FIGURE 8 is the name for Rova’s unique repertoire of music composed for 8 saxophonists. That set of music was first commissioned by the 1993 Saalfelden Jazz Festival (Austria). After a very limited number of performances plus the recording of the 75 minutes of music for Black Saint Records in 1995, the music was retired in 1996 following a show at Victoraville, Quebec’s “Festival Musique Actuelle”. Resurrected in 2016 for performances in New York and San Francisco, Rova now hopes to bring this special music to you.
Composed primarily by Larry Ochs, the music consists of 4 compositions that take the listener to all kinds of musical territory. Each piece is dedicated to two musician/performer/composers, and the breadth of these dedications also hints at the musical terrain covered by these compositions:
- Initials for Steve Lacy and Otis Redding
- Headcount for Albert Ayler and Pete Townshend
- Triceratops for Iannis Xenakis and Roscoe Mitchell
- Tracers for Morton Feldman and Anthony Braxton
Revisiting the recording, the charts and the concepts has made clear this music’s lasting value. Eight saxophones! Like a small choir, or like a sky full of birds, or a wave of soaring sounds; very exciting sounds.
Rova can employ 4 saxophonists from past performances or from the local area. In any case, like much of Rova’s music, this set is based in large measure on “structured improvisations”; as a result, we (and you) will find the music full of surprises.