2016 concerts

jan 8-10, 2016 - san francisco tape music festival 2016
jan 16, 2016 - splinter reeds: stanford composers
jan 27, 2016 - john krausbauer + sam ashley + luciano chessa
feb 10, 2016 - bromp treb + weston olencki/charlie sdraulig
mar 22, 2016 - t.d. skatchit
apr 29, 2016 - sfsound @ april in santa cruz
may 10, 2016 - departure
may 14, 2016 - composers from the john adams young composers program
may 19, 2016 - sfsound @ ucsc
june 21, 2016 - garden of memory
july 8-10, 2016 - sfSoundFestival
july 19, 2016 - jason robinson
aug 9, 2016 - lorin benedict & friends
aug 16, 2016 - splinter reeds
sep 20, 2016 - jon raskin & scott looney
oct 14, 2016 - volcano radar & john ingle/kjell nordeson
nov 9, 2016 - fausto bongelli
nov 15, 2016 - sfsound & martha & monica
dec 4, 2016 - michael thieke & biliana voutchkova

:: view entire concert history here ::

 January 8-10 2016 
tape fest 2016 :: gray area grand theater :: 2665 mission :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 underemployed] :: $40 fest pass

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2016

America's only festival devoted to the performance of audio works projected in three-dimensional space, The San Francisco Tape Music Festival features three distinct evenings of classic audio art and new fixed media compositions by 20 local and international composers. Hear members of the SF Tape Music Collective, along with guest composers, shape the sound live over a pristine surround system consisting of 24 high-end loudspeakers while the audience is seated in complete darkness. It's a unique opportunity to experience music forming - literally - around you.

[click here for details of all 4 concerts]

 Saturday January 16 2016 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 underemployed/members] :: 7:33p

Splinter Reeds vs. Stanford Composers

Splinter Reeds – the West Coast’s only professional reed quintet – will perform hair-raising new works for reeds and/or electronics developed during the previous week’s residency at Stanford University’s CCRMA.

Featuring works by composers including Constantin Basica, Eoin Callery, Shu Yu Lin, Laura Steenberge, and Andrew Watts.

SPLINTER REEDS is the Bay Area’s first reed quintet, composed of five intrepid musicians whose reeds vibrate primarily to the sounds of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Individually, Splinter’s members stay active as both soloists and as part of various chamber and large ensembles across the nation. As fierce advocates of new music throughout their careers, Splinter’s members are proud to have spearheaded many notable commissions and world premiere performances. Splinter members have performed with ensembles such as the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Alarm Will Sound, International Contemporary Ensemble, San Francisco Symphony, Ensemble Dal Niente, Cleveland Orchestra, sfSound, Harvard Group for New Music and ECO Ensemble among many others. As educators, members of the ensemble hold teaching positions at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

 Wednesday January 27 2016 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 underemployed/members] :: 7:37p


Three highly singular electro-acoustic musical intermediums set phasers on “other.” Strobes, trance, saws, and accordions will be deployed in the service of aesthetic emanations from aetheric realms.


A true story of Manifest Destiny, cannibalism and luck. Or just life as we know it: we (life) start out with high hopes but end up eating each other.

This piece is about the amplification of imaginary sound. It’s a mystical experiment: it all takes place in the spirit world; I’m trusting that in a performance somewhere there’ll be a breakthrough and the audience will perceive the same paranormal things I’m perceiving in trance when I perform the piece. Maybe that’ll happen in this show…

A new composition-improvisation for three accordions. Multiple pattern-variations in a closely tuned vhf range produce a dynamic field of beating patterns, difference tones, acoustic phenomena, and inner ear/auditory hallucination. Performed by: John Krausbauer, Aaron Openheim, and Kate Short.

for musical saw and electronics

SAM ASHLEY has devoted his life to the development of an experimental, non-religious mysticism, one rooted in a “find out for yourself” attitude, an attitude that he advocates in direct opposition to so many traditions. He has been a modern-day witch-doctor for almost 48 years. For more than four decades Sam has been using this mysticism in the creation of music and art. His pieces are mostly about luck, hallucination and coincidence. Usually they include direct presentations of magic events, objects or phenomena. Sam’s performed pieces often feature the use of authentic spirit possession, something he has been working with for more than 30 years. One could say that Sam’s installation and sound art work is about finding ways to amplify imaginary sound. Almost all of what Sam does relates directly to trance -- he offers simple windows onto things that occur in-between the “real world” and that which transcends it.

JOHN KRAUSBAUER is a music maker currently living in Los Angeles. He has performed his music in a multitude of settings – from basements and rock clubs to colleges and art galleries. Numerous recordings of his work have been released on independent labels in both the US and Europe. In recent years his focus has been on his solo work, involving ritual endurance happenings with voice and violin, accompanied by synth and strobes; his compositions, mainly concerned with sytems-based phasing constructions; the Ecstatic Music Band, exploring just tunings with amplified strings at high volumes and long durations, with stroboscopic lighting; The Essentialists, a country-blues-boogie-raga guitar/violin duo; and most recently the formation of the “M”inimalist psych-punk group, Night Collectors. Trance-Psychedelia is the aim and goal.

LUCIANO CHESSA is among the most interesting and inventive minds currently working in the Bay Area. Active as a composer, performer, conductor and musicologist, Chessa’s work draws heavy influence from experimentation, blending unorthodox ideas with classical form. Imaginative in its embrace of the avant-garde, Chessa’s music quickly reveals the promise of the timbral and conceptual possibilities afforded by his innovative approach. Chessa’s music has featured prominently on programs across Europe, Australia and the United States. Recent premieres include Come un’infanzia, for guitar and string quartet (2011) premiered by the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and A Heavenly Act(2011), an opera on libretto by Gertrude Stein commissioned by SFMOMA to compliment Virgil Thomson’s 1934 opera Four Saints in Three Acts. The work premiered on August 19, 2011, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, in a staged production by the Ensemble Parallèle, conducted by Nicole Paiement and featuring video by Kalup Linzy. Luciano Chessa attended the Conservatory of Bologna where he earned a DMA in piano and an MA in music composition. Arriving in California in 1998 Chessa continued his studies in musicology at the University of California, Davis where he earned his Ph.D. in 2004. He has lectured at St. John’s College of Oxford, UK, Columbia University, Harvard University, Sydney’s and Melbourne’s Conservatories and Universities, the Conservatory of Music in Bologna, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, and EMPAC in the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He currently serves on the composition faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

 Wednesday February 10 2016 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 underemployed/members] :: 7:44p

People Making Sounds - Bromp Treb + Weston Olencki/Charlie Sdraulig

Two sets of performative, sonic performances of sounds and performing. Actions shall be undertaken in varying degrees of excess and understatement, rigor and befuddlement.

People Making Sounds is a project co-organized by Weston Olencki & Charlie Sdraulig. They present experimental sound art, conceptual music, & iterations of expanded sonic practice. Performances feature, but are not limited to, instruments, objects, gestures, tapes, & videos.

tim parkinson - opus 1
james saunders - lots and lots for us to do
eleanor cully - fixations
jessie marino - ritual i :: commitment :: BiiM
g. douglas barrett - a few silence

Bromp Treb is Neil Young Cloaca (Fat Worm of Error) mixing eager ineptitude with confident uncertainty to make busted electronic music and performance.

Weston Olencki is a San Francisco-based trombonist specializing in the performance and production of new music. His work is primarily concerned with hyper-extended instrumental technique, intensive performer-composer collaboration, de-specialization of the performing body, noise, and alternative concepts of physicality within performance practice.

Charlie Sdraulig is a composer/performer from Australia. His music explores interaction that examines the roles of physicality and perception in human performance—often at the threshold of audibility. The inherent ambiguity of this context may allow a particular expression of human individuality to emerge. He is currently undertaking a doctorate at Stanford.

"Cloaca . . . is an irrepressible showman. Bromp Treb is an opportunity for him to apply that carnival-barker enthusiasm to a table full of mismatched gear: effects pedals, mixers, a sampler, electronic drum pads, roto-tom, and cowbell. Contact microphones and bouquets of wire; bits of alligator-clipped metal. An electrified tin can. A brillo pad. Cloaca treats all this stuff as a source of caprice, admitting to one audience member that the configuration of the equipment is always changing. More than once during the sound check, Cloaca let out a delighted giggle at some unexpected sound. . . Much of the sound of Bromp Treb can be heard as either a critique or a celebration of the questionable level of control we have over our own gadgets: Cloaca’s weave of cables and equipment is one designed to exacerbate rather than minimize the instability of any such network. The brush of a live wire against a powered jack; the crackle and heavy breathing of radio frequency interference; the gasoline-and-matches feedback possibilities of too many microphones and criss-crossed inputs—Bromp Treb rushes in where conventional audio engineers would prefer not to tread. At several points, Cloaca simply lifted up a corner of the table and then dropped it back down, the set-up’s fragility yielding an amplified squeal and squelch. It is the sound of the technological web breaking down, failing, consuming itself and us."

 Tuesday March 22 2016 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 underemployed/members] :: 7:48p

T.D. Skatchit

Local invented instrument mainstays T.D. Skatchit create top-shelf electro-acoustic aesthetics via old-school hobo gumption. sfSoundGroup make their fancypants orchestral instruments sound like crap, on purpose.

T.D. Skatchit (Tom Nunn & David Michalak) – Skatchbox, the Bridgerodstrummer and Coupled String Zither. with Kyle Bruckmann – Double Reeds and John Ingle – Alto Saxophone

T.D. Skatchit features Tom Nunn & David Michalak playing the Skatchbox. Built out of cardboard boxes and played with combs, this recession era wonder conjures up a new universe of sound reminiscent of wind, birds singing, frogs croaking and other magical sounds. T.D. Skatchit has released 4 CDs on the Edgetone label. Tonight’s show features new work for skatchbox in collaboration with Kyle Bruckmann and John Ingle. Besides the Skatchbox T.D. Skatchit will play 2 new Nunn inventions; The Bridgerodstrummer and The Coupled String Zither.

The concert also features sfSoundGroup's wind section performing Larry Polansky's Catchaiku, Kyle Bruckmann's Following Orders and Matt Ingalls's Zenith Portals.

 Friday April 29 2016 
april in santa cruz :: ucsc music center recital hall :: FREE :: 7:30p

UCSC's 2016 "April in Santa Cruz" festival of contemporary music

sfSound performs works by UCSC Composers
David Hernandez, Sarang Kiim, Ike Minton, Larry Polansky, and Pablo Rubio.
Plus compositions by Jürg Frey and Matt Ingalls/sfSoundGroup.

 Tuesday May 10 2016 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 underemployed/members] :: 8:00p


Departure (Nina Guo, soprano, and Eddie Kass, double bass) specializes in contemporary classical music with a focus on works that use extended technique and theater. Thier repertoire currently includes works by Kurtág, Lerdahl, and Furrer, as well as works written for us by emerging young composers.

sfSound plays an opening set of new works.

 Saturday May 14 2016 
crowden music center :: 1475 rose :: berkeley :: FREE :: 7pm

John Adams Young Composer Program

sfSound performs works by
Kuzey Sozat
Nick Main
James Reager
Joshua Potolo
Lucy Nelligan
Henry Abrahamsson
Lauren Bare
Theo Haber
Sophia Hampton
Christopher Yuan
Penina Biddle-Gottesman

 Thursday May 19 2016 
ucsc music center recital hall :: FREE :: 7:15p

sfSound Residency Concert #2

sfSound premieres works by UCSC Composers Yunxiang Gao, Dany Pineda, and Sanguk Kim

(residency also includes recording session of a new work for sfSound by Joe Davancens)

 Tuesday June 21 2016 
chapel of the chimes :: FREE :: 5p-9p

Garden of Memory

sfSound premieres a new work by Adam Fong and works by Kyle Bruckmann, Matt Ingalls, and sfSound.

 July 8 9 and 10 2016 
sfSoundFestival :: gray area grand theater :: 2665 mission :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 underemployed] :: $40 fest pass


experimental music 1938 to the present

Johanna Beyer - Music of Spheres (1938)
Pierre Boulez - Tape Étude 1 (1951)
Pierre Boulez - Anthèmes 2 (1997)
Pierre Boulez - Domaines (1968/9)
Morton Feldman - Marginal Intersection (1951)
Morton Feldman - Out of "Last Pieces" (1959)
Earle Brown - December 1952 (1952)
Earle Brown - Available Forms I (1961)
John Cage - Cartridge Music (1960)
Pauline Oliveros - Sound Patterns (1961)
Pauline Oliveros - The Inner/Outer Sound Matrix (for sfSound) (2007)
Steve Reich - Reed Phase (1966)
Iannis Xenakis - Charisma (1971)
Krzysztof Penderecki - Actions for Free Jazz Orchestra (1971)
Salvatore Sciarrino - Esplorazione del bianco II (1986)
James Tenney - Critical Band (1988/2000)
Phill Niblock - Disseminate (1998)
Greg Saunier - Criminals of the Dream (2010/2016)
Kyle Bruckmann - Following Orders (2014)
Lucie Vítková - Piece for Accordion and Tap Shoes (2015)
Matt Ingalls - Study for Hilbert (2016)
sfSoundGroup - Improvisations (2016)

 Tuesday July 19 2016 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 underemployed/members] :: 7:45p

Jason Robinson

Saxophonist and composer JASON ROBINSON returns to the Bay Area to reunite with long time musical collaborator and bassist Scott Walton in two new configurations featuring a stellar lineup. The first will showcase various Robinson compositions and will feature Darren Johnston (trumpet), Steve Adams (alto sax), Robinson (tenor sax), Walton (bass), and John Hanes (drums). The second configuration adds electronics pioneer Tim Perkis for a set of improvised explorations. A Californian by birth, Robinson spent his formative musical years in the Bay Area (1990s) and San Diego (2000s) before moving to western Massachusetts to teach at Amherst College. Now a part of New York’s and Boston’s creative music scenes, Robinson is excited to return to the Bay Area for an evening of exploratory music.

The music of American saxophonist and scholar JASON ROBINSON (“rugged and scintillating,” New York Times) thrives in the fertile overlaps between improvisation and composition, acoustic music and electronics, tradition and experimentalism. Initially a devotee of post-1960s jazz and creative music, Robinson is celebrated for bringing together various historical directions in jazz–bebop, post-bop, the avant-garde–with an improvisatory and compositional sensibility drawn from and extending the languages of John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Lester Young. His musical interests, however, span far and wide. He is a critically acclaimed distinctive voice in a new generation of creative musicians in equal dialogue with jazz, popular music, experimental music, and electronic music. Robinson’s primary group is his New York-based Janus Ensemble, which ranges in size from a quintet with reedist Marty Ehrlich, guitarist Liberty Ellman, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer George Schuller, to the full nine-piece version of the group with the addition of reedist JD Parran, trombonist and tubist Bill Lowe, tubist Marcus Rojas, and drummer Ches Smith. The group’s latest release is Tiresian Symmetry (Cuneiform, 2012), which was supported by a tour of the US Northeast and Canada in February 2014, including appearances at the 25th season of the Magic Triangle Concert Series at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Casa del Popolo in Montreal, Roulette in Brooklyn, and elsewhere.

Robinson has released 14 albums as leader or co-leader and appeared on nearly 50 albums in total. He performs regularly as a soloist (acoustically and with electronics), with his group the Janus Ensemble, and in a variety of collaborative contexts. He has performed at festivals and prominent venues in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, and throughout Europe and/or recorded with Peter Kowald, George Lewis, Anthony Davis, Amiri Baraka, Drew Gress, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Myra Melford, Nicole Mitchell, Marty Ehrlich, Eugene Chadbourne, Earl Howard, Toots and the Maytals, Groundation, Bertram Turetzky, Mark Dresser, John Russell, Roger Turner, Gerry Hemingway, Marco Eneidi, Lisle Ellis, Raphe Malik, JD Parran, Dana Reason, the La Jolla Symphony, SONOR (UCSD), and the San Francisco Mime Troupe, among others. As a scholar, Robinson’s work investigates the relationship between improvised and popular musics, experimentalism, and cultural identity. He has published articles and reviews in Ethnomusicology, Jazz Perspectives, and Critical Studies in Improvisation/ Études critiques en improvisation. Robinson is an Assistant Professor of Music at Amherst College and holds a Ph.D. in Music from the University of California, San Diego.

STEVE ADAMS is active both as a composer and a performer on saxophones, flutes and electronics. Steve is best known as a member of the Rova Saxophone Quartet, with whom he has played for over twenty five years and released more than twenty five recordings. He has performed with Anthony Braxton, Sam Rivers, Dave Holland, Roscoe Mitchell, John Zorn, Steve Lacy, Fred Frith, Tin Hat Trio, Yo! Miles with Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith and Ted Nugent, as well as many other classical, jazz, rock, dance and theater groups. Steve has appeared on more than fifty recordings, and has five recordings as leader or co-leader on the 9 Winds and Clean Feed labels. His piece Cage (for John Cage) was performed at the 1993 Bang on a Can festival, and his piece The Gene Pool was commissioned in 1993 by Meet the Composer and performed at their festival “The Works” in Minneapolis in 2002. He performed Edmund Campion’s Corail for saxophone and live electronics with the Berkeley Symphony and at the Ojai Music Festival, and was a member of the 25th Anniversary performance of Terry Riley’s In C, which was released on New Albion. Steve also is a member of the electronics duo Hanes/Adams, the Vinny Golia Large Ensemble, Matt Small’s Crushing Spiral Ensemble and the Bill Horvitz Band, as well as leading his own groups. His duo with Scott Walton has just released the CD Cookies for Cyrano on pfMENTUM. He received a California Arts Council Fellowship in 2000, and teaches at Mills College.

Since settling in San Francisco in 1997, Canada-born trumpeter, bandleader, composer, improvisor, vocalist, and songwriter DARREN JOHNSTON has composed for, collaborated with and recorded alongside an extremely diverse cross-section of world class artists. His interests rotate around composing instrumental music, writing songs, and performing all styles of jazz, experimental and purely improvised music, as well as traditional music of the Balkans, Greece, Macedonia, Turkey, and the Arab world. His primary ensemble as a leader, Broken Shadows, is an attempt to unify all of these interests into one truly unique style of roots/art/dance music that defies category. As a composer, he has received commissions to write for small jazz groups, big bands, string quartet, chamber ensembles, a multi-generational chorus utilizing body-percussion and choreography, and more. He has written for dance companies such as Axis Dance, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, Robert Moses’ Kin, Liss Fain, and others, as well as for short films. He has performed and/or recorded with luminaries such as Fred Frith, ROVA Sax Quartet, Meredith Monk, Myra Melford, James Tenney, Ben Goldberg, Matt Wilson, Mark Dresser, Marshall Allen, Marcus Shelby, and others.

TIM PERKIS is a well-known figure in the worlds of improvised and electronic music. Over the course of decades he has played his unique computer-based electronic instruments with hundreds of musicians, including many of the leading players in free improvisation from Europe and the US. He is also a founding member of several electronic music ensembles, including FuzzyBunny, Splendor Generator and the legendary computer network band The Hub. Recordings of his music are available on the Artifact, Tzadik, New World and EMANEM labels, among others. His documentary film NOISY PEOPLE(2007) and NOISY PEOPLE podcasts (2015) are available at noisypeople.net.

SCOTT WALTON is a bassist and pianist whose music negotiates the terrain between jazz, free improvisation, and the classical avant-garde. He has recorded with Vinny Golia, Steve Adams, Myra Melford, Tim Perkis, Nels Cline, Anthony Davis, and Bobby Bradford, and has performed with George Lewis, Wadada Leo Smith, John Carter, JD Parran, and Al Cohn. Current projects include duos with Steve Adams, Tim Perkis, and Gilbert Isbin, the Michael Vllatkovich quartet, Jeff Gauthier’s Goatet, the Bill Horvitz Sextet, and Alex Cline’s Flower Garland Orchestra.

JOHN HANES has been playing drums in the Bay Area for over 30 years. From Diamonda Galas to Etta James, from Starbucks commercials to Werner Herzog’s “Grizzly Man” soundtrack, from Oakland Opera Theater’s production of Anthony Davis’s “X, the Life and Times of Malcolm X” to industrial rockers Chrome, John has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists across a broad spectrum of genres. Since 2000, John has entered the world of experimental music and free improvisation, playing in a number of bay area ensembles; and electronic music, performing on laptop solo as Organ of Qwerty and in Hanes/Adams, a duo with Rova Sax Quartet’s Steve Adams.

 Tuesday August 9 2016 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 underemployed/members] :: 7:57p

Lorin Benedict: VOICES AND SUCH

An evening showcasing voices, plus one pianist. In the first set, vocalists LORIN BENEDICT and RON HEGLIN will improvise a few pieces together, and then pianist/composer JULIE BARWICK and Lorin will play a movement from the Shostakovich Cello Sonata (reworked for voice)". The long-standing vocal duo of Ron Heglin and KATT ATCHLEY will present improvisations in the second set.

LORIN BENEDICT is an improvising vocalist (scat singer, essentially) living in Oakland. He attempts to introduce more structurally involved elements into the field of vocal improvisation. Most of his work in this area is centered loosely in the jazz idiom. Recently, Lorin has co-led small groups (duos, trios) in which the roles of the musicians are somewhat mutable even in contexts where highly structured forms are being played. Examples include Bleeding Vector with Berkeley guitarist Eric Vogler, and another duo project with east bay saxophonist Kasey Knudsen. Together, these three musicians jointly lead the trio project, The Holly Martins. He has also co-led another duo project with Brooklyn-based drummer Sam Ospovat. Lorin joined the fold of musicians rather late in life, at the age of 31, after many years of listening to recordings and live performances, many of which involved members of his immediate family (all of whom are/were orchestral musicians in the western classical tradition).

Since becoming professionally active in 2003, Lorin has performed in various groups led by saxophonist Howard Wiley at places such as Yoshis, Intersection for the Arts, the 2006 Stanford Jazz Festival, and the De Young Museum. During 2004 he was a member of guitarist John Schott’s Typical Orchestra (with Ben Goldberg, Ches Smith, and Devin Hoff) with which he performed at The Elbo Room, Starry Plough, the Jazzschool, and Yoshis among other venues. Since 2013, he has performed with Sheldon Brown’s Distant Intervals, and has joined that group in performances of the commissioned suite, Blood of the Air, at the SF Jazz Center and Duende. With his own projects, his performances have been confined to more intimate places such as The Stone, Local 269 (as part of the on-going “Evolving Voices Series”), and the Douglas St. Music Collective in NYC, and similarly curated venues in northern California: Ross Hammond’s spaces in Sacramento, Luggage Store and SIMM series in San Francisco, Temescal Arts Center, Berkeley Arts, Studio Grand, etc.

Lorin appears on a few commercially available recordings in projects led by others: with rapper Malik Ameer- Sanctified (Satori Recordings, 2003), Nothing Better To Do (Satori Recordings, 2006), The Roseline (2007), and Just Because It’s a Dream Don’t Make it a Lie (2012); with Steve Coleman and Five Elements- Lucidarium (Label Bleu, 2004); with John Schott- John Schott’s Typical Orchestra (Smash the State, 2005); with Howard Wiley- The Angola Project (2007), and 12 Gates to the City (2010); with the Mitch Marcus Quintet- Countdown 2 Meltdown (Porto Franco, 2010); with a Sam Ospovat-led large ensemble- PIKI (2012); with the trio, Beep!- Too Physical, (Data Garden, 2014). The albums, No. No. Yes. No. (2010) by The Holly Martins, Home Is Where the House Is (2011) by the duo of Malik Ameer and Lorin, Passwords (2012) by the duo of Sam Ospovat and Lorin, and the new You Know, I Was Just About To… (2016) by the Holly Martins, are recordings on which he has shared creative control.

 Tuesday August 16 2016 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: FREE :: 7:33p

Splinter Reeds

SPLINTER REEDS is beyond psyched to be exiting toddlerhood - with their first touring engagements, more residencies, and FOUR new commissions (so far) on the horizon for 2016-17. They want to party, as it were. With you.

Splinter Reeds's upcoming season is without a doubt their biggest yet, so they’re devoting an evening of their mid-summer rehearsal intensive to share and show off what’s in store. But most importantly, they want to hang out, have fun, and thank everyone who’s been so instrumental in launching them onto this path. Their scrappy ensemble formed just three short years ago – and are now poised for their first touring engagements, with more exhilarating residencies and commissions from four of their favorite composers currently in the pipeline.

The event will be casual and festive, with free admission, food and drink. Splinter will play sneak previews of the new work (Ken Ueno, Eric Wubbels, Theresa Wong, and others) as well as other pieces solo or with invited friends

SPLINTER REEDS is the West Coast’s first and only professional reed quintet, comprising five virtuosic and innovative musicians with a shared passion for new music. Individually, these five are active as both soloists and members of various esteemed ensembles locally and across the nation, with affiliations including the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Alarm Will Sound, Sqwonk, Ensemble Dal Niente, sfSound, Redshift and ECO Ensemble. As fierce advocates of new music throughout their careers, Splinter's members are proud to have spearheaded many notable commissions and world premiere performances. As educators, members of the ensemble hold teaching positions at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Oberlin, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz.

With a uniquely dynamic instrumentation that includes oboe (Kyle Bruckmann), clarinet (Bill Kalinkos), saxophone (David Wegehaupt), bass clarinet (Jeff Anderle), and bassoon (Dana Jessen), the reed quintet is an evolutionary detour from the traditional woodwind quintet with the orchestrational advantages of a more closely related instrument family. It remains a relatively new and emerging chamber music genre, having come to life in the 1980s with the notable Dutch ensemble, Calefax. Distinguishing itself even within the small network of roughly 20 professional reed quintets currently active worldwide, Splinter is explicitly committed to the cutting edge of contemporary composition, freely juxtaposing elements of multiple styles and aesthetics in their programming in order to enthusiastically share adventurous new music with the widest possible audience.

The ensemble kicked off its 2013-14 Debut Season with a residency at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Additional concert engagements since then have included performances at the San Francisco Center for New Music, Switchboard Music Festival, Presidio Sessions, April in Santa Cruz Festival of Contemporary Music, Mondavi Center, the Trinity Chamber Concert Series, and Old First Concerts. They have quickly developed a particular penchant for university residencies, having so far worked closely with the composition students at UC Berkeley’s CNMAT, UC Davis, and Stanford University’s CCRMA. Their debut CD, featuring two of their own commissions and four premiere recordings, was just released in November 2015.

 Tuesday September 20 2016 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 underemployed/members] :: 8:01p

Scott Looney
in a duo with Jon Raskin

We are sorry to report that due to unforseen events Georg Graewe has had to cancel his trip to California. The sfSoundSalonSeriesShow at the Center for New Music on September 20th will still happen and pianist Scott Looney will be joining Jon Raskin. Jon and Scott have worked in several different groups together but this will be their first concert as a duo.

SCOTT R LOONEY has always been interested in the creation and performance of compelling sounds across a broad spectrum of contemporary, improvised, and experimental music. He has studied composition and improvisation with Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, Morton Subotnick, David Rosenboom, and Frederic Rzewski, obtaining his MFA in Composition from California Institute of the Arts

Highlights of Rova founding member JON RASKIN'S early career include his '70s participation in new music ensembles directed by John Adams (San Francisco Conservatory of Music) and Dr. Barney Childs (University of Redlands). Before Rova, Raskin served as music director of the Tumbleweed Dance Company (1974-77), was a founding member of the Blue Dolphin Alternative Music Space and participated in the creation of the Farm- an art project that included a city farm, a community garden, Ecology Center, Dance and Theater companies and organized the creation of a city park. Highlights as a member of Rova include composing a collaborative work for SF Taiko Dojo/Rova, working with Howard Martin on the installation work “Occupancy”, composing music for Mr. Bungle/ Rova, organizing the 30 year Anniversary Concert of John Coltrane's Ascension, performing the music of Miles Davis at the Fillmore with Yo Miles! , the Glass Head Project with Inkboat and the ongoing Electric Ascension Project.

Raskin has received numerous grants and commissions to work on a variety of creative projects: NEA composer grant for Poison Hotel, a theater production by Soon 3 (1988); Reader's Digest/Meet the Composer (1992 & 2000); Berkeley Symphony commission (1995) and Headland Center for the Arts Residency 2009.

Besides over 30 recordings with Rova, Raskin's recording experience include Anthony Braxton, Eight (+3) Tristano Compositions 1989 For Warne Marsh (1989) and The Bass & the Bird Pond with Tim Berne (1996), Wavelength Infinity- A Sun Ra Tribute, Between Spaces with Phillip Gelb, Dana Reason & Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley's In C 25th Anniversary, and solo work on the Art Ship Series. His currents CD's include Let's go Juke Box Suite (Not Two) with the Rova Saxophone Quartet , JR Quartet (Rastascan) with Liz Allbee, George Cremaschi and Gino Robair, Music + One (Rastascan) a Improvisation compendium for improvisers to play along with and Kaolithic Music, Jaw Harp Music recorded in a 587 Gallon Vase (Evander Music) He is working on several new recordings, one with a JR Quartet for release in 2009, a Rova project of Graphic scores composed by Steve Adams and Jon Raskin, a compilation from the 2 + 2 series that Phillip Greenlief and Jon Raskin presented at the 21 Grand Performance Gallery in Oakland and a poetry and music project with Carla Harryman called "Open Box."

Other groups: The Jon Raskin Trio, Vijay Anderson – drums, Lisa Mezzacappa – bass and Jon Raskin – alto sax. The Long Table Project, Phillip Greenlief – alto sax, John Hanes – drums, Jon Raskin – bari sax, Dan Seamans – electric bass, John Shiurba – electric guitar.

 Friday October 14 2016 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 underemployed/members] :: 7:57p


sfSound's saxophonist JOHN INGLE and percussionist KJELL NORDESON perform duo improvisations.

From Chicago, the freejazz/noise/avant guitar duo VOLCANO RADAR perform in a stylistic range from noise-funk improvisation to structured sonic forms.

VOLCANO RADAR is a fusion of ecstatic improvisational energy and Apollonian intellect. Uruguayan born multi-instrumentalist and composer Elbio Barilari and American guitarist and composer Julia Miller played together for the first time in 2012, and they made their first public appearance as Volcano Radar at the Empty Bottle shortly after. Their soundscapes have been described as: noise-funk, post-jazz, avant-rock, improvised experimental music, jazz-electronica and neo-psychedelia.

Volcano Radar has been joined in recordings and performances by Fareed Haque and Mathgames!; Edward Wilkerson Jr., reeds; Jim Gailloreto, reeds; Guillermo Gregorio, reeds; Alejandro Acierto, reeds; Harrison Bankhead, bass/cello; Rollo Radford, electric bass; Yosef Ben Israel, bass; Avreeayl Ra, drums; Tim Davis, drums; Ernie Adams, drums; Lou Ciccotelli, drums & percussion; Frank Rosaly, percussion; Gustavo Leone, synthesizer; Andy Cohn, keyboards; and Axiom Brass quintet.

Saxophonist/composer/improviser JOHN INGLE is originally from Memphis, TN and now resides and works in San Francisco. His music is informed and influenced by contemporary concert music, improvised music, electronic music, jazz, various Asian folk music traditions, and the blues and gospel of his native Southeast US. He collaborates with electronics innovator Laetitia Sonami, and in duo with NYC-based composer/dulcimerist Dan Joseph and is a founding member of the sfSoundGroup. John's solo saxophone music emphasizes multiphonics, vocal harmonics and subtle control of extended saxophone techniques, while his chamber music explores such musical parameters as spiral time, linear pulse, and non-linear harmony, and indulges in both simple resonance as well as complex timbre and auditory sleights-of-hand.

KJELL NORDESON divides his time between Stockholm and San Francisco. He has a BA from Stockholm University, and has studied classical percussion at Ingesund School of Music with Björn Liljeqvist, former principal percussionist of the Stockholm Philharmonic. Together with saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, he formed AALY Trio in 1986. AALY Trio became one of the leading groups in the Swedish experimental scene in the 90’s. Nordeson has toured extensively in North America, Europe, North Africa and Japan with various groups. He has performed with Peter Brötzmann, Barry Guy, Ken Vandermark, Joe Morris, William Parker, Paul Rutherford, Gerry Hemingway, Frank Gratkowski, Stefano Scodanibbio, and many others.

Nordeson is a regular member of several musical groups. He performs most frequently with Katzen Kapell, Exploding Customer, School Days, Angles, Alberto Pinton Quintet, sfSoundGroup, and Torbjörn Zetterberg Octet. He has appeared on over 40 CDs with these and other groups. Since 2004, Nordeson has been active in the San Francisco Bay Area’s thriving community of free-improvised, experimental and new music. He regularly plays with musicians Larry Ochs, Jon Raskin, Greg Goodman, George Cremaschi, Scott Looney, Damon Smith, John Ingle, sfSoundGroup, Aram Shelton, Darren Johnston, Lisa Mezzacappa and many others. In 2008, he collaborated with multimedia artist Katharine Gin to create This Place Called Poetry, a three-month exhibition at San Francisco Art Commission Gallery, in which Gin and Nordeson directed and produced a series of 11 short films portraying young San Francisco poets.

 Wednesday November 9 2016 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 underemployed/members] :: 8:00p


The Italian pianist FAUSTO BONGELLI has performed at major festivals in Germany, Austria, Spain, France Hungary and Croatia and has given more than 200 world and Italian premières of works by composers including Earle Brown, Luis de Pablo, James Dillon, Julio Estrada, Morton Feldman, Lou Harrison, Conlon Nancarrow, Frederic Rzewski and Salvatore Sciarrino. He has made several recordings for New Albion, Col legno, RCA, Wergo, Ricordi-Stradivarius and RAI-Trade.

This concert is made possible with support from the Italian Cultural Institute.


Giacinto SCELSI
- Rotativa (1930)
- Incantesimi I – II - IV (1943)

Tonino TESEI - Passacaglia Italo-americana (1997)

Fabrizio DE ROSSI RE - Fire dancing (2013)

Paolo UGOLETTI - Honky (2010)

- Ho scritto una canzone (2008)
- Per pianoforte solo (2016) [premiere]
- Piccolo studio da concerto (2004)

Stefano SCODANIBBIO - Labore Navigacionis (2012)

Alberto SAVINIO - Les chants de la Mi-Mort-Suite (1914)
1) Scene: l’homme chauve et l’homme jaun
2) L’execution du general
3) Daisyssina
4) Les anges tuès
6) Le roi affolè le phare
6) Danses

 Tuesday November 15 2016 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 underemployed/members] :: 8:03p


sfSound plays it closer to the vest for a change, presenting themselves and subtle variants thereof. The cello/piano duet MARTHA & MONICA performs compositions by MONICA SCOTT and MATT INGALLS; sfSoundGroup with special guests violist JULIE MICHAEL and conductor JOHN KENNEDY perform a delightful bouquet of small ensemble works by SALVATORE SCIARRINO, DAVID ROSENBOOM, and HEATHER FRASCH.

Salvatore Sciarrino - Centauro marino (1984)
per clarinetto, violino, viola, violoncello e pianoforte

Salvatore Sciarrino - Tre Notturni Brillanti (1974-75)
Julie Michael, viola solista

David Rosenboom - Pocket Pieces (1966)
clarinet, alto saxophone, viola, and prepared piano

Heather Frasch - to disassemble & reconstruct (2010)
for english horn, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, viola, and cello

Monica Scott - more than nine minutes (2016)
for martha & monica

Matt Ingalls - Duo, Op. 2, No. 2, v. 2 (2013/16)
for martha & monica

Monica Scott, cello
Julie Michael, viola
Hadley McCarroll, piano
John Kennedy, conductor
Benjamin Kreith, violin
John Ingle, alto and bari saxophones
Matt Ingalls, clarinet and bass clarinet
Kyle Bruckmann, english horn

 Sunday December 4 2016 
sfSoundSalonSeries :: center for new music :: 55 taylor :: san francisco :: $15 [$10 underemployed/members] :: 8:00p


in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Chicago

The Berlin—based duo of BILIANA VOUTCHKOVA (violin) and MICHAEL THIEKE (clarinet) has worked intensively since 2011, developing a strong interest in exploring reduction and micro elements that increase the sensitivity of perception for themselves as well as their audiences. The music focuses on microtonality and intimate, slow moving soundscapes. As active performer-composers the two are intrigued by real time composition and improvisation, as well as by contemporary composition. The duo has performed in Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Serbia, Czech Republic and Germany, and has released their first album “Already there” on the Swiss label Flexion Records.


Blur is a form of inexactness, indeterminacy, uncertainty in the depiction or reproduction of an object or state of affairs; it need not constitute an error, rather it can be desired or perhaps impossible to avoid.

Blur is the immortality a scientist achieves through quantum suicide, or a living and dead cat in the state of superposition, as in Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Blur creates blanks that serve as stimuli for supplementation by subjective concretizations that stretch far beyond what the object actually presents. Blur is the enormous room between seeing distinctly and not seeing at all when we’re reading a page — distinctly seen is always just a word or syllable, while the remainder stays blurred. All theory is blurred.

The duo’s new program works with the theme of blur in the field of music, on the level of formal composition as well as in the details of the musical material.

The music’s structure creates a blur; improvised parts alternate with fields of pre-structured material in which tape-recordings of the duo are duplicated by live performance. Identical material thus sounds in live performance at the same time it sounds from playback, unavoidably giving rise to blur in the temporal dimension, in the rhythmic, timbral, and motivic variations, in the microtonal interpretation of individual pitches. The live portion of the duplicated material is still improvised, but in a framework restricted by the pre-recorded material being played back.

On the formal level, the transitions between composition and improvisation grow vague, they lose their sharp edges. To perception, what is being composed in real time blurs into what has been structured in advance; the difference can be registered only after an interval, if at all. On the level of musical detail, the blur derives from the duplication of the material, which is organized so as to sound at approximately the same time, but never identically.

“Is it even always an advantage to replace a picture that is not sharp by one that is? Isn’t one that isn’t sharp often just what we need?” (Ludwig Wittgenstein). (translated by Brady Bowman)

BILIANA VOUTCHKOVA studied classical violin, in her college years she developed a strong interest in contemporary composed and improvised music. Since then she has been active in both fields, her work spans a wide possible range of music and sound. She has collaborated with Frances-Marie Uitti, Matthias Bauer, Audrey Chen, Axel Dörner, Robin Hayward, and is part of the Berlin based Splitter Orchester, Work in Progress and Das Neue Ensemble Hannover as well as regular guest with ensembles such as Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, Mozaik, Ensemble Modern, Sasha Waltz & Guests. In recent years Biliana started working intensively with dancers and expanded her interest into instant composition of sound and movement, co-founded her group Grapeshade and developed the idea of OSM – open sound & movement collective with partner Louise Wagner leading into curating their own series at Radial System V in Berlin.

The Berlin-based clarinetist/composer/performer MICHAEL THIEKE is equally at home across a broad range of musical environments, such as experimental song forms, collectively composing projects, improvising collectives, and music on the fringes of jazz. He is exploring the minutiae of sound, timbre and noise, with a particular interest in microtonality and related sound phenomena, and with a preference for long-term collaborations and collective work. Concert tours took him all around Europe and to China, Canada, Lebanon, Japan and the USA, and his work has been documented on over 40 releases on such labels as staubgold, ftarri, leo records, erstwhile andanother timbre. Some of his current Projects are: The International Nothing, The Magic I.D., The Pitch, Splitter Orchester, Hotelgäste and Der Lange Schatten, as well as duos with Biliana Voutchkova and Olivier Toulemonde.

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