Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 25 & 26, 2002
Steve Roach and vidnaObmana live at The Projekt Festival
. . . P H O T O S
Steve Roach and vidnaObmana presented their only U.S. joint-performances this year during the three-day Projekt Festival in Philadelphia. The event marked the premiere of their new collaboration InnerZone on Projekt. Projektfest Night 2 (Saturday, May 25) opened with a 40-minute dark-ambient prelude from the duo, followed by sets from black tape for a blue girl, Unto Ashes and others. Later that evening on the Phildelphia-based Star's End radio show, Chuck Van Zyl premiered "InnerZone" along with other rare and unreleased pieces from Steve and vidnaObmana.
Projekfest Night 3 (Sunday evening) featured a trip to the InnerZone with Steve Roach and vidnaObmana at St. Mary's Church, in partnership with the Gathering Concert Series (hosted by Chuck Van Zyl and Jeff Towne). There will be two shows to accomodate everyone.
For more, please see www.projektfest.com.
"The first event in the Gatherings concert series took place somewhat unceremoniously in a small room on the Penn campus back in May of 1992. That night, a group of local Spacemusic fans got together to meet, socialize and experience a live concert together; not realizing that they were in attendance at the inaugural event of what would later prove to be North America's most significant series of Ambient and Spacemusic concerts.
"It is now ten years on and over the course of this time the Gatherings series has grown in scope and stature, attracting enthusiastic and informed audiences to dozens of compelling performances by the world's most innovative musicians. What has not changed in this time is the purpose and meaning of these events. The Gatherings remains the place where an otherwise fragmented people can actually experience the benefits of community and be together for, present at and somehow part of the creation of a singular musical experience. For the musician, it is a safe haven where they can practice their mysterious electronic art, focus on the music and enjoy a rare and intimate connection with their audience. The reverent space, the attentive audience and the support of the organizers all act to allow the artist to reach their full live performance potential - to be the best that they can possibly be.
"Certainly, the most ambitious event in the history of the series would have to be the Memorial Day 2002 Gathering at ProjektFest with two shows by Steve Roach and Vidna Obmana - their fist time together in Philadelphia at the Gathering. I hope you will come out to one of these sonic ceremonies and be part of the immeasurable factor that determines the outcome of this musical equation. Keep in mind that this series continues throughout the year. Please make it a point to access the Gatherings website for details about upcoming events and for reviews and photographs from the archives.
Chuck van Zyl
From: "c_vanzyl" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 19:17:31 -0000
Subject: [SPACEMUSIC] Tonight on STAR'S END 05.26.02
STAR'S END Update 05.26.02
The 05.26.02 broadcast of STAR'S END will feature previoulsy
unreleased music by Steve Roach (TRANCE SPIRITS) and Vidna Obmana
(TRACES, AN OPERA FOR FOUR FUSION WORKS) including a recording of
their most recent rehearsal sessions last night in Philadelphia. Also
featured will be music from their latest studio collaboration
Steve Roach + Vidna Obmana will make their Philadelphia debut as a
duo on Sunday 26 May 2002 with two shows at 7:30pm & 9:30pm in the
church sanctuary of St. Mary's Hamilton Village, 3916 Locust Walk on
the Penn campus in University City Philadelphia. For details, please
STAR'S END broadcasts every Saturday night/Sunday morning from
1am-6am (EDST) on:
88.5fm WXPN Philadelphia, PA
88.1fm WXPH Harrisburg, PA
90.5fm Worton/Baltimore, MD
104.9fm Allentown, PA
and live on the web...
Chuck van Zyl
Host of STAR'S END Ambient Radio
From: "Chuck van Zyl" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 13:05:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: [SPACEMUSIC] STAR'S END Playlist 05.26.02
STAR'S END 1-6AM SatNight/SunMorning Playlist for 26 May 2002
88.5fmWXPN Philadelphia/88.1fmWXPH HarrisburgPA/90.5fmWKHS Worton/BaltimoreMD
Host: Chuck van Zyl
ARTIST - TRACK - ALBUM (label)
Steve Roach & Vidna Obmana - Isolation - InnerZone (projekt)
Rick Cox - Long Distance - Maria Falling Away (cold blue)
Ingram Marshall - Dark Waters - Dark Waters (new albion)
Tangerine Dream - Cherokee Lane - Encore (virgin)
Steve Roach & Vidna Obmana - Rehearsal 25 May 2002 - unreleased
Steve Roach - excerpt - Trance Spirits (pre-release)
Kelly David - Shadow Side.Buka Passage - Broken Voyage (rocky mountain)
Vidna Obmana & David Myers - Sector 10/3 - Traces (pre-release)
Vir Unis & Chris Short - tracks 1 - 3 - Yellow House (atmoworks)
ZeroOhms & BrannanLane - Endless.LandOfBlueMist - Soundfall To The Infinite
John Lyell & Brent Reiland - Enigmatic Muse - Synthetic Universe (solar wind)
Vidna Obmana - IV w/Dreams In Exile - An Opera For Four Fusion Works 1
BlackTapeForABlueGirl - Das Liselottenbett - The Scavenger Bride (projekt
Laurie Anderson - Langue D'Amour - Mister Heartbreak (warner bros)
Rudy Adrian - Sunday 1 October 2000 - Concerts In New Zealand (quantum)
Terra Ambient - First Light On Ayer's Rock - The Darker Space
From: "zathrus13" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 11:37:09 -0000
Subject: [SPACEMUSIC] Roach/Obmana At the Gathering
Another great show by Steve (and Vidna) at the Gathering. The crowd
was rather large as well. Hopefully some people from the Projekt Fest
were turned on the Steve and Vidna's music.
What would be great is, if Steve would put out a box set of all of
his concerts that he's done at the Gatherings. He's done three solo
and this duet, each time the music being in the 90 to 120 minute
range. This would make for a nice 8 CD set (possibly limited to 500
Does anyone else think this would be a great idea??? Maybe if enough
positive responses were posted, Steve would actually consider it.
From: "joeolnick" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 15:37:10 -0000
Subject: [SPACEMUSIC] Roach/Obmana Gathering Review
The Gathering on Sunday with Steve Roach & Vidna Obmana performing
together was really cool. We decided to go with the second of the
two performances at St. Mary's, thinking that it might not be quite
as crowded. While enjoying a great dinner at the Philly Diner, I
could see quite a line for the first performance. After making our
way over to the church to get in line for the second show, a nice
crowd of folks also lined up, but it was a laid-back group. I
enjoyed talking with a couple that hadn't been to a Gathering before,
but had been into the Star's End radio show for years. The Projekt
Fest attendees were out in force, and I thought it was really great
to have so many new faces at a Gathering.
After the ticketholders & folks for the Projekt Fest got in, we
eventually worked our way to the pews and settled in. We especially
had fun going over the complete list of Gatherings on the back of the
Signal flyer. Which was your first show? I pointed proudly to my
Steve Roach '97 performance at the REALLY small place before St.
Mary's Church (Huston Hall?) as my initial Gathering; I'll never
forget Steve coming in from behind the crowd with his wireless
digeridoo! And the guy with the flashing red sword up front! Such
Back to tonight, after the introductory words by Chuck, the lights
dimmed completely. First up was Steve, who I didn't recognize at
first with the longer hair! I hadn't seen him in a while. He seemed
to pop up out of nowhere, and began the subtle sounds beginning the
It wasn't long before Dirk/Vidna appeared, to Steve's right (our
left), also behind an array of electronics. It was interesting to
see the interaction between the two. They didn't really look at each
other much during the beginning phase, except for an occasional look
and smile. As the show went on, they began whispering a few words
occasionally to each other, as if they were plotting strategy. I'd
love to know what they said.
The performance seemed to be along the lines of the InnerZone CD.
The rehearsals we heard the night before on Star's End gave some idea
of where they were heading, but the performance seemed to have much
more of an edge. The soundscape gradually moved into a very upbeat,
driving peak of sorts twice during the show, with the second one
being particularly nice & loud -- I could really feel the low end
shaking my bones. One of the monitors on stage actually shifted from
the volume! I couldn't help but bop around a bit in the pew myself.
This was in marked contrast to the very contemplative, but mysterious
earlier section, where I found myself so relaxed I almost drifted off
into semi-consciousness. The fellow next to me looked liked he had
dozed off completely for a long time. What a mellow scene.
The section during the second half was notable for the amazing
textures that Vidna created with his signature flute-like
instruments. There was a lot of breathy sounds coming at one point,
with no discernable actual tone itself. It blended perfectly with
Steve's trademark digeradoo & loops, as well all of the other layers
of sound going on. They both seemed to be really playing off of each
other, which I was hoping to see. At various times, Vidna & then
Steve would mike subtle vocal sounds that also worked very well.
And how about those amazing textures created by those sweeping
(analog?) synth sounds, which might have been Steve's? I'm not sure
who actually triggered it. I've always felt that there is a certain
tonal quality to some synth sounds that recordings never do justice
to. Hearing it live through a PA in a good acoustic space, there is
a timbre that you can almost touch or taste that I've never really
heard on a CD. One more aspect that a live performance brings, I
guess, in addition to the unique interaction between the audience and
the artists performing.
Fortunately, the infamous sound of pews cracking was held to a
minimum for this show (even during the quiet sections)! The sound
was clean but powerful, and I particularly thought the lights were
very well done for this Gathering. There was a really cool effect
created for a lot of the show, with these laser-light rays of white
light coming from behind the performers & up into the space overhead,
with lots of fog coming through. Between that and the red/blue
lights from the side, the performers more than once appeared to be
just floating in space above us. Very appropriate, especially for
What really struck me about this particular Gathering was how
smoothly everything went. They walked off the stage into darkness
together as the sounds continued to fade for some time into the
background. Very dramtic. The show itself ended I thought rather
early, but a check of the watch during the massive applause shocked
me when I saw it was almost 11:30! I guess not having a break with
such mesmerizing performers compressed perceived time quite a bit.
I've been to a lot of Gatherings, but never really experienced
anything quite like this! Each one has a unique quality, which keeps
the series a little unpredictable and exciting to me.
I was also surprised at the end to look back and see that the church
was nearly filled up. Good thing there were two shows!
Getting back home, I of course broke out the CD's and relaxed,
drifting off with great memories of a truly memorable Gathering. I'm
very grateful to Chuck, Jeff, the performers, and everybody behind
the scenes who makes this series possible. I go to a lot of concerts
of all types, but the Gatherings are very special to me (and
apparently to quite a few other folks)! See you there in the Fall....
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 21:49:35 EDT
Subject: [SPACEMUSIC] Roach/vidnaObmana
Instead of my usual post concert bolt over the Delaware, I hung around St.
Mary's Sunday night. Always understanding that there were behind the scenes
heroics that go on in producing these events, I figured I'd stick around and
peek in on some of the action.
It didn't take long to notice that all hands seemed somewhat spent. To be
honest, I wasn't running on all cylinders either (heck, when have I?), as I
had coffeed myself sleepless the night before in a successful effort to make
it through a Stars End broadcast. Not having been able to gain much in the
way of shuteye all day Sunday either, I fit in just fine with all the weary
looking post-Gathering crew. When the crowd finally dispersed and the post
concert reception ended, I spent some quality time pewed next to Gathering
sound man/Ministry of Inside Things guitarist Art Cohen, reminiscing with
Art about the history of the Gathering series. How far it had come, from
the tiniest venue to the most lovely church this heart will ever see;
chatting about all the artists that have passed through; of all the
adventures and misadventures; and all the hard work and dedication involved.
There simply cannot be enough praise heaped upon the people who have created
this concert series; a series I should be safe to pinpoint as representing a
hub/core for our wondrous genre.
Never having lifted a finger for the cause (except to pen here the occasion
horrible concert review) , I decided to offer my services and chip in with
the equipment breakdown. Jeff Towne, shop foreman and fine articulator,
perkily suggested (Jeff appeared least spent of the spentees) I roll up any
loose cords I might find. "Ha! Cake"!" Little did I know that I would soon
be revealed to the fact of there being exactly 266,000 miles of various
cords utilized in your typical electronic music concert (exactly enough, if
you were aspired to extend all of these wires together in one long
interconnected thread, to fire up a light bulb on the moon). But, you know
what? I'd roll up wiring stretching from here to some faint galaxy, all in
a human heart beat, to help out this crew of people.
What dedication and hard work, making it fly.
The series has become a dream-like revolving door spinning through one
diverse and talented electronic musicians after another.
This night, we experienced a Steve Roach and vidnaObmana vision into the
Innerzone. Dirk flew all the way from Belgium for the gig. He's already
home. Such a happy go lucky a person, he is. After seeing Steve Roach
perform Iive in the past, I then described him as the ultimate tightrope
walker. Both artists have provided live performance diversity offering
myriads of sound layers, mixes of the ancient and the new, and somehow
structuring chaos into discipline . Although these same moments of
brillance were at hand Sunday night as well, the artists seemed, instead,
to walk a different kind of tightrope. They dared us to see, challenging us
to understand, a new vision. Steve's guitar and Dirk's fujaro cloud spaced
us for nearly a half hour at the outset. This seemingly endless movement
finally evolved to moments of laser lit, smoke stretching pulsations and
rhythms, clearly this attendees high point of the concert. Also most worth
noting were the moments when Dirk, armed with a Super Sized-version of the
fujaro, performed a duet with Steve, who was armed with a huge didgeridoo
that threatened the privacy of anyone sitting near the front of the church.
But, ultimately, the music would return to those isolative modes of
dissonant expression. I'll confess by saying that this isn't my favorite
form of Steve Roach/vidnaObmana expression, but it still ain't a bad place
From: Diane&John Rose <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 22:06:08 -0400
Subject: Re: [SPACEMUSIC] Roach/vidnaObmana
As I read your post, I think back to my concert experiences at Stars End
from a performer standpoint. I am John Rose, from Spacecraft BTW. I have
been treated very well at many venues but never better than at the two
gatherings I have been deeply blessed to be a part of. I can't say enough
good about them. My thanks go out to Chuck,Art, Jeff, and all the fine
people who make this event possible. I think back to them often with great
fondness. What a wonderful service to the music comunity worldwide.
Music is at the heart of Creation.