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!
upcoming concerts

mar 28, 2015 - robert ashley tribute
apr 10, 2015 - uc santa cruz festival
apr 15, 2015 - christian pincock & florent collautti
apr 18, 2015 - james tenney's "spectrum iv"
may 9, 2015 - david bithell
may 22, 2015 - happy valley band & honda/vinkelo/hay trio
jun 13, 2015 - larry polansky
nov 3, 2015 - nakamura/kahn/akiyama/eubanks

:: view previous 2015 concerts here ::




 Saturday March 28 2015 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 members/underemployed] :: 8:00p



A Tribute To Robert Ashley
presented by Thomas Buckner


One of the most original minds in new music, Robert Ashley reinvented opera and the relationship of words and music. New York based baritone Thomas Buckner, accompanied by members of sfSoundGroup, will perform some of the many works Ashley composed especially for Buckner to sing in a concert setting during the more than thirty years he sang in Ashley's operas.

P R O G R A M
The Producer Speaks - Extrait du cycle Atalanta (Acts of God) (1991)
voice and piano

Mystery of the River (2014)
voice and electronics

-- interval --

Tract (2010)
voice and electronics

World War III Just the Highlights (2013)
solo voice, electronics, and 3 voice ensemble

P E R F O R M E R S
Thomas Buckner, voice
Matthew Goodheart, piano & voice
Luciano Chessa, voice
Benjamin Kreith, voice


ROBERT ASHLEY (1930-2014), one of the leading American composers of the post-Cage generation, is particularly known for his work in new forms of opera. In the 1960s, during his tenure as its director, the ONCE Festival in Ann Arbor presented most of the decade’s pioneers of the performing arts. With the legendary ONCE Group, he developed his first large-scale operas. Along with Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma, and David Behrman, he formed the Sonic Arts Union, a group that turned conceptualism toward electronics. Throughout the 1970s, he directed the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College, and produced his first opera for television, the 14-hour Music with Roots in the Aether, based on the work and ideas of seven influential American composers. In the early 1980s The Kitchen commissioned Ashley’s Perfect Lives, the opera for television that is widely considered the precursor of “music-television.” Stage versions of Perfect Lives, as well as his following operas, Atalanta (Acts of God), Improvement (Don Leaves Linda), Foreign Experiences, eL/Aficionado and Now Eleanor’s Idea toured throughout the US and Canada, Europe and Asia during the 1980s and 1990s. A new group of operas was begun in 1999 when Kanagawa Arts Foundation (Japan) commissioned Dust, which was quickly followed by Celestial Excursions and The Old Man Lives in Concrete. He wrote and recorded his performance-novel, Quicksand (released in novel form by Burning Books). And his final opera, Crash, was completed in December 2013 for premiere at the 2014 Whitney Biennial Exhibition.

Ashley’s book Outside of Time: Ideas About Music (2009), was published by MusikTexte (available from Lovely Music) and Kyle Gann’s biography of Ashley (2012) was published by the University of Illinois Press. Burning Books has published several of his librettos and a large part of his recorded work is available from Lovely Music.


For more than 40 years, baritone THOMAS BUCKNER has dedicated himself to the world of new and improvised music. Buckner has collaborated with a host of new music composers including Robert Ashley, Noah Creshevsky, Tom Hamilton, Earl Howard, Matthias Kaul, Leroy Jenkins, Bun Ching Lam, Annea Lockwood, Roscoe Mitchell, Phill Niblock, Wadada Leo Smith, Chinary Ung, Christian Wolff and many others. He has made appearances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Herbst Theatre, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Ostrava Days Festival, the Prague Spring Festival, and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Buckner is featured on over 40 recordings, including 6 of his own solo albums. His most recent solo recording “New Music for Baritone & Chamber Ensemble” includes works by Annea Lockwood, Tania Leon, and Petr Kotik. He also appears in the newly released CD/DVD “Kirili et le Nymphéas (Hommage à Monet)”. This recording documents the latest in his ongoing series of collaborations between the sculptor Alain Kirili and improvising musicians and dancers. For the past twenty years, Buckner has co-produced the Interpretations series in New York City. He also created the Mutable Music record label to produce new recordings and reissue some important historic recordings, previously unavailable in CD format.








 Friday April 10 2015 
april in santa cruz :: ucsc music center recital hall :: FREE :: 7:30p



UCSC's 2015 "April in Santa Cruz" festival of contemporary music


Works by UCSC Graduate Composition Students and James Tenney: Guitar Music

With guest artists
Giacomo Fiore, sfSoundGroup, San Francisco Conservatory Guitar Ensemble, and guitarists from UC Santa Cruz

P R O G R A M
new works written for sfSound
Solos (Dice Game) - Andre Marquetti
In Time - Andrew Smith
Justifiably Strewn - Ike Minton
variation xiv (in two parts) - David Kant

Monica Scott, cello; Brendan Lai-Tong, trombone; Benjamin Kreith, violin;
John Ingle, alto saxophone; Matt Ingalls, clarinets

James Tenney: Complete Guitar Music
Curated and produced by Giacomo Fiore
Harmonium #2 (two guitars)
Water on the mountain... Fire in heaven (six electric guitars)
Spectrum #4 (chamber ensemble)
Septet (six electric electric guitars, and electric bass)

UCSC Guitarists: Jay Arms, Brian Baumbusch, Giacomo Fiore, Larry Polansky, Lanier Sammons, Samuel Shaloub, guitars; Andrew Smith, conductor

sfSoundGroup: Monica Scott, contrabass; Brendan Lai-Tong, trombone; Benjamin Kreith, violin; John Ingle, alto recorder; Matt Ingalls, bass clarinet ; Matthew Goodheart, piano; Giacomo Fiore, guitar; Mark Clifford, vibraphone

San Francisco Conservatory Guitar Ensemble: John Zientek, Ryan Wallace, Zoë Holbrook, Sydd Urgola, Nathaniel Martinez, Roberto Borbone, Katrina Gavelin; David Tanenbaum, director








 Wednesday April 15 2015 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 members/underemployed] :: 7:42p



Wired Breath/Strung Waves: Christian Pincock & Florent Collautti


sfSound presents two perspectives on electroacoustic solo instrumental hyperextension. Christian Pincock (Albuquerque) is a composer/performer on trombone and electronics who uses custom-make controllers and software to play multiple parts simultaneously and create orchestral textures unaccompanied. Florent Collautti (France) composes and plays using a homebuilt instrument with electromagnetic bows piloted by computer and strings subsequently amplified and processed with Max/msp.


Florent Collautti moves between the sound and numeric arts, from instrumental/acoustic music to electronic music through sound installations. He wears only one cap while working on these different links: that of an insatiable researcher who handles both sound-creation software and the soldering iron. In this spirit, in 2010, he developed the “e-String” a hybrid, homebuilt electronic/acoustic instrument. To sustain this project, in 2012-2013, he completed a residency through “Arts & Science actions” of SCRIME & Bordeaux University. Protean artist, he creates in a universe where dance, theater, instrumental sets, and live electronic and sound arts cross. He has collaborated with art centers, companies, composers, and musicians. He has completed residencies with La muse en circuit, SCRIME, Fées d’hiver, GRIM, and Landesmusikakademie Hessen. He has received a Sacem prize, a 1st prize in the “Vacances percutantes” (percussion quartet) contest, and a grant from Hessen/Aquitaine. His work has been presented in France and abroad (Spain, Canada, Belgium, California, Germany, Italy).

Christian Pincock is a composer/performer on trombone and electronics. He uses custom-make controllers and software including electronic sensors, microcontrollers, a repurposed set of organ pedals and MAX/MSP patches to play multiple parts simultaneously and to create orchestral textures unaccompanied. His work is informed by jazz rhythmic and harmonic sensibilities, classical compositional approaches and timbres from modern electronic music.








 Saturday April 18 2015 
Tangents Guitar Series :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 members] :: 7:30p



James Tenney: Complete Guitar Music


A retrospective program of the music for guitars by James Tenney (1934–2006)—one of America’s unsung experimental music heroes. These concerts are produced in collaboration with Larry Polansky, Matt Ingalls and SFSound, and David Tanenbaum’s San Francisco Conservatory Guitar Ensemble; with funding from San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the University of California Santa Cruz Music Department.

P R O G R A M
Harmonium #2 (two guitars)
Water on the mountain... Fire in heaven (six electric guitars)
Spectrum #4 (chamber ensemble)
Septet (six electric electric guitars, and electric bass)

UCSC Guitarists: Jay Arms, Brian Baumbusch, Giacomo Fiore, Larry Polansky, Lanier Sammons, Samuel Shaloub, guitars; Andrew Smith, conductor

sfSoundGroup: Monica Scott, contrabass; Brendan Lai-Tong, trombone; Benjamin Kreith, violin; John Ingle, alto recorder; Matt Ingalls, bass clarinet ; Matthew Goodheart, piano; Giacomo Fiore, guitar; Mark Clifford, vibraphone

San Francisco Conservatory Guitar Ensemble: John Zientek, Ryan Wallace, Zoë Holbrook, Sydd Urgola, Nathaniel Martinez, Roberto Borbone, Katrina Gavelin; David Tanenbaum, director










:: musicians
The concerts showcase some of the Bay Area's finest musicians, bringing together talented and accomplished improvisers, composers, and performers committed to the full range of contemporary musicmaking. :: more ::


:: history
sfSound has been producing concerts since 1999.
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:: radio
Many recordings of past concerts, as well as featured works on upcoming concerts can be heard on sfSoundRadio.
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:: sponsors
A variety of foundations and individuals make the sfSoundSeries possible; please assist us with your tax-deductible contribution.
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:: contact
Email or write us for more information about sfSoundGroup and the sfSoundSeries and to join our email announcement list.
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