular responsibility toward delicate things.
Stephen Fruitman

Thursday, August 25, 2016

pasadena arts council AxS gold crown awards

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

VITAL WEEKLY reviews striations CD on japan label spekk


As I noticed in Vital Weekly 1037 I just didn't hear for quite some time from Steve Roden, but listening to six 
CDs of his music from his twenty-five year career surely was a great thing a few weeks ago. Here is a new release, 
if you ignore the fact that it has already been recorded in 2011. It was created for an exhibition called 'Time Again', 
at the Sculpture Center, Long Island City, New York and the booklet shows some collages, which may or may not 
be used in the exhibition. We learn from the brief liner notes that the sound installation was outside, and inside 
a silent film was presented. I gather that accounts for the use of the sound of a film projector every now and 
then in the composition. The music piece is called 'Distance Piece' and, besides the camera, also uses guitar, 
bowing a cymbal, tapping a cymbal, the sound of stones, a bit of voice, cars and birds, all of which are cut 
together in a very Roden-like methodology. Everything is cut down to (long) loops of sounds and because of 
the irregular intervals by which they return, make that it may sound superficially the same but there is not much 
logic in there. On top of that I think Roden also add a few live elements, such as the guitar, played with a mild 
reverse delay effect at times; with the sound of the camera popping up every now and then, it also adds a very
delicate filmic element to the music. Like playing a film but then without images; or rather one that generates 
it's own pictures, right in front of you. This is especially because of those elements that take some time before 
appearing again, like a bit of speech, a car passing or such like. The ground 'drone', if you will, is made of object
upon cymbal, imitating the sound of an open window in the wind, and the continuous presence of the guitar. 
The whole piece lasts forty-six minutes and that's not a minute too short or too long; it seems to me the right 
length for such a work. It is elegant in its use of sounds, a drone backdrop, the story-like approach the 
composition and it is a classic Steve Roden work. He invented lowercase music as a term, and 'Distance Piece' 
is a fine example of it. (FdW)

Monday, August 08, 2016

BAD ALCHEMY reviews striations CD on japan label SPEKK:

STEVE RODEN Striations (SPEKK, KK031): 'Striations' ist der Name eines Sichtbaren, das wir nicht sehen. Ein 6-min. kurzer Stummfilm von Mary Simpson, geloopt, 2011 Teil von "Time Again", einer Ausstellung im Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY mit neuen Gemälden und Skulpturen von Roden. 'Distance Piece' ist der zugehörige Soundtrack, hörbar nur losgelöst vom Film, einen Steinwurf entfernt, außerhalb des Sculpture Centers. Nur die Imagination bringt beides zusammen. Angeregt durch das Artwork im Booklet: Fotocollagen mit Skulpturen, Silhouetten von Figuren, Textausschnitten. Beides, Klang und Film, sind Teil einer 'Stones Throw' genannten Werkreihe, mit der sich Roden mit seiner Großmutter auseinandersetzte, die Bildhauerin gewesen war. Die Klangbildfolge besteht aus den Geräuschen, die beim Drehen des Filmes ein- gefangen wurden, das Sirren der Kamera, Vögel, Verkehr.

Dazu Percussion aus Steinklang und Cymbalsounds sowie E-Gitarrennoten, die auf den Vokalen eines Zitats des Bildhauers Henry Moore basieren, das die Großmutter an die Wand ihres Ateliers geklebt hatte. Das Booklet zeigt Moore in seinem Studio in Hoglands mit seiner "Upright Internal/External Form" (1952-53). Roden nannte als seine Bezugs- punkte: the hermetic and intimately personal nature of Jasper John's post-70's paintings (as well as the similarity of his hatch marks to my grandmothers chiseling), Chinese scholar rocks, a small display of crystals and stones I had seen on a desk in Goethe's house in Weimar 8 years ago, Christian Wolff's score "stones" which I have carried in my wallet for years, some early films of Dennis Oppenheim, Gary Beidler's film hand held day, Jackson Pollocks awkward 1953 painting Portrait and a Dream - and most importantly the way certain analog activities, materials, and surfaces - hands, stones, paper, pencils, paint, film, drawing, wrapping, rubbing, etc. - seemed to relate more to a history of ritual, than to contemporary art. Die Steinwurfdistanz als das, was die Einbildungskraft vermag bei ihrem "In-die-Nähe-kommen-zum-Fernen" (sloterdijkisch gesagt)? Ein Stillleben, das klingt? Eine Meditation über die chiropraktische, zuhandene, handwerkliche Sphäre des Phonotops, die einen Bogen spannt von der Steinzeit bis zur Zeit, als die Bilder laufen lernten? Begreift man am besten die Dinge, die Klänge, die man, nicht allzu weit, nur einen Steinwurf weit, in der Schwebe halten und jederzeit aufgreifen kann? Bei Michael Pisaro findet man eine verwandte Klangwelt.
Portrait and a Dream, 1953
Stones (1968-1971) Make sounds with stones, draw sounds out of stones, using a number of sizes and kinds (and colours); for the most part discretely; sometimes in rapid sequences. For the most part striking stones with stones, but also stones on other surfaces (inside the open head of a drum, for instance) or other than struck (bowed, for instance, or amplified). Do not anything. Christian Wolff

TEXTURA reviews STRIATIONS CD on SPEKK from japan

from textura, usa

Striations is a prototypically unusual work from Pasadena, California-based Steve Roden, who's released over forty solo recordings on various labels since 1993 and whose output encompasses painting, sculpture, writing, sound art, and film/video; before addressing the sound work itself, some background detail will help bring the project into focus.
Striations presents a single long-form setting titled “Distance Piece,” itself one part of a larger project called Stone's Throw that involves a group of unfinished carved stones by Roden's late grandmother, a sculptor, as well as paintings, drawings, a sound piece, and a 16mm film shot with artist Mary Simpson. The ever-resourceful Roden determined while editing the film that its material naturally lent itself to a related project, which eventually grew into the forty-five-minute “Distance Piece.” Five years ago, the film and sound work were presented at the Sculpture Center in Long Island, New York as part of the exhibition Time Again, with “Distance Piece” playing outside of the museum and the looped, six-minute film Striations shown inside the exhibition space.
Not unusual for a sound work of its kind, “Distance Piece” unfolds at a relaxed pace, though it's hardly lacking in incident. A broad array of mechanical and natural sounds intermingles, among them the whirr of a film projector, the high-pitched shimmer of a bowed cymbal, stones tapped together, birds and other outdoor sounds, and even Simpson herself speaking. All such elements emerge as a constantly fluctuating stream augmented by an ongoing current of tremolo textures and electric guitar shadings (as an interesting side note, the guitar parts were determined by the vowel structure of a text by sculptor Henry Moore that Roden's grandmother had taped to her studio wall). The challenge, which Roden satisfyingly meets, has to do with pacing and stimulation: sufficient aural stimulation needs to be present for the listener's attention to remain engaged throughout; at the same time, the elements themselves need to appear in orderly manner so that they're not cluttering the sound field and undermining the intended effect. Though one presumes that Roden assembled the piece, ostensibly a sound collage made up of processed field recordings and guitar, methodically and with great care and deliberation, “Distance Piece” plays like a spontaneous, real-time event.
No account of the release would be complete without mention of the presentation itself, which includes an eight-page insert of full-colour photos showing some of the sculptural forms presumably featured in the 2011 Time Again exhibition. Presented in a wide-format package, spekk's presentation definitely enhances the impression the listener forms of Roden's sound work.
August 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

sound check at the schindler house on kings road....

a picture of the "projections" of the trees on the screen for videos. i was lucky as hell to perform one more time in this, my favorite building in los angeles, and beyond. it was a beautiful evening to be able to use the modular in such a quiet space, mixing with natural sounds of the locale.

Friday, July 22, 2016

new CD on the japanese label spekk - striations

  • includes digital pre-order of Striations (KK031). The moment the album is released you'll get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    digital album releases July 21, 2016
    item ships out within 3 days

      $17 USD or more

    more info here: 

Monday, July 11, 2016

group show at CRG gallery july 6 - august 5, 2016

CRG Gallery is pleased to present, I’ll Not Be In Your Damn Ledger, an exhibition of paintings by Steven Bindernagel, Tomory Dodge, Pia Fries, Sam Reveles, and Steve Roden. This show is comprised of works that reflect the multifarious engagements—ranging from the systematized to the organic—inherent to abstract painting. While the methodology varies greatly from artist-to-artist, this exhibition insists on a common thread: a discussion between freedom and form, as each artist confronts history, memory, and self. I’ll Not Be In Your Damn Ledger underscores the elemental tension, or play, manifesting materially and figuratively on the painting surface. Every artist in Ledger never fully indulges in one aspect of the process over another.
The multidimensional effects of Pia Fries’ playful wood panel paintings are both tactile and conceptual. Often, she blends thick waves of paint with collaged paper and silkscreened elements sampled from 18th Century scientific illustrations, and art historical sources such as the Baroque printmaker Stefano della Bella. These historical fragments serve as the “framework” for her bold, expressive mark-making. All of this occurs atop a stark-white surface. The four framed works in this show are from her Konstellation series, each containing three separate painted panels.
Elements of collage reign on the surface of Tomory Dodge’s paintings as well. With Dark Cloud, he layers painting “events” that push and pull—subvert and expose—the underlying pattern that sets the stage. Removing paint is as much a concrete gesture as the thick applications of color Dodge applies to the canvas. Some gestures repeat, like phrases in a sentence, vying for territory on the same field.
Impressions from the sky and sea form a latent background of Sam Reveles’ work. He begins his monochrome paintings with an almost automatic drawing process. Lines are woven until a cell-like network forms. He then works back into the painting, filling in cells intuitively, creating a binary effect where a given space is, or is not, filled. Reveles chooses a horizontal support for his paintings, rooting his work as much in the landscape tradition as abstraction.
Drawing remains a primary component of Steven Bindernagel’s work. In Salt Mine and Suture he applies sharp lines of paint with a frosting bag, building a palpable surface that is sanded down, reworked, and covered. Geometric forms mingle with fluid, atmospheric mark-making. The titles for these paintings are spontaneous derivations from Bindernagel’s personal history, and contact with the natural world far removed from his studio in New York City—another allusion to the duality he explores in his process.
The two works by Steve Roden, lines smote and one for each monk, were created after a one-year hiatus from painting. The paintings reflect Roden’s ongoing experimentation with painting methods and imagery borrowed from personal narratives, architecture, and memory. In each painting Roden builds the image, layer-by-layer, by dragging acrylic paint over the surface with cardboard, and removing masking tape to reveal layers beneath. At first glance, the suggestion of rigging, or latticework, dominate the surface. But the graphic iconography quickly loses its rigidity under closer scrutiny. The thin glazes of color, and edges that bleed, work to diffuse the structural unity initially imposed. Like all the artists in I’ll Not Be In Your Damn Ledger, Roden’s process is an endless transaction between stability and the abyss.

performance at the MAK / schindler house july 24

as part of the exhibition "routine pleasures" at the MAK / schindler house, i will be part of an evening of performances:

more here

7:00 pm

835 N Kings Road
West HollywoodCA 90069
Steve RodenLucky Dragons, and Simon Leung will present new performances as part of the exhibitionRoutine Pleasures, organized by Michael Ned Holte. Each performance is a response to the site and the context of the exhibition but also a continuation of each artist’s ongoing work. Steve Roden will begin with a sound performance utilizing a grouping of modular synthesizers from his collection. Lucky Dragons will continue their exploration of plural delectation, presenting poems in two voices. Simon Leung will conclude the program with a combination of video and text that extends his ongoing dialogue with Warren Niesłuchowski, the subject of his feature-length video War After War (2011).
7:30 PM Steve Roden
8:00 PM Lucky Dragons
8:45 PM Simon Leung

Monday, July 04, 2016

new cassette... a minute is actually an immense space of time.

A minute is actually an immense space of time. cover art

here is the link for the page on bandcamp here

each side is 10 one minute pieces done with the modular.

the title and image is from the film, hour of the wolf from ingmar bergman.
in the film, there is a scene with liv ullman and ingmar bergman are silent for one minute while listening to a ticking clock. beautiful.

Monday, May 30, 2016

COMING SOON from SONORIS... steve roden / in be tween noise 6 CD box set (1998 - 2003) 6 CD box set

very excited to announce that this june, the french label, sonoris, will release a 6 CD box set of rare and unreleased recordings from 1988 - 2003.

track list:

CD1 :
1. and go the great man (1990, the secret of happiness, first cassette)
2. trees (circa 1987, cassette, unreleased)
3. counting the ways and listening (1993, unreleased)
CD2 :
1. tube / fan / voice (1995, unreleased)
2. ash loop red island swarm (1994, unused track from the recordings for ‘humming endlessly in the hush’, unreleased)
3. cloud forms (1994, unused track from the recordings for ‘humming endlessly in the hush’, unreleased)
4. tree: sleep in heavenly peace (CDR, edition: 30, 1999)
5. of space enclosed (exhibition catalog: ‘translations and articulations’, 1997)
CD3 :
1. that i couldn’t breath (unreleased, 2002)
2. bird sleeping, bird walking (unreleased, 2001)
3. hanging garden [version] (unreleased, 2000)
4. view [bard version] (unreleased, 2002)
CD4 :
1. mint and ferns (unreleased, 2000)
2. chamber music (unreleased, 2003)
CD5 :
13 compilation tracks 1995-2003
CD6 :
9 compilation tracks 1999-2003

Monday, April 18, 2016

help my uncle realize his life's dream...

my uncle jeffrey has started a kickstarter... he has been a musician all of his life. he recently was contacted by the solaire label in berlin, who are interested in producing a series of CD's of my uncle's works. i'm helping my uncle to help fund his trip to berlin for the recordings, as the musicians are top notch! it is very important that this music is performed and heard... the kickstarter link is here 

Monday, April 11, 2016

a year without painting (text)

the press release that i wrote for my recent show...
"A year ago I decided to stop painting, and when the year was over I began to begin to paint again. After a year away, I hoped the making of a painting would feel different.

When the year without painting was over I felt uncomfortable and awkward, with new materials, a new pace of making, and new techniques… suddenly there were no brushes - only gloved hands and dragged cardboard. There was tape - inviting bleed - and acrylic paint exclusively. In all of this my intention was to “scrape” away the tropes that I had gathered along the way.

I should tell you that these works are filled with baggage - marks and images buried, cryptic and nearly invisible, in the hope that certain things might be sensed rather than seen. I have always been interested in imbuing works with deeply personal biographic marks or images (or whatever you call those things that sit upon a painting’s surface).

I am working from a palette of images, memories and instances that have fallen into my lap… such as the night that Edinson Volquez was pitching in the world series while his father was dying many miles away… and in that idea of integration, I am reminded by a quote from Allan Kaprow that goes like this:

'You can steer clear of art by mixing up your happening by mixing it with life situations.'

The new paintings continue to explore not only a graphic motif from the cover of a Domus magazine from my birth month and year, but also ideas around ritual and architectural form - specifically related to the fireplace and ceiling of R.M. Schindler’s Richard Lechner House (where I spent time as a child).

Recently, I have also been obsessed with a photograph of two seemingly insignificant pieces of wood about the size of the inner part of a closed fist. The photograph appeared in an auction catalog, and I was fascinated to discover that these seemingly ordinary, or pathetic objects were pieces of George Washington’s coffin, and as such, their presence transcends their objectness.

In some ways, this body of work is a conversation between the inside and the outside of things (specifically when making paintings).

Continuing my babbling and following breadcrumbs, it seems OK to place George Washington’s detritus alongside a few crumpled drawings made by Antonin Artaud, created through black magic, and thrown on the roofs of several of his enemies.

And oh! I just remembered that the first painting I made when I got out of grad school was a painting called “mouthpiece” in homage to the great Eric Dolphy… and so I made the painting with the brush held in my mouth. I know that I am not really offering you an explanation of what I’m doing, but I’m trying to tell you that I’m only capable of dancing around things, rather than knowing what they are.

And p.s. I forgot to tell you that my conversation is not necessarily an art conversation, as much as a continual scratching at the door of a room filled with unknown potential…"
january, 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

let's get this right for a change...

here is the wikipedia site for "lowercase music":

Originally coined by minimal artist Steve Rodenlowercase is an extreme form of ambient minimalism where very quiet, usually unheard, sounds are amplified to extreme levels. (It is a common misconception that lowercase music primarily consists of lengthy silences.) Roden popularized the movement with an album entitled Forms of Paper, in which he made recordings of himself handling paper in various ways. These recordings were commissioned by theHollywood branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.

Steve Roden stated this about the lowercase tendencies in which he began to develop in his later works: “ It bears a certain sense of quiet and humility; it doesn't demand attention, it must be discovered... It’s the opposite of capital letters—loud things which draw attention to themselves.” Many artists have contributed to the lowercase movement, including Kim CasconeTetsu InoueBhob RaineyRichard Chartier, and Bernhard Günter.

Some of the labels that publish lowercase music are Trente Oiseaux12k, and Raster-Noton, which features composer Ryuichi Sakamoto in collaboration with Carsten Nicolai, a.k.a. Alva Noto.

here is how it should be: 

Originally coined by minimal artist Steve Rodenlowercase is not an extreme form of ambient minimalism, but it tends to be very quiet, where sounds usually unheard are amplified to reveal minimal characteristics of sound that would otherwise to hear. a common misconception is that lowercase music primarily consists of lengthy silences - which can happen, but are not necessarily a characteristic of all lowercase music. Roden popularized the movement with an album entitled Forms of Paper, in which he made recordings with contact microphones while handling a book's pages in various ways. The resulting recordings were used in a sound installation, commissioned by the Hollywood branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.

Roden began to think about lowercase as a stance or manifesto as an alternative to the noise one hears in almost every facet of public life. Roden uses the ideas of lowercase not only in relation to music or sound, but to attempt to live and work with a sense of quiet and humility. The ideas surrounding Lowercase were inspired by this passage in Rainer Maria Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet. 

"if you will cling to nature, to the simple in nature, to the little things that hardly anyone sees, and that can so unexpectedly become big and beyond measuring; if you have this love of inconsiderable things and seek quite simply, as one who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will come easier, more coherent and somehow more conciliatory for you".

Lowercase does not demand attention, it has to be discovered... It’s the opposite of capital letters.” Many artists have contributed to the lowercase movement. Some of the labels that publish lowercase music are Trente Oiseaux, 12k, and Raster-Noton.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

please help artist robert turman with health expenses

the great artist/musician robert turman is having heart valve surgery and his family has put together  a gofundme to help raise money... please look at the link

robert's music is fantastic. spread the word!!!!!