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Roger Kleier is a composer, guitarist, and improviser who began playing electric guitar at age thirteen after discovering Captain Beefheart and Jimi Hendrix on the radio airwaves of Los Angeles. He studied composition at North Texas State University and the University of Southern California, and has developed a unique style that draws equally from improvisation, contemporary classical music, and the American guitar traditions of blues, jazz, and rock. Much of his compositional work involves the development of a broader vocabulary for the electric guitar through the use of extended techniques and digital sound manipulation. He has also written new works for soloists and chamber groups. Roger describes his approach to composing: “Having grown up in Los Angeles, I’ve always had an attraction to noir ambience. My music has often been inspired by the dark and hidden experiences of life, such as urban chaos, cold and icy winters, empty alleyways, deserted subway tunnels, dank Los Angeles River aqueducts, and even an occasional quiet pool of sinister beauty”.
Roger has been a guest lecturer and educator at the California Institute of the Arts, the Academy of Performing Arts Prague, Washington University St. Louis, Edith Cowan University Perth, Hartt College Hartford CT, San Francisco State University, Mills College Oakland, St. Cloud University Minnesota, the Perpich Center for the Arts Minneapolis, and Princeton University. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Composers Forum, the McKnight Foundaton, and Meet the Composer. Residencies include the Djerassi Foundation, the American Academy in Berlin, a McKnight Visiting Composer Fellowship (Minnesota), a Harvestworks Fellowship, an Engine 27 Project Residency, the Gerald Oshita Fellowship, and he was the Composer-in-Residence of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College Oakland. Along with Annie Gosfield, he co-curated the Stone concert series for the month of August, 2010.
Featured performances of his include Warsaw Autumn Poland, the Tampere Jazz Festival Finland, the Schleswig Holstein Festival Hamburg, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Jazz au Fil de L’eau Parthenay, the Athelas New Music Festival Copenahgen, MaerzMusik Berlin, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Rock and a Hard Place Festival Mills College Oakland, the Salvador Dali Museum St. Petersburg, Festival Musique Actuelle Victoriaville, Mesto Zensk Ljubljana, Der Weimarhalle Weimar, New Music Marathon Prague, Taktlos Festival Switzerland, the Anchorage NYC, the Audio Art Festival Cracow, the Totally Huge New Music Festival Perth, the Kitchen NYC, Moving Sounds Festival NYC, Symphony Space NYC, Bang On A Can Festival at Lincoln Center NYC, Roulette NYC, Experimental Intermedia NYC, the New Museum NYC, the Rive de Gier Jazz Festival, Festival Musique Action Nancy, Paradiso Amsterdam, WUK Vienna, Utopia Innsbruck, ESC Graz, and Alter Schlachthof Wels.
Roger has collaborated, performed, and recorded with Annie Gosfield, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, Fred Frith, John Zorn, Chris Cutler, Joan Jeanrenaud, David Moss, Carl Stone, Phill Niblock, Ikue Mori, David Krakauer, Felix Fan, Laurie Anderson, Hahn Rowe, Athelas Sinfonietta, Agon Orchestra, Karole Armitage, Stan Ridgway, and many others. With various ensembles Roger has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. His discography includes CDs on the Tzadik, CRI, Intakt, Atavistic, Wergo, ReR Megacorp, EMF, and Geffen labels. His three solo CDs are “KlangenBang”, released on the Rift label; “Deep Night, Deep Autumn” released by the Starkland label; and "The Night Has Many Hours" on the Innova label. Roger recently formed “El Pocho Loco”, a quartet that features some of New York’s best musicians, including Trevor Dunn, Ches Smith, and Annie Gosfield. The group is dedicated to Kleier’s unique take on the American tradition of guitar instrumentals, melding twangy guitars, free jazz, the fringes of rock music and dub. Influenced by the tensions of growing up in cross-cultural East L.A., it reflects the noir-like realities of urban Los Angeles.
The Night Has Many Hours solo and with others Innova 685
Deep Night, Deep Autumn solo and with others Starkland ST-211
KlangenBang solo and with others Rift CD18
Annie Gosfield Almost Truths and Open Deceptions Tzadik TZ 8088
Flying Sparks and Heavy Machinery Annie Gosfield Tzadik TZ 7069
KlangenBang solo and with others Rift CD18
Art Bears Revisited Artbears ReR Megacorp ab 2/5
The Twelve Tribes David Krakauer Label Bleu LBLC 6637/HM 83
State of the Union 2.001 compilation project with others EMF CD 028
Burnt Ivory and Loose Wires Annie Gosfield Tzadik TZ 7040
Yo! I Killed Your God Marc Ribot and Shrek Tzadik TZ 7134
Dyner’s Club Elliott Sharp Intakt CD 036
Innova Records Page: http://www.innova.mu/albums/roger-kleier/night-has-many-hours ;
Starkland Records Page: http://www.starkland.com/st211/index.htm
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Premier Guitar Article: http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/Issue/2011/Oct/Avant_Guitar_101_Alternate_Attacks.aspx?Page=1
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