Steve Roden is a modern-day renaissance artist. He works in a variety of disciplines including drawing, sculpture, film/video, sound installation, and performance, as well as recording. Born in Los Angeles in 1964, he received his B.F.A. from the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and his M.F.A. from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Roden employs a process that translates various forms of specific notation -- including words, maps, and graphs -- into musical scores. In turn, these influence the process of creating paintings, drawings, sculptures, sonic compositions, and sound installations. Though these scores are rigid in structure, they allow for intuitive actions, mistakes, and "potential left turns."
Roden has exhibited his work in solo and group shows in museums and galleries globally and has been awarded numerous fellowships and grants. He has recorded over 20 albums since 1997, beginning with his debut, Translations & Articulations, issued in a limited run by Griffin Contemporary Editions. He works both solo and in collaboration with others. Roden's sonic experiments helped to pioneer the ambient subgenre known as "lowercase" music. Lowercase employs sounds that are recorded extremely quietly, and separated by defined periods of silence, some of them quite extensive. Among Roden's most notable works are 1997's Crop Circles, issued by Ameublement D'oiseaux; Japan, in collaboration with Bernhard Günter on the latter's Trente Oiseaux imprint in 2001; For Morton Feldman with Günter and Richard Chartier on the same label in 2002; Airforms on Line, and Light Forms: Music for Light Bulbs and Churches, on Semishigure both in 2005, and Cosmic Debris (a split with My Cat Is an Alien) in 2007 on A Silent Piece. In 2011, Dust-to-Digital released, I Listen to the Wind That Obliterates My Traces, which brings together a collection of early photographs related to music, with 78-rpm recordings and short excerpts from various literary sources that are contemporary to both the music and images. It was curated by Roden from his own collection of thousands of vernacular photographs related to music and sound, and listening to both.