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 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 three distinct evenings 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 consisting of 16 high-end loudspeakers while the audience is 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 musicians performing electroacoustic works by French and American composers.

The Friday 8pm 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. In addition, we perform an eclectic set of classic works by FRANK ZAPPA, CONLON NANCARROW, and WALTER RUTTMANN. We also present numerous recent works by international composers and locals THOM BLUM, BYRON EVORA, KENT JOLLY, CHERYL LEONARD, FERNANDO LOPEZ-LEZCANO, THEO MATHIEN, and COLLIN MCKELVEY. Friday evening also features a tribute performance of Antony by UC Berkeley professor DAVID WESSEL, who unexpectedly passed away in October.

The Saturday 11pm concert features a premiere by BRIAN ENO. In 2007, Eno composed a 16-channel piece, Golden 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.

Sunday features the Festival’s first collaboration with acoustic musicians in a double-program of recent and classic compositions for multichannel electronics with acoustic instruments. Performed by the virtuosic musicians in the Bay Area’s SFSOUNDGROUP, the first half features a program of music by French master composers, with music by PIERRE BOULEZ (violin and live electronics), LUC FERRARI (improvising ensemble and tape), BERNARD PARMEGIANI (tape), and HORACIO VAGGIONE (tape). 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).


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

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

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)
-- two programs in two sets --

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 NATRUA SONORUM) (1973)
Horacio Vaggione - PRELUDES SUSPENDUS III (2009)

Mario Davidovsky - Synchronisms #2 (1964 :: flute, clarinet, violin, cello, tape)
Robert Erickson - Pacific Sirens (1969 :: ensemble + tape)
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
Tom Dambly, trumpet
Mark Clifford, percussion
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