sfSoundSeries/sfSoundSalonSeries is a concert series in the san francisco bay area featuring contemporary and experimental music. our programs reach from the latest music of the european avant-garde to the grittiest sounds of the west coast improv-underground, encompassing recent trends in instrumental technique, conceptual art, music theater, and electronic sound.
we also present the sfSoundSalonSeries at the center for new music in san francisco!
july 8-10, 2016 - sfSoundFestival
july 19, 2016 - jason robinson
aug 9, 2016 - lorin benedict & friends
aug 16, 2016 - splinter reeds
sep 20, 2016 - jon raskin & georg gräwe
oct 14, 2016 - pascal niggenkemper
oct 15, 2016 - john ingle five o
nov 9, 2016 - fausto bongelli
nov 15, 2016 - john krausbauer & sarah hennies
dec 4, 2016 - michael thieke & biliana voutchkova
:: view previous 2016 concerts here ::
[ NOTATIONS | ORIENTATIONS ]
experimental music 1938 to the present
Johanna Beyer - Music of Spheres (1938)
Pierre Boulez - Tape Étude 1 (1951)
Pierre Boulez - Anthèmes 2 (1997)
Pierre Boulez - Domaines (1968/9)
Morton Feldman - Marginal Intersection (1951)
Morton Feldman - Out of "Last Pieces" (1959)
Earle Brown - December 1952 (1952)
Earle Brown - Available Forms I (1961)
John Cage - Cartridge Music (1960)
Pauline Oliveros - Sound Patterns (1961)
Pauline Oliveros - The Inner/Outer Sound Matrix (for sfSound) (2007)
Steve Reich - Reed Phase (1966)
Iannis Xenakis - Charisma (1971)
Krzysztof Penderecki - Actions for Free Jazz Orchestra (1971)
Salvatore Sciarrino - Esplorazione del bianco II (1986)
James Tenney - Critical Band (1988/2000)
Phill Niblock - Disseminate (1998)
Greg Saunier - Criminals of the Dream (2010/2016)
Kyle Bruckmann - Following Orders (2014)
Lucie Vítková - Piece for Accordion and Tap Shoes (2015)
Matt Ingalls - Study for Hilbert (2016)
sfSoundGroup - Improvisations (2016)
Saxophonist and composer JASON ROBINSON returns to the Bay Area to reunite with long time musical collaborator and bassist Scott Walton in two new configurations featuring a stellar lineup. The first will showcase various Robinson compositions and will feature Darren Johnston (trumpet), Steve Adams (alto sax), Robinson (tenor sax), Walton (bass), and John Hanes (drums). The second configuration adds electronics pioneer Tim Perkis for a set of improvised explorations. A Californian by birth, Robinson spent his formative musical years in the Bay Area (1990s) and San Diego (2000s) before moving to western Massachusetts to teach at Amherst College. Now a part of New York’s and Boston’s creative music scenes, Robinson is excited to return to the Bay Area for an evening of exploratory music.
The music of American saxophonist and scholar JASON ROBINSON (“rugged and scintillating,” New York Times) thrives in the fertile overlaps between improvisation and composition, acoustic music and electronics, tradition and experimentalism. Initially a devotee of post-1960s jazz and creative music, Robinson is celebrated for bringing together various historical directions in jazz–bebop, post-bop, the avant-garde–with an improvisatory and compositional sensibility drawn from and extending the languages of John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Lester Young. His musical interests, however, span far and wide. He is a critically acclaimed distinctive voice in a new generation of creative musicians in equal dialogue with jazz, popular music, experimental music, and electronic music. Robinson’s primary group is his New York-based Janus Ensemble, which ranges in size from a quintet with reedist Marty Ehrlich, guitarist Liberty Ellman, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer George Schuller, to the full nine-piece version of the group with the addition of reedist JD Parran, trombonist and tubist Bill Lowe, tubist Marcus Rojas, and drummer Ches Smith. The group’s latest release is Tiresian Symmetry (Cuneiform, 2012), which was supported by a tour of the US Northeast and Canada in February 2014, including appearances at the 25th season of the Magic Triangle Concert Series at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Casa del Popolo in Montreal, Roulette in Brooklyn, and elsewhere.
Robinson has released 14 albums as leader or co-leader and appeared on nearly 50 albums in total. He performs regularly as a soloist (acoustically and with electronics), with his group the Janus Ensemble, and in a variety of collaborative contexts. He has performed at festivals and prominent venues in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, and throughout Europe and/or recorded with Peter Kowald, George Lewis, Anthony Davis, Amiri Baraka, Drew Gress, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Myra Melford, Nicole Mitchell, Marty Ehrlich, Eugene Chadbourne, Earl Howard, Toots and the Maytals, Groundation, Bertram Turetzky, Mark Dresser, John Russell, Roger Turner, Gerry Hemingway, Marco Eneidi, Lisle Ellis, Raphe Malik, JD Parran, Dana Reason, the La Jolla Symphony, SONOR (UCSD), and the San Francisco Mime Troupe, among others. As a scholar, Robinson’s work investigates the relationship between improvised and popular musics, experimentalism, and cultural identity. He has published articles and reviews in Ethnomusicology, Jazz Perspectives, and Critical Studies in Improvisation/ Études critiques en improvisation. Robinson is an Assistant Professor of Music at Amherst College and holds a Ph.D. in Music from the University of California, San Diego.
STEVE ADAMS is active both as a composer and a performer on saxophones, flutes and electronics. Steve is best known as a member of the Rova Saxophone Quartet, with whom he has played for over twenty five years and released more than twenty five recordings. He has performed with Anthony Braxton, Sam Rivers, Dave Holland, Roscoe Mitchell, John Zorn, Steve Lacy, Fred Frith, Tin Hat Trio, Yo! Miles with Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith and Ted Nugent, as well as many other classical, jazz, rock, dance and theater groups. Steve has appeared on more than fifty recordings, and has five recordings as leader or co-leader on the 9 Winds and Clean Feed labels. His piece Cage (for John Cage) was performed at the 1993 Bang on a Can festival, and his piece The Gene Pool was commissioned in 1993 by Meet the Composer and performed at their festival “The Works” in Minneapolis in 2002. He performed Edmund Campion’s Corail for saxophone and live electronics with the Berkeley Symphony and at the Ojai Music Festival, and was a member of the 25th Anniversary performance of Terry Riley’s In C, which was released on New Albion. Steve also is a member of the electronics duo Hanes/Adams, the Vinny Golia Large Ensemble, Matt Small’s Crushing Spiral Ensemble and the Bill Horvitz Band, as well as leading his own groups. His duo with Scott Walton has just released the CD Cookies for Cyrano on pfMENTUM. He received a California Arts Council Fellowship in 2000, and teaches at Mills College.
Since settling in San Francisco in 1997, Canada-born trumpeter, bandleader, composer, improvisor, vocalist, and songwriter DARREN JOHNSTON has composed for, collaborated with and recorded alongside an extremely diverse cross-section of world class artists. His interests rotate around composing instrumental music, writing songs, and performing all styles of jazz, experimental and purely improvised music, as well as traditional music of the Balkans, Greece, Macedonia, Turkey, and the Arab world. His primary ensemble as a leader, Broken Shadows, is an attempt to unify all of these interests into one truly unique style of roots/art/dance music that defies category. As a composer, he has received commissions to write for small jazz groups, big bands, string quartet, chamber ensembles, a multi-generational chorus utilizing body-percussion and choreography, and more. He has written for dance companies such as Axis Dance, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, Robert Moses’ Kin, Liss Fain, and others, as well as for short films. He has performed and/or recorded with luminaries such as Fred Frith, ROVA Sax Quartet, Meredith Monk, Myra Melford, James Tenney, Ben Goldberg, Matt Wilson, Mark Dresser, Marshall Allen, Marcus Shelby, and others.
TIM PERKIS is a well-known figure in the worlds of improvised and electronic music. Over the course of decades he has played his unique computer-based electronic instruments with hundreds of musicians, including many of the leading players in free improvisation from Europe and the US. He is also a founding member of several electronic music ensembles, including FuzzyBunny, Splendor Generator and the legendary computer network band The Hub. Recordings of his music are available on the Artifact, Tzadik, New World and EMANEM labels, among others. His documentary film NOISY PEOPLE(2007) and NOISY PEOPLE podcasts (2015) are available at noisypeople.net.
SCOTT WALTON is a bassist and pianist whose music negotiates the terrain between jazz, free improvisation, and the classical avant-garde. He has recorded with Vinny Golia, Steve Adams, Myra Melford, Tim Perkis, Nels Cline, Anthony Davis, and Bobby Bradford, and has performed with George Lewis, Wadada Leo Smith, John Carter, JD Parran, and Al Cohn. Current projects include duos with Steve Adams, Tim Perkis, and Gilbert Isbin, the Michael Vllatkovich quartet, Jeff Gauthier’s Goatet, the Bill Horvitz Sextet, and Alex Cline’s Flower Garland Orchestra.
JOHN HANES has been playing drums in the Bay Area for over 30 years. From Diamonda Galas to Etta James, from Starbucks commercials to Werner Herzog’s “Grizzly Man” soundtrack, from Oakland Opera Theater’s production of Anthony Davis’s “X, the Life and Times of Malcolm X” to industrial rockers Chrome, John has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists across a broad spectrum of genres. Since 2000, John has entered the world of experimental music and free improvisation, playing in a number of bay area ensembles; and electronic music, performing on laptop solo as Organ of Qwerty and in Hanes/Adams, a duo with Rova Sax Quartet’s Steve Adams.
Lorin Benedict: VOICES AND SUCH
An evening showcasing voices, plus one pianist. In the first set, vocalists LORIN BENEDICT and RON HEGLIN will improvise a few pieces together, and then pianist/composer JULIE BARWICK and Lorin will play a movement from the Shostakovich Cello Sonata (reworked for voice)". The long-standing vocal duo of Ron Heglin and KATT ATCHLEY will present improvisations in the second set.
SPLINTER REEDS is beyond psyched to be exiting toddlerhood - with their first touring engagements, more residencies, and FOUR new commissions (so far) on the horizon for 2016-17. They want to party, as it were. With you.
Splinter Reeds's upcoming season is without a doubt their biggest yet, so they’re devoting an evening of their mid-summer rehearsal intensive to share and show off what’s in store. But most importantly, they want to hang out, have fun, and thank everyone who’s been so instrumental in launching them onto this path. Their scrappy ensemble formed just three short years ago – and are now poised for their first touring engagements, with more exhilarating residencies and commissions from four of their favorite composers currently in the pipeline.
The event will be casual and festive, with free admission, food and drink. Splinter will play sneak previews of the new work (Ken Ueno, Eric Wubbels, Theresa Wong, and others) as well as other pieces solo or with invited friends
SPLINTER REEDS is the West Coast’s first and only professional reed quintet, comprising five virtuosic and innovative musicians with a shared passion for new music. Individually, these five are active as both soloists and members of various esteemed ensembles locally and across the nation, with affiliations including the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Alarm Will Sound, Sqwonk, Ensemble Dal Niente, sfSound, Redshift and ECO Ensemble. As fierce advocates of new music throughout their careers, Splinter's members are proud to have spearheaded many notable commissions and world premiere performances. As educators, members of the ensemble hold teaching positions at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Oberlin, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz.
With a uniquely dynamic instrumentation that includes oboe (Kyle Bruckmann), clarinet (Bill Kalinkos), saxophone (David Wegehaupt), bass clarinet (Jeff Anderle), and bassoon (Dana Jessen), the reed quintet is an evolutionary detour from the traditional woodwind quintet with the orchestrational advantages of a more closely related instrument family. It remains a relatively new and emerging chamber music genre, having come to life in the 1980s with the notable Dutch ensemble, Calefax. Distinguishing itself even within the small network of roughly 20 professional reed quintets currently active worldwide, Splinter is explicitly committed to the cutting edge of contemporary composition, freely juxtaposing elements of multiple styles and aesthetics in their programming in order to enthusiastically share adventurous new music with the widest possible audience.
The ensemble kicked off its 2013-14 Debut Season with a residency at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Additional concert engagements since then have included performances at the San Francisco Center for New Music, Switchboard Music Festival, Presidio Sessions, April in Santa Cruz Festival of Contemporary Music, Mondavi Center, the Trinity Chamber Concert Series, and Old First Concerts. They have quickly developed a particular penchant for university residencies, having so far worked closely with the composition students at UC Berkeley’s CNMAT, UC Davis, and Stanford University’s CCRMA. Their debut CD, featuring two of their own commissions and four premiere recordings, was just released in November 2015.