Solo Performances

Most of Bob Ostertag’s concerts in recent years have been solo performances. His solo repertoire is extensive, and currently includes four very different sets of music, each about 45-60 minutes.

Bob Ostertag Plays the Aalto

Ostertag’s initial work with the Aalto is documented in his Plays the Aalto recording.


The subsequent recording, With You Were Here, includes Aalto performances recording during his year-long world concert tour from 2015-2016.



Ostertag uses a standard gamepad, commonly used to play computer games, to manipulate fragments of computer game music. Very improvisational. Ostertag is alone onstage, no computer screen, holding just a gamepad, eyes closed. At this point nearly everyone has used a gamepad at one time or another, so this is an electronic music concert at which many people can understand the “performance.”

“More hardcore than any death metal.”

– Cody B.

“Brain…Interface…Overloading. Must remove. Unplug!”


“He’s not selling a lot of records, but he is paving the way for artists of the future.”

Everything is Pop

Sooner or Later

This is probably the best known of all Bob’s work. The entire piece is made from a recording of a young boy burying his father in El Salvador in the 1980s during the civil war there (a war in which Bob was involved on the side of the movement trying to overthrow the regime).

Bob performed the work in the late 1980s/early 90s, He revived it when invited to perform at a small music festival at a former guerrilla camp in the mountains of El Salvador not far from where the recording was made.

Performing Sooner or Later at the Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze Italy.

“Bob Ostertag did not simply create a political piece but a musical reality, in which sampling technology is used in a significant way for the first time. The music encircles reality, decomposes it into music and recomposes it until reality is no longer able to escape. It is this clarity that makes Sooner or Later great music, a music that has something to do with life again.”

— Die Zeit

New Improvised Music

For most of the last 30 years, open improvisation has been Bob’s main performance practice. The details of these performances are always evolving.