Relive the season

listen44

Listen free to recordings of new works premiered as part of TenFourteen from our 2014-15 season. Yes, free! Listen Now

SFCMP Support Materials 15-16

Excerpt from Elena Ruehr: It’s About Time (world premiere, November 16, 2015)

[jwplayer mediaid=”13455″]


 

Excerpt from Gabriela Ortiz: Corporea (world premiere, November 16, 2015)

[jwplayer mediaid=”13454″]


 

Excerpt from Du Yun: Slow Portraits 3  (world premiere, January 25, 2015)

[jwplayer mediaid=”13450″]


 

Excerpt from George Crumb: The Yellow Moon of Andalusia (world premiere, November 16, 2015)

[jwplayer mediaid=”13448″]


 

Excerpt from Agata Zubel where to (world premiere, January 25, 2015)

[jwplayer mediaid=”13460″]


 

Excerpt from  Laurie San Martin: we turn in the night in a circle of fire (world premiere February 22, 2015)

[jwplayer mediaid=”13443″]


 

Excerpt from Ken Ueno Zetsu (world premiere, February 22, 2015) Score of the full work

[jwplayer mediaid=”13445″]


 

SF Chronicle Review of January 25, 2015 “Drumming”

Financial Times Review of November 16, 2014 concert

SF Chronicle Review of January 25, 2015 concert


 

Support letter to the NEA from composer David Lang


 

VIP Preview Postcard for 2015-16 Season

Meet composer Laurie San Martin

Laurie San Martin

Read about Laurie San Martin and her new work, which will be premiered on February 22 as part of Project TenFourteen; we turn in the night in the circle of fire features two violin soloists. Read more…

Luigi Nono: Hay Que Caminar Soñando

February Nono

In addition to three world premieres, the third concert of Project TenFourteen on February 22 will feature Luigi Nono’s searching violin duet Hay Que Caminar Soñando with guest violinist Gabriela Diaz alongside SFCMP’s Hrabba Altadottir. More info and tickets

Ann Moss

AnnMoss_Option2January, 2015 – Ann will sing with SFCMP ensemble members and SF Conservatory students on our January 31 Steve Reich Drumming concert. Meet this exciting Bay Area artist.

Soprano Ann Moss is an ardent and acclaimed champion of contemporary vocal music whose silvery, flexible voice has been singled out for “beautifully pure floated high notes” (Opera News) and “powerful expression” (SF Classical Voice). In addition to working closely with well-known composers such as Jake Heggie, John Harbison, Aaron Jay Kernis, and Wayne Peterson, Ann seeks out and performs works by new and emerging voices at forums, festivals and concert series across the USA.

Her debut albumCURRENTS (Angels Share Records, 2013), recorded and produced by multiple Grammy Award-winner Leslie Ann Jones at Skywalker Sound, features some of the extraordinary new and recent American vocal/chamber music Ann has championed over the past decade. Ann Moss has premiered new works with Earplay, Eco Ensemble, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, the Ives, Alexander and Hausmann String Quartets, Sanford Dole Ensemble, New Music Works, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Composers in Red Sneakers, M2B, One Art Ensemble, at FENAM, Fresno New Music, PARMA Festival, SF Song Festival, Other Minds Festival, Switchboard Festival, Sonic Harvest, CNMAT, and in frequent recitals of contemporary art song around the United States.

As co-founder and Artistic Director of new-music repertory group CMASH, she has been personally responsible for the creation and premiere of over seventy art songs, operatic roles and works of vocal chamber music. In the 2014-15 season she premieres new works composed specifically for her by Sam Nichols, Liam Wade and Vartan Aghababian. During the 2013-14 season she delivered the west coast premiere of Le temps l’horloge for Soprano and Orchestra(2007) by Henri Dutilleux, and gave world premieres of works by Amadeus Regucera, Jared Redmond and Sunny Knable among others.

She is currently in collaboration with UC Berkeley Music Department Chair Cindy Cox on a new piece for soprano, piano, and keyboard sampler created using recordings of her own singing and vocal extended techniques; co-commissions with the Hausmann Quartet of new works for soprano and string quartet from CSU Fresno Professor Kenneth Froelich and Bay Area composer Garrett Shatzer, respectively; a co-commission with One Art Ensemble of a song cycle on texts by Emily Dickinson from Boston-area composer Vartan Aghababian; and a co-commission with San Francisco Opera cellist Emil Milland and San Francisco Conservatory pianist Steven Bailey of Full Fathom Five, a chamber song cycle by Bay Area composer Liam Wade on poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay.

She returns to Skywalker Sound in summer 2015 to record Wade’s cycle along with songs of Jake Heggie, Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan for her second full-length album slated for release in November, 2015.

Ann served on the 2008 & 2011 faculty at CSU Summer Arts’ Composer/Performer Collaboration Workshop and has delivered lectures on vocal composition at MIT, UC Davis, Longy School of Music of Bard College, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Sacramento State University, CSU Los Angeles, UT Pan America and Cosumnes River College. She has recorded on PARMA, Naxos, and Jaded Ibis Productions labels.

A native of Boston and a graduate of the Longy School of Music of Bard College and San Francisco Conservatory, Ann currently resides and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Dec 2014 yearbook

Support SFCMP

Dear friends,

Tempus fugit! What a busy and exciting year 2014 has been for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Spanning the end of our 43rd season and taking us into the 44th, this year has included many exciting and ambitious moments that touched audience members and friends in a variety of venues, all around the joy and discovery of new music.  

A picture is worth a thousand words, and in the following year-end “Yearbook Edition we have several wonderful ones to share—particularly some “behind the scenes” photos of activities and happenings you didn’t see on stage. You can also read about the full 2013-14 season here.

Take a look back with us to recall fond memories as well as learn about activities you were not aware of. A great deal of planning and excitement goes into what you experience in the concert hall. We also want to make sure you know about all the other ways in which the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players are bringing the music of our time to community members and music lovers both in and outside of the concert hall.

We hope you will feel encouraged that your support really does make a difference, and will be inspired to make a tax-deductible year-end contribution to SFCMP. If you have already honored us with support this year, we thank you and respectfully ask you to consider an additional gift during this holiday season.

If you have not yet made a gift to us, thank you in advance for giving it your consideration. We look forward to a musically rich year to come and send warm greetings to you and yours.

Sincerely,

Donald Blais, Board President – Steven Schick, Artistic Director – Rozella Kennedy, Executive Director


1012137_10151922548792914_1698761388_nJanuary: One of the exciting things about this ensemble is how many of our musicians are active in the Bay Area music scene. In January our Jeff Anderle, Kyle Bruckmann, and Bill Kalinkos headlined a concert of their woodwind quintet Splinter Reeds, in our third SFCMP Playersí Show at the Center for New Music. These intimate evenings have become a welcome part of the local music calendar, and we will be bringing more Players’ Shows to you in the coming year.

February: A busy month! In addition to Steven Schick’s highly acclaimed Origins solo recital + silent auction benefit on Valentine’s Day, and the excitement of the Triptych concert, for which London-based composer James Dillon was our special guest (oh, let’s not forget Luciano Chessa’s new work where ACT studio actors handed out baskets of lavender and jasmine — a welcome sensory delight for a winter’s evening!) … we also held Jury Day for our 2014 Compose Yourself high school composer project. In this image you see, at each edge of the JURYDAYphoto, composers Elinor Armer and Larry Polansky, along with choral advocate and TV/movie producer Deke Sharon, and musician and journalist Cynthia Mei deliberating over more than three dozen submissions from around the world.

In addition to commending the talent of these young people, they dispensed a great deal of useful advice and insight that we were able to share with all the contestants, not just the six finalists. Although the funder for the initial project has moved abroad, we are so pleased with this initiative that we hope to bring it back in the near future with invigorated support.

Some things you may have missed: Page of Resources for Young ComposersJury Day notes to young composers. Feel free to share this informaton with aspiring young composers you know!

10154061_10152052850687914_80002235_nMarch: The mainstage concert in March, Project Anton, featured a scintillating new commissioned work from composer Jaroslaw Kapucinski that included guest choreographer Young-Doo Jung from Korea and a memorable giant gramophone sculpture by Canadian artist John Granzow. (Trailer here.)

1468555_10152052792667914_1683827512_n

Those who joined us at YBCA will also remember the lovely artwork of the students from the SF Montessori School grades pre-K-6, some of whom are pictured here with family and friends. Their paintings and art books, projected on the walls and displayed in the halls, were the culmination of our Project Anton School Residency, a ten-week, six-class learning adventure delivered with Art Seed.

Steve Anton classroom

In these two photos from Art Seed, you see Steven Schick and Rozie Kennedy talking with the excited young students about music, the life and times of Anton Webern, and the kidsí own creativity. Visit this page  to see the slideshow of the students’s art and read curricular components related to the sessions.11118874413_11a7f03d39_k

April: The highlight of April, and one of the most anticipated events on the 2014 cultural calendar, the SFCMP Sweet Thunder Festival of Electroacoustic Music, gets its own special section in this newsletter. But how many of you knew that the San Francisco Giants may well want to consider new music something of a good luck charm?

1462853_10152095097627914_4346739122957600295_n

That’s our theory, after SFCMP musicians Richard Worn (pictured here) and David Tanenbaum paired up with Andy Meyerson and Travis Andrews (a.k.a.. The Living Earth Show, and also our new SFCMP Ministers of Fun… see November to understand what that’s all about) to perform a rollicking version of The National Anthem back in mid-April, when the World Series trophy was less than a fantasy.

You see, with new music, dreams really do come true!

52 Rabbit Hole

Fast Forward through a busy behind-the-scenes summer to September. We were approached by award-winning filmmakers Ri Stewart and Renee Slade for a special screening of their new film “I Live for Art” featuring recently SFCMP-commissioned composer Mark Applebaum. A lively audience joined us at the Center for New Music for a screening, a Q&A, and popcorn! It’s wonderful to see how new music and other art forms interact in the world of ideas and creativity. This promotional photo features our ensemble members in the 2013 premiere of Applebaum’s Rabbit Hole. Mark, a featured artist in the film, joined us for the Q&A in San Francisco.

Alice GilesOctober: A special October 12 concert recital by Australian harpist Alice Giles helped us usher in the fall music season. Her “Alice in Antarctica” program included a rare San Francisco performance on the electro-acoustic harp. Alice also presented a master class the following day, and a Breaking Bread with the Composer talk at Davies Hall on composing for the harp (which you can listen to here. (By the way, if you visit that page you can listen to music from almost all the composers who are part of our 14-15 season.. Happy exploring!)

ER, SS, GO 11-16-2014November: The much-anticipated Project TenFourteen got off to a great start, with composers Elena Ruehr joining us from Boston and Gabriela Ortiz from Mexico City! The concert also included two new works from legendary composer George Crumb and songs by George Aperghis performed by guest soprano Tony Arnold.

GO, ER kissing booth

After a thrilling concert, we had a really fun reception at Cal Performances’s Hertz Hall, with the Composer Kissing Booth (a new twist on the post-concert talk-back), the Ministers of Fun taking photos and interviewing audience members on the spot, and the kind of general merriment that lets you continue to experience the happiness of music for days after the fact.

December: SFCMP announced a truly extraordinary community engagement project for Spring, 2015: Soundvoice. A partnership with the incredible community service provider Hospitality House, Soundvoice will convene adult Tenderloin community residents with our ensemble percussionist Chris Froh, highly acclaimed storyteller-activist Joe Wilson, and local composers and sound artists to learn about musique concrete and other new-music forms, explore the power and agency of personal storytelling, and collect and collage field recordings of their lives and interests into a day-long celebration, reminiscent of a John Cage “musicircus,” to be held in May at the Center for New Music. We can’t wait to share more about this groundbreaking project!


Spotlight: Sweet Thunder Festival of Electroacoustic Music

10257473_10152105553277914_8411712972420977935_o10295516_10152106458747914_4223053979660587967_o1544599_10152112570037914_5333330497051224382_nThe transformation of a 50,000-square foot warehouse into a sanctuary for music was only the beginning. In late April 2014, we hosted the first West-Coast iteration of the biennial Ditson Electro-acoustic Music Festival. We called it the SFCMP Sweet Thunder Festival, in homage to a work by Duke Ellington, and perhaps we unwittingly willed the rains that came down over the weekend! No matter, hundreds of audience members braved the elements and were rewarded for their intrepid nature by many unforgettable moments in music.

IMG_2992

10314612_10152112581247914_5212937380800493885_n

From the kick-off with inimitable flutist (and ICE-founder) Claire Chase transporting us with her performance of Steve Reich’s Vermont Counterpoint, and local composer Ed Campion‘s intriguing Corail, to the closing event with guest artists red fish blue fish alongside the eminent George Lewis, we experienced over two dozen works spanning the electroacoustic repertoire, from Varese to… well something freshly commissioned for the Festival! In addition to our players, we greeting guest artists including ICE and JACK Quartet, Jaime Oliver, Pamela Z, Steve Adams, Wendy Richman and others. In this photo, the august composer Morton Subotnick is surrounded by generations of music fans after his late-night performance of Silver Apples of the Moon… a Sky of Cloudless Sulfur, which is reimagined each concert. People are still talking about this event!

IMG_054010153211_10152112461837914_8775168898587478842_nFree installations: Swiss composer Katharina Rosenberger‘s Viva Voce and Tom Erbe’s Sweet Thunder Listening Room (over 100 works of acousmatic music from composers around the world) complemented the ticketed events. We also collaborated with the exciting local organization Thingamajigs whose entryway “petting zoo”of uncanny homemade instruments definitely put some “festive” in Festival. (Not to mention the custom-cocktails concocted by our friends at St. George Spirits!) Overall, terrific times! There are a lot more evocative images (and a few videos) from the concerts at our tumblr page.

Rand Steiger at controls

Once more we thank composer Rand Steiger and everyone else who worked so hard and collaborated so well with us to turn this unbelievable idea into a reality. We loved the festival format for the vibrant mix of artforms, the multi-day approach to music-making, and the upbeat and fun atmosphere, so look for more of this kind of fare from us in the coming seasons.

Compose Yourself Laureates

Sunday’s Compose Yourself Awards Ceremony & Concert was another great extra-curricular event, with four of our finalists together in a preview of great music to come in future generations! Once again, we want to salute Rachel Hawley (2nd place), Milo Talwani (finalist), Gabriel Hawes (Grand Prize) and Arie Van der Ven (2nd Place) on their accomplishment!

With all these successful activities behind us, we’re really enthusiastic about what lies ahead. We hope you will continue to enjoy supporting and participating in our programs and activities and we wish you a fabulous holiday!

Here’s to 2015 and soon, SFCMP’s 45th season!!

Make your gift to support us (both cash and non-cash opportunities)

November 16 2014 program notes

STEVEN SCHICK ON PROJECT TENFOURTEEN

Our TenFourteen Project

When Rob Amory, a Trustee of the Jebediah Foundation approached me in February 2011with an extravagant proposal to commission ten composers for our 2014-15 season—a cycle he calls Project TenFourteen—he made one thing crystal clear.  The composers were to confront, each in his or her way, “the human condition, common to us all.”

Initially, I was dubious about our prospects for success.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t imagine ten composers, especially these ten gifted artists, taking the challenge seriously and composing music about the human condition.  The problem was that I couldn’t imagine any worthy composer making music that was not about the human condition.  How would these compositions be different?  But Rob’s point of departure was not to be easily shunted aside. In the nearly four years it has taken to prepare Project TenFourteen, I have often mused about what it might mean explicitly to confront our human condition through music.  Many of the composers must have wondered too.  I have fielded such questions from them as, “Does this mean we should compose some kind of political music?”  “Should I use voice so that a text can make my point of view clearer?”

Non-guidance has always been my favorite kind of guidance; it shapes without instructing. So, in the manner of psychotherapists (and conductors) everywhere, I asked in return, “And, how do you feel about that?”

With an invitation as ample as “reflect on being human,” the first logical step would be to make things as concrete as possible, beginning by narrowing the options.  Indeed, the composers quickly imposed restrictions on themselves. They limited the number of instruments or the kinds of special techniques they would use. They put boundaries on matters as sophisticated as their harmonic and melodic palette and as simple as overall duration.  And as options narrowed, compositional points-of-view became more focused. A composer who creates a limit does two things: she enforces a restriction that impedes exploration in a certain direction. She also releases pressure in the opposite direction, making exploration more likely along that potentially fruitful, and now depressurized, area. Thus, as in Bernoulli’s Principle, an acceleration in the stream of ideas follows in direct relation to a considered limitation, but along the vector opposing it.  Before any of us knew it, ideas were surging and roiling, gathering both density and velocity.

The unfolding of a musical composition is always fascinating, but I wondered whether this special set of commissions inspired a different process.  In other words, was the process of composition itself—as distinct from the resulting piece of music—able to respond to the human condition? Among the many things that Project TenFourteen has demonstrated to me is that the act of composing music—the thinking, planning, scheming, and imagining—reveals a distinctly human dimension in creativity.

Let’s start with a personal axiom of my own: music does not consist solely—perhaps not even mostly—of the presentation of musical sounds.  For me it is first and foremost a web of interactions.  These interactions link composers and performers, to be sure, but they also reach out to listeners, concert presenters, music critics, and beyond.  A piece of music can even reach people who have not heard or read about it, but are nevertheless buoyed along on the waves and eddies it created.  It was marvelous to see each TenFourteen composer confront creation, not as the employment of a skill set involving sonic choices, pitch matrices, or the blueprints of form, but as the response to the essential question: How does this music enrich the lives of those for whom it is intended?  This simple criterion supplanted the commonplace metrics of success in the world of classical music—style, popular appeal, ticket and record sales, outreach potential—and replaced them with the only standards that count:  Might someone be moved by this music? Would someone’s life be made richer?

My conversations with Project TenFourteen composers in the early stages of their work illuminated for me the importance of a composer’s avenue, that is to say the path by which a composer connects his first fantasies and ideas about a piece with the sounds and ideas that eventually reach his listeners.

A composer who creates an effective avenue can use it to enhance both the beginning and the end of the compositional process. Imagine this: the buzz of an idea fascinates a composer. This idea passes via an avenue or avenues through compositional stages of increasing refinement and artistic rigor.  Eventually the idea is realized as a piece of music, experienced in a concert by an audience member. But this moment of active, conscious listening is not “the end.”  In fact it is just the mid-point of the process. A listener reverses the progression, first examining the piece as sound, and then, through reflection, extracting a world of ideas from it.  Perhaps with the passage of time (and if a composer has constructed his avenues well), what will remain in the memory of the listener will be some version of the original buzz that motivated the composer in the first place. Project TenFourteen focuses our attention on the way the buzz of an idea traverses the avenue a composer has created for it.

In fact one view of music history involves tracking shifts in composers’ preferred avenues—interpolations in the buzz cycle, if you will.

For example, until Kant, Beethoven, and the other late 18th century zealots of the Enlightenment came along, the Church and the landed aristocracy held a virtual monopoly on what we considered “serious” music.  Compositional avenues of that period dictated that “classical music” was to be written for the rich, the Godly—or preferably both.   But a radical tidal wave of new thinking, fomented by Beethoven and his contemporaries, forged by the French Revolution and furthered by the philosophers of the Enlightenment, smashed the ecclesiastical hegemony—redirecting art along three new meridians: liberté, égalité, fraternité.

Talk about the human condition!

The egalitarian precepts of the Enlightenment continue to guide our attempts to extract meaning from music. Even after the complex codicils of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, we still take comfort in music that treats humanity as more strongly bonded by its commonalities than split by its differences.  But arguably Beethoven and his cohort cared more about humanity than about people. Such thinking might have been acceptable two hundred years ago, but to a contemporary composer seeking to communicate with individual human beings and their messy lives, the broad application of classical-era bromides seems aloof and insufficient.

This brings us to the present, where we rightly expect music to respond honestly to us and not to a conveniently packaged collection of human qualities.  In short, we expect new avenues.  Composers have begun to listen to us as much as we listen to them, and to compose music that reflects our broad and unwieldy spectrum of personal histories, intellectual orientations, and stylistic preferences.  But herein lurks a danger: in our desire to personalize the experience of listening to music, we risk creating the music of autobiography.  As we seek a music that responds to each of us, we risk sacrificing music that speaks to all of us.

It was just as we were balancing tenuously on the tightrope of these distinctions – between music as something universal and aspirational and music as a force that is personal and with shifting relevance—that Rob Amory tossed us a weighted medicine ball in the form of Project TenFourteen.  To the best of our abilities we have kept our balance, but of course the ultimate judgment will be yours.

Listen to what we have learned so far.  The Polish composer, Agata Zubel, wrote about the view of historical time in her new work, where to: “synergy [among diverse peoples] … makes it possible to look both sideways… and back.”  I smiled when I realized that I was not the only one who obsessively picks at loose threads in the historical weave.  Gabriela Ortiz took a more direct route in her Corpórea when she declared it to be, “about the duality between the mind and the body.” The work is dedicated to the Mexican diplomat Gilberto Bosques Saldívar, who rescued tens of thousands of Jews and Spanish republicans, saving their bodies and minds from the destruction of the Second World War.  In the last concert of our season, Koji Nakano will use the symbolism of the Mandala in his eponymous piece to represent, in his words, “the religious chart and geometric pattern of both Hinduism and Buddhism, as the focal point to get into my own inner and outer world of equilibrium.”  George Crumb’s Xylophony, the first piece solely for percussion by this great American composer, looks both forward to new chapters in the lexicon of the percussive art and backward to the wood nymphs of Wagner.

Finally, for me, the heart of Project TenFourteen comes not in the form of a piece, but from a conversation I had with the venerable composer Chou Wen-Chung about the techniques and meanings of Chinese calligraphy.  The key to calligraphy, according to Professor Chou, lies in the contraposition of multiplicity and singularity: a calligraphic character is comprised of many intertwined and mutually reinforcing brush strokes that must be made in a single movement, propelled by a single breath.  It is both many and one at the same time. It projects both objective meaning and indefinable poetry. A brush stroke is simultaneously a single object that breaks down under examination into layers of fine, individual lines, and the reverse, a collection of independent lines that, in the right light, meld together as one. I will leave you to apply Professor Chou’s thoughts to the music you will experience in Project TenFourteen.  But for me his model is powerful: any art that can merge the individual and collective, the personal and the universal, offers a vital new avenue for us all.

My thanks at this moment are to Rob Amory and the Jebediah Foundation for the invitation to participate in Project TenFourteen, to Matias Tarnopolsky and his wonderful staff for making us at home under the umbrella of Cal Performances, to my colleagues at the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and of course, most importantly, to you, our intrepid listeners.  As we imagined this music from its inception, and imagined the conversations that would ensue, it was always with you we were speaking.

– Steven Schick


ABOUT THESE WORKS:

Elena Ruehr began it’s about time immediately upon receiving the TenFourteen Project commission, completing it in the month of her 50th birthday in August 2013. Ruehr intended it, in part, as a birthday present to herself; it’s prevailingly optimistic, the title referencing her birthday milestone as well as the work’s dynamic focus on rhythm and meter, patterns and their transformation. The piece is modeled loosely on the Baroque (particularly Vivaldian) concerto. The violin has a sometime concertante role supported by “continuo” of clarinet, guitar, harp, drum, and cello, but the continuo textures frequently become the true focus of the piece. In contrast with the buoyant outer movements, the introspective middle movement was triggered by a catastrophic world event whose echo suffuses its mood.

In addition to the two world premieres this evening, George Crumb’s Xylophony, written for Steven Schick, is slated for premiere in March. The composer writes, “The sense of YESTERYEAR is implied by François Villon’s Ballad of the Dead Ladies: ‘Where are the snows of yesteryear?’ ” In Yesteryear, “a Vocalise for Mezzo-Soprano, Amplified Piano, and Percussion,” the instruments provide a shimmering and resonant atmosphere for the voice; in a real sense the voice expands into this non-vocal sound-world. At the same time the voice is in itself a kind of hyper-voice, beyond everyday communication, beyond singing and speaking. This is enhanced by characteristic theatrical elements. The Yellow Moon of Andalusia is a cycle of six Lorca settings for voice and amplified piano. Imagery of clocks’ inexorable machinery rubs against the wild sounds of cicadas and fundamental expression of song.

Crumb’s Five Pieces for Piano are an early (1962) example of the composer’s penchant for extending instruments’ basic idioms into new worlds of sound. These pieces also reveal a succinct, direct control of musical gesture and the creation of a highly individual musical rhetoric.

Georges Aperghis produces highly exploratory and experimental work in the service of the most immediate expressive content, with particular focus on vocal and theatrical works. His Récitations series for voice is somewhat in the vein of Berio’s Sequenza III or Ligeti’s Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures, along with other linguistically structuralist (/deconstructionist) works of that era. Composed in 1977-78, the Récitations pieces crowd vocal and emotional actions into such densely packed moments that they elude any possible sense of “completion,” instead suggesting a landscape of layered meanings—musical, semantic, emotional, instinctive, all centered within, and emerging from, the performer herself. Récitation 9 weaves together a placidly uttered sentence with a repeated vocal fragment like a displaced loop. Récitation 10 creates a simulacrum of realistic communication via a “sentence” expanding via fragments of quasi-words, interposed with sung phrases.

Gabriela Ortiz’s TenFourteen Project commission, Corpórea, is dedicated to the Mexican diplomat Gilberto Bosques Saldívar, whose actions as consul in France during World War II allowed thousands of Jews, exiles from Franco’s Spain, and others to escape the Third Reich during the years 1940-43. As its title suggests, the music of Ortiz’s four-movement work is strongly centered on the physical, fragile nature of the human body, as well as the body as foundation for human thought and spirit. The first and third movements are ethereal and airy: the first, “Air,” is virtually a miniature flute concerto, with that instrument frequently recalling the very sound of breath, of wind. The second and fourth are more concretely rhythmic and pulsed, representing “primitive and earthy aspects of life” (Alejandro Escuer).


ARTIST BIOS

George Crumb was born in West Virginia in 1929 into a musical family, and studied at various schools in the Midwest as well as at the Berlin Hochschule as a Fulbright Scholar. He eventually joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, where he composed and taught for three decades. His highly intuitive approach to composition, with its emphasis on texture, timbre, and line, bore substantial fruit during the 1960s, including the Madrigals (1966-1969), Eleven Echoes of Autumn (1965), and, inspired by the Apollo 11 lunar landing, Night of the Four Moons (1969). Echoes of Time and the River, one of Crumb’s rare orchestral works, earned the composer the Pulitzer Prize.

Gabriela Ortiz Torres was born in Mexico City of parents who were folk musicians. She learned folk music at home, and then studied in Paris at the Ecole Normale de Musique. She returned to Mexico City due to the illness of her mother, and studied composition there with Mario Lavista at the National Conservatory of Music. She continued her studies at the Guildhall School with Robert Saxton, and with Simon Emmerson at the University of London where she received a PhD in 1996. After completing her studies, she took a position at the National School of Music at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City. She also taught at Indiana University in the United States.

Elena Ruehr says of her music “the idea is that the surface be simple, the structure complex.” An award winning faculty member at MIT, she is also a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and has been a fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute and composer-in-residence with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, which performed her major orchestral works as well as the opera Toussaint Before the Spirits(Arsis Records). Three of her six string quartets were commissioned by the Cypress String Quartet, who have recordedHow She Danced: String Quartets of Elena Ruehr. Her quartets have also been performed by the Biava, Borromeo, Lark, ROCO and Shanghai string quartets. Her other recordings include Averno(Avie Records with the Trinity Choir, Julian Wachner, conducting),Jane Wang considers the Dragonfly (various artists on Albany) andShimmer (Metamorphosen Chamber Ensemble on Albany).

Born in Greece in 1945, Georges Aperghis has lived in France since 1963. He has pursued a broadly independent career the core of which is music composition, but which also embraces expansive multimedia and theatrical elements. Among his influences have been the musique concrete of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry and his mentor Iannis Xenakis, whose iconoclastic approach served as a model for Aperghis’s development of his own compositional methodology. Among his most important pieces are the watershed La tragique histoire du nécromancien Hiéronimo et de son miroir, the Récitations series for solo voice, and Die Hamletmaschine, based on Heiner Müller’s drama; he has also created a substantial body of instrumental works. In 2011 he received the Mauricio Kagel Prize.

Guest Artists

Since becoming the first-prize laureate of the both the 2001 Gaudeamus International Competition (NL) and the 2001 Louise D. McMahon Competition (USA), Tony Arnold has collaborated with the most cutting-edge composers and instrumentalist on the world stage. She has premiered over 25 new works written expressly for her as soprano of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and has premiered over 200 new works, extensively touring the US and abroad. Ms. Arnold is a member of the George Crumb Ensemble, and has more than two dozen recordings with major labels to her credit. to date. In 2009, Ms. Arnold was the first performer ever invited to be the Howard Hanson Distinguished Professor of Composition at the Eastman School of Music. Since 2003 she has served on the faculty of the University at Buffalo. In 2014, she will serve as artist-in-residence at both the University of Indianapolis and the University of California at Davis. Read more about Tony Arnold at her website. 

Town Hall Docs

March 25, 2015 Town Hall

4:30-6:30 p.m. Center for New Music (55 Taylor Street)

[jwplayer mediaid=”13479″]

Recording of the meeting (unedited)


Agenda:

  1. Welcome and recap from last meeting
  2. Remarks and/or Q & A – current season; next season (S. Schick)
  3. Round Robin format Player-Led Discussion
    1. Continuing our dialogue about collaboratively designing  “pods” (-scapes).
    2. Why are you into new music? And what does or can SFCMP mean for you?
    3. How could SFCMP help enhance your brand as an individual musician? How can you help us do the same for ours?
    4. Post-mortem on the 2014-15 season. What’s worked well? What would you change?
    5. What’s different in your other groups from SFCMP that you wish we could do?
    6. What would you like to see more of?
    7. Who are SFCMP’s constituents? What’s our purpose?
    8. What is a Player? Why are you one?
    9. How can we be more specific about Player responsibilities and privileges?
    10. Other topics

October 8, 2014 Town Hall

.mp3 recordings of our meeting. Part One – Part Two


Six-minute presentation on our “State of the State”


Letter from Steven Schick

Our Arc

As I rapidly approach my fourth anniversary as Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, let me say that the experience of making music with you has been life affirming.  We have created wonderful concerts together, reached many thousands of listeners, and made an indelible impact on our community.  So I would like the following observations to start with a thank you for what we have done together and for the promise of what we are poised to do.

Where We Have Been

The first two seasons in my tenure as artistic director of SFCMP were full of wonderful and provocative music.  During interviews and conversations at the time of my hiring, I pledged to continue the arc of SFCMP, assuring board members and players alike that I wished to maintain the solid tradition and venerable history of our group. Change, when it came, would neither be immediate nor precipitous.  “Zones of Intensity” (our 2011-12 season), and “The Beautiful X” (2012-13) did indeed play upon our history and traditions.  Each season was a set of five concerts, presented at Herbst Theater, and each was associated with a “Contemporary Insights” presentation on the day before the concert.  We commissioned and premiered pieces by Chaya Czernowin, Mark Applebaum, Lewis Nielson, Michelle Lou, and Edmund Campion. In the second season we also hosted the largest concert Cage Centennial event in the western United States.  More than a thousand people heard us in two concerts, one of which was a 4h33’ “Musicircus.”  A few months later we presented a sold-out performance of Steve Reich’s “Music for 18 Musicians” in an extraordinary collaboration with San Francisco Conservatory students.  It was unexpected, but not surprising, that we made the San Francisco Chronicle’s year-end round up as the most improved ensemble. I highlight the Cage and Reich events, not just because they were popular, but because – as both great performances and engaging outreach – they began to point the way to a new role and revitalized profile for SFCMP.

In conversations with Rozie Kennedy, who has brought extraordinary energies and abilities to us as our Executive Director, and in consultation with the Artistic Committee, we began to embrace a more ‘holistic’ (for want of a better term) approach to music presentation.  Great performances in concerts were as vital as ever, but they were not enough.  Plans for the 2013-14 season, “Sounding the Public Space,” were built upon the lessons learned in the Cage and Reich events.  In “Sounding the Public Space,” as before, we presented great concerts.  Highlights for me were Luciano Chessa and his army of dancing parfumières, hearing Jeff Anderle’s magisterial performance of Lucier and Bill Kalinkos wailing like a rock star in La Chute. From Jarek Kapuscinski’s “Gramophone Concerto,” to James Dillon’s masterpiece, New York Triptych, it was quite a year.

But perhaps the most exciting elements of last season were the ways in which we departed from a straight concert format and worked in alternate modes of music presentation.  Certainly one of the most important new pieces presented anywhere in the country last season was Lisa Bielawa’s Crissy Broadcast.  As environmental art, as a choreographed sound installation, and as a mammoth outreach effort that brought nearly 800 community musicians together, it was unparalleled. And there we were right in the middle of it!  SFCMP was the core ensemble and I was music director of the project.  It was rightly featured as one of the top ten concerts of 2013 in the Chronicle.  And we closed the season with “Sweet Thunder.”   You may remember that through Rand Steiger we secured a grant of $100,000 with an additional $50,000 in matching funds to host and present a festival of electro-acoustic music at the Fort Mason Center.  Rozie ingeniously deployed and augmented that grant and we were able to present a world-class festival.  Our events – the Saturday evening concert and Sunday’s “Compose Yourself” for high-school aged composers (thank you again Rozie for making that happen!) – were superb.  And the guest ensembles we hosted contributed significantly to our event and to our luster as hosts.  Among the many signs of success have been the numerous letters I received – some before the festival – from composers and performers asking to be included in the “next Sweet Thunder Festival!”

Where We Are

The accomplishments detailed above are thanks to you.  And thanks to you we start our new season, “TenFourteen,” with a full head of steam.  You have heard this information many times, but let me reinforce here, that the impetus for “TenFourteen” was a large grant made to us by the Jebediah Foundation, with which we have commissioned and will present 10 new works (actually 12 since George Crumb has sent us three pieces!)  The new works are by Ken Ueno, Laurie San Martin, Elena Reuhr, Du Yun, Gabriela Ortiz, Lei Liang, Koji Nakano, Agata Zubel, Chou Wen-chung and George Crumb.  These concerts will be given under the auspices of Cal Performances.  This alone is a major partnership worth celebrating.  The initial reason for seeking out Matias Tarnopolsky and exploring a relationship with Cal Performances was the need to find an alternate venue while Herbst Theatre was undergoing renovations. But the relationship that has evolved with Matias and his staff has gone far beyond one of convenience.  They are offering their facilities, participating financially by bringing in guest soloists, and have featured us in more than a quarter-million brochures that went out to their subscribers.

By now many of you have been in touch with Jon Yu, who will take some of the rehearsal scheduling functions formerly provided by Mason.  We are trying something new this year, with the idea of making better use of your time, by scheduling rehearsals in a short intense period immediately preceding the performance.  Like every new initiative there will be a period of adjustment.  We are committed to this new paradigm until we have a chance to evaluate its effectiveness.  I invite you to contact us with any concerns and problems you are having.

Though “TenFourteen” is built upon our concerts, we plan to extend the concert performances into the sphere of outreach by means of associated events – conversations, classes, informal gatherings – designed to create a deep and nuanced experience that goes beyond the scores and performances.  Again, what we have learned from the Musicircus, and Crissy Field, from Sweet Thunder, and Project Anton (in which we took the Webern Concerto into grade school classes) is that concerts are necessary, but they are not enough.  Our true art is the creation and cultivation of relationships, existing on multiple levels, with our family of listeners.

Where We Are Going

At the time of this writing, my thoughts are very much on our plans for the 2015-16 season.  Some things are known: We will return to San Francisco.  We will have a season of concerts surrounded by events that amplify them.  But the haunting question is, how do we leverage the work we have done towards a new paradigm of music presentation in our future seasons.  My core belief is this: If we remain in a format in which we only present five stand-alone concerts, we do so at our peril.  I believe that people listen to music to connect them to world where experiences and ideas are shared.  And I believe that people listen to new music to join a world of new ideas.  Creating new music is the greatest sign of optimism a society can make.  New music presumes future audiences of active listeners who someday will seek a relationship with us through the art we have made.  This requires relationships not just concerts. It requires that we cultivate a new community of listeners, and that we talk to them not just play at them.

I propose we continue a core offering of high-quality ensemble concerts, but that we amplify the impact of those concerts by embedding them in a web of related activities, such as presentations in schools and smaller concerts of chamber and solo music that directly reflect upon the large ensemble concerts.  For 2015-16, I envision three “pods” of activity.  These pods will not be festivals. Festivals, while valuable, are not a new mode of presentation and do not suit our administrative structure.  Our events will look like hives: at the center of each will be a major concert with large and important ensemble works organized loosely around a theme.  But also just like a hive, there will be a great deal of activity beyond the major concerts.  You, the players, will be invited to propose autonomous concerts – solo and small ensemble – that will extend the theme.  And we will all engage in dialogue with our listeners and other musicians in a variety of “talk and play” formats.  The advantages to this plan are multiple:  we can explore important themes in contemporary music, we can occupy the artistic space of San Francisco for a week or so with attendant publicity and impact, and, if we set up a lively internal process of brainstorming and programming, we can bring SFCMP closer to the new model of artist-driven music making.

This presents lots of challenges.  We will need to speak to each other to refine this idea in a way that reflects our, and not just my, views.  And, of course, new initiatives, whether they be the concerts themselves or a novel and innovative outreach modalities, will need to be funded.  This will require all of us to own our activities.

For that reason I request a “Town Meeting” of players and board members sometime this fall so that our new season can develop in a spirit of shared commitment. At the moment the thoughts in this letter are simply a proposal. My ideas are malleable; my plans are flexible.  But I know I speak for Rozie and Don when I say that the secret to our future success resides not just in where we go but, equally importantly, how we get there.  My hope is that we will get there together.

Thank you for reading this long note.  Thank you for your great work, whether as a player or board member.  I look forward to our conversations.

Respectfully Submitted,

Steven Schick

What the Flip is New Music?

Welcome to our new semi-crowdsourced, STAFF-curated annotated selection of tools, tips, articles, and resources that YOU (yes, you!) can use to share with your friends, colleagues, roommates, and random people on the street when they ask you – “what is new music,” or even more pertinently, “why do you like this stuff?”

Semi-crowdsourced means we’re open to your suggestions and contributions. Feel free to use the form below to send suggestions. Staff-curated means we will review it to decide if it gets on this page, so thanks in advance for your consideration and patience.


SFCMP Composers and Commissions Page – Just to establish some context about what we’ve done over 44 years…

The Guardian’s Five Myth-Busters about New Music – next time someone says some of those typical denigrating things, hit them with this!

Project Anton School Residencyhere’s what can happen when a bunch of elementary school kids and their open-minded ears learn about Webern

Alvin Lucier

Alvin Lucier 2 copy

During an era when most contemporary music was preoccupied with the organization of pitch, since the mid-1960s the music of Alvin Lucier (b. 1931) has pursued a decidedly separate path.  Turning his focus inward to the very nature of sound itself Lucier’s work is revolutionary for its exploration of the physicality of sound as locus for compositional thought.  Employing various technological means his works explore the interaction of sound with space, bringing together human performers with technical apparatus to reveal worlds hidden within the soundscape of everyday life.  Through inventive and imaginative use of basic studio technology Lucier’s compositions coax surprising sonic complexity from everyday situations and environments seeking sounds that “would never – in ordinary circumstances – reach our ears”.

Alvin Lucier was born in Nashua, New Hampshire and educated at Yale and Brandeis before studying with Lukas Foss and Aaron Copland at the Berkshire Music Center.  After spending two years as a Fulbright Scholar in Rome he returned to Brandeis serving on its faculty throughout the 1960s as conductor of the University Chamber Chorus and as director of its electronic music studio.  It was there that he met and formed an alliance with Robert Ashley, David Behrman and Gordon Mumma to form the Sonic Arts Union, which, inspired by the prior success of Cage and Tudor, would tour the United States and Europe premiering new works. By the early 1980s Lucier began to compose for instrumental performers and these works are equally visionary in their conception.  Some explore close tunings with pure tones to cause sound waves to “spin through space” while others employ whimsical apparatus to probe new modes of listening and dramaturgy.

In Memoriam Jon Higgins

Koji Nakano

Koji Nakano

Koji Nakano

Koji Nakano (b. August, 1974) is a Japanese composer. He was born in Japan and educated in Boston, The Hague, and San Diego. Nakano has been recognized as one of the major voices among Asian composers of his generation. His work strives to merge Western and Eastern musical traditions, and reflects the relationship between beauty, form and imperfection through the formality of music.

Nakano received his Bachelor’s Degree in composition with distinction, and Master’s Degree in composition with academic honors and distinction, Pi Kappa Lambda, from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he studied with Lee Hyla and John Harbison. Later, he studied with Dutch composer Louis Andriessen in Amsterdam and at the Royal Conservatory of Hague as the Japanese Government Overseas Study Program Artist. Nakano received his Ph.D. in composition from the University of California at San Diego, where he studied with Chinary Ung.

In addition to being the recipient of The American Artists and Museum Professionals in Asia Fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council, Nakano is also the first recipient of the Toru Takemitsu Award in Composition from the Japan Society of Boston awarded annually to the most talented young composer in the Boston area. In 2008, he became the first composer to receive the S&R Washington Award Grand Prize from the S&R Foundation, which is awarded annually to the most talented young artist for his/her contributions to U.S.- Japanese relations.

Nakano was commissioned by SFCMP as part of Project TenFourteen – four concerts with world premieres from ten distinctive composers all challenged to “reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all.”

[jwplayer player=”0″ file=”rtmp://shswgmvjmaab6.cloudfront.net/cfx/st/Time Song V Mandala by Koji Nakano.mp3″]

From Nakano, regarding his new work Time Song V: Mandala:

“In my recent works, I am particularly interested in experimenting with how one musical culture translates into another one. In such a process, there is no perfect transcription of my own music and so I must recreate everything from scratch, except the original musical architecture. Time Song V: Mandala will be based on the musical structure of my previous pieces, Worldspace I for amplified (Chinese) Pipa and Pre-recorded Sounds and Worldscape II for amplified (Thai) Jahke and Pre-recorded Sounds. ‘To reflect on the human condition,’ I will further expand the musical form and some of ideas from Worldspace I & II to go beyond my own physical and spiritual limitation. I will also use Mandala, the religious chart and geometric pattern of both Hinduism and Buddhism, as the focal point to get into my own inner and outer world of equilibrium.

“Mandala means ‘circle’ in Sanskrit and is originated from a Hindu term. It has a significant meaning in both Hinduism and Buddhism for the spiritual and ritualistic uses. The common structure is in square with four gates, that has a circle with a center point. Mandala has been used in various ways including meditation, a method of trance, teaching tool, and to create scared atmosphere.”

Agata Zubel

Photo by Andrzej Georgiew

Photo by Andrzej Georgiew

Agata Zubel (born 1978 in Wrocław, Poland) is a Polish composer and singer. Zubel is a graduate of Wrocław’s Karol Szymanowski High School of Music (percussion and music theory) and the Karol Lipiński University of Music, where she studied composition with Jan Wichrowski. She is a member of the Youth Circle of the Polish Composers’ Union and a recipient of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage scholarship. Currently she teaches at the Academy of Music in Wrocław (PhD). In 2013 she was honoured by The International Music Council International Rostrum of Composers with the best composition title for Not I, which she wrote for soprano, instrumental ensemble and electronics.

Zubel was commissioned by SFCMP as part of Project TenFourteen – four concerts with world premieres from ten distinctive composers all challenged to “reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all.”

From Zubel:

“Culture developed at various paces on different continents, in different periods and directions. People met other people, and after that their world – knowledge, emotions and music – could never be the same. Man’s return to the origins has never been possible, and yet those origins are something that man has always hoped to understand. In this way, synergy gives rise to deconstruction, and development makes it possible to look sideways… and back. This is also the case with my music, which, as it develops in time, adds new seconds while hoping to understand the minutes that came before.”

[jwplayer playlistid=”13349″ player=”1″]

Du Yun

Photo by Denise Anderson

Photo by Denise Anderson

Du Yun, born and raised in Shanghai, China, is a composer, performer and performance artist, who practices her works at an artistic crossroads of orchestral, chamber music, opera, theatre, cabaret, storytelling, pop music, visual arts and noise. Selected commissions: Seattle Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Whitney Museum, Berkeley Symphony, Fromm Foundation, Chamber Music America, Festivals für Neue Musik & aktuelle Kultur (Switzerland), ICE. Selected venues: Festival d’Avignon, Ultima Norway, Salle Playel Paris, Darmstadt, Musica Nova Helsinki, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, RedCat, Kimmel Center, Shanghai Symphony, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Philharmonie Luxembourg. In art: Guangzhou Art Triennial, National Academy Museum (US), Sharjah Biennial (UAE), Auckland Triennial (New Zealand), Ullens Art Center (Beijing).

Du was commissioned by SFCMP as part of Project TenFourteen – four concerts with world premieres from ten distinctive composers all challenged to “reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all.”

[jwplayer player=”1″ playlistid=”13392″]

From Du Yun regarding Quatrains, Slow Portraits (3):

(A third installment of aural visage to hyper stilled films, David Michalek’s Portraits in the Dramatic Time)

“In summer 2011, I made a sound design for visual artist David Michalek’s Portraits in Dramatic Time. It is a video installation that used ultra-high-speed, high-definition cameras to record several well-known theater and film performers in a scene. In other words, the visual sequences were not digitally altered. The project slows the frames to display each emotion in larger-than-life detail as it is projected onto a screen that’s 85 feet wide and 45 feet high. The work was presented as part of Lincoln Center Festival, utilizing the façade of the David H. Koch Theater as a media canvas.

“The first installment of reworking the aural visage resulted an orchestra piece, premiered in 2013 by the American Composers Orchestra. This is more intimate approach for a different set of shorts from this work of hyper stilled films.

“As the process goes along, I think they could take many enduring morphing forms. I become further interested in detailing the movement within a similar gestures and each of them embodies an underlying burst. It’s as if finding and locating a miniature painting. Looking at the forms and lines, and to see how the gestures each form and align and take a shift and turn. As in the visual, within constraints, dramatic narratives were condensed down to an essence.

“The second installment of the work comes with a trio of chamber version, accordion, pipa, and electronics.

“The third installment, existing with or without the films, comes in the form of a chamber orchestra, for the San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players.

“I would like to investigate how each rhyme of the aural phrase translates to a physical gesture; and how a group of microscopic kinesics form their larger-than-life impact.

“As the project continues, my interest takes another shift. I become further interested in detailing the movement within a similar gestures and each of them embodies an underlying burst. It’s as if finding and locating a miniature painting. Looking at the forms and lines, and to see how the gestures each form and align and take a shift and turn.

“Without these workshops and working closely with the musicians, I could not have another chance of redoing and reshaping my ideas and outlooks.

“It is almost subversive in today’s culture to write with a media that is created in analogue and with no digital alteration. Even though the outcome looks very nuanced and otherworldly and at once with an inherent ultimate poeticism.

“This is perhaps what it investigates: when we slow down, we see a lot of nuances that’s never seen before our eyes. And when we hear many lines composed together and moving tantalizingly in their own many similar and yet slightly different melismas, the listening involvement becomes more of a temptation. The creator the performers the narrative and the scenery have become seductress, to lure the audience into another world.”

Get to know more about Du Yun:

Check out this September, 2014 feature on New Music Box about Du Yun:

 

Ken Ueno

Ken Ueno - credit Peter Gannushkin

Ken Ueno – credit Peter Gannushkin

A recipient of the Rome Prize and the Berlin Prize, Ken Ueno is a composer/vocalist who is currently an Associate Professor at UC Berkeley. Ensembles and performers who have played Ueno’s music include Kim Kashkashian and Robyn Schulkowsky, Mayumi Miyata, Teodoro Anzellotti, Wendy Richman, Greg Oakes, BMOP, Alarm Will Sound, SFCMP, the Nieuw Ensemble, and Frances-Marie Uitti. His music has been performed at such venues as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MusikTriennale Köln Festival, the Muziekgebouw, Ars Musica, Warsaw Autumn, Other Minds, the Hopkins Center, Spoleto USA, Steim, and at the Norfolk Music Festival.

Ueno’s piece for the Hilliard Ensemble, Shiroi Ishi, has been featured in their repertoire for over ten years, with performances at such venues as Queen Elizabeth Hall in England, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and was aired on Italian national radio, RAI 3. Another work, Pharmakon, was performed dozens of times nationally by Eighth Blackbird during their 2001-2003 seasons. A portrait concert of Ken’s was featured on MaerzMusik in Berlin in 2011.

As a vocalist, he specializes in extended techniques and has collaborated in improvisations with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Joey Baron, Ikue Mori, Robyn Schulkowsky, Joan Jeanrenaud, Tim Feeney, and David Wessel amongst others. Recently, he performed his vocal concerto with the Warsaw Philharmonic. Ueno holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University. A monograph CD of three orchestral concertos was released on the Bmop/sound label.

Ueno was commissioned by SFCMP as part of Project TenFourteen – four concerts with world premieres from ten distinctive composers all challenged to “reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all.”

Zetsu by Ken Ueno
Recorded at the premiere performance, February 22, 2015
[jwplayer player=”0″ file=”rtmp://shswgmvjmaab6.cloudfront.net/cfx/st/Zetsu by Ken Ueno.mp3″]

From Ueno, on his work Zetsu:

It is inspired by this work of experimental ceramics by Nishida Jun. I like the somatic nature the work, inventing a non-functional ceramics, as well as the physical commitment to realize it.

tumblr_n013gtYBPM1t5vwkso1_1280

Laurie San Martin

sanmartin1Laurie San Martin is a composer, teacher and an occasional clarinetist and conductor. Her music has been performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. She mainly writes concert music for chamber ensemble and orchestra but has also written incidental music for theater, dance and video. Recently she collaborated with Korean gayageum virtuoso, Yi Ji-Young. This experience has opened new creative avenues including an upcoming pansori-based theatrical work for the CrossSound Festival in Alaska and a new work for Korean Daegeum virtuoso Jeong-Seung Kim.

San Martin has worked with many accomplished ensembles such as Speculum Musicae, eighth blackbird, SF Chamber Orchestra, the Lydian Quartet, Washington Square Contemporary Chamber Players, EARPLAY and the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. She has received awards from the League of Composers-ISCM, the International Alliance for Women in Music, the Margaret Blackwell Memorial Prize in Composition, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer’s Awards. As a composition fellow, she has attended the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Norfolk Contemporary Chamber Music Festival and the Composers Conference at Wellesley College.

She holds a PhD from Brandeis University in Theory and Composition. She has taught at Clark University and is currently Associate Professor of music at the University of California, Davis. Her music can be found on the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble’s San Francisco Premieres CD, released in 2005 and a recent Ravello CD Tangos for Piano performed by Amy Briggs.

San Martin was commissioned by SFCMP as part of Project TenFourteen – four concerts with world premieres from ten distinctive composers all challenged to “reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all.”

we turn in the night in a circle of fire
by Laurie San Martin

Recorded at the premiere performance, February 22, 2015
[jwplayer player=”0″ file=”rtmp://shswgmvjmaab6.cloudfront.net/cfx/st/we turn in the night in a circle of fire by Laurie San Martin.mp3″]

From San Martin, regarding her piece we turn in the night in a circle of fire:

“The phrase is a rough translation of the Latin palindrome in girum imus note et consumimur igni.

“The piece explores changing perceptions–the two violin soloists work together as a team and the larger ensemble as another team. As with a palindrome, we are constantly reminded of things we have heard before, and are revisiting familiar ideas but with a changed instrumentation and variation. There is a sense that time is altered to accommodate the changing narrative between the soloists and ensemble.”

Elena Ruehr

ruehr2Elena Ruehr says of her music “the idea is that the surface be simple, the structure complex.” An award winning faculty member at MIT, she is also a Guggenheim Fellow and has been a fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute and composer-in-residence with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, which performed her major orchestral works as well as the opera Toussaint Before the Spirits (Arsis Records). Three of her six string quartets were commissioned by the Cypress String Quartet, who have recorded How She Danced: String Quartets of Elena Ruehr. Her quartets have also been performed by the Biava, Borromeo, Lark, ROCO and Shanghai string quartets. Her other recordings include Averno (Avie Records with the Trinity Choir, Julian Wachner, conducting), Jane Wang considers the Dragonfly (various artists on Albany) and Shimmer (Metamorphosen Chamber Ensemble on Albany).

Ruehr was commissioned by SFCMP as part of Project TenFourteen – four concerts with world premieres from ten distinctive composers all challenged to “reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all.”

From Ruehr:

it’s about time begins with an expression of joy in its simplest and most honest form. It seeks that joy in the sounds of the past through the echoes of Vivaldi, to rhythms of distant cultures through the use of the frame drum, to the physical impulse of dance. While the second and third movements reveal other, more complex emotions, the sense of elation persists throughout. The work was commissioned by Robert Amory and the Jebediah Foundation and is also an expression of the sincere joy of my longstanding collaboration with them.”

 

[jwplayer player=”1″ playlistid=”13407″]

Get to know more about Elena Ruehr

https://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/3-questions-elena-ruehr-music-premieres-1120

http://bostonclassicalreview.com/2014/11/cantata-singers-give-life-to-premiere-of-thought-provoking-eve/

http://www.classical-scene.com/2014/11/24/roomfull-madness/

Gabriela Ortiz

Gabriela Ortiz

Gabriela Ortiz

Gabriela Ortiz Torres was born in Mexico City of parents who were folk musicians. She learned folk music at home, and then studied in Paris at the Ecole Normale de Musique. She returned to Mexico City due to the illness of her mother, and studied composition there with Mario Lavista at the National Conservatory of Music. She continued her studies at the Guildhall School with Robert Saxton, and with Simon Emmerson at the University of London where she received a PhD in 1996. After completing her studies, she took a position at the National School of Music at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City. She also taught at Indiana University in the United States.

Ortiz was commissioned by SFCMP as part of Project TenFourteen – four concerts with world premieres from ten distinctive composers all challenged to “reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all.”

From Ortiz:

Corpórea is going to be about the duality between the mind and the body and is going to be dedicated to the Mexican diplomat Gilberto Bosques Saldívar (1892-1995), who took the initiative to rescue tens of thousands of Jews and Spanish republicans exiles from being deported to Nazi Germany or Spain. His heroism remained unknown to the world. Many friends as well as the Spanish grandfather of my husband Alejandro came to Mexico because of him.”

[jwplayer player=”1″ playlistid=”13410″]

Get to know more about Gabriela Ortiz:

Lei Liang

Photo by Ron Jones

Photo by Ron Jones

Heralded as “one of the most exciting voices in New Music” by The Wire, Lei Liang (b. 1972) is a Chinese-born American composer whose works have been described as “hauntingly beautiful and sonically colorful” by the New York Times, and as “far, far out of the ordinary, brilliantly original and inarguably gorgeous” by the Washington Post.

Winner of the 2011 Rome Prize, Lei Liang is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Aaron Copland Award. He was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert for the inaugural concert of the CONTACT! new music series.

Other commissions and performances come from the Taipei Chinese Orchestra, the Heidelberger Philharmonisches Orchester, Thailand Philharmonic, Berkeley Symphony, the Fromm Music Foundation, Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, the National Endowment for the Arts, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, New York New Music Ensemble and Boston Musica Viva. Liang’s music is recorded on Mode, New World, Innova, Telarc and Naxos Records. As a scholar he is active in the research and preservation of traditional Asian music.

Liang studied composition with Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Robert Cogan, Chaya Czernowin and Mario Davidovsky and received degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music (BM and MM) and Harvard University (PhD). He currently serves as Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego. Liang’s music is published exclusively by Schott Music Corporation (New York).

Liang was commissioned by SFCMP as part of Project TenFourteen – four concerts with world premieres from ten distinctive composers all challenged to “reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all.”

From Liang:

Luminous (a chamber concerto for double bass, 2014) was inspired by Mark Dresser’s uniquely powerful musical expressions and innovative techniques created for the contrabass. The instrument’s rich spectra embody ‘voices’ that encompass extreme opposites – lightness and darkness, angels and ghosts, paradise and inferno – unified by a singular vibrating body.

“The composition explores these voices in a few large sections, starting with bowing on one string that produces multiphonics, double-stop bowing, and pizzicati. It concludes with the threading technique invented by Mark Dresser which allows the performer to bow multiple strings simultaneously.

“The last section is subtitled ‘The Answer Questioned’ as an homage to Charles Ives and György Kurtág.”

George Crumb

(c) Becky Starobin www.BridgeRecords.com

(c) Becky Starobin www.BridgeRecords.com

George Crumb was born in West Virginia in 1929 into a musical family, and studied at various schools in the Midwest as well as at the Berlin Hochschule as a Fulbright Scholar. He eventually joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, where he composed and taught for three decades. His highly intuitive approach to composition, with its emphasis on texture, timbre, and line, bore substantial fruit during the 1960s, including the Madrigals (1966-1969), Eleven Echoes of Autumn (1965), and, inspired by the Apollo 11 lunar landing, Night of the Four Moons (1969). Echoes of Time and the River, one of Crumb’s rare orchestral works, earned the composer the Pulitzer Prize.

Crumb was commissioned by SFCMP as part of Project TenFourteen – four concerts with world premieres from ten distinctive composers all challenged to “reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all.”

Yellow Moon of Andalusia is the setting of Lorca texts, in the composer’s tradition. Yesteryear is a reworking of an incomplete earlier piece.

[jwplayer player=”1″ playlistid=”13415″]

Xylophony comprises a musical landscape, with allusions to Wagner, consisting solely of wooden percussion instruments.

[jwplayer player=”0″ file=”rtmp://shswgmvjmaab6.cloudfront.net/cfx/st/Xylophony by George Crumb.mp3″]

Chou Wen-chung

Chou Wen-Chung, photo by Martin Sze

Chou Wen-Chung, photo by Martin Sze

Chou Wen-chung was born in Chefoo in July 1923. As a young man he prepared for a career as an engineer, taking an undergraduate degree in that field while still living in China. He moved to New Haven, CT, in 1946 to enroll in the architecture school of Yale University, but he tired of his studies after a year or two and was soon spending nearly all of his time building musical skills under the tutelage of the well-known Nicholas Slonimsky. Chou also received the benefit of Edgard Varèse’s teaching (later becoming musical executor of Varèse’s estate), and eventually took a master’s degree in composition from Columbia University (1954). Post-graduate studies included research on Chinese music and serving as Columbia’s Electronic Music Laboratory’s first technical assistant. From 1964 on, Chou taught at Columbia University, serving also in the administration of the University’s School of Arts. He has long been as energetic an organizer as he is a composer and teacher, and he has lent this energy to several notable American organizations, including a stint as president of CRI, Inc., founding the Fritz Reiner Center for Contemporary Music, and founding and directing the Center for U.S.-China Arts Exchange.

Chou was commissioned by SFCMP as part of Project TenFourteen – four concerts with world premieres from ten distinctive composers all challenged to “reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all.”

5-footprintFrom Chou:

“I’m sending the sketches so you can get some idea of the interaction and balance of instrumental sonorities and registral contrast as well as entrances in a general sense. To me this is important because the music is inspired by the flow of ink within each stroke and in the interaction of different strokes at the same time. Therefore, as you can see, I’m unhappy with only one brass sonority. I think in actual performance, sooner or later, a discerning listener will feel the lack of balance therein, even though in terms of register, the loss is small.

“The only thing I’m not happy with is that I cannot negate the motion of time, which according to western notation is always towards the right. Whereas in calligraphy, the flow of ink and the carving out of open spaces are completely free in terms of direction. So in the sketches, you can see that often a single stroke has to be broken into 2 or more to accommodate the passing of time and for instruments to move in the wrong direction from my point of view. Such adjustments are necessary– after all, we are moving from one artistic medium to another, but they are not disturbing even to a cultured Chinese ear, or for that matter, Japanese, Korean or others.”

 

Project TenFourteen

project ten fourteen

SFCMP is thrilled to present Project TenFourteen – our 2014-15 series showcasing ten world premieres commissioned by SFCMP featuring ten distinctive composers, all challenged to reflect upon and address the human condition. (Click here for more about the general project.)

The commissioned composers are of an extraordinary caliber: George Crumb, Koji NakanoLei LiangGabriela OrtizElena Ruehr, Laurie San MartinKen Ueno, Chou Wen-Chung, Du Yunand Agata Zubel.

Project TenFourteen will yield a global kaleidoscope that embodies and celebrates the varied cultural and personal influences that infuse contemporary music, while underscoring our common humanity.

A special thanks to Robert Amory, a Trustee of the Jebediah Foundation, for planting the seed for this project. This series is executed in partnership with Cal PerformancesProject TenFourteen is dedicated to composer Lee Hyla.

schick-screenWatch Steven Schick on Project TenFourteen in an exclusive interview produced by Cal Performances.

Press coverage:

San Francisco Classical Voice

Berkeleyside (preview)


Dates and Programs:

Cal Performances and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players Present Project Ten Fourteen – A series of four programs featuring world premieres simultaneously commissioned from ten distinctive composers all challenged to reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all. Please note all tickets for the four Project TenFourteen concerts are only available through Cal Performances’ website – individual tickets are $32. Subscribe to all 4 for only $96  

Sunday, November 16, 2014 – Project TenFourteen: Concert #1 – The World Premiere of two works by George Crumb – Yesteryear and The Yellow Moon of Andalusia  as well as his Five Pieces for Piano; the World Premiere of Corpórea by Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz; and the World Premiere of Elena Ruehr’s It’s About Time. Also on the program: Georges Aperghis‘s Récitations 9 and 10 for solo voice. Special guest soprano Tony Arnold joins the SFCMP ensemble members led by Steven Schick. Cal Performances Hertz Hall, Berkeley – 7:00 pm (pre-concert talk 6-6:30)


Sunday, January 25, 2015 – Project TenFourteen: Concert #2 – The World Premiere of Polish composer Agata Zubel‘s where to as well as the World Premiere of Slow Portraits 3 by Du Yun. Also on the program, two works by Harrison BirtwistleThe Axe Manual and Gigue Machine. Special guest pianist Nicholas Hodges joins the SFCMP ensemble and our Steven Schick on percussion. Cal Performances Hertz Hall, Berkeley – 7:00 pm (pre-concert talk 6-6:30)


Sunday, February 22, 2015 – Project TenFourteen: Concert #3 – World Premieres of we turn in the night in a circle of fire by Laurie San Martin as well as a new work by Ken UenoZetsu. Also on the program, two iconic works of the 20th century: Luciano Berio’s  Linea and Luigi Nono’s Hay Que Caminar Soñando. Steven Schick leads the SFCMP ensemble. Cal Performances Hertz Hall, Berkeley – 7:00 pm (pre-concert talk 6-6:30)


Sunday, March 29, 2015 – Project TenFourteen: Concert #4 – The final Project Ten Fourteen concert presents the World Premiere of Koji Nakano’s, Time Song V: MandalaLei Liang’s Luminous, with featured guest bassist Mark Dresser; a work by legendary Chinese composer Chou Wen-Chung; the third World Premiere commissioned work by George CrumbXylophony, and a special performance of Edgard Varèse’s Ionisation by an all-star percussion ensemble! Cal Performances Hertz Hall, Berkeley – 7:00 pm (pre-concert talk 6-6:30)

Project Ten Fourteen – Nakano, Liang, Crumb, Varese

Four

Sunday, March 29, 2015 – Project TenFourteen: Concert #4 – The final Project Ten Fourteen concert included the World Premiere of Koji Nakano’s, Time Song V: MandalaLei Liang’s Luminous, with featured guest bassist Mark Dresser; and the third World Premiere commissioned work by George CrumbXylophony, and a special performance of Edgard Varèse’s Ionisation by an all-star percussion ensemble! The concert took place at Cal Performances Hertz Hall in Berkeley.


Program

George Crumb – Xylophony – WP, Comm

Koji Nakano – Time Song V: Mandala – WP, Comm

INTERMISSION

Edgard Varèse – Ionisation

Lei Liang – Luminous WP, Comm


[flickr_set id=”72157651826095135″]


About Project TenFourteen

Under the artistic leadership of internationally acclaimed musician and educator Steven Schick, SFCMP 2014-15 season was anchored by Project TenFourteen – four concerts with world premieres from ten distinctive composers all challenged to “reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all.” The ten composers participating in this project are of extraordinary caliber – George Crumb, Elena Ruehr, Gabriela Ortiz, Ken Ueno, Gabriela Ortiz, Du Yun, Agata Zubel, Koji Nakano, Lei Liang, Laurie San Martin, and Chou Wen-Chung. Collectively, they represent cultures ranging from China, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand, to Mexico, Poland, and several regions of the U.S. and span music styles from lyric to extended techniques to the forefront of electro-acousticism.

The four concerts — in November 2014 and January, February and March 2015 — took place at Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. They were presented in collaboration with Cal Performances. A pre-concert talk preceded each performance, and a post-concert reception allowed audience members to engage with the composers and artists.

Read more about Project TenFourteen

Project TenFourteen – San Martin, Ueno, Berio, Nono: Feb 22, 2015

Three

Sunday, February 22, 2015 – Project TenFourteen: Concert #3 – The third concert of Project TenFourteen featured the world premiere of we turn in the night in a circle of fire by Laurie San Martin as well as a new work by Ken UenoZetsu. Also on the program were two iconic works of the 20th century: Luciano Berio’s  Linea and Luigi Nono’s Hay Que Caminar Soñando. Steven Schick led the SFCMP ensemble with guest violinist Gabriela Diaz at Cal Performances Hertz Hall in Berkeley.

 


Program

Laurie San Martin – we turn in the night in a circle of fire – WP, Comm

Luigi Nono – Hay Que Caminar Soñando – 25’

Luciano Berio – Linea

Ken Ueno – Zetsu – WP, Comm


[flickr_set id=”72157651312697961″]


About the works on this concert

The title of Laurie San Martin’s we turn in the night in a circle of fire, a translation of a Latin palindrome, suggests one of the work’s architectural motifs, which relates to events in her own life. “I was thinking about memory, hearing things backwards, forwards, hearing them in a new way, and how over time, as we age and even pass on, the same idea (or tune or gesture) takes on a different meaning…. I started thinking about the idea of hearing the same information (tune or chord or passage) differently….” This two-violin concerto, her most personally innovative work to date, was written for SFCMP violinist Hrabba Atladottir. The score is dedicated “In memory of [the composer’s mother] Marilyn San Martin and [the violinist’s mother] Elisabet Erlingsdottir,” and some of the musical content is derived from those names. Strong, compelling gestures range in character from clearly articulated pitches and rhythms to subtle, unstable, unpitched noise, and is presented in four contrasting movements. The two violinists work in close cooperation virtually throughout, in balance with the ensemble.

In 1958 Luciano Berio embarked on his cycle solo Sequenzas, and beginning in the late 1960s developed one of his most persistent concepts, using several Sequenzas as armatures for his Chemins ensemble works. (A related idea can be found in Berio’s use of the scherzo from Mahler’s Second Symphony in the third movement of his celebrated Sinfonia.) Composed in 1973 for Felix Blaska’s dance company, Linea applies the armature idea to “pure” melodic line: texture and harmony burst forth from single pitches like sparks from a fire. The line evolves continuously, cycling back to itself through several distinct episodes in ways analogous to variation or rondo form, and the combination of two pianos and two mallet instruments create a marvelous variety of colors.

Originally among the purest adherents to serialism, Luigi Nono ultimately charted a course further removed from tradition than virtually any of his contemporaries. His starkly political works of the 1960s and early ’70s were models of sonic saturation; his late works, from the string quartet Fragmente—Stille, an Diotima onward, are ascetic and acoustically transparent. The Spanish motto “Caminantes, no hay caminos, hay que caminar” (roughly “Pilgrim: there are no roads; one must walk”), informed several works, including his last, “Hay que caminar” soñando. Composed for Gidon Kremer and Tatiana Grindenko, this piece, like its solo predecessor La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura, sends its performers through onstage musical “stations,” the spatial aspect and extreme articulative detail of the violin parts reflecting Nono’s recent immersion in electronic music. The details of violin performance are ultimately rooted in Gidon Kremer’s playing. As with Fragmente, the pitch material is based, unexpectedly, on Giuseppe Verdi’s “enigmatic scale” from his Ave Maria.

The American composer Ken Ueno’s new pocket violin concerto Zetsu is a continuation of his “person-specific” compositional philosophy and is tailored to the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and the composer’s longtime Boston-based colleague, the violinist Gabriela Diaz. It also illustrates his wide-ranging cultural curiosity. The title comes from a ceramics work in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Zetsu No. 8 by the late Japanese sculptor Nishida Jun, whose dangerous working methods led to new forms combining predictable, structured elements with unstable, amorphous traits. Nishida Jun’s extreme methods led to his death when a kiln exploded; Ueno’s music seeks to honor this level of aesthetic risk-taking. In addition to the subtlety and detail of the strongly motivic violin part, Ueno creates unique sonorities within the ensemble, including specially tuned percussion, the “hookah-sax” (saxophone played via a plastic tube inserted in the bell), and in imaginative combinations of performance techniques. The extension and contraction of time in Zetsu variously focuses and diffuses the music’s semantic detail.

–Robert Kirzinger

zetsu8
Nishida Jun, Japanese, 1977–2005 – Zetsu No. 8
Japanese, Heisei era, 2003 – Porcelain stoneware and powdered glaze
Overall (A): 59 x 68 x 69 cm (23 1/4 x 26 3/4 x 27 3/16 in.)
Overall (B): 53 x 75 x 52 cm (20 7/8 x 29 1/2 x 20 1/2 in.)
Overall (C): 106 x 105 x 100 cm (41 3/4 x 41 5/16 x 39 3/8 in.)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

About Project TenFourteen

Under the artistic leadership of internationally acclaimed musician and educator Steven Schick, SFCMP 2014-15 season was anchored by Project TenFourteen – four concerts with world premieres from ten distinctive composers all challenged to “reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all.” The ten composers participating in this project are of extraordinary caliber – George Crumb, Elena Ruehr, Gabriela Ortiz, Ken Ueno, Gabriela Ortiz, Du Yun, Agata Zubel, Koji Nakano, Lei Liang, Laurie San Martin, and Chou Wen-Chung. Collectively, they represent cultures ranging from China, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand, to Mexico, Poland, and several regions of the U.S. and span music styles from lyric to extended techniques to the forefront of electro-acousticism.

The four concerts — in November 2014 and January, February and March 2015 — took place at Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. They were presented in collaboration with Cal Performances. A pre-concert talk preceded each performance, and a post-concert reception allowed audience members to engage with the composers and artists.

Read more about Project TenFourteen

Project Ten Fourteen – Agata Zubel, Du Yun, Harrison Birtwistle

twoSunday, January 25, 2015 – Project TenFourteen: Concert #2 – The second TenFourteen concert included the World Premiere of Polish composer Agata Zubel‘s where to as well as the World Premiere of Slow Portraits 3 by Du Yun. Also on the program, two works by Harrison BirtwistleThe Axe Manual and Gigue Machine. Special guest pianist Nicholas Hodges joined the SFCMP ensemble and Steven Schick on percussion at Cal Performances Hertz Hall in Berkeley.


 

Program

Agata Zubel – where to – WP, Comm

Harrison Birtwistle  Variations from the Golden Mountain – 9′ US Premiere Nicolas Hodges, piano

Harrison Birtwistle – Ax Manual – 25’ – Nicolas Hodges and Steven Schick, piano and percussion

Harrison Birtwistle – Gigue Machine  – 15’ – Nicolas Hodges, piano

Du Yun – Slow Portraits 3 – WP, Comm


[flickr_set id=”72157650656202731″]


About Project TenFourteen

Under the artistic leadership of internationally acclaimed musician and educator Steven Schick, SFCMP 2014-15 season was anchored by Project TenFourteen – four concerts with world premieres from ten distinctive composers all challenged to “reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all.” The ten composers participating in this project are of extraordinary caliber – George Crumb, Elena Ruehr, Gabriela Ortiz, Ken Ueno, Gabriela Ortiz, Du Yun, Agata Zubel, Koji Nakano, Lei Liang, Laurie San Martin, and Chou Wen-Chung. Collectively, they represent cultures ranging from China, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand, to Mexico, Poland, and several regions of the U.S. and span music styles from lyric to extended techniques to the forefront of electro-acousticism.

The four concerts — in November 2014 and January, February and March 2015 — took place at Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. They were presented in collaboration with Cal Performances. A pre-concert talk preceded each performance, and a post-concert reception allowed audience members to engage with the composers and artists.

Read more about Project TenFourteen

polish institute

Agata Zubel’s participation in this San Francisco concert was supported in part by the Polish Cultural Institute New York

Steve Reich Drumming

Steve ReichSpecial Event: Steve Reich: Drumming – Saturday, January 31, 2015 – 8:00 p.m.
San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak Street


Social Hashtag #SFCMPDrumming

Meet Bay Area soprano Ann Moss our special guest vocalist

SFCMP Drumming Press Release


In an exciting collaboration, SFCMP will perform Steve Reich’s iconic 1971 work Drumming with SF Conservatory ensemble members — our last collaboration of music by Reich, America’s most beloved living composer, was standing-room only!

This special event builds upon the success of a sold-out 2013 concert of Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians which, like this one, will be the culmination of a week-long residency by SFCMP musicians and Schick at the SF Conservatory of Music. Student musicians from the Conservatory will share the stage with SFCMP ensemble members in the performance of what has been called “Minimalism’s first masterpiece,” by musicologist K. Robert Schwarz.

SF Conservatory of Music – 8 pm.

$35 Premium Seating, $25 General Admission, and $10 for students


About Drumming

Steve Reich’s Drumming , more than forty years after its composition, stands as a watershed document of modern music. In its ambitious scope, intellectual rigor, and artistic seriousness, this piece, along with Terry Riley’s In C and Philip Glass’s Music in Twelve Parts, went a long way toward establishing minimalism’s quickly expanding influence in the early 1970s.

Most of Steve Reich’s early music is focused on phase patterns, in which a fixed rhythmic pattern is layered and moved in and out of sync with itself. (The purest of Reich’s pieces in this vein is Clapping Music.) Reich arrived at this approach via experiments in tape music, most notably It’s Gonna Rain (1965) and Come Out (1966). He transferred the phase idea to instrumental performance, beginning with Piano Phase (1967). Many of these earliest pieces have an etude-like quality, exploring a constrained concept to its clear end. Although phase patterns remained a significant part of Reich’s music, the form and character of later works involved much intuitive compositional decision-making. Drumming (1970-71), Reich’s largest work to that date, was the culmination of Reich’s works based on pure phase patterns.

reich rhythmDrumming is in four parts played continuously, beginning with bongos, moving to marimbas with soprano and alto voice, then glockenspiels with whistling and piccolo. The final part combines these three groups. The voices, whistling, and piccolo clarify aggregate rhythms formed in the percussion parts. Drumming relies on a single fundamental rhythmic pattern of eighth notes and rests in a 12/8 measure.

In addition to changes in timbre, this is manipulated musically in three ways: reduction, that is, changing sounded notes to rests; saturation (replacing rests with notes); and by layering in phase patterns, adjusted by one or more eighth notes relative to another performer playing the same rhythm. (This also applies to its reduced and saturated forms.)

In 1966 Steve Reich had formed his own group, Steve Reich and Musicians, with which he worked closely in performance to refine his compositional ideas. The group usually played outside the often insular confines of traditional concert venues; thus it was that Drumming was premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in December 1971. The work’s early exposure to a non-specialist audience proved incredibly fertile ground for this visceral, innovative, and powerful music to take root and grow into the wider world.

Robert Kirzinger, for SFCMP

Project TenFourteen – Crumb, Ortiz, Ruehr, Aperghis

ER, SS, GO 11-16-2014Sunday, November 16, 2014 – Project TenFourteen: Concert #1 – The opening concert of Project TenFourteen included the World Premiere of two works by George Crumb – Yesteryear and The Yellow Moon of Andalusia  as well as his Five Pieces for Piano; the World Premiere of Corpórea by Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz; and the World Premiere of Elena Ruehr’s It’s About Time. Also on the program: Georges Aperghis‘s Récitations 9 and 10 for solo voice. Special guest soprano Tony Arnold joined the SFCMP ensemble members led by Steven Schick, at Cal Performances Hertz Hall in Berkeley.


CONCERT PROGRAM:

Pre-concert talk: Steven Schick in conversation with Gabriela Ortiz and Elena Ruehr

George Crumb – Yesteryear –  (2013, WP, Comm ~9’) – for mezzo-soprano, amplified piano, and 2 percussionists Tony Arnold, mezzo soprano. Kate Campbell, amplified piano; William Winant, percussion; Nick Woodbury, percussion

George Crumb – Five Pieces for Piano, ~9’ (1962). Kate Campbell, piano

Elena Ruehr – it’s about time (2014, WP, Comm ~20′) – for clarinet, percussion, guitar, harp, violin, and cello. Peter Josheff, clarinet; Hrabba Atladottir, violin; Stephen Harrison, cello; Karen Gottlieb, harp; David Tanenbaum, guitar; Daniel Kennedy, percussion; Steven Schick, conductor.

Intermission

George Crumb – Yellow Moon of Andalusia, (2013, WP, Comm ~15’ ) – for mezzo-soprano and amplified piano. Tony Arnold, soprano; Kate Campbell, piano.

1. Pause of the Clock
2. Ballade of the Little Square
3. Casida of the Lament
4. Cicada!
5. Song of the Dead Orange Tree
6. In the Forest of Clocks

Georges Aperghis – Récitations 9 & 10  (1978) – Tony Arnold, soprano 

Gabriela Ortiz – Corpórea  (2014, WP, Comm ~ 20′) – for flute, clarinet, horn, trumpet, percussion, harp, violin, cello, and bass. Tod Brody, flute; Jeff Anderle, clarinet; Adam Luftman, trumpet; Alicia Telford, horn; Nick Woodbury, percussion; Karen Gottlieb, harp; Roy Malan, violin; Stephen Harrison, cello; Richard Worn, bass; Steven Schick, conductor.

1. Air
2. Breathing Dance
3. Intangible, Arising Adagio
4. Ritual Mind-Corporeous Pulse


[flickr_set id=”72157649893967269″]


About the works on this concert

Elena Ruehr began it’s about time immediately upon receiving the TenFourteen Project commission, completing it in the month of her 50th birthday in August 2013. Ruehr intended it, in part, as a birthday present to herself; it’s prevailingly optimistic, the title referencing her birthday milestone as well as the work’s dynamic focus on rhythm and meter, patterns and their transformation. The piece is modeled loosely on the Baroque (particularly Vivaldian) concerto. The violin has a sometime concertante role supported by “continuo” of clarinet, guitar, harp, drum, and cello, but the continuo textures frequently become the true focus of the piece. In contrast with the buoyant outer movements, the introspective middle movement was triggered by a catastrophic world event whose echo suffuses its mood.

In addition to the two world premieres this evening, George Crumb’s Xylophony, written for Steven Schick, is slated for premiere in March. The composer writes, “The sense of YESTERYEAR is implied by François Villon’s Ballad of the Dead Ladies: ‘Where are the snows of yesteryear?’ ” In Yesteryear, “a Vocalise for Mezzo-Soprano, Amplified Piano, and Percussion,” the instruments provide a shimmering and resonant atmosphere for the voice; in a real sense the voice expands into this non-vocal sound-world. At the same time the voice is in itself a kind of hyper-voice, beyond everyday communication, beyond singing and speaking. This is enhanced by characteristic theatrical elements. The Yellow Moon of Andalusia is a cycle of six Lorca settings for voice and amplified piano. Imagery of clocks’ inexorable machinery rubs against the wild sounds of cicadas and fundamental expression of song.

Crumb’s Five Pieces for Piano are an early (1962) example of the composer’s penchant for extending instruments’ basic idioms into new worlds of sound. These pieces also reveal a succinct, direct control of musical gesture and the creation of a highly individual musical rhetoric.

Georges Aperghis produces highly exploratory and experimental work in the service of the most immediate expressive content, with particular focus on vocal and theatrical works. His Récitations series for voice is somewhat in the vein of Berio’s Sequenza III or Ligeti’s Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures, along with other linguistically structuralist (/deconstructionist) works of that era. Composed in 1977-78, the Récitations pieces crowd vocal and emotional actions into such densely packed moments that they elude any possible sense of “completion,” instead suggesting a landscape of layered meanings—musical, semantic, emotional, instinctive, all centered within, and emerging from, the performer herself. Récitation 9 weaves together a placidly uttered sentence with a repeated vocal fragment like a displaced loop. Récitation 10 creates a simulacrum of realistic communication via a “sentence” expanding via fragments of quasi-words, interposed with sung phrases.

Gabriela Ortiz’s TenFourteen Project commission, Corpórea, is dedicated to the Mexican diplomat Gilberto Bosques Saldívar, whose actions as consul in France during World War II allowed thousands of Jews, exiles from Franco’s Spain, and others to escape the Third Reich during the years 1940-43. As its title suggests, the music of Ortiz’s four-movement work is strongly centered on the physical, fragile nature of the human body, as well as the body as foundation for human thought and spirit. The first and third movements are ethereal and airy: the first, “Air,” is virtually a miniature flute concerto, with that instrument frequently recalling the very sound of breath, of wind. The second and fourth are more concretely rhythmic and pulsed, representing “primitive and earthy aspects of life” (Alejandro Escuer).


About Project TenFourteen

Under the artistic leadership of internationally acclaimed musician and educator Steven Schick, SFCMP 2014-15 season was anchored by Project TenFourteen – four concerts with world premieres from ten distinctive composers all challenged to “reflect upon and address the human condition, common to us all.” The ten composers participating in this project are of extraordinary caliber – George Crumb, Elena Ruehr, Gabriela Ortiz, Ken Ueno, Gabriela Ortiz, Du Yun, Agata Zubel, Koji Nakano, Lei Liang, Laurie San Martin, and Chou Wen-Chung. Collectively, they represent cultures ranging from China, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand, to Mexico, Poland, and several regions of the U.S. and span music styles from lyric to extended techniques to the forefront of electro-acousticism.

The four concerts — in November 2014 and January, February and March 2015 — took place at Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. They were presented in collaboration with Cal Performances. A pre-concert talk preceded each performance, and a post-concert reception allowed audience members to engage with the composers and artists.

Read more about Project TenFourteen

This concert was sponsored in part by the Ross McKee Foundation. 

2014-15 Season Photos

Please download any image by clicking twice on the photo and then ‘right clicking.’

Please visit Tony Arnold‘s website for photos of our guest soprano.

 

Inquiries? Contact us!

Alice in Antarctica

Alice Giles on ice

Sunday, October 12, 2014 – 7 pm – Special Event: Alice in Antarctica

In a special event, we welcome guest Australian virtuoso harpist Alice Giles for a multi-media performance incorporating electroacoustic harp, voice, visual and audio material. The program commemorates the centenary of the First Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-1914 on which Giles’ own grandfather, Dr C.T., Madigan, was a member. Works on the program range from Bach and Dvorak to various Australian Composers. Jewish Community Center Kanbar Hall, 3200 California Street)

Tickets at jccsf.org – Premium Seating $30 – General Admission $20 – Students $10

One hundred years ago, the first ship sailed through the Panama Canal; Mahatma Gandhi was arrested for the first time; Babe Ruth pitched for the Boston Red Sox; Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated, starting World War I – and the First Australasian Antarctia Expedition came to a close. The title of SFCMP’s 44th season-opening concert Alice in Antarctica should leave no question as to which of these historical moments will be commemorated in a special concert with Australian virtuoso harpist Alice Giles. On Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the JCC’s Kanbar Hall.

Celebrated as one of the world’s leading harp soloists, SFCMP’s guest artist will perform her solo recital Alice in Antarctica — a multi-media event incorporating acoustic and electric harp, spoken and sung voice, recorded spoken voice, visual and audio material. This scintillating journey through music and film honors 20th and 21st century music, Australia’s history, and our fragile and changing environment – as well as Giles’s own grandfather Dr. C.T. Madigan, a member of the first Australian expedition to Antarctica. This unique evening will showcase the first San Francisco appearance of the Electro-Acoustic harp.


The Concert Program incorporates spoken interludes from the unpublished Note Book & Diary of Cecil Thomas Madigan (1889-1947), AAE Meteorologist with visual and audio material gathered by Alice Giles on her 2011 trip as an Australian Antarctic Arts Fellow to Davis and Mawson Stations on the Aurora Australis. It features new musical discoveries alongside some of the most beloved works of the harp repertoire (subject to change):

Suite BWV 996 e-minor (originally for Lute) –  J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750), Trans. A. Giles
Toccata (1991) – Gillian Whitehead (b. 1941)
Ballade op. 28  – Carlos Salzedo (1885 – 1961)

Antarctica Program:
La Cinquataine – Gabriel Marie (arr A. Jonas)
Humoresque  –  Antonin Dvorak (arr C. Salzedo)
Annie Laurie – Traditional (arr C. Salzedo)
Lead kindly Light – Purday / Newman
Abide with me – Monk / Lyte
A-Roving –  Scottish Student’s Songbook
The Good Rhein Wine– Scottish Student’s Songbook
Nearer my God – Dykes / Adams (arr A. Giles)
Billions of Penguins (2010)- Joshua McHugh
On not Dancing with Penguins (2011) – Jim Cotter
Beneath the Midnight Sun (from the Imax film score ‘Antarctica’) – Nigel Westlake   (arr for electroacoustic harp by Giles)
Southern Ocean Song (2011) – Alice Giles
Ice – filmed at Davis Station beach- Mary Doumany
Aurora Wynnis – for singing harpist/electronics (2011) – Martin Wesley-Smith – Text from the CT Madigan Diaries, and the poem “Ah Love, could thou and I with fate conspire …”  (quoted by Madigan) from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Wind Harp; Fantasia No. 16 (2010) – Larry Sitsky, filmed at Davis and Mawson Stations
Fantasia No. 17 (2010)  – Larry Sitsky
Whirlwind – Carlos Salzedo

Alice Giles’s 2014 San Francisco residency is presented in association with the Bay Area Chapter of the American Harp Society.


Breaking Bread with the Composer: Writing for Harp – October 13, 2-3

A free event from 2-3 pm, this is a Q&A session with the artist on the intricacies, challenges, and delights of composing for harp. Composition students, emerging/young composers, and harpists who are thinking about bridging the gap between composition and performance are all encouraged to attend!


Harp Masterclass – October 13, 4-6

In addition to the concert and post-concert reception, Alice Giles’ 2014 San Francisco residency will include a Harp Master Class at Davies Symphony Hall on Monday, October 13 from 4-6 p.m. Harpists and non-harpists are invited to attend. This event is sponsored by the Bay Area Chapter of the American Harp Society.  Admission $25 for Auditors, $50 for Participants.  Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.


Giles’s clever combination of traditional and contemporary music and stunning imagery conveyed both the extraordinary bravery of Mawson’s expedition and the sense of haunting mystery Antarctica embodies. Stimulating, moving and inspiring, this was an impressive creation.” The Australian, 8th April 2013


Experience Alice in Antarctica:

On mobile? Click here

On mobile? Click here.

About Alice Giles:

ALICE GILESAlice Giles is celebrated as one of the world’s leading harpists. She has performed extensively as a soloist word-wide and was the First Prize-winner of the Eighth Israel International Harp Contest. In 2013 she will be performing in China, Hong Kong, Japan, England, Ireland, Germany and France as well as extensive touring in Australia. Among her Australian 2013 performances are appearances in the Musica Viva Festival in Sydney, Tyalgum Festival, Arts in the Valley Festival, Government House Sydney, ABC Live and Melbourne Recital Hall with the Seven Harp Ensemble (SHE), with the Adelaide Chamber Singers, and the Australian World Orchestra.

Regarded by Luciano Berio as the foremost interpreter of his Sequenza II, solo recital highlights include London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s 92nd Street ‘Y’ and Merkin Hall and the Frankfurt Alte Oper. A guest artist at numerous festivals, including Marlboro Music, Scotia Festival, Schleswig-Holstein and Insel Hombroich Festivals in Germany, Bath Mozartfest, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, and the Adelaide, Huntington, Barossa and Sydney Festivals. She has commissioned a complete program of works for the electro-acoustic harp, and is Director of the Seven Harp Ensemble (SHE), which has commissioned many new works by Australian composers.

As a recipient of an Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship, she performed a solo concert at Mawson Station in February 2011 commemorating the Centenary of the first Australasian Antarctic Expedition. Her discography includes several solo harp discs, a concerto disc with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and many chamber music discs for the Tall Poppies, Musikado, ABC Classics, CDI, and Marlboro Recording Society labels. Alice Giles has an international reputation as a teacher, and in 2013 will be giving masterclasses and workshops at the Royal College and the Royal Academy in London, the Royal Welsh College in Cardiff, Beijing Central Conservatorium, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the Japan Harp Festival.From 1990 to 1998 she taught at the Hochschüle für Musik in Frankfurt and from 2013 will be teaching at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Australian National Academy of Music and Melbourne University.

Read about Alice’s Antarctic Adventure

Alice’s Grandfather, C.T. Madigan, on the 2011-14 Expedition to Antarcticamadigan

 

SFCMP Screening I Live For Art

 

In a special prelude to its 44th concert season, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (SFCMP) hosts an exclusive Bay Area screening of the award-winning documentary film, I LIVE FOR ART. This screening will take place at the Center for New Music (55 Taylor Street) on Monday, September 22 from 5:30-8:00 p.m.

Wreath-OIFF BW

August Rabbit Hole

Created by filmmakers Ri Stewart and Renee Slade, and featuring, among other artists, recently SFCMP-commissioned composer Mark Applebaum (Rabbit Hole, 2013), I LIVE FOR ART is a humorous, satirical and unique philosophical exploration of the creative process – its angst, thrills, purpose and methods. The evening will comprise a screening, Q&A with the filmmakers and Mark Applebaum and Brian McWorther on the experience of living artfully in 2014. Complimentary popcorn and soft drinks will be served.

 

The Evening’s Program
5:30-6:00 – Reception
6:00 – 7:15 – Film Screening
7:20 – 7:50 – Q&A
The evening will include a raffle of a limited-edition exclusive “Rabbit Hole” watch created by Mark Applebaum for the 2013 World Premiere of his work by SFCMP. Complimentary soft drinks and popcorn will be served; wine and additional snacks will be available through no-host bar. Seating is limited so advance tickets are encouraged.

About the Film

11 Wristwatch Geology I LIVE FOR ART has already garnered considerable success on the independent film circuit, winning the “Best Documentary” award at Oregon Independent Film Festival and the “Silver Award” at the 2014 Philadadelphia International Art Festival.

Told in an original blend of character driven documentary fused with vital philosophical and mythical context, this film unites three compelling artists, a famous quantum physicist/philosopher, and a world renowned storyteller; I LIVE FOR ART providing a visceral experience of creativity straight from the trenches, across the gamut from existential loathing to ecstatic elation and from personal struggle to social victory.

Three prolific musicians, Brian McWhorter, Mark Applebaum  and Mark Gould,  leave the comfort of their respective disciplines, shedding past traditions and sharing the process, stories, suffering, laughter, success and failures inherent in pushing themselves farther. Through their shared experience, we viewers gain insight into our own understanding of how we can find the creative spark within.

Also navigating the exploration are Theoretical Quantum Physicist / Philosopher Amit Goswami, Storyteller/Mythologist Michael Meade, and Producer/ Events Creator Elliot Rasenick, who add their  insights and experience to the film, revealing the mystical, mythological and scientific processes behind how we coerce the discovery of the new from the depths of the unknown.

SFCMP Artistic Director Steven Schick explains that films such as these reveal the full creative lives of composers today, who are utilizing a lexicon and expression that is deeply personal and rooted in an honest depiction of the creative process. “It’s particularly apt for us to present this documentary, not only because we were delighted to commission and perform Mark Applebaum’s most recent large work, Rabbit Hole in our 2012-13 season, and not only because Mark is one of the most fearless and exciting collaborators we have worked with in recent times — but also because this season, we are presenting an unprecedentedly large-scale commissioning initiative (Project Ten Fourteen: www.sfcmp.org/ten-fourteen) centered on composers’ response to the “human condition, common to us all.” In this context, it is extremely fortuitous to welcome I LIVE FOR ART and its filmmakers, as a thematic bridge to a line of inquiry we’ll be diving into over our entire 44th season.”

About the Filmmakers

Ri Stewart ­ Co-Director, Co-Producer, Editor, Cinematography – Trained as an architect and graphic artist, her passionate creativity and quest for the muse led her to filmmaking—and found a natural professional evolution. Her first feature-length film, The Quantum Activist, is a critically acclaimed, international award-winning film currently distributed in 12 countries and has been a favorite on Netflix with over 150,000 ratings. Her last film, Capoeira: Fly Away Beetle won silver in the feature documentary category at Philadelphia International Film Festival in 2012 and is currently available on iTunes. She is the creative director behind documentaries, mainstream film projects, music videos and graphics. When not making movies, she enjoys creating  and performing electronica and living creatively.

Renee Slade Co-Director, Co-Producer, Writer, Cinematography – An artist who cannot be confined by limited constructs, Renee lives and creates outside the box. Writer,photographer, cinematographer, symbolist, mythologist, swami (and a hell of a good cook), as a partner in BlueDot Productions, Renee taps a vast wealth of talent and knowledge to bring depth to the company’s film projects and helps keep the company’s mission of facilitating uplifting messages on track. An award winning producer for the documentary The Quantum Activist and Capoeira: Fly Away Beetle, her focus is the evolution of all types of media that support and inspire enthusiastic, appreciative living.

Mark Applebaum Featured artist and recently SFCMP-commissioned composer – Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at Stanford University, Applebaum received his Ph.D. in composition from the University of California at San Diego where he studied principally with Brian Ferneyhough. His solo, chamber, choral, orchestral, operatic, and electroacoustic work has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia with notable premieres at the Darmstadt summer sessions. He has received commissions from the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Betty Freeman, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, the Fromm Foundation, the Vienna Modern Festival, Antwerp’s Champ D’Action, Festival ADEvantgarde in Munich, Zeitgeist, MANUFACTURE (Tokyo), the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Jerome Foundation, and the American Composers Forum, among others. His music can be heard on recordings on the Innova, Tzadik, Capstone, and SEAMUS labels. Additional information at www.markapplebaum.com.

Additional Resources:
Film Website – http://live4artmovie.com
Film Trailer –  https://vimeo.com/90675145
Mark Applebaum Rabbit Hole (SFCMP Performance) – http://vimeo.com/64031313
SF Contemporary Music Players www.sfcmp.org

Soundvoice

Soundvoice is a community engagement and educational project created by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (SFCMP) that seeks to deliver a new level of relevance and celebration to San Franciscans in a participatory and collaborative celebratory format. Delivered in partnership with Hospitality House and funded by a James Irvine Foundation “Exploring Engagement” grant, Soundvoice will take place in Spring, 2014, culminating in a free public celebration to be held on May 17, 2015 at the Center for New Music from 1.00-3:00 p.m.


Learning Sessions (closed to the public)

Session 1: The Power of Story April 6 – Monday

Session 2: Intro the New Music – “What Is Concentrated Listening?” – April 8 – Wednesday

Session 3: Mobile Sound Lab – April 13 – Monday

Session 4: Telling Stories Through Sound – April 15 – Wednesday

Session 5: Sharing Stories and More – April 20 – Monday

Design Day – Sunday, May 2, 2015


Please read about the “theory” behind Soundvoice here and check out the launch press release here! Meet the participants, review the program content, and see photographs of the sessions at the Soundvoice at Hospitality House website.

Through our services agreement with the Center for New Music, the following key personnel manage and implement SFCMP’s production activities:

Adam Fong (Project Manager) Adam has worked as a composer, performer, and producer of new music since completing his MFA in Music Composition at California Institute of the Arts, where he studied with James Tenney and Wadada Leo Smith. As Associate Director of Other Minds (2006–2012), Fong produced six editions of the annual Other Minds Festival, dubbed the “premier new music festival on the West Coast” (Los Angeles Times), and many special projects including the CD reissues of Conlon Nancarrow’s Studies for Player Piano and The Complete Music of Carl Ruggles, tribute concerts to Ruth Crawford Seeger, Henry Cowell, and Dane Rudhyar, a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Fluxus, and the American Premiere of 18 Microtonal Ragas based on “Solo for Voice 58″ by John Cage. Fong’s own compositions have been performed internationally in Auckland, London, Berlin, Tübingen and Darmstadt, at many US universities, and throughout California, by performers including the two-piano team Dennis Russell Davies and Maki Namekawa. In 2008, he co-founded Emerging Arts Professionals/San Francisco Bay Area, a network dedicated to the development and growth of next generation arts and culture workers; he was Chair of Business Development in 2010-11 and became Director in 2011. Adam also holds a master’s degree from Stanford University (English). He has lectured on experimental music and received international publication of his scholarly and creative work, and serves on advisory boards, panels, and committees at the local and national level.

Jon Yu (Production Manager) Jon is a composer and guitarist currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He received a B.A. in Music from University of California, Santa Cruz, studying under Hi-Kyung Kim, John Sackett, and Ben Leeds Carson; and a M.A. in Music Composition from San Francisco State University, studying under Richard Festinger and Benjamin Sabey. He has received fellowships from festivals such as the June in Buffalo Festival and the Walden School Creative Musicians Retreat. His works have been performed throughout the United States by ensembles such as Jarring Sounds, Ensemble Signal, and Wet Ink Ensemble. Current projects include new pieces for the Living Earth Show and flutist Wayla J. Chambo. Besides his composition pursuits, Jon also plays in and tours with a number of Bay Area rock bands.