CIMA of PA Gatherings Graphic

Jeff Pearce plus Bob Holroyd

Co-Headline Live at

The Gatherings Concert Series

Saturday 2 May 2020 8:00PM

St. Mary's Hamilton Village
3916 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA


After updates from St. Mary's at Penn outlining prohibitions by both The University of Pennsylvania and The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania our 21 March 2020 event with Chuck van Zyl + Vic Hennegan and 2 May 2020 event with Jeff Pearce + Bob Holroyd must both be postponed. This conclusion is quite saddening - as such great concerts were planned - but it is now found in the best interest of all to avoid such assemblies.

Let's hope that our efforts toward suppressing the COVID-19 pandemic will have the desired effect. Please share this post with your contacts so that others will know of our news, and please go safely. Thanks for your attention and support. Please check back for news and updates...

Acting in the creative spirit, Jeff Pearce has released a video featuring the previously unreleased work Hidden Shores - the long-form piece which was to debut at The Gatherings in Philadelphia this weekend.

Please learn more about this full-length release on 2 May 2020 by accessing:

Jeff Pearce

Jeff Pearce

Jeff Pearce's lush layered guitar orchestrations seem of an endless energy. Beneath cavernous reverberation metal wires vibrate and bend, then breath and bloom into sonic atmospheres and swirling textures. Each silvery string on Pearce's guitar has a story to tell. Through the drifting dreams of his live performances the listener and the music become the same - as if through the endless decay and regeneration of all things in the Cosmos.

Through the clever use of loop pedals, long echoes and the splitting and shifting of sonics a drifting cloud of harmony is realized - yet always with a few tones left lurking in a vast darkness. Trembling with emotion, the music of Jeff Pearce conveys a timeless yearning.

Against a rush of darkness elongated tones address the starry face of night. Sounds emerge, then slide and glide toward and past one another in quiet transformation - and draw their energy from the renewing power of music. In the wonderful wordless connection with his audience Jeff Pearce draws us into a more fragile realm.

Generating a flux of musical expectations, Jeff Pearce raises anticipation at every turn. In some places stimulated, in others tranquilized, his audience easily follows the moral instruction of the music. The richness of tone - its intelligence, its casual precision - may be felt from the first note. The use of digital processing, interspersed with clean playing, allows the vibrations emanating from his electric guitar to morph, swirl and assume a new identity. This music is played to light up the least grain of being in us - often finding our still point, and touching the deeper relations that hold this music together. Jeff Pearce
Songs for The Gathering Review: Songs for The Gathering by Jeff Pearce

The setting is a grand, although unrestored, church sanctuary in Philadelphia on Saturday 10 June 2000 where Jeff Pearce is set to perform a show. Along with his performance set he has on offer (produced especially for attendees) a limited edition six track CD called Songs for The Gathering. It was the perfect souvenir for The Gatherings Concert Series audience as it offered music from this formative era and remained out of print, becoming a collector's item for a full two decades. Having now rediscovered (and remastered) this material, and added on two additional contemporaneous pieces, Songs for The Gathering (58'27") has been given a proper re-issue - just in time to commemorate the porcelain anniversary of its first release, and also to remind us of the hope we all felt at the beginning of the 21st century.

Sending sound into space, each composition induces its own unique zone. Pearce's six steel strings shiver under his light touch, with every tone challenging gravity's pull. Each note builds on the promise of the one that came before, revealing a robust creative vision. Yet, in its inviting minimalism even the sparest of the tracks contain references to the cosmos. As sonic eddies form, slow yearning melodies reiterate at the rate and depth of a sleeper's breath - and Songs for The Gathering deepens from the pleasant and consonant into the transcendent and moving. Arising from shorelines of unearthly radiance the mesmerizing impact of this music's aural texture ventures to defeat space and time. Yet, when he commands it, this guitarist's picking, looping and E-Bow echo techniques are exact and clear. In the dancing delicacy of arpeggio chords the spare procession of isolated notes articulate a soaring, confident energy - which settles down ultimately into a refuge of otherworldly beauty.

Songs for The Gathering is a lambent landmark from two decades ago, yet its bright message remains as meaningful as when it was first delivered. Written in a language and performed with a skill that has stayed with us across the 20 years since first hearing it, this music has been revived to help us through the times in which we now find ourselves. What can an artist expect to achieve in the shadow of disaster and doubt? For Jeff Pearce it has been quite a lot. In many a profound musical moment he has encountered glints of transcendence, and the hint of how things might have been in a less brutal world.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 30 April 2020

Skies and Stars Review: Skies and Stars by Jeff Pearce

Jeff Pearce has a way of making unique experiences transferable. Skies and Stars (59'57") is his dramatic reflection on the night sky, and possibly even the forces that have placed him there beneath it. Celebrating the first lights of evening onward his music widens the aperture on the heavens as it tightens its hold over our attention. With its three tracks of lush layered guitar orchestrations this album seems of an endless energy. Under a cavernous reverberation metal wires vibrate and bend, then breath and bloom into atmospheres, textures, and passages of interiority. Each silvery string on Pearce's guitar has a story to tell... a different episode of time in which the listener and the music become the same through the seemingly endless decay and regeneration of all things in the Cosmos. This music gives few answers, preferring to dwell on the enigmatic. With its daunting intervals and shiny core, Skies and Stars is shrouded in a misty mystical digital signal processing. Through the clever use of loop pedals, long echoes and the splitting and shifting of sonics a dreamy cloud of harmony is realized - yet with always a few tones still lurking in a vast darkness. Trembling with emotion, the music conveys a timeless yearning. This musician seeks permanence, not transience - but the magic of each of his work's many musical moments vanishes as soon as we pay them any notice. Fans of this style of Spacemusic will know that from there to here is never a straight line. In an era of fidgeting, Skies and Stars offers an arc of unbroken concentration. As the world seems about to slip and tip off its axis, Jeff Pearce is making music for whatever is beyond the horizon of this failing realm. Listening past its ample exploratory marvels, this album offers a kindness, a gentle warm familiarity, rendered into a beautiful keepsake.

Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END - 12 September 2019

Bob Holroyd

Bob Holroyd

Ambient composer Bob Holroyd and visual artist Patrick Dunn collaborate to create an immersive and innovative audio visual experience. Blending atmospheric cinematic soundscapes with beautiful abstract video projections this duo chill the listening experience.

Bob Holroyd's music moves across an ambient elsewhere of dreamy pop and cerebral trip-hop to areas of smooth ambient-inspired contemplation. His live performances run hot and cool, pushing forward in an ethereal sense of certainty.

Together Bob Holroyd and Patrick Dunn always take the way of the thinker, even while pumping and pulsing soft beats and gentle grooves. Their music for the quiet mind grows softly. The quieter sections, tugging from the edges, pull our attention away from their center - and works well to still the wheels of the mind. With its subtly heightened, finely focused energies flowing through every moment, their work decorates our condition with music.

Experiencing Holroyd's music with Dunn's visuals together in concert is a beautiful experience. Their kind of work makes its audience the human centerpiece of its poetry - and leaves the world vibrating in a slightly closer harmony.

The Cage Review: The Cage by Bob Holroyd

Everyone has a talent, but not everyone has something to say. So let now those with ears hear The Cage (59'57") by Bob Holroyd. Relentlessly introspective, this album is about what it means for Holroyd to be alive right now. Patient and yet exploratory, the music may be as much a therapy for the musician as it is a pleasure for his listeners. While little of The Cage is truly new, the light it sheds most definitely is. As Holroyd seemingly runs an electrical field through a chamber ensemble, instruments lose their sense of place and become sonic forms - making every note piercingly bright, yet soft as velvet. Haunted and fragile, stricken strings establish a secret territory - a kind of twilight struggle between contrasting harmonies and unresolved emotions. His ambient zones work well to still the wheels, while further in textures thicken, a rhythm arises, and an anthem resolves. The Cage always takes the way of the thinker, even when it is pumping and pulsing soft beats and gentle grooves. This music for the quiet mind also grows softly - with layered violins, reverb drenched piano notes, delicate acoustic guitar, and all manner of digital treatment and interference. The quieter sections tug from the edges, pulling our attention away from their center. With its subtly heightened, finely focused energies flowing through every moment, this work decorates our condition with music. Holroyd is a remarkably protean composer, one at home in a wide range of styles. At all times he is the human centerpiece of The Cage - his hollowness, his most veiled, impossible longings, and more, all portrayed across 12 tracks of becalmed poetic brevity. Pushing the Ambient Chamber Music form forward with intellectual precision, artistic clarity, and stylistic confidence, any one of Holroyd's finely tuned compositions prove it is possible to achieve a utopia with the materials we have at hand.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   13 December 2018

The Gatherings Concert Series must postpone Jeff Pearce plus Bob Holroyd co-headlining live in concert on Saturday 2 May 2020 at 8:00PM

Additional Material:

  • Access the on-line Press Release; use the "Print" function on your web browser to make a "hard copy"
  • Access the Press Photo
  • Directions to The Gatherings Concert Series
  • Questions? Please Send an Email

CIMA of PA CIMA of PA - The Corporation for Innovative Music and Arts of Pennsylvania

Jeff Pearce plus Bob Holroyd at The Gatherings Concert Series on 2 May 2020 has been postponed, yet remains fully funded by CIMA of PA (The Corporation for Innovative Music and Arts of Pennsylvania), the all-volunteer, non-profit organization responsible for organizing and producing The Gatherings Concert Series. The basic mission of CIMA of PA is to bring innovative music concerts to the public and further the advancement of this form of art.

For more about CIMA of PA, please access the Mission Statement

For more about Jeff Pearce, please access the:

For more about Bob Holroyd, please access the:

The Gatherings Concert Series is presented by the all-volunteer staff of The Corporation for Innovative Music and Arts of Pennsylvania