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!
upcoming concerts

april 22, 2014 - the hub
may 13, 2014 - john ingle's babylonian lottery
may 27, 2014 - larry polansky / paul hoskin
june 24, 2014 - chris brown
july 25, 2014 - sfSound @ old first concerts
aug 8, 2014 - sfSound @ yerba buena bay area now festival
aug , 2014 - sfSound @ sfcm
oct 21, 2014 - MUSIC & FILM: a. lewandowski/t. feeney/c. shepard/l. polansky/d. kant & m. ashkin/b. o'brien
nov 8, 2014 - nate wooly & carol robinson play eliane radigue
nov 13, 2014 - tim hodgkinson

:: view previous 2014 concerts here ::

 April 22 2014 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15/10 :: 7:49p

The Hub

A rare opportunity to hear the band that pioneered laptop ensembles over twenty-five years ago. Functioning in the West Coast tradition of composer as instrument builder — redefining music from the ground up -- The Hub makes music using electronic and digital systems of their own devising. Producing some of the most imaginative and compelling electronic music ever made, The Hub is perhaps the most infamous electronic ensemble since Musica Elettronica Viva. Although this influential Bay Area collective has performed worldwide in recent years and continues to break new ground in the ever-growing laptop medium, they had not played in San Francisco for almost a decade.

Formed in 1986, The Hub members are John Bischoff, Tim Perkis, Chris Brown, Scot Gresham-Lancaster, Mark Trayle and Phil Stone, with guest Matt Ingalls.

The Hub grew from the League of Automatic Music Composers: John Bischoff, Tim Perkis, Jim Horton, and Rich Gold. Perkis and Bischoff modified their equipment for a performance at The Network Muse Festival in 1986 at The LAB in San Francisco. Instead of creating an ad-hoc wired connection of computer interaction, they decided to use a hub - a general purpose connection for network data.

The Hub was the first band to do a telematic performance in 1987 at the Clocktower in New York.

Since this work represents some of the earliest work in the context of the new live music practice of Networked music performance, they have been cited as the archtypal network ensemble in computer music. The Hub's best-known piece, Stuck Note by Scot Gresham-Lancaster has been covered by a number of network music bands, including MiLO- the Milwaukee Laptop Orchestra and BiLE- the Birminham Laptop Ensemble.

They have collaborated with Rova Saxophone Quartet, Nick Collins, Phil Niblock and Alvin Curran. They currently perform around the world after a multi-year hiatus, ending in 2004.

 May 13 2014 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15/10 :: 7:49p

John Ingle's Babylonian Lottery

sfSound saxophonist/improviser/composer John Ingle in a concert of his "Babylonian Lottery", a game piece for improvisers that incorporates both composed and improvised music. Expect a wide range of musical expression, from tiny sounds and pristine textures to orchestral blasts and free-jazz blowouts.

Within the "lottery" will be solos by the composer, duo Ing with Matt Ingalls, and a jazz quartet with special guests Lisa Mezzacapa, Vijay Anderson, and John Finkbeiner. The smaller groups' music will be interpolated/exterpolated by sfSoundGroup and guests Jordan Glenn and Tim Perkis.

John Ingle, saxophones, voice
Monica Scott, cello
Tim Perkis, electronics
Lisa Mezzacapa, contrabass
Hadley McCarroll, piano
Brendan Lai-Tong, trombone
Benjamin Kreith, violin
Matt Ingalls, clarinet
John Finkbeiner, electric guitar
Kyle Bruckmann, oboe/english horn
Vijay Anderson, drums
Jordan Glenn, percussion

 May 27 2014 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15/10 :: 7:49p

Larry Polansky & Paul Hoskin

Recently relocated to Santa Cruz, composer/guitarist Larry Polansky presents recent work, including the premiere of Approaching the Azimuth for solo clarinet written for Matt Ingalls. The program also includes works for solo guitar, a work for solo saxophone, and new structured and free improvisations with sfSound.

From Seattle, improvisor Paul Hoskin performs a solo on the always-fascinating contrabass clarinet and joins Polansky and sfSound in free improvisations.

Larry Polansky, electric guitar
Paul Hoskin, contrabass clarinet
Monica Scott, cello
Brendan Lai-Tong, trombone
Benjamin Kreith, violin
John Ingle, saxophone
Matt Ingalls, clarinet
Tom Dambly, trumpet
Kyle Bruckmann, oboe/english horn

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).

His articles are published widely in journals such as Perspectives of New Music, the Journal of Music Theory, the Computer Music Journal, the Musical Quarterly, Leonardo and the Leonardo Music Journal (of which he was the founding editor), as well as many other publications. He is the editor of around 20 the scores of Johanna Magdalena Beyer, as well as scores by Ruth Crawford Seeger and others. In 2004, at the request of Crawford Seeger’s estate, he completed and edited her major monograph The Music of American Folk Song (published by the University of Rochester Press). His writings on American music include works on James Tenney, Crawford Seeger, Lou Harrison, Beyer, and many others. He is also the co-author of Music and Computers, a web-text published by Key Publications.

He is the recipient a number of prizes, commissions, and awards, including Guggenheim, Fullbright, and Mellon New Directions Fellowships, as well as the inaugural recipient (with David Behrman) of the Henry Cowell Award from the American Music Center. As a performer, primarily as a guitarist and mandolinist, he has premiered and recorded a number of important contemporary works, by Christian Wolff, James Tenney, Lou Harrison, Lois V Vierk, Ron Nagorcka, Daniel Goode, David Mahler, and many others. He has been a member of many contemporary music ensembles, including serving as the curator for the Downtown Ensemble for a number of years, and as one-third of Trio (with Kui Dong and Christian Wolff) for over a decade.

In 2010, he wrote the score for Stacey Steers’ Night Hunter, an experimental animation which was chosen for the Telluride, Sundance, Rotterdam, and other film festivals, and selected for the New York New Films/New Directors festival at Lincoln Center. Currently he is working on an edition of James Tenney’s collected theoretical writings, a series of articles about poetry and performance in American Sign Language.

Paul Hoskin began playing contrabass clarinet in the summer of 1985. Utterly self-taught, his reed playing life started in the fall of 1980—c melody saxophone, then clarinet, and the bass clarinet exclusively by the spring of 1981. Baritone saxophone added in the spring of 1984. Hoskin performs (and performed) extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Paul’s solo oeuvre is initiated in Seattle June 1986. The fall of 1986 finds himself in Eastern Europe—seven solo performances in twelve days. As solo language develops, Hoskin begins the extended contrabass clarinet work. Ninety minutes continuosly (a switch of technology commands its current eighty minute form). The growth and definition of his solo work is part and parcel of the decade of music life in New York City (1986-1995). Three different ensembles (The Same, Trigger, Dierker/Meehan/Hoskin) provided Hoskin with musics of many sorts. Paul’s life as an organizer for an improvised music community is also shaped. Seattle is returned to in 1996. And, solo language, multiple creative ensemble work, endless ad hoc meetings are resuscitated. Different people, different coast. A brief stay in Astoria, Oregon (2006-2009) reinvigorated the organizer chunk of his work. And, fortunately, the Oregon chapter managed to put Paul in touch with the Bay Area creative music world.

 June 24 2014 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15/10 :: 7:49p

Chris Brown's 6Primes

Chris Brown performs 6Primes, his new suite for piano solo in 13-limit just intonation.
sfSound members perform Brown's Ragamala Chiaroscuro (2004), a tuning-based trio based on an evolving chord.

Of 6Primes, Chris Brown writes:
"6Primes is composed using the six prime numbers 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, and 13 to govern both the tuning and rhythmic structure of the music, including the harmony and rhythmic subdivisions of the beat. The piano must be retuned in just intonation using the tuning system provided, in which the notes are tuned to one ratio with the highest prime factor of 2, three ratios with highest prime of 3, and two ratios each with highest primes of 5, 7, 11 and 13. The main feature of such a tuning is the diversity of interval relationships it creates: whereas 12 tone equal temperament has just twelve distinct intervals, this 12 tone system has 75. Most just systems do not use prime number ratios that exceed 7, since ratios using 11 and 13 are quite remote to learn to hear and tune. I wrote this music specifically to investigate the frontiers of what integer relationships are possible to hear and use melodically and harmonically; and simultaneously, what integer relationships are possible to play as rhythms. My conclusion after writing and practice it is that the level of difficulty increases at about the same rate for rhythmic relations as it does for pitch relations – and as the difficulty increases with each higher prime relation, playing them accurately is still possible, and new musical experiences are to be had! And while it does not seem possible to recognize intuitively the affinity of a rhythmic ratio relation to a corresponding pitch interval, since they are actually experiences defined by the same proportions, one can learn to appreciate their natural congruence. These experiences were pioneered in the music of Henry Cowell, which was played both by adventurous performers and by his Rhythmicon machine. In learning to play this music today, computer notation software is also very helpful!

To find my way through these complexities, I made six pieces that each work with just four prime ratios at a time, thus creating a set of modes to compose in. The titles of each piece states these primes, although 2 is always represented as 4, and 3 most often as 6. Each piece is also structured into sections that use all possible combinations of 2, 3, or 4 ratios at a time for its pitch and rhythmic material. The measure length of each section is also equal to the sum of the primes it uses. Thus each section has its own modal quality that is a subset of the piece’s mode. The aesthetic goal was to be able to listen to and play all of the possible relationships within each piece, each for more or less an equal amount of time. The entire set of six pieces thus explores all 75 ratios quite thoroughly. I hope that like so much music that has come before it, it is enjoyable with or without an understanding of what number principles lie behind it!"

Starting the concert, sfSound members John Ingle (alto saxophone), Matt Ingalls (bass clarinet), and Kyle Bruckmann (oboe) perform Ragamala Chiaroscuro (2004), a tuning-based trio based on an evolving chord alternating utonality (dark) and otonality (dark), with short sections for improvising.

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.

:: 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
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