We were talking about music – Zach Rowden

Zach Rowden is a singular young voice in the American experimental music scene, dealing with the acoustic and performative possibilities of the upright/electric bass, violin and other instrumentation. Whether embracing microtonal fiddle music in his duo Tongue Depressor, contributing as a member and soloist in Iancu Dumitrescu and the late Ana-Maria Avram’s Hyperion Ensemble, collaborating with Tyshawn Sorey, Leila Bordreuil, Michael Foster and many others, Zach lends a distinct focus and sense of adventure to everything he touches.

For this release on Takuroku, Zach uses loops, bass drones and a caustic field recording, letting each element mesh together in a circling broth, like a Tony Conrad jam slowly digging itself a hole in the muck and mud. There's a distinct US tape jam flavour to this, caking the layers of folkloric laments and eerie distant signals in a foggy murk and hiss. At once a sacred dirge and zoned DIY junk experiment, 'We Were Listening to Music' feels like a dimmed apparition - a recurring anomalous vibration from a bubbling underworld.

We were talking about music: 

Talk about it to get it or?

The history of histories of histories of people bumping into each other

“Now how many instruments you play?”

People usually describe music to other people with these conjuring looking hand gestures

“when y’all started playin I passed OUT”

“Haha yeah I’ll have to listen to that again” 

Is this all we talk about? 

“It’s kind of like if you mixed the first ______ record with _______ and slowed down” 

- Zach Rowden


Zach Rowden - loops, drone, field recording, strings


Artwork design by Oliver Barrett

1 - We were listening to music [23:17]

Zach Rowden

Zach Rowden (1992, New Haven, CT, USA) deals with the acoustic and performative possibilities of the upright/electric bass & violin.

Current collaborations with Iancu Dumitrescu and the late Ana-Maria Avram’s Hyperion Ensemble as member and soloist, Michael Foster’s The Ghost, Tyshawn Sorey, Robert Black, Leila Bordreuil, Paul Flaherty, Chris Cretella, Matt Sargent, Charmaine Lee, and Gus Caldwell.

Venues that have welcomed him include Harpa (Reykjavik) Issue Project Room (New York),Firehouse 12 (New Haven), Romanian Radio Hall (Bucharest), Cafe Oto (London), Heimathafen Neukölln (Berlin), Real Art Ways (Hartford) and living rooms/basements across the United States.