SFCMP Screening I Live For Art

Posted by August 26, 2014

Wreath-OIFF BWIn 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.

August Rabbit Hole

Tickets $9 - Advance ticketing highly recommended as seating is limited.

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. Tickets for the event are $9 available through SFCMP’s website on September 1. 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, wining 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

Alice in Antarctica

Posted by August 26, 2014

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)
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.

Masterclass – October 13

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


Project TenFourteen

Posted by August 26, 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.

The commissioned composers are of an extraordinary caliber: George Crumb, Elena Ruehr, Ken Ueno, Gabriela Ortiz, Du Yun, Agata Zubel, Koji Nakano, Lei Liang, Laurie San Martin, and Wen-Chung Chou.

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. 

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

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, 2014 - 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)

  About the Composers:

About the Project TenFourteen Composers

Chou Wen-chung – A protégé  of Edgard Varèse, Lei is an American composer of Chinese ancestry, lauded for his transcriptions of Asian melo-rhythms into Western vernacular. He is widely published, the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Foundation grant, and a National Institute of Arts and Letters award, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among countless other accolades. Chou is considered a living treasure. In 2010 he collaborated with SFCMP’s Steven Schick in the U.S. premiere of a spatialized work, “Etude Pour L’Espace,” at Lincoln Center with the International Contemporary Ensemble.

George Crumb – One of the most frequently performed living composers, Crumb is one of those composers so well-known, he is oft-referred to by his last name alone. Widely revered for his use of unusual timbres, alternative notations, and extended instrumental and vocal techniques in works such as Vox Balaenae, Makrokosmos, and Ancient Voices of Children. It is truly an honor to receive three new works from this master composer, one of the most frequently performed today, in response to our commission.

Lei Liang –Based in San Diego, Lei is considered “one of the most exciting voices in New Music… an important musical philosopher, coming into mature expression.” (“The Wire”, UK). He is a Rome Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship and Aaron Copland Award winner, with works commissioned and performed by prestigious ensembles such as the Arditti Quartet, the Berkeley Symphony, and The Thailand Philharmonic. Lei’s Aural Hypothesis was performed by SFCMP in October, 2011.

Koji Nakano – This Japanese composer is recognized as a major voice among Asian composers of his generation. His work aims to merge Western and Eastern musical traditions, and reflects the relationship of beauty, form and imperfection through the formality of music. Nakano has studied with Lee Hyla, John Harbison, and Louis Andriessen and is the recipient of the first Toru Takemitsu Award in Composition from the Japan Society of Boston, among other honors. He is currently a full-time faculty member in composition at Burapha University in Thailand..

Gabriela Ortiz – One of the foremost composers in Mexico today, Ortiz is noted for a musical language that achieves an extraordinary and expressive synthesis of tradition and the avant-garde, combining high art, folk music and jazz in novel, frequently refined, and always personal ways. Her compositions are credited for being both entertaining and immediate as well as profound and sophisticated; she achieves a balance between highly organized structure and improvisatory spontaneity.

Elena Ruehr – Ruehr is an award winning faculty member at MIT and a former Fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute whose works have been commissioned o performed by the Cypress, Biava, Borromeo, Lark, ROCO and Shanghai string quartets. A former student of William Bolcom, she composes for chamber ensemble, orchestra, chorus, wind ensemble, instrumental solo, opera, dance and silent film. Gramophone magazine says her work is “unspeakably gorgeous.” Dr. Ruehr is currently on the faculty at MIT.

Laurie San Martin – A composer, teacher and an occasional clarinetist and conductor, San Martin mainly writes for chamber ensemble and orchestra but has also written incidental music for theater, dance and video. She has worked with many accomplished ensembles such as Speculum Musicae, eighth blackbird, SF Chamber Orchestra, the Lydian Quartet, SFCMP, Washington Square Contemporary Chamber Players, EARPLAY and the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble. She is currently Associate Professor of music at the University of California, Davis.

Ken Ueno  - A recipient of the Rome Prize and the Berlin Prize, composer and vocalist Ken Ueno is currently an Associate Professor at UC Berkeley. His music has been performed at such venues as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Köln Festival, the Muziekgebouw, Ars Musica, Other Minds, the Hopkins Center, Spoleto USA, Steim, and the Norfolk Music Festival. 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.

Du Yun – Born and raised in Shanghai, China, and currently based in NYC, Du Yun is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and performance artist whose music encompasses orchestral, chamber music, theatre, opera, orchestral, cabaret, storytelling, pop music, visual arts and noise. Known as “protean” and “chameleonic,” she was recently voted one of 100 notable composers under 40 by National Public Radio. She has received commissions from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, the American Composers Orchestra, the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, the Whitney Museum of American Art, SFCMP, and many others. She is also acclaimed as an onstage performance artist, appearing in “many assorted holes and halls, across New York, nationally and abroad.” An alumna of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Oberlin College (BM), and Harvard University (MA, PHD), Du Yun is currently on the faculty of SUNY-Purchase.

Agata Zubel – 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 honored by the International Composers’ Tribune of UNESCO in the “best composition” category for Not I, a work for soprano, instrumental ensemble and electronics.