Steve Reich Drumming

Posted by August 29, 2014

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

Meet Bay Area soprano Ann Moss our special guest vocalist

SFCMP Drumming Press Release


Want to listen to Drumming? Play this YouTube video in the background while you go about your day!

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.

Ticket are on sale now. $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

Steve Reich

Project TenFourteen

Posted by August 29, 2014

project ten fourteen

SFCMP is  thrilled to be presenting something unprecedented for us (and possibly, in our field)… Project TenFourteen - 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. (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.

Envisioned by Robert Amory, a Trustee of the Jebediah Foundation, and executed in partnership with Cal PerformancesProject 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 and shared destiny. Project TenFourteen is dedicated to 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 #2The 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 #3World 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 #4The 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 – Agata Zubel, Du Yun, Harrison Birtwistle

Posted by August 29, 2014

twoCal 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.

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)

polish institute

Buy your TICKETS HERE - Single tickets start at $32. All seating through the Cal Performances website.

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


USEFUL INFORMATION FOR OUR PATRONS:

Please notice, we cannot take responsibility for the information provided herein as we do not manage these entities — we are providing you these details based on the general public information we have been able to gather.

Traveling to Berkeley? Remember on Sundays, BART  riders from San Francisco must take a Pittsburgh-Bay Point train to MacArthur Station in Oakland and switch to a Richmond train (two stops after MacArthur for Downtown Berkeley) or UBER signup(discount for new customers if you use code SFCMP).

Driving? Cal Performances reminds us that parking is often hard to find — plan to arrive 30-40 minutes early (before the pre-concert talk) or better yet, come around 4:00 pm and enjoy a drink or snack at the several nearby cafes and restaurants – including Cal Performances’s own Cafe ZellerbachOther useful Cal Performances Patron Information is at their website.


Program (subject to change)

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

Single tickets start at $32. All seating through the Cal Performances website.


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


Under the artistic leadership of internationally acclaimed musician and educator Steven Schick, SFCMP’s season is 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 Wen-Chung Chou. 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 — will take place at Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. They are presented in collaboration with Cal Performances. A pre-concert talk precedes each performance, and a post-concert reception will allow audience members to engage with the composers and artists.

Read more about Project TenFourteen

 

Project TenFourteen – San Martin, Ueno, Berio, Nono

Posted by August 29, 2014

ThreeCal 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, 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 with guest violinist Gabriela DiazCal Performances Hertz Hall, Berkeley – 7:00 pm (pre-concert talk 6-6:30)


Program (subject to change)

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

Single tickets start at $32; four-concert subscription $96. All seating through the Cal Performances website.


Under the artistic leadership of internationally acclaimed musician and educator Steven Schick, SFCMP’s season is 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 Wen-Chung Chou. 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 — will take place at Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. They are presented in collaboration with Cal Performances. A pre-concert talk precedes each performance, and a post-concert reception will allow audience members to engage with the composers and artists.

Read more about Project TenFourteen

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

zetsu8zetsu8zetsu8.jpg

 

Project Ten Fourteen – Nakano, Liang, Crumb, Wen-Chung, Varese

Posted by August 29, 2014

Four

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, 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)


Program (subject to change)

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

Lei Liang - Luminous - WP, Comm

George Crumb - Xylophony - WP, Comm

Edgard Varèse - Ionisation

Chou Wen-chung - New Work WP, Comm

Single tickets start at $32; four-concert subscription $96. All seating through the Cal Performances website.


Under the artistic leadership of internationally acclaimed musician and educator Steven Schick, SFCMP’s season is 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 Wen-Chung Chou. 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 — will take place at Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. They are presented in collaboration with Cal Performances. A pre-concert talk precedes each performance, and a post-concert reception will allow audience members to engage with the composers and artists.

Read more about Project TenFourteen