Blind Date Quartet

Angelika Sheriden  flutes
Ulrike Stortz  violin
Scott Roller  cello
John Hollenbeck  percussion

Blind Date Quartet is a brilliant new free-improvising quartet made up of Angelika Sheridan, Ulrike Stortz, Scott Roller and John Hollenbeck, all musicians who have been active as soloists, composers, and ensemble players in a wide variety of renowned formations spanning the entire spectrum of musical styles and non-styles ranging from classical and contemporary chamber music through myriad variants of jazz on to world music and everything in-between and beyond. Their interactions are characterized by breathtaking reactions, startling combinations and simultaneities, instantaneous changes of material and textures, all in a context of concentrated and unified development, spinning out complex and very convincing musical forms.

Angelika Sheridan, Flute/Bass Flute
Angelika Sheridan studied classical flute at the Folkwang Hochschule Essen. Her graduation was awarded with the Folkwang Prize 1990. After further studies with Ran Blake at the New England Conservatory in Boston she focused on improvisation and experimental music. She developed her own unique sound language, especially on the bass flute, combining traditional tone production and extended or self created techniques. Her work is focused besides contemporary improvised and written music on interdisciplinary projects with film, theatre, dance and visual arts. She lives in Cologne and teaches at the Hochschule für Musik. Angelika Sheridan played with master musicians and improvisers like Peter Kowald, John Butcher, Sabu Toyozumi, Gunda Gottschalk, Michel Doneda, Claudio Puntin, Sebastian Grams, Paul Lytton, Carl Ludwig Hübsch.

Ulrike Stortz, Violin
Violin studies (with Concert Diploma) in Cologne with Igor Ozim, in Stuttgart with  Ricardo Odnoposoff, Wilhelm Melcher and Joachim Schall  Master classes with Henryk Szeryng, Denes Zsigmondy and the Fine Arts Quartet, among others. Concerts as a soloist as well as in various ensembles for contemporary music such as Ensemble Modern, Musikfabrik, Ascolta, Varianti, Zementwerk. Intensive artistic and conceptual work with the interdisciplinary Ensemble Gelberklang, out of which the Helios String Quartet emerged. Active in a wide variety of pedagogical work ranging from private instrumental teaching to team work in innovative classroom music education projects such as “Response”.  Co-founder of “Open_Music,” an initiative dedicated to promoting free improvisation projects with children and youth which has, in the past four years, been awarded many prizes and significant financial support from national, regional, city and private agencies. Represented in many recordings, primarily with contemporary music. Regular guest with the South German Radio in Stuttgart.

Scott Roller, Cello
Born 1959 in Texas USA. University studies (Cello/Composition) in Texas (Austin, Denton) and Paris, France. From 1980-83 worked with the free improvising quartet BL Lacerta on a Chamber Music America residency in Dallas, Texas, which was very significant in the formation of his concept of free improvisation.

German resident since 1983. Cellist in the Dortmund Philharmonic 1987-90. Since then, active as a free-lance cellist and composer, solo and with various ensembles: Musikfabrik NRW, Wolpe Trio, Helios Streichquartett, Ensemble Modern Orchester, Ensemble Gelberklang, Mike Svoboda Ensemble, Ensemble Recherche, among many more. Performed with these ensembles many world premiers and worked closely with many well-known composers such as Kaija Saariaho, James Tenney, Helmut Lachenmann and Nicolaus A. Huber.

Musical collaboration with artists of diverse means has played a significant role in the past 30 years of his career, especially with dancer/choreographers (Dyane Neiman, Christine Brunel, Nina Kurzeja), visual artists, multi-media theater and literature – such as his collaboration 2011-12 with the Stuttgart slam poet and literate Timo Brunke on the Theaterhaus production “The Transition of the Western World.”

In 2005 he and Ulrike Stortz founded Open_Music in Stuttgart, a non-profit organisation for improvisation and alternative artistic education in schools. Their work with pupils and students from a wide spectrum of social backgrounds has grown very rapidly with generous support from city, state, national agencies and private foundations and received many prizes and awards. Open_Music has, in the past 7 years, come to play a very significant role in Scott Roller’s work.

Both in his artistic and educational work, Scott seeks new connections between forms of expression, trans-stylistic paths, fertile fields between structure and freedom.

John Hollenbeck, Percussion
Click here for bio.

To visit Blind Date’s official website, click here.

Blind Date Quartet

Dry Bone Mobile from the album Blind Date

“The group…makes full use of their instruments’ broad spectrum of colors. This chromatic richness is particularly apparent in the timbral contrast of violin and flute. Though both instruments cover the same general pitch range, the difference in timbres makes for a sound relationship at once oppositional and reciprocal. Although not often found in the company of these chamber music instruments, Hollenbeck’s complement of drumkit and other percussion adds an essential element often manifesting as an edge or toughness balancing out the more naturally lyrical sounds of the flute and violin. Added to the mix is a cello that frequently contributes the piquant seasoning of fragmented tone sequences and extended techniques.”
– D. Barbiero, Avant Music News