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. 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, dank Los Angeles River aqueducts, and even an occasional quiet pool of sinister beauty”.
Roger has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Composers Forum, the McKnight Foundation, and Meet the Composer. Past residencies include the Djerassi Foundation, the American Academy in Berlin, a McKnight Visiting Composer Fellowship (Minnesota), The Watermill Center, a Harvestworks fellowship, an Engine 27 Project Residency, the Gerald Oshita Fellowship.
Roger has collaborated, performed, and recorded with Annie Gosfield, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, Fred Frith, John Zorn, Chris Cutler, Joan Jeanrenaud, David Moss, Laurie Anderson, Carl Stone, Phill Niblock, Ikue Mori, David Krakauer, Steven Bernstein, Billy Martin, Brian Chase, Yuka Honda, Nels Cline, Stan Ridgway, and many others. With various ensembles Roger has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. His discography includes CDs on the Tzadik, CRI, Intakt, Atavistic, Wergo, ReR Megacorp, EMF, and Geffen labels. His three solo CDs are “KlangenBang”, released on the Rift label; “Deep Night, Deep Autumn” released by the Starkland label; and “The Night Has Many Hours” on the Innova label.