Tender Buttons is:
- Tania Chen – piano, electronics, toys
- Gino Robair – modular electronics
- Tom Djll – modular and circuit-bent electronics
- VJLove aka Bill Thibault – live video
The sound of Tender Buttons occupies a post-New York School sound-space, very much in the spirit of Cage, Feldman, and Wolff. Their music is both composed and improvised, often performed with interactive video projection.
Hope in gates, hope in spoons, hope in doors, hope in tables, no hope in daintiness and determination. — Gertrude Stein, from Tender Buttons
Tania Caroline Chen is based in New York and London. She has made a name as a compelling and unpredictable sound artist utilising the material worlds of piano, astro-electronics, and the intrinsic sonorities of objects, words, and dream landscapes. Her commissioned video, acoustic and electronic compositions have been performed in the U.S. and Asia, and have been broadcast on KPFA and BBC Radio 3. She has also revisited scores from a 21st-century perspective. Her recent album John Cage’s Electronic Music for Piano was nominated in 2018 for a Grammy award.
Gino Robair has created music for dance, theater, radio, television, silent film, and gamelan orchestra, and his works have been performed throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. He has recorded with Tom Waits, Anthony Braxton, John Butcher, Terry Riley, and Lou Harrison. He is one of the "25 innovative percussionists" included in the book Percussion Profiles.
Tom Djll is a composer, improviser, and occasional writer on music, educated at the Colorado College, the Creative Music Studio, and the Mills College Center for Contemporary Music. He has worked with Pauline Oliveros, “Blue” Gene Tyranny, James Tenney, Rova Saxophone Quartet, Fred Frith, Vladimir Tarasov, and Frank Gratkowski. Djll’s Grosse Abfahrt project is documented on recordings from the EMANEM, Setola di Maiale, and Creative Sources labels.
Bill Thibault lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He's created and performed with tools for a variety of media including 3D multichannel audio, multichannel video, and multi-projector display calibration. For many years, he taught Computer Science at California State University East Bay and was finally promoted to Professor Emeritus. Lately, he performs with various live musicians, using his software for improvised 3D graphics. His hobbies include walking, reading, chess, and disc golf.