William Basinski performing at First United Methodist Church of Pasadena, March 1, 2019  with projections by Eric Epstein (photo by Michael Melwani)

Since the late 1970s, Steve Roach has been exploring and expanding the limits of ambient music. Eschewing digital technology in favor of modular synthesizers and mixing boards, Roach’s oeuvre ranges from amorphous soundscapes that recall Brian Eno’s album Music for Airports, to more driving, Krautrock-inflected compositions. Widely considered his masterpiece, 1988’s Dreamtime Return is a double album influenced by Roach’s travels in the Australian outback and the Aboriginal concept of Dreamtime — referring to the time of creation and ancestral beings and incorporates traditional Aboriginal instruments, including the didgeridoo.

Steve Roach, 1982. (courtesy Steve Roach)

This Friday, Roach will perform a two-hour career-spanning concert, anchored by his 30-year-old classic, inside the historic 132-year-old First United Methodist Church of Pasadena. The concert is part of Ambient Church, a roving programming series that places experimental audio and visual performances within unique architectural environments. Roach’s sonic journey will be accompanied by architecturally mapped projections created by artist and director Eric Epstein, providing a digital foil for Roach’s analog arrangements.

When: Friday, August 30, 7pm: doors; 8pm: show
Where: First United Methodist Church of Pasadena (500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, California)

More info at Ambient Church.

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.