2015-16 Season

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new spaces for new music

San Francisco Contemporary Music Players
45th Anniversary, 2015-16 Season


X-scape is a season dedicated to exploring new spaces — both literal and metaphorical. By replacing “X” we are able to look at important spaces: from SongScape, an examination of the nature of utterance and communication; to XeriScape, which begs the question of the role of art in a discussion of climate change; to Oscuroscape, the nature of darkness. Along the way great works of new music will serve as our guides through the “selva oscura” of contemporary life.
— Steven Schick, Artistic Director


All concerts begin at 7:30 PM
Pre-concert discussions at 6:30 PM

October 20, 2015 – Grisey Preview (SF Conservatory of Music)
October 21, 2015 – X-SCAPE: Songscape: Grisey, Lang, Hyla, improvisation (SF Conservatory of Music)
October 24, 2015 – Barrière & Saariaho (Jewish Community Center of SF)
December 19, 2015 – (Special Event) Unsilent Night: Kline *Free
January 19, 2016 – X-SCAPE: Xeriscape: Feldman, Andriessen, di Castri (SF Conservatory of Music)
March 15/17, 2016 – X-SCAPE: Oscuroscape: Lang (Z Space)
March 16/18, 2016 – X-SCAPE: Starscape: Grisey, Papalexandri-Alexandri (Z Space)
March 19, 2016 – (Special Event) 45th Anniversary Celebration (Z Space)


Concert Details

Grisey Preview and X-SCAPE: Songscape 
October 20 and 21, 2015
San Francisco Conservatory of Music      50 Oak St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Concert begins at 7:30 PM
Pre-concert discussion at 6:30 PM

Songscape examines the nature of utterance. How does an individual find her voice; how does she learn to understand others as language changes? For insight we’ll listen to David Lang’s quotations of the character of death in Schubert art song and to Lee Hyla’s conjecture of what Etruscan might sound like as played through modern reed instruments. Gérard Grisey’s magnificent final work, Quatre Chants, is a reliquary and an expressive catharsis.

Grisey Preview
October 20, 2015

Gérard Grisey, Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil – Four Songs for Crossing the Threshold
Soprano Solo and Fifteen Instruments

October 21, 2015

David Lang, Death Speaks
Soprano, Violin, Guitar, Piano (guest soprano, Alice Teyssier)

Lee Hyla, We Speak Etruscan
Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet

Kyle Bruckmann, Ken Ueno, Improvisation

Gérard GriseyQuatre chants pour franchir le seuil – Four Songs for Crossing the Threshold
Soprano Solo and Fifteen Instruments

Barrière & Saariaho
October 24, 2015
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco      3200 California St, San Francisco, CA 94118
Concert begins at 7:30 PM
Pre-concert discussion at 6:30 PM

Two contemporary masters of multi-media, the composers Kaija Saariaho and Jean-Baptiste Barrière, are visiting the Bay Area in the 2015. SFCMP takes a close look at their most intimate works – solo pieces for instruments, electronics and (sometimes) video. From the lyrical to the visceral, these Saariaho and Barrière works run the gamut of sounds and emotions.

Kaija Saariaho, Six Japanese gardens
Solo percussion with electronics

On Stage interview with Jean-Baptiste Barrière
Jean-Baptiste Barrière, Violance
Solo violin with electronics and video

At Intermission: On-stage interview with Kaija Saariaho

Kaija Saariaho, NoaNoa
Solo flute with electronics and video

Jean-Baptiste Barrière, Time Dust
Solo percussion with electronics and video

Special Event: Unsilent Night
December 19, 2015
Location TDB
Unsilent Night
Phil Kline

Join us for this free and participatory community event linked to the “Unsilent Night” celebrations around the world. This original composition by Phil Kline, written specifically to be heard outdoors in the month of December, takes the form of a street promenade in which the audience becomes the performer. Each participant plays one of four tracks of music from their own boombox, phone, or anything that amplifies music, together comprising Unsilent Night. Our ensemble will walk a carefully chosen route through San Francisco, creating a unique mobile sound sculpture.

X-SCAPE: Xeriscape
January 19, 2016
San Francisco Conservatory of Music      50 Oak St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Concert begins at 7:30 PM
Pre-concert discussion at 6:30 PM

Xeriscape (Xeri from Greek ξηρός for dry) invokes climate change. California’s wells and reservoirs are drying; the ice fields in the Arctic are shrinking; deserts of all kinds are growing. Xeriscape poses the question: is there a cultural counterpart to climate change? Are there important artistic statements that resonate in the new arid spaces? Or are we caught, as Beckett writes, in the desolate space “entre le galet et la mer?”

Zosha DiCastri, La Forma dello Spazio
Flute, Clarinet, Piano, Violin, Cello

Louis Andriessen, Worker’s Union

Morton Feldman, For Samuel Beckett

Residency at Z Space – March 15-19, 2016

X-SCAPE: Oscuroscape
March 15 and 17, 2016
                   Z Space     450 Florida St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Concert begins at 7:30 PM

                   Pre-concert discussion at 6:30 PM                

David Lang’s introspectively ecstatic piece darker takes a long time to change very little. Over the course of an hour a very active string orchestra plays music that gets a little darker – not a lot, just a little. A film by visual artist Suzanne Bocanegra heightens the darkening. The result is hypnotic and moving.

David Lang, warmth
Electric Guitar Duet

David Lang, darker
12 Strings

X-SCAPE: Starscape
March 16 and 18, 2016
Z Space     450 Florida St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Concert begins at 7:30 PM
    Pre-concert discussion at 6:30 PM   

One of the greatest statements in the percussion repertoire, Gérard Grisey’s Le Noir de l’Étoile takes both its inspiration and sound sources from recordings made of pulsars. These rhythmic phenomena, arriving from enormous distances, make our world come alive with pulsations. Looking inward rather than outward, Marianthi Papalexandri-alexandri’s kein thema looks at the smallest of sounds and inspirations – the small brushing sounds of skin on a temple block, the rhythmic swoop of a marble rolling – and makes chamber music from them.

Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri, kein thema
Three Percussionists

Gérard Grisey, Le noir de l’Étoile
Six Percussionists

SAVE THE DATE: 45th Anniversary Celebration
March 19, 2016
 Z Space     450 Florida St, San Francisco, CA 94110 
Please save the date and join us in celebration of our 45th anniversary season to celebrate the history and people of SFCMP.
Details coming soon.



San Francisco Conservatory of Music
50 Oak Street, San Francisco
between Van Ness & Franklin

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
3200 California Street, San Francisco
at Presidio Avenue

Z Space
450 Florida Street, San Francisco
between 17th Street & Mariposa Street


email: info@sfcmp.org
phone: 415-278-9566