The San Francisco Tape Music Collective is dedicated to presenting performances of audioArt diffused through a surround-sound speaker environment.
The SFTMC and the SF Tape Music Festival is a project of sfSound
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sfSound presents

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2016

Friday January 8, 2016 (8pm) (download program)
Saturday January 9, 2016 (8pm) (download program)
Saturday January 9, 2016 (11pm) (download program)
Sunday January 10, 2016 (8pm) (download program)
Gray Area Grand Theater
2665 Mission St

$15 [$10 underemployed] each concert
$40 festival pass
purchase tickets
box office/doors open at 7pm each night
undermployed tickets only available at the door

“Cinema for your ears.” -- SF Weekly     “…literally surrounded by sound.” -- San Francisco Chronicle
“Tape Capsule” -- The New York Times

KQED's California Report 2015 | East Bay Express 2015 Review

America's only festival devoted to the performance of audio works projected in three-dimensional space, The San Francisco Tape Music Festival features four distinct concerts of classic audio art and new fixed media compositions by 32 local and international composers. Hear members of the SF Tape Music Collective, along with guest composers, shape the sound live over a pristine surround system (24 high-end loudspeakers) with the audience seated in complete darkness. It's a unique opportunity to experience music forming - literally - around you.

The 2016 Festival begins by showcasing the entire range of the “fixed media” art form. Both Friday and Saturday 8pm concerts include a diverse range of music: from cinematic “radio plays” to abstract acousmatica - from sound-design works to full-spectrum drones. Iconic works by JAVIER ALVAREZ, BEBE + LOUIS BARRON, JOHN CHOWNING, TOD DOCKSTADER, PAUL LANSKY + BRAD GARTON + ANDREW MILBURN, and TETSU INOUE + CARL STONE will be presented.


The Saturday 11pm show is a special concert surveying a history of works originally intended to be performed over a multichannel surround sound system. Classic compositions by IANNIS XENAKIS and MORTON FELDMAN will be performed alongside recent works by ELIZABETH ANDERSON, BJARNI GUNNARSSON, and the Bay Area duo, VOICEHANDLER (JACOB FELIX HEULE and DANISHTA RIVERO).

Sunday’s concert features large scale works by FRANÇOIS BAYLE and FRANCIS DHOMONT. Both composers -- now in their 80’s -- are considered to be two of the most prominent and prolific stalwarts of acousmatic music, having been involved in the field from its beginnings.

In addition, a selection of cylinder recordings from the nascent days of recorded sound will be performed throughout the festival.


A Selection of Wax Cylinder Recordings (1887–1894)
Tod Dockstader (1932 - 2015) - Two Fragments from Apocalypse (1961)
John Chowning - Turenas (1972)
Joseph Anderson - mpingo (2003)
Maggi Payne - Black Ice (2014)
Matt Ingalls - Collage 2.1 (2015)
Adam Hirsch - ellipses (2015)
Sam Salem - Himlen Var (2015)
Timothy Cooper - Soundlines: After Ingold (2015)

A Selection of Wax Cylinder Recordings (1887–1894)
Bebe and Louis Barron - excerpts from Forbidden Planet Soundtrack (1956)
Bebe Barron - Mixed Emotions (200)
Paul Lansky/Brad Garton/Andrew Milburn - Wasting (1986)
Javier Alvarez - Mambo a la braque (1990)
Tetsu Inoue and Carl Stone - @.fine (2001)
Thom Blum - Spanish Panoramas (2015)
Cliff Caruthers - New Work (2016)
L.J. Altvater - Urban Paradise (excerpt) (2015)
Leah Reid - Ring, Resonate, Resound (2015)
Tom Bickley - Middle Armand Bayou (2015)
Mirtru Escalona-Mijares - L’ermitage au toit de chaume (2014-2015)
Rodney Waschka II - Mayday: Requiem for Those Lost at Sea (2015)

SATURDAY 11p - multichannel works
A Multichannel Mix of Wax Cylinder Recordings (1887–1894)
Morton Feldman - Intersection (1953)
Iannis Xenakis - Hibiki Hana Ma (1969-70)
Voicehandler (Jacob Felix Heule & Danishta Rivero) - I am a recording instrument (2016)
Elizabeth Anderson - Solar Winds..and Beyond (2012-2014)
Bjarni Gunnarsson - Ubieties (2015)

large scale works by

François Bayle - Tremblement De Terre Très Doux (1978)
François Bayle - L'Expérience Acoustique (1969-1972)
1. L’écriture acoustique
2. L’Energie libre, énergie liée

Francis Dhomont - Cycle du Son
1 Objets retrouvés (1996)
2 AvatArsSon (1998)
3 Novars (1989)
4 Phonurgie (1998)

funded in part by
The San Francisco Grants for the Arts and individual contributions
equipment kindly provided by The Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University and Recombinant Media Labs

What is Tape Music??

It is a bit paradoxical to use the word traditionally with a practice of the avant garde -- but, traditionally the words tape music have referred to the target media of a new kind of music. This new kind of music is not composed for arbitration by a pianist and the piano, so it must not be piano music. . . not for the string quartet, not for the orchestra, not even for the rock 'n roll band.

Music Composed for Tape.

The idea of a music composed for a fixed medium, while perhaps starting down a path, does not really lead us to a fundamentally new art. If the only criteria for differentiating tape music from all other musics is the fixed delivery medium -- magnetic tape, vinyl, CD, miniDisc -- then our thought has just led us to all industrialized forms of music, so called "popular" and "classical". When this is our only standard, we discover tape music is actually the foremost music of our time. The kids love it, the moms subdue their road-rage with it, the dads sing tunelessly with it, and so on.

But This Music May Not be Music.

The pieces we present transcend simplistic notions of music and its materials and its "instruments." The recording/playback media itself is treated not as a stand-in for an absent performer, a poor man's orchestra, but as a vital and unique territory for exploration/exploitation. They coexist in many worlds, blurring the line between composition, field recordings, sound design, "cinema for the ear," virtual [audio] reality, "radio" drama, and sound synthesis. This art form does not depend upon the posturing of performers. It does not worship the technology with which it was produced, nor does it fetishize the physical medium in which it is contained. There is nothing to see here! In the same way cinema is NOT theatre, tape music is NOT music.

contact us for more info

sfSoundRadio is now playing many tape works from
our past concerts. TUNE IN NOW!

Read Joseph Anderson's short Essay & Program Notes on the history of San Francisco Tape Music Center & our San Francisco Tape Music Collective (aka the "new" SFTMC).
[ from the The University of Edinburgh Soundings Showcase ]

Past SFTMC concerts

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2015
January 9-15, 2015
READ: a review by Sam Lefebvre in the East Bay Express

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2014
January 3-5, 2014

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2013
January 25-27, 2013

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2012
January 20-22, 2012

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2011
January 7-9, 2011

Unravelling Tape An installation by the San Francisco Tape Music Collective
June 15-July 15, 2010

The San Francisco Tape Music Collective @ Mills College
November 9, 2009

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2009
January 30-February 1, 2009

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2007
January 26-28, 2007

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2006
January 25-27, 2006

Cinema for the Ear: The San Francisco Tape Music Festival
January 20-22, 2005
READ: a review by Jonathan Russell in San Francisco Classical Voice
a preview of the festival by SILKE TUDOR in the SFWeekly

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival
February 20-22, 2004

HEAR: Colin Berry's feature about the festival on NPR's California Report

San Francisco Electronic Music Festival
Sunday July, 27, 2003

READ: a review by David Bithell in Computer Music Journal

Strictly Ballroom Series
Thursday October, 23, 2003

Stanford University

The Tranparent Tape Music Festival II
8/16/2002 - 8/18/2002
a review by Tom Djll

The Tranparent Tape Music Festival
1/11/2002 & 1/12/2002
East Bay Express' Preview Article
READ: a review by Jonathan Segel in Computer Music Journal

a review by Mark Alburger in the SF Classical Voice & 21st Century Music

Big Sur Experimental Music Festival II

The East Bay Tape Music Festival 1 @ Art Rattan Warehouse

The San Francisco Tape Music Collective is
Joseph Anderson | Thom Blum | Cliff Caruthers
Ma++ Ingalls | Kent Jolly | Maggi Payne

We are always looking for new works.
Click here for submission information.

Background image: a "diffusion score" for Edgard Varèse's Poème Électronique