sfSoundSeries/sfSoundSalonSeries is a concert series in the san francisco bay area featuring contemporary and experimental music. our programs reach from the latest music of the european avant-garde to the grittiest sounds of the west coast improv-underground, encompassing recent trends in instrumental technique, conceptual art, music theater, and electronic sound.
for 2013-2014, we also present the bi-weekly sfSoundSalonSeries at the center for new music in san francisco!
march 11, 2014 - joan la barbara
march 25, 2014 - travis andrews & ben kreith :: matt ingalls
april 1, 2014 - montreal-new york quartet - CANCELED
april 15, 2014 - stephane ginsburgh
april 22, 2014 - the hub
may 13, 2014 - tbd
june 10, 2014 - chris brown
july 25, 2014 - sfSound @ old first concerts
oct 21, 2014 - MUSIC & FILM: a. lewandowski/t. feeney/c. shepard/l. polansky/d. kant & m. ashkin/b. o'brien
nov 8, 2014 - nate wooly & carol robinson play eliane radigue
nov 13, 2014 - tim hodgkinson
:: view previous 2014 concerts here ::
Joan La Barbara
A program of solo voice, group improvisations, and a performance of Angels, Demons and Other Muses (2010) with sfSoundGroup.
Angels, Demons and Other Muses is part of an opera in-progress, which La Barbara has been engaged in composing over the past 6 years. The work integrates both her signature vocal techniques and their transfer to other instruments, involving musicians onstage to embody certain aspects of characters, and exploring language within the compositional process. Drawing inspiration from Virginia Woolf and Edgar Allen Poe (writers whose work she has studied since grammar school), dream fragments from Joseph Cornell’s journals, and nature-based architectural geometries (including the swirls and spirals of Antoni Gaudí and Frank Lloyd Wright), La Barbara is creating an abstract work which endeavors to expose the artist’s struggle, externalizing the internal dialogue and the genesis of the act of producing art.
La Barbara states, “My compositional process often begins with stream-of-consciousness writing, generating a list or series of words and phrases about a selected topic or theme. I then read through what I have written, finding the music that these words inspire in me, generating sketches and constructing the musical material and overall form of the work, setting my impressions of images, translating from words to sound in much the same manner that I have generated multi-layered ‘sound paintings’ inspired by visual art. In ‘ is part of an opera in-progress, which La Barbara has been engaged in composing over the past 6 years. The work integrates both her signatu’, I am creating my own libretto, which is woven into the sonic texture. For this performance the musicians will be seated within the audience. Thus, the entire space will be the ‘stage’. I am also integrating spatial movement from the acoustic instruments with those in the sonic atmosphere, the soundscape environment combining layers of voices, natural and instrumental sounds which will surround and flow over the audience.”
Joan La Barbara composer, performer, sound artist, and actor, is renowned for her unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques, influencing generations of composers and singers. Awards and prizes include: Premio Internazionale “Demetrio Stratos”; DAAD-Berlin Artist-in-Residency; Civitella Ranieri, Guggenheim and 7 National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and numerous commissions. Composing for multiple voices, chamber ensembles, theater, orchestra, interactive technology, and soundscores for dance, video and film, including a score for voice and electronics for Sesame Street, her multi-layered textural compositions were presented at Brisbane Biennial, Festival d'Automne à Paris, Warsaw Autumn, MaerzMusik Berlin, and Lincoln Center. Artistic Director of the multi-year Carnegie Hall series “When Morty Met John” and co-founder of performing composers-collective Ne(x)tworks. She recently worked with artist Matthew Barney on his new film project “River of Fundament”. Recordings of her work include: "ShamanSong" (New World), “Sound Paintings”, "Voice is the Original Instrument" and “73 Poems” (Lovely Music) her collaboration with text-artist Kenneth Goldsmith, which was included in The American Century Part II: Soundworks at The Whitney Museum. Exploring ways of immersing the audience in her music, La Barbara placed musicians and actors throughout Greenwich House Music School for her music/theater piece Journeys and Observable Events, allowing the audience to explore the building, unveiling theatrical and sonic events, and seated the American Composers Orchestra around and among the audience in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel auditorium, building her sonic painting “in solitude this fear is lived”, inspired by Agnes Martin’s minimalist drawings. Current studies include Michael Beckett’s Experimental Workshop and Austin Pendleton’s Advanced Scene Study classes at HB Studios. La Barbara served on the faculties of California Institute of the Arts, Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, The College of Santa Fe, The University of New Mexico, visiting lecturer at Princeton University, and currently on the Composition Faculty of New York University’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professionals, as well as maintaining a private studio in New York City. La Barbara is a composer and publisher member of ASCAP and is composing a new opera exploring the artistic process, interior dialogue, and sounds within the mind. For more information, visit joanlabarbara.com.
Joan La Barbara, voice
Erik Ulman, violin
Monica Scott, cello
Brendan Lai-Tong, trombone
Benjamin Kreith, violin
John Ingle, saxophone
Matt Ingalls, clarinet
Evelyn Davis, piano
Tom Dambly, trumpet
Mark Clifford, vibraphone
Kyle Bruckmann, oboe/english horn
Benjamin Kreith & Travis Andrews Duo
Matt Ingalls Solo
Benjamin Kreith and Travis Andrews perform the West Coast premier of Jardín bajo la luna by David del Puerto, a Spanish composer/guitarist who continues to hone his personal, understated modal language. His new duo is a Schumannesque suite of night landscapes — a pathway through storms, fireflies, and still waters. Also on the program, Carlo Prosperi’s nighttime duo, In nocte, and solo pieces by Elliott Carter and Örjan Sandred.
Matt Ingalls performs his decades-in-the-making, 30-minute-continuous-micro-timbre-circular-breath-tour-de-force clarinet solo that explores extended techniques that interact with the acoustic space.
Travis Andrews toured nationally and internationally with several bands before completing his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Wisconsin and his Master’s of Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under David Tanenbaum, where he received the conservatory’s 2009 awards for Outstanding Guitarist and Outstanding Jazz Improviser. He is a two-time Bang on a Can Fellow and has been a featured soloist with Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He also plays with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Eco Ensemble in residence at the University of California, Berkeley, and Empyrean Ensemble in residence at University of California, Davis. He is currently active with the bands Freighter, miRthkon, Makeunder, and The Living Earth Show, a chamber duo that commissions new music.
Travis is a founding faculty member at the Marin Community Music School. He has also taught master classes for the Guitar Foundation of America, The Colburn School in Los Angeles, the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, and Western Washington University. His publications include the co-authored book The Beginner's Guide to Guitar from String Letter Publishing, and he is a contributor to Acoustic Guitar Magazine.
Violinist Benjamin Kreith has premiered solo works at the Strasbourg and Marseille festivals, given recitals in Madrid and New York City, and performed as a guest artist with the Ying and Muir Quartets. Ben helped to found the Ensemble CGAC in Santiago de Compostela, and has also played with Barcelona 216 and the Harvard Group for New Music. For several years he was a member of the Cascade Quartet and concertmaster of the Great Falls Symphony. His solo recordings include works by Christian Lauba on the Accord/Universal label and by Luciano Chessa, forthcoming on Stradivarius.
Reviled for his “shapeless sonic tinkering” by the Los Angeles Times, Oakland musician Matt Ingalls is a composer, clarinetist, concert producer, and computer music programmer. Often incorporating elements of improvisation, his music is heavily influenced by his long involvement in computer music. His composerly solo improvisations explore extended clarinet techniques that interact with the acoustic space, often as combination tones. Matt is the founder and co-director of sfSound, a new music series, ensemble, and internet radio station devoted to new ideas and traditions of experimental music, performance art, live electronic music, Bay Area composition, and the various facets of contemporary improvisation.
Stephane Ginsburgh, solo piano
Belgian pianist Stephane Ginsburgh presents an evening of works for a solo pianist that subtly combines music, speaking, electronics, actions and percussion into a unique musical experience. "A pianist speaking, a speaker playing the piano... Let’s invert the roles, mix them, create ambiguity : music and text are not superimposed anymore but they are tangled up, intimately mingling..."
Matthew Shlomowitz - Popular Contexts 2 (2010) for piano, keyboard, voice, actions and electronic sounds
Frederic Rzewski - Stop The War! (Mile 61 from The Road, 2003)
Frederic Rzewski - Salouette (for Salomé Lou Ginsburgh, 2011)
Jean-Luc Fafchamps - Rap & Tap (2011) for speaking an tapping pianist
Vykintas Baltakas - Pasaka (1995) for piano and electronics
François Sarhan - Ô Piano (2012) for piano, voice and electronics
Matthew Shlomowitz makes incisions in the daily musical and sound world, exposing it to the listener in the offbeat conditions of the concert. In “Popular Contexts 2” it is a confrontation between the piano and the world which opens to an exploration of new ways of liestening in a given context.
Frederic Rzewski is one of the pioneers in music for speaking pianist. But is it a pianist speaking of a speaker playing the piano ? The question remains. With “De Profundis” the composer revisits the famous text written by Oscar Wilde in his prison cell to produce a true antiauthority melodrama.
“Rap & Tap” by Jean-Luc Fafchamps are two explosive miniatures written for a project assembling short pieces. Rap, dedicated to Frederic Rzewski, interlaces music to a text by James Baldwin. Tap, in the memory of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, let us hear multiple percussive sound effects performed on the piano.
The lithuanian Vykintas Baltakas uses his mother tongue and electronics. The pianist tells a story, for himself, for somebody else. Understanding is not important, what is is the desire to tell the story. The necessity. This is the tale found behind “Pasaka”.
With "Ô Piano", François Sarhan unfolds the long and hesitating monologue of a pianist about the meaning of his musical practice. It gives birth to a characteristic body language as the pianist adresses an imaginary listener, speaks, plays, stops, and comes back upstream, ending with a question.
Stephane Ginsburgh, a musician based in Brussels, has been praised for his daring and mature piano playing. He appears regularly in recitals and chamber music worldwide. He performed at important festivals such as Agora (Paris), Ars Musica (Brussels), Festival de Wallonie, Festival van Vlaanderen, Tzlil Meudcan Festival (Tel-Aviv), Festival Transit (Leuven), Milano Musica, Festival Next Wave (New York), Festival de Marseille, Artefact Festival (Leuven), Festival Midis-Minimes (Brussels), Festival Loop (Brussels), Biennale Charleroi-Danse, Gentsche Feesten, Moscow Autumn Contemporary Music Festival and will perform in the future at festivals Piano+ ZKM (Karlsruhe), Festival Musiq3 (Brussels), Darmstadt Ferienkurse, Quincena Musical (San Sebastián), Ultima Oslo, Lincoln Center Festival (New York) ...
He dedicates much of his energy to contemporary music that he plays as well as the Classical repertoire. He collaborated with many composers such as Newton Armstrong, Vykintas Baltakas, Guy Barash, Philippe Boesmans, Renaud De Putter, Jean-Luc Fafchamps, Fabian Fiorini, Panayiotis Kokoras, Pierre Kolp, Philipp Maintz, Benoît Mernier, Stefan Prins, André Ristic, Frederic Rzewski, François Sarhan, Sabrina Schroeder, Matthew Shlomowitz and Juan Carlos Tolosa, of whom he also premiered works. He regularly plays with the Ictus Ensemble under George- Elie Octors. He collaborated with choreographers such as Johanne Saunier (Joji Inc.), Anne Tersa De Keersmaeker (Rosas), Claudio Bernardo (As Palavras), Barbara Mavro (Roberta DC) and visual artists Peter Dowsnbrough and Kurt Ralske.
Stephane Ginsburgh recorded many CDs for Sub Rosa label (Feldman, Duchamp, Satie, Fafchamps) which recently published Back to... by Jean-Luc Fafchamps. He will record two pieces by David Toub for World Edition. His recording of Prokofiev’s complete piano sonatas will be published by Cypres Records.
After studying at the Conservatory, he worked with Paul Badura-Skoda, Claude Helffer, Jerome Lowenthal and Vitaly Margulis. He is a laureate of the Tenuto BRTN competition 1995 and has received the Pelemans Prize in 1999 by the Belgian composers union for his implication in performing Belgian contemporary music. In 1998, Stephane Ginsburgh co-founded SONAR (previously le Bureau des Arts), an active group of artists dedicated to different types of artistic expression and creation including music, dance and literature. His implication in concert organisation bears a strong political meaning as he insists on the necessity for artists to engage themselves into collective action. From 2010 until 2013, he was artistic director of the Centre Henri Pousseur dedicated to electronic music and live electronics. He teaches piano at the Royal Music Conservatory and at the Dalcroze Institute, both in Brussels. He studied philosophy at the Free University of Brussels and has translated Uncommon People: Resistance, Rebellion and Jazz by Eric J. Hobsbawm into French for Aden Editions.
A rare opportunity to hear the band that pioneered laptop ensembles over twenty-five years ago. Functioning in the West Coast tradition of composer as instrument builder — redefining music from the ground up -- The Hub makes music using electronic and digital systems of their own devising. Producing some of the most imaginative and compelling electronic music ever made, The Hub is perhaps the most infamous electronic ensemble since Musica Elettronica Viva. Although this influential Bay Area collective has performed worldwide in recent years and continues to break new ground in the ever-growing laptop medium, they had not played in San Francisco for almost a decade.
Formed in 1986, The Hub members are John Bischoff, Tim Perkis, Chris Brown, Scot Gresham-Lancaster, Mark Trayle and Phil Stone, with guest Matt Ingalls.
The Hub grew from the League of Automatic Music Composers: John Bischoff, Tim Perkis, Jim Horton, and Rich Gold. Perkis and Bischoff modified their equipment for a performance at The Network Muse Festival in 1986 at The LAB in San Francisco. Instead of creating an ad-hoc wired connection of computer interaction, they decided to use a hub - a general purpose connection for network data.
The Hub was the first band to do a telematic performance in 1987 at the Clocktower in New York.
Since this work represents some of the earliest work in the context of the new live music practice of Networked music performance, they have been cited as the archtypal network ensemble in computer music. The Hub's best-known piece, Stuck Note by Scot Gresham-Lancaster has been covered by a number of network music bands, including MiLO- the Milwaukee Laptop Orchestra and BiLE- the Birminham Laptop Ensemble.
They have collaborated with Rova Saxophone Quartet, Nick Collins, Phil Niblock and Alvin Curran. They currently perform around the world after a multi-year hiatus, ending in 2004.