Jess Rowland is a figment of her own imagination. Like an electron, she is neither here nor there, and like absolute space, she is neither up nor down. Mostly, she is sideways.
Jess is a San Francisco based composer, playwright, and performer. Her diverse works have ranged from electronic conceptual pieces, modern jazz piano improvisation, musical puppet-theater, and multi-media video/music collaborations. She is the composer in residence for Shift Physical Theater modern dance troupe, which has cumulated in a full-length artist-in-residence show at ODC Theater in San Francisco, and which forms the basis for her first release on Edgetone Records, The Shape of Poison.
Multi-media has been a recent focus of Jess’s work. In 2004, Jess received a grant from the American Composers Forum to create a new multimedia piece based on John Ashcroft’s stint as a patriotic songsmith:John Ashcroft vs. The Space Librarians . Soon after, Jess hooked up with the experimental label Pax Recordings , and released a CD of solo piano improvisations, H.29, which was quickly followed by Scenes from the Silent Revolution – a double disc set featuring a DVD of the multi-media improve works, and a CD of new musical material. Also notable: Jess played a Baloney Sandwich at the 2004 Big Sur Experimental Music Festival .
She has also written puppet show musicals and musical theater for Dreamland Theater , including two full-length plays:The Truth About Teeth and So Long Differently Thinking Persons . There have been several releases of solo experimental electronics, including Elevator, and The Lifeboat is on Fire.
"Rowland has some highly creative ideas about the use of the piano, both in terms of actual musical content and in the unusual shape of sound, and a fresh ability to see the use of one of music's oldest and most traditional instruments in a new and startling way. Her ability to compose such fractured pieces with a surprising level of emotional resonance, and her talent for integrating modern electronica textures into these pieces, says much about her skills as a conceptualist and a composer." - RKF, The One True Dead Angel