Erik Hove is an alto saxophonist who plays a wide variety of jazz, improvised, and contemporary music. Born in Vancouver, he has lived in Montreal and New York, attending McGill University as well as studying with alto master Greg Osby. While in New York, he formed the turntable-jazz group Soundclash, which won the Montreal OFF festival's Francois Marcaurelle prize and released a disc with Effendi records. He also heads various trios and quartets. He recently returned to McGill to study composition, and while there formed his latest project, the Erik Hove Chamber Ensemble. He plays with many local and international artists, including the Juno-winning Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra and Anna Webber's Montreal People.
The Erik Hove Chamber Ensemble is a musical hybrid drawing from jazz, classical and contemporary compositional traditions. The 10-piece ensemble consists of a jazz rhythm section and a small contemporary chamber ensemble, and prominently features the leader's alto saxophone playing, as well as that of flautist Anna Webber, bassist Remi-Jean LeBlanc, and trumpeter Andy King.
The project seeks to explore a synthesis of contemporary compositional concepts with current ideas from jazz and improvised music, and attempts to combine the disparate elements so as to form a cohesive whole. Of particular interest are the spectral techniques used by composers like Gerard Grisey and Tristan Murail, but also others like Lachemann, Sciarrino, Furrer, and Ligeti. These ideas are combined with novel contemporary jazz reminiscent of players like Steve Lehman, Henry Threadgill and Steve Coleman.
The music combines ideas of timbral and spectral writing, like spectral analysis, extended techniques and microtonal systems, with recent developments in modern jazz and improvised music using compound rhythms, rhythmic illusion, and disjunct chromatic melodic material in pulse-driven, narrative or song-based frameworks.