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 2015
JANUARY 9/10/11, 2015

16th Street Victoria Theater
2961 16th Street
San Francisco

$15 [$10 underemployed] each concert
$40 festival pass
purchase tickets in advance
or at the door (cash only) the day of show after 7pm

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

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 2015 Festival features two concerts showcasing the entire range of the “fixed media” artform; a Saturday late-night concert of longer, psychedelic, and ambient tape pieces (including the premiere of the 17-minute, 16-channel "full" version of BRIAN ENO'S Golden); and a concert featuring SFSOUNDGROUP performing works for instruments and electronics by some of the greatest French and American electroacoustic composers.


...a cinematic “radio play”, sine wave synthesis, a collage of recordings made on optical film in the 1920's, Brownian motion sonification, oscillating filter bank drones, and manipulated bandoneón music. We perform a rare work by CONLON NANCARROW and an optical film piece by WALTER RUTTMANN that predates "tape music" by decades. We also premiere a new work by Stanford professor FERNANDO LOPEZ-LEZCANO and perform numerous recent works by international composers including the San Francisco based THEO MATHIEN. We also feature a tribute performance of Antony by UC Berkeley professor DAVID WESSEL, who unexpectedly passed away in October.

Walter Ruttmann - Wochenende (1930)
Conlon Nancarrow - Piece for Tape (1955)
David Wessel - Antony (1977)
Theo MathienA Trace of Finches (2011)
Jason BoltePutt'n Around (2012)
Diana SalazarLa Voz Del Fuelle (2012)
Isobel AndersonGoing Under: Above and Below The River Ouse (2014)
Gordon Delap“Perpetual Jiggling”: Noise portrait of Richard Feynman (2014)
Jane RiglerMukta (2014)
Fernando Lopez-Lezcano - The Hidden and Mysterious Machinery of Sound (2015 WORLD PREMIERE)

...field recordings, cinema for the ear, sound-design works, processed gamelan, samples of Tejano and synth-pop music, and a FRANK ZAPPA classic. We also present numerous recent works by international composers and locals BYRON EVORA, KENT JOLLY, and CHERYL LEONARD. In addition, Bay Area composer COLLIN MCKELVEY and San Francisco Tape Music Collective's own THOM BLUM premiere new works.

Frank Zappa - Nasal Retentive Calliope Music (1968)
Carla Scaletti - sunSurgeAutomata (1987)
Kent Jolly - Bellbox (2003)
Francisco Eme Cuerno de Chivo (2012)
Byron EvoraFLUX - Sound Re-Design (2012)
Matthew SchoenTrack #1 (2013)
David Arango-ValenciagiraSol~giraNada (2014)
Cheryl LeonardAblation Zone (2014)
James O’Callaghan Bodies-Soundings (2014)
Pierre-Luc SenécalSchrei (2014)
Collin McKelvey Sufficient for a Head: Radio Edit (2015, WORLD PREMIERE)
Thom Blum - Walkways of the Hopeful and the Hopeless (2015, WORLD PREMIERE)

This concert features a premiere by BRIAN ENO. In 2007, Eno composed Golden, a new 16-channel work specifically for our festival. He created multiple versions of various lengths, and the "full" 17-minute version will have its public debut on this program. In addition, we present a rare performance of PAULINE OLIVEROS'S The Day I Disconnected the Erase Head and Forgot to Reconnect It - one of her classic analog synth tape pieces from 1966 that predates the Bay Area Noise scene by decades. The program also includes a new work by Dutch composer AUGUSTO MEIJER and a sonic landscape composition by San Francisco Tape Music Collective's own CLIFF CARUTHERS.

Brian Eno - Golden (2007, WORLD PREMIERE)
Pauline Oliveros - The Day I Disconnected the Erase Head and Forgot to Reconnect It (1966)
Cliff Caruthers - Natoma (2003)
Augusto Meijer - Utopia (2014)

SUNDAY JANUARY 11 8pm (with sfSoundGroup)
Our final concert features the Festival's first collaboration with instrumentalists in a double-program exploring the various relationships between electronic and acoustic sounds. Performed by SFSOUNDGROUP, the first half features a program of music by French master composers PIERRE BOULEZ (violin and live electronics), LUC FERRARI (improvising ensemble and tape), and two tape-only works that are comprised of manipulated instrumental sounds by acousmatic icons BERNARD PARMEGIANI, and HORACIO VAGGIONE. The second half features a program by American composers MARIO DAVIDOVSKY (ensemble and tape), ROBERT ERICKSON (ensemble and tape), HANS TUTSCHKU (oboe, bass clarinet, and iPads), and MATT INGALLS (clarinet and tape).

“Does listening to this constant transition from one state to another tell us anything about the nature of sound?“ -- Bernard Parmegiani

Pierre Boulez - ANTHÈMES II (1997 :: violin + electronics) - Benjamin Kreith, violin + Sam Nichols, electronics
Luc Ferrari - ARCHIVES SAUVÉES DES EAUX (2000 :: improvisers + tape) - sfSoundGroup + SF Tape Music Collective
Bernard Parmegiani - ACCIDENTS / HARMONIQUES (from DE NATURA SONORUM) (1973 :: tape)
Horacio Vaggione - PRELUDES SUSPENDUS III (2009 :: tape)

Mario Davidovsky - Synchronisms #2 (1964 :: flute, clarinet, violin, cello, tape) - sfSoundGroup
Robert Erickson - Pacific Sirens (1969 :: ensemble + tape) - sfSoundGroup
Hans Tutschku - Still Air 3 (2014 :: oboe, bass clarinet, iPads) - Kyle Bruckmann, oboe, Matt Ingalls, bass clarinet
Matt Ingalls - CrusT (1997 :: clarinet + tape) - Matt Ingalls, clarinet

Monica Scott, cello
Sam Nichols, electronics
Brendan Lai-Tong, trombone
Benjamin Kreith, violin
John Ingle, saxophone/conductor
Matt Ingalls, clarinet
Diane Grubbe, flute
Joel Davel, percussion
Tom Dambly, trumpet
Kyle Bruckmann, oboe/english horn

funded in part by
The San Francisco Grants for the Arts, The French-American Fund for Contemporary Music,
The Zellerbach Family Foundation, and individual contributions
equipment kindly provided by The Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University


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 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

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

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