In late 2013, Gregg made the acquaintance of keyboardist/vocalist/composer Jennifer Theuer Ruzicka & her musical project Alchymie. Initiated in January 2015, and over a year in the making, their collaboration The Kuiper Belt seeks to evoke our Solar System’s far reaches beyond the planets. Alchymie’s richly detailed arrangements envelop Gregg Skloff’s majestic contrabass tones in atmospheres of grandeur, by turns both ominous and serene.
Alchymie was started in 2013 by pianist, keyboardist, vocalist and composer Jennifer Theuer Ruzicka as a platform for her instrumental and alternate pop recordings. The art of alchemy is believed to have the power of transformation, much like music does with its listeners. Alchymie focuses mostly on the piano, but also uses electronic sounds generated by keyboards and sound generators with effect processing to meld the acoustic piano sound with ambient soundscapes, electronica and even ambient drone qualities, to paint alchemical atmospheres of sound. Alchymie does not limit itself to only piano and keyboards, but will often incorporate other instruments such as Native American flute, guitar, percussion, sound loops, and field recordings for projects or performances with a conceptual focus.
Jennifer began piano at the age of 6, went on to study classical piano,and within the contemporary, pop, ambient & experimental genres has been performing and composing professionally for over 25 years. She has worked internationally as a solo artist, with major label artists, and independent artists, on radio, television, visual installations and the stage. Among those artists are R&B recording artist Alexander O’Neal, former Paisley Park recording artist David “T.C.” Ellis, and Mallia “The Queen of Funk” Franklin from the original Brides of Funkenstein with Parliament Funkadelic. She has also performed and recorded with legendary Czech artists such as Pavel Bobek, Karel Sucha, HelenaVondrackova, and the Czech alt-rock jazz group, Laura a Jeji Tygri (Laura and Her Tigers).With an open mind and an experimental approach towards her art, Jennifer Theuer Ruzicka continues to follow Alchymie in music always searching for the beauty of transformation.
Noticing contrabassist Gregg Skloff carrying his instrument on a city sidewalk, a passing stranger once asked him, “Classical or jazz?”
Gregg’s reply: “All of the above AND BEYOND!”
This remark, while glib, is quite apt; as his album The Glacial Enclosure (Eiderdown Records, 2016) – along with his other work – can demonstrate, Gregg Skloff manages to combine and transcend many lineages and languages of composition and improvisation.
Gregg’s scope has encompassed various forms and hybrids of rock, folk, jazz, chamber music, noise, sound-object installation, and non-idiomatic improvisation. Over the past decade, his solo efforts have largely inhabited the realm of minimal electro-acoustic ambient drone, heard to profound effect on albums such as This Time The Ride Belongs To Us (2014), The eye is the egg (2013), and Ultraviolet Phase Transition Blues (2012).
Based in the Pacific Northwest since 1997, Gregg Skloff has played in ensembles led by Bhob Rainey, John Gruntfest, Urs Leimgruber, Moe! Staiano, Matana Roberts, and Gino Robair, among others. He has been a member of The Naked Future (also featuring bass clarinetist Arrington de Dionyso, pianist Thollem McDonas, and drummer John Niekrasz), whose album Gigantomachia was released by ESP-Disk’ in 2009. A resident of Astoria, OR since 2010, Gregg hosts the “And Otherness” program on Coast Community Radio, where his affinity for innovative, ethereal, and/or outré sounds has led writer Robert Ham to describe him as “one of the Oregon coast’s finest supporters of experimental music.”
Aerocade release: The Kuiper Belt, coming in December 2016!