Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Ava Mendoza
Guitarist, composer, improviser
I am a guitar player, composer, and sometime-electronic musician in Oakland, CA. I play improvised music/weird rock/original compositions. Improvised music was the first type of music I got vitally interested in as a classically-trained teenager, and I suppose any musical roots I have are in free improvisation. That said, some of my music does not involve any improvising at all--I indulge the anal retentive side of my personality by composing tape (fixed media electronic) pieces, and also sometimes very through-composed instrumental pieces. Some of my solo guitar compositions draw a lot from early country and blues music, sort of reworked (or mangled?) in my own way. Both in solo and ensemble contexts I like working with very tight, specific riffs or compositional ideas and then throwing musical monkey wrenches into them in performance--forcing them to self-destruct and intersect with free improvisation. I am an extremely curious person and love a lot of very different sorts of music.

My electronic compositions have been played at the San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2005 and 2006, and at the Women's Electroacoustic Listening Room 2005. I've played guitar at the Music Unlimited Festival in Wels Austria, at the High Mayhem Festival in Santa Fe, NM in 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2007, at the Palais Ideal Festival in Chico, CA, and at the Stone curated by Fred Frith.

Performed and/or recorded with: Anthony Braxton, Carla Bozulich, Sheldon Brown, J.A. Deane, Ben Goldberg, Phillip Greenlief, Henry Kaiser, Tim Perkis, Gino Robair, John Shiurba, Damon Smith, Moe! Staiano, Weasel Walter and many others.