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.
for 2013-2014, we also present the bi-weekly sfSoundSalonSeries at the center for new music in san francisco!
oct 21, 2014 - MUSIC & FILM: a. lewandowski/t. feeney/c. shepard/l. polansky/d. kant & m. ashkin/b. o'brien
nov 8, 2014 - nate wooley & carol robinson play eliane radigue
nov 11, 2014 - tim hodgkinson & chris brown
nov 18, 2014 - quadraphonic works: bhob rainey & stockhausen's gesang der jünglinge
jan 9-11, 2015 - SAN FRANCISCO TAPE MUSIC FESTIVAL 2015
mar 9, 2015 - marco fusi
apr, 2015 - james tenney's "spectrum iv"
:: view previous 2014 concerts here ::
An evening of Experimental Music and Film
Annie Lewandowski and Tim Feeney with films by Michael Ashkin &
Craig Shepard, Larry Polansky, and David Kant with a film by Beth O'Brien
Finding a shared interest in works of abandonment and stasis, improvisers Tim Feeney (percussion) and Annie Lewandowski (piano/electronics) began a collaboration with artist Michael Ashkin in Ithaca, NY in 2011. Often performed as short videos with live improvised soundtracks, their work Depot/Centralia/Tiber was released on DVD in 2013. In the DVD liner notes, Jonathan Skinner writes: "Like the accompanying music, the indeterminate rhythm of these videos, enflamed via minimalist stillness, emerges in conjunction with clouds, insects, birds plants… The drone of Lewandowski's and Feeney's musical collaboration, the drum of the earth itself, offers a surface taught with myriad events."
Depot/Centralia/Tiber has been performed and screened in Ithaca, New York, and Oberlin.
On a West Coast tour, video artist Beth O'Brien composer/trumpeter Craig Shepard present On Foot: Brooklyn (recently released on Edition Wandelweiser Records). Shepard walked 780-miles in 91 days in New York City, walking everywhere he went. Each week, he composed a new piece and wrote it down. Each Sunday, he led a silent, cell-phone free walk to a different location in Brooklyn, performed the piece, and walked back. O'Brien documented the walks.
This performance features a video of animated still photography by O'Brien together with a live performance of two pieces composed on the trek with Shepard, Larry Polansky, and David Kant.
Michael Ashkin's work spans various media, including sculpture, installation, photography, video, poetry, and text. His work addresses issues of landscape, architecture, and urbanism, specifically the intersection of subjectivity with the social, economic, and political production of space. After receiving a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA from Columbia University in Middle East Languages and Cultures, he worked in the business world for eight years before choosing to become an artist. He received an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993. Since then he has shown extensively nationally and internationally including the Whitney Biennial (1997), Greater New York (2000), Documenta 11 (2002), and Vienna Secesion (2009). He has been awarded two Pollock-Krasner Fellowships (1997, 2012) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009). He is currently Chair of the Department of Art at Cornell University.
Tim Feeney has performed as an improviser with musicians including cellist/electronic musician Vic Rawlings; the percussion trio Meridian, with Nick Hennies and Greg Stuart; pianist Annie Lewandowski; tape-deck manipulator Howard Stelzer; trumpeter Nate Wooley; sound artists Jed Speare and Ernst Karel; saxophonist Jack Wright; and the trio ONDA. As an interpreter, Tim was a founding member of the quartet So Percussion, the duo Non Zero with saxophonist Brian Sacawa, and the ensemble LotUs. He has toured throughout the United States, including notable performances at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, New York's The Stone, the Center for New Music and Audio Technology at UC-Berkeley, the Stanford Art Museum, Mills College, Princeton University, and Oberlin College. He has recorded for labels including Accidie, Full Spectrum, Sedimental, Soul on Rice, Audiobot, Homophoni, and Brassland/Talitres. Tim is currently Assistant Professor of Percussion at the University of Alabama.
Annie Lewandowski is a composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist whose work has situated her between the worlds of improvisation and independent rock music. As an improviser on the piano and accordion, she has recorded with Fred Frith, the London Improvisers Orchestra, Caroline Kraabel, Tim Feeney, and Doublends Vert, and performed with improvisers including Theresa Wong, Miya Masaoka, Chris Cutler, Evan Parker, Ellen Fullman, CAGE, and Charles Hayward. Lewandowski and percussionist Tim Feeney have an ongoing project improvising to the short videos of artist Michael Ashkin.
As a singer, guitarist, and keyboardist, Lewandowski has recorded with rock bands Emma Zunz, Xiu Xiu, The Curtains, Former Ghosts, William Ryan Fritch, and Hawnay Troof. Her band powerdove has released five recordings: Live at the Maybeck House (self-released, 2010), a self-titled EP (Circle into Square, 2011), Be Mine (Circle into Square, 2011), Do You Burn? (Circle into Square/ Murailles Music/ Africantape, 2013), and Arrest (Murailles Music/Sickroom, 2014/2015). Lewandowski has performed at festivals and venues across the United States and Europe, including the Casa da Música (Porto, Portugal), the Hippodrome (London), Musica Nelle Valli (San Martin Spino, Italy), the Great American Music Hall (San Francisco), the Frieze Arts Fair (London), Avalon (Los Angeles), and Redcat (Los Angeles).
Lewandowski is a lecturer in music at Cornell University.
Beth O'Brien is a photographer, filmmaker and visual artist living in Brooklyn, NY.
Craig Shepard (1975 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA) is a composer, trombonist and sound artist. He is a member of the Wandelweiser Composers Ensemble. His work has been called "touchingly beautiful" (Wolfgang Fuhrmann, Berliner Zeitung) and "truly invulnerable" (Martin Preisser, St-Galler Tagblatt). It has been featured at Moments Musicaux Aarau, the Akademie der Künste Berlin, the Kunstraum Düsseldorf, Experimental Intermedia New York, Real Art Ways in Hartford, the Deep Listening Center in Kingston, New York, and throughout Europe and the United States.
His most successful work is On Foot, a 31-day, 350-mile trek from Geneva to St. Margrethen, Switzerland on which he composed, wrote down and performed a new piece every day. As a trombonist, he has performed with Christian Wolff, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Jürg Frey, Collegium Novum Zürich and many others. He has played on recordings with the Vokal Ensemble München and with Burkhard Schlothauer. At the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (Zurich University of the Arts), Mr. Shepard served as a lecturer and listening researcher. A paper detailing the results of his work has been published in the Schweizerische Musikzeitung. From 2001 to 2005, he studied sacbut with Ulrich Eichenberger. In 1998, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music, magna cum laude, from Northwestern University, where he studied trombone with Frank Crisafulli and composition with Michael Pisaro and Alan Stout.
Craig Shepard lives in Brooklyn, New York City.
Larry Polansky (b. 1954) is a composer, theorist, teacher, writer, performer, programmer, editor and publisher. He lives in Santa Cruz, California, teaching at UC Santa Cruz. He is also the Emeritus Strauss Professor of Music at Dartmouth College, and co-director and co-founder of Frog Peak Music.
His five solo CDs are available on New World Records, Artifact, and Cold Blue, and his music is widely anthologized on many other labels. His own works are performed frequently around the world. From 1980-90 he worked at the Mills Center for Contemporary Music, where he was one of the co-authors (with Phil Burk and David Rosenboom) of the computer music language HMSL, and a contributor to the widely-used program SoundHack (by Tom Erbe).
Nate Wooley and Carol Robinson premiere new works by
Eliane Radigue and Denis Doufour
As part of a nationwide tour that offers a rare opportunity to hear new French works played by the cutting edge performers they were made for, clarinetist Carol Robinson and trumpeter Nate Wooley will give American and world premiere performances of new works by iconoclastic French composers Eliane Radigue and Denis Dufour. The program opens with Dufour’s fascinating Cinq forms d’appel for bass clarinet and trumpet, and continues with Radigue’s OCCAM XVI for solo bass clarinet, OCCAM X for solo trumpet, and OCCAM River III, an amazingly beautiful duet for trumpet and birbynė (the keyless Lithuanian folk clarinet). The Occam pieces are part of a substantial set of new works composed in conjunction with a small group of the world’s finest contemporary musical voices.
Eliane Radigue is renowned for her electronic music, in particular, with the ARP Synthesizer. Her compositions are defined by micro-events due to subtle overtone shifts that dance above a seemingly static tone. The result is profoundly moving. In 2005, Radigue began composing for acoustic instruments, first Naldjorlak, her grand trio for two basset horns and cello, now the ever-expanding Occam Ocean series. These new works have been featured in important festivals: Festival d’Automne / Paris, Huddersfield Contemporary, Angelica / Bologna, CTM.12 Spectral / Berlin, Crossing the Line / NY, Sound and Music / London, ISEA2010 Ruhr, E-May / Vienna, [K] HEUTE / Hamburg, and Impact / Utrecht.
Denis Doufour, highly respected for his research in the fields of instrumental and electronic creation, is the author of more than 160 works. As one of the pioneers of the “morphological” and expressive approach to sonic writing, his works employ a vast spectrum of parameters in all sonic dimensions.
Franco-American clarinetist Carol Robinson is known for her eclectic approach to performing, composing and improvising. Equally at ease in the classical and experimental realms, she appears in festivals, concert halls, and alternative spaces the world over. Her recordings of Feldman, Nono, Berio, Scelsi, Niblock, and of her own compositions, are widely acclaimed. One of Eliane Radigue’s most virtuosic and consistent collaborators, she has premiered Naldjorlak and numerous pieces from Occam Ocean.
New York based trumpeter Nate Wooley has performed on over 100 recordings. Increasingly acknowledged internationally, Wooley’s specific style is part of a burgeoning revolution in experimental trumpet technique with the likes of improvisers Evan Parker, John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, and Thurston Moore. His own compositions expand conceptions of linguistic based embouchure manipulation and utilize the trumpet to control amplified feedback.
Robinson/Wooly Tour funded with support from The French-American Fund for Contemporary Music
Visiting from the UK, clarinetist and lap steel guitarist Tim Hodgkinson performs solo and in a duo with local pianist Chris Brown.
Increasingly lauded as a composer, with works featured at international contemporary music festivals, and two sets of pieces for ensemble out on the Mode label, Tim Hodgkinson has an equally powerful commitment to intense and highly energised performance practice. In over forty years' work he has placed himself in a series of definitive projects, whether as co-conspirator in the seminal Henry Cow group, as saxophonist with influential avant metal band God, or as bass clarinet soloist in the spectral compositions of Iancu Dumitrescu. His lap steel guitar playing remains completely uncategorisable, bringing subdued and not so subdued echoes of rock musics and other ethnicities.
Tim Hodgkinson (b. 1949) studied social anthropology at Cambridge, where he met Fred Frith in 1968. Together they initiated what became the politically and musically radical group HENRY COW. This was the band in which he began to write music and explore sound. Following the demise of the Cow in 1978, he threw himself into various experimental rock projects, notably THE WORK. As an improviser his centre of gravity shifted from alto saxophone and keyboards towards clarinets and lap steel guitar. In the early 90’s he found his own way to fuse distinct kinds of musical experience and began writing scored pieces that drew directly on acoustic experimentation and improvisation. The first of (what turned out to be) many trips to Siberia rekindled his interest in anthropology, and research into music and shamanism led him towards new ways of ‘grounding music in being’.
As an improvising musician on reeds and lap steel guitar, he has performed all over the world with many of the most acclaimed artists in the field, and continues to be fully engaged in the celebrated KONK PACK trio with Roger Turner and Thomas Lehn. In 2009 he released Klarnt - a CD of solo clarinet improvisations. Other continuing projects include an international quartet with Denman Maroney, Paul Lytton and Dominic Lash, and the UK-based ZINK trio with Hannah Marshall and Paul May.
Mark Medwin wrote about his Klarnt CD: Many of these eleven untitled vignettes are fairly brief, packing myriad gestures into each moment. Even on the longer pieces, such as the final track, each second seems ready to burst with ideas. Dynamics have little to do with impact, as many moments of the most concentrated energy hang barely above a whisper. Instead, there is a sense of heightened emotion as Hodgkinson plums every register and mood of which the clarinet is capable.
With Ken Hyder from Scotland, and Gendos Chamzyryn from Tuva, he works in the K-SPACE project, named after the Soviet cosmologist Nikolai Kozyrev. With numerous tours of Europe and Siberia, K-Space's CD releases include Infinity, a set of recordings that breaks new ground by using customised software to re-compose the music with each listening, creating an experience intended to parallel that of shamanic flight. In 2009, K-Space developed a sound-installation for the exhibition Shamans of Siberia at the Museum of Ethnology in Stuttgart. In 2015, they will perform a new collaborative project with the Bergersen String Quartet at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
As both bass clarinetist and composer and conductor, Hodgkinson has participated in many concerts of spectral music with Iancu Dumitrescu's HYPERION ENSEMBLE. His own compositions have been interpreted in such international festivals as: Spectrum XXI (Brussels, Paris, Geneva, Berlin, London), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (U.K.) where he was a featured composer in 2007, Craiova and Ploiesti Festivals (Romania), Guarda Festival (Portugal), Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte di Montepulciano (Italy), Konfrontationen Festival (Austria), Nordlyd Festival (Norway), Musique Action (France) and the European Symposium of Experimental Music at Barcelona.
His Piece for Harp and Cello was selected for the SPNM shortlist in 2005. His composition SHHH was accepted for the IMEB electroacoustic music archive at Bourges in 2006. His piece Fragor appeared in the Martin Scorsese film Shutter Island in 2010. He has worked with Hyperion Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, Ne(X)tworks, the Bergersen String Quartet, The London Sinfonietta, Insomnio Ensemble, Phoenix Ensemble, Basler Schlagzeug Trio, Nidaros Slagverkensemble, and the Bindou Ensemble. His newest piece Azim will be performed at Ilan Volkov’s Tectonics Festival in Israel in October 2014.
As a writer, he has published articles on improvised music, musique concrète (he interviewed Pierre Schaeffer in 1986), spectralism, the boundary between shamanism and art in southern Siberia, and aesthetic responses to the impact of new technology on contemporary music - in, amongst others, Perspectives of New Music, Arcana, Contemporary Music Review, Musicworks, The Wire, Cambridge Anthropology, Variant, RER Quarterly, and Resonance Magazine.
He has given lectures, workshops and seminars at Cagliari and Lyon Conservatoires, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, at Goldsmiths College and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, at Istanbul, Edinburgh and Cornell Universities, and art schools in several European countries, at COMA summer school, and at the Verband für Aktuelle Musik in Hamburg where he was artist in residence in 2010.
Chris Brown, composer, pianist, and electronic musician, creates music for acoustic instruments with interactive electronics, for computer networks, and for improvising ensembles. Collaboration and improvisation are consistent themes in his work, as well as the invention and performance of new electronic instruments. These range from electro-acoustic instruments ("Gazamba", 1982), to acoustic instrument transformation systems ("Lava", 1992), and audience interactive FM radio installations ("Transmissions", 2004, with Guillermo Galindo). As a performer he has recorded music by Henry Cowell, Luc Ferrari, José Maceda, John Zorn, David Rosenboom, Larry Ochs, Glenn Spearman, and Wadada Leo Smith; as an improvisor he has recorded with Anthony Braxton, Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, Rova Saxophone Quartet, Ikue Mori, Alvin Curran, William Winant, Biggi Vinkeloe, Don Robinson, and Frank Gratkowski, among many others. Recent recordings of his music include "ROGUE WAVE" (on Tzadik), "TALKING DRUM" (on Pogus), a duet with Fred Frith titled "CUTTER HEADS" (on Intakt), and "SUSPENSION", with the CBD Trio, on Rastascan. He is also a member of the pioneering computer network band "The Hub", which has just released"BOUNDARY LAYER"a box set recording celebrating over 20 years of music on Tzadik. He is also a Professor of Music and Co-Director of the Center for Contemporary Music (CCM) at Mills College in Oakland, California.
A concert of quadraphonic compositions by
Bhob Rainey/Chris Cooper & Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Gesang der Jünglinge (1956)
Bhob Rainey/Chris Cooper - Axon Ladder (2014)
Axon Ladder is a quadrophonic piece developed by Chris Cooper (Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase, Fat Worm of Error, etc.) and Bhob Rainey (Nmperign, The BSC) over the past two years. The composers embraced their love for sci-fi / horror, utilizing utopian and dystopian genre concepts as generative material – namely, machine learning and artificial life. The striking poetic qualities of these algorithmic techniques in operation reveal music that is teeming with activity – complex, dense, playful, terrifying. Axon Ladder is a highly immersive experience with immense energy and emotional content that somehow manages to remain a non-spectacle. Philadelphia-based Rainey will be present to perform a live diffusion of the full piece.
Karlheinz Stockhausen's Gesang der Jünglinge ("Song of the Youths") (1955-56) is one of the first masterpieces of electronic music. The work seamlessly integrates electronic sounds with vocal recordings of 12-year-old Josef Protschka by means of matching voice resonances with pitch and creating sounds of phonemes electronically. In this way, for the first time ever it successfully brought together the two opposing worlds of the purely electronically generated German elektronische Musik and the French Musique Concrète, which transforms recordings of acoustical events. Gesang der Jünglinge is also noted for its early use of spatiality; it was originally in five-channel sound, which was later reduced to just four channels (mixed to monaural and later to stereo for commercial recording release).
Bhob Rainey is an award-winning composer / performer. He has a long and well-regarded history as an improviser, known for a masterful yet often understated technique that transforms the soprano saxophone into an electronic-like, textural, or percussive device. He is also known for his ongoing critique of improvisational practice, which has brought influential concepts and stylistic components into the practice as a whole. While Rainey has worked with numerous improvisers globally, he is best known for his solo work, Nmperign (with trumpeter Greg Kelley), and his direction of the improvising large ensemble, The BSC.
Rainey's work extends to the realm of electronic and algorithmic composition. A programmer from a young age, he has contributed a significant set of extensions to the SuperCollider language and has used contemporary computational techniques from fields like gaming and big data to trouble the formal content of his electronic works. His collaborations in this area are not only with algorithms and electrons, but also with regarded composers such as Ralf Wehowsky, Jason Lescalleet, and Chris Cooper.
In 2013, Rainey was awarded the prestigious Pew Fellowship in the Arts for his work in these areas. In 2014, the American Composers Forum (Philadephia Chapter) awarded him a Subito grant for work on Axon Ladder.
Chris Cooper has worked around the Bay Area with "industrial bluegrass" oddballs Caroliner and adventurous indie-popsters Deerhoof. When the financially strapped Caroliner went on hiatus in the late '90s, Cooper struck out on his own, adopting the Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase alias for his experiments with prepared guitar and tape collage. The first Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase album, the obscurely titled Beatings With Gimpy Flighted Wings Entrapped by Post-Fence of Garish Land, appeared circa 2000 on the small Menlo Park label. A 7" release, "Myth of the Golden Jackal & the Frog," followed on Birdman. Cooper subsequently recorded under his own name for Kissy Records, and performed with Barn Owl and the Massachusetts-based Fat Worm of Error.
Karlheinz Stockhausen emerged early on as one of the most influential and unique voices in the post-WWII European musical avant-garde and his prominence continued throughout the rest of the twentieth century and into the twenty first. Combining a keen sensitivity to the acoustical realities and possibilities of sound, rigorous and sophisticated compositional methods expanded from integral serialism, innovative theatricality, and a penchant for the mystical, Stockhausen remains one of the most innovative musical personalities to span the turn of this century.