Mike Hovancsek is a multi-instrumentalist, visual artist, and writer from Kent, Ohio. He collaborated with Egyptian composer Halim El-Dabh since the late 1980s (performing and recording with him, and restoring his early electronic music), and is a former member of the multicultural experimental group, Pointless Orchestra. He plays the guzheng, koto, guitar, waterphone, and percussion, among other instruments.
In the late 1980s Mike founded the Pointless Music label, which was devoted to experimental music releases. In his solo work, and with Pointless Orchestra, he recorded and/or performed with such musicians as Jin Hi Kim, Z’EV, Amy Denio, Anna Homler, Illusion of Safety, Reed Ghazala, John Hajeski, and Barry Chabala.
Mike Hovancsek’s current output, which he describes as “multicultural chamber music,” includes solo recordings, solo performances, and collaborations with many notable members of the world music community. His music often combines instruments from several different cultures in unique ways. For example, on “Hybrids” (from his Temporal Angels CD) he combines the Chinese guzheng, cello, violin, and Middle Eastern dumbek. On “Somniloquy” (also from Temporal Angels) he combines koto, english horn, and choir. Reviewer Anastasia Pantsios of Cleveland Scene describes his work as “elegant, textured music that sounds spare and understated yet is quite complex.”
Mike Hovancsek is a graduate of Kent State University, where he majored in psychology and later earned a master’s degree in counseling. While there he studied Chinese music with Chia-chun Chu and Japanese koto with Anne Prescott.