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Roger Kleier

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Biography

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, New York University, 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.

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