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Shinichi Moma Koga collaborating with Rova: Arts

Award: $30,000 Performing Arts Grant awarded in 2005

Premiered: April 28-29, 2006, Kanbar Hall, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

This multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural project, Glass Head, brought together master improvisers from the arts of dance, music, and media—Shinichi Momo Koga of the Bay Area-based Butoh dance company inkBoat, Berlin-based Butoh dancer Yuko Kaseki; Jon Raskin, Larry Ochs, Steve Adams, and Bruce Ackley of the Rova Saxophone Quartet; and media artist Eric Koziol.  The finished piece served as the centerpiece of Rova: Arts’ annual Rovaté festival, which features the Quartet in collaboration with other prominent musicians and artists.

All of the collaborating artists are widely admired in their respective disciplines, and  all of them view improvisation as a central element of their practice.  Through their collaboration they explored their different systems or languages of improvisation—their self-imposed forms of limitation.

inkBoat’s Shinichi Momo Koga’s work has for years been informed by collaborations with artists practicing other disciplines.  Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Rova Saxophone Quartet (Jon Raskin, Larry Ochs, Steve Adams, and Bruce Ackley) has opened new musical frontiers for many years through its vital blend of written compositions and improvisation.  The band has produced more than 30 recordings, as well as being the subject of several videos.