2024 concerts

sunday jan 5-7, 2024 (victoria theatre sf) san francisco tape music festival
sunday february 11, 2024 helena sorokina (vienna) + sarah grace graves / oaklndrdctnstorchstra
sunday february 18, 2024 hans tammen (nyc) / sfSoundGroup (phill niblock & monica scott)
sunday february 25, 2024 gneiss (la/seoul) / bleeding vector (vogler & benedict)
sunday march 3, 2024 eric theise + gino robair + tom djll / ann callaway + richard mix
sunday march 10, 2024 rachel beetz (la) + anne hege + julie herndon (san luis obispo) / ken ueno
sunday march 31, 2024 beth schenck quintet / matthew welch's blarvuster
sunday april 7, 2024 raskin + brown + davis + shokrai / smith + montufar / lanzoni
sunday april 14, 2024 balsamic / ben goldberg's insect life
sunday april 21, 2024 carl stone / jordan glenn, music for other things
sunday april 28, 2024 john bischoff / zofo
sunday may 12, 2024 a/b duo / gretchen jude + cheryl leonard
sunday may 19, 2024 sarah saviet (berlin) / sam weiser + dustin carlson
sunday may 26, 2024 pacific pythagorean music festival
sunday june 2, 2024 sung kim / oakland reductionist orchestra
sunday june 9, 2024 microfestival of surround sound diffusion
sunday june 16, 2024 ruben mattia santorsa (italy) / karen yu (hong kong) + ken ueno
sunday june 23, 2024 goggle / united brassworker's front
sunday june 30, 2024 larry ochs' tales end / ric louchard + tom djll
sunday july 7, 2024 sfSound (globokar, braxton, carter, sciarrino, ferneyhough, houben)
sunday july 14, 2024 nathan clevenger's astrolabe / david leikam
sunday july 21, 2024 dan burke and friends / sticklerphonics

:: view entire concert history here ::

 JANUARY 5/6/7 2024


Victoria Theatre
2961 16th Street
San Francisco

click here for more info

 FEBRUARY 11 2024  7pm  $10-$25


Visiting from Austria, mezzo-soprano HELĒNA SOROKINA joins local composer-vocalist SARAH GRACE GRAVES to perform Scelsi's Sauh voice duos alongside solos and duos written for, and in certain instances by, them. Featuring music by GIACINTO SCELSI, HARRISON BIRTWISTLE, JON YU, SARAH GRACE GRAVES, and others.

The concert also features the OAKLAND REDUCTIONIST ORCHESTRA, a supergroup of local musicians with a predilection for lowercase/fricative/reductionist acoustic improvisation that often sounds more electronic than acoustic. This ensemble grows out of a rich tradition of "American reductionist" music that emerged (re-emerged?) in the late 1990's and early 2000's. Previous projects like Tom Djll's Grosse Abfahrt and The Jack Wright Large Ensemble Eight By Nine document the Bay Area's contribution to the genre.

Hallie Smith, violin
Danishta Rivero, voice
Lisa Mezzacappa, bass
Joshua Marshall, tenor saxophone
Brendan Lai-Tong, trombone
Matt Ingalls, clarinets
Ron Heglin, tuba
Diane Grubbe, flutes
Sarah Grace Graves, voice
Jacob Felix Heule, percussion
Tom Djll, trumpet
Kevin Corcoran, percussion
Chris Cooper, objects, electronics

 FEBRUARY 18 2024  7pm  $10-$25


HANS TAMMEN is just another worker in rhythms, frequencies and intensities. He likes to set sounds in motion, and then sit back to watch the movements unfold. Using textures, timbre and dynamics as primary elements, his music is continuously shifting, with different layers floating into the foreground while others disappear. This flows like clockwork, “transforming a sequence of instrumental gestures into a wide territory of semi-hostile discontinuity; percussive, droning, intricately colorful, or simply blowing your socks off” (Touching Extremes).

In his Eigengrau series he explores overtones and noises that are emerging from pianos, guitars and other stringed instruments affected by vibrations from transducers. Eigengrau is the color you see when you close your eyes, which is due to the perception of an ever-changing field of tiny black and white dots seen in the phenomenon. For this concert Tammen is joined by bay area stalwart GINO ROBAIR on assorted electronics.

The "house band" for the WEST OAKLAND SOUND SERIES, SFSOUNDGROUP is a unique collection of performer-composers that have presented their own compositions, improvisations, new commissions, electronic music, and standard avant-garde repertoire for over two decades. For this concert they remember PHILL NIBLOCK with a performance of Disseminate, commissioned in 1998 by Petr Kotik for The Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble. As in most of Niblock’s music, he creates sound differences by combining many simultaneous microtonal pitches/tones (by means of multitrack mixing) to make clouds of sum and difference tones. The score for Disseminate specifies 16 parts which can be pre-recorded or live. For this concert the piece will be performed partially “on tape” with four “live” musicians.

sfSound also performs MONICA SCOTT'S Migrations for mixed quintet, where spectrograms of local bird calls are freely interpreted and translated into musical gestures both composed and improvised. While the work is a free-standing 4 movement piece, its genesis is in Scott's multimedia collaboration Lightfast - Intertwine, an exhibition that is showing at the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art February 24-June 2, 2024.

Sam Weiser, violin
Monica Scott, cello
Kjell Nordeson, percussion
Brendan Lai-Tong, trombone
John Ingle, saxophone
Matt Ingalls, clarinet
Kyle Bruckmann, oboe

 FEBRUARY 25 2024  7pm  $10-$25


GNEISS (pronounced "nice"), a band from Los Angeles consisting of JEONGHYEON JOO (haegeum) JOSHUA GEROWITZ (guitar, composition), ETHAN MARKS (trumpet, composition), and GEORGIA BELL (bass, composition/design), brings a set of composed and improvised music themed on the formation and transition of rock. This is a preview concert of their upcoming album, Gneiss, developed and recorded throughout 2023.

BLEEDING VECTOR (ERIC VOGLER, guitar + LORIN BENEDICT, voice) is a duo of jazz-infused musical improvisers who delight in playing manifestly structured music in a loose and playful way. This will be their first performance since the release (on bandcamp), of their 1-track extended-suite album, "ARST / ARSED". In this show, they will be performing material NOT on the aforementioned album.

 MARCH 3 2024  7pm  $10-$25



ERIC THEISE presents an episode of his Synesthete's Atlas project, where he manipulates projected digital maps in dialogue with local heros of experimental music UNPOPULAR ELECTRONICS (GINO ROBAIR with TOM DJLL). Real time cartographic improvisations using projected, manipulated digital maps, and custom-built electro-acoustic instruments. Evenings of street grids, rivers, islands, and curiosities from the built environment. Saturated colors. Glitches in crowdsourced data. Orphaned information and free-floating symbology. Theise's work can be seen atop San Francisco's Salesforce Tower Top throughout February 2024 in the Midnight Artist series, midnight to 1 every night.

ANN CALLAWAY plays her Three Existential Postcards for Piano and Char: Six Poems by Shinjiro Kurahara with RICHARD MIX, bass; plus works for solo voice by JOHN CAGE, MORTON FELDMAN, HENRI POUSSEUR, ELLIOTT CARTER, troubadors, trouveres & minnesingers.

 MARCH 10 2024  7pm  $10-$25


RACHEL BEETZ performs Pareidolia, for perfectly tuned oscillators with glacial transformations. The piece explores the phenomenon where our brains attempt to make patterns out of random information: auditory pareidolia. As a composer, flutist, and improviser, Beetz explores presence through sound and listening. Her works recreate physical atmospheres based on her deep listening adventures in the wild, exploring hidden worlds of nature and machines. Combining experimental field recordings and electronically modified flutes, her works examine community, environmentalism, and women’s work through sound, textiles, and lighting. Her projects have been featured in concert halls and galleries in Australia, Iceland, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. You can hear her on Orenda, Blue Griffin, iikki, Neuma, and Populist record labels. She is currently a co-director of the Wasteland Music and Populist Records.

ANNE HEGE performs a short set of works for her live-looping instrument, The Tape Machine. First constructed in 2009, the Tape Machine is a portable instrument created with three hacked cassette players––one recording tape head and two playback points running a handmade tape loop. In simple terms, it is an analog, live-looping instrument where the listener, by sound alone, can identify the transparent process and technology. There is no hidden processing, just the magic of a single blank tape loop. Born in Oakland, Hege has composed for film, installation art, dance, and concert settings. The New York Times praised her score for Carrie Ahern’s dance installation SeNSATE, as “convincing” and “strangely environmental.” Influenced by Hege’s deep listening practice, her latest compositions range between ritual, music, and theater, with some homemade instruments thrown in for good measure. Hege is currently the artistic director of the Peninsula Women's Chorus. She performs regularly in her electronic duo, New Prosthetics, and the laptop ensemble Sideband. Her latest work, an opera for laptop orchestra and live voices, The Furies: A Laptopera, premiered at Stanford's CCRMA in November 2022.

JULIE HERNDON performs Electronic Etudes: a collection of pieces that seamlessly integrate keyboard instruments and live electronics, from acoustic piano to analog and digital synthesis. Herndon is a composer, performer, and sound artist exploring the body’s relationship to sound. Her electroacoustic work has been described as “truly brilliant” (Kulturpunkt), “like a signal from another world” (Tages-Anzeiger), and “blended to inhabit a surprisingly expressive space” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Her compositions and installations have been presented at MATA Festival and National Sawdust in New York, Artistry Space in Singapore, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca in Mexico, Music Biennale Zagreb in Croatia, Sogar Theater in Switzerland, and by Forest Collective in Australia. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Technology and Composition at Cal Poly.

Beetz, Hege, and Herndon conclude their set with an improvised trio.

For over a decade, the duo of KEN UENO (vocals) and MATT INGALLS (clarinet) has presented their unique arsenal of extended techniques for an experience that defies classical expectations of sounds that can be made on voice and clarinet. Composer/vocalist/sound artist Ueno is a recipient of the Rome Prize and the Berlin Prize and currently a Professor at UC Berkeley. He sings overtones, multi-band multiphonics, sub-tones, and throat sings. Oakland-based Ingalls' clarinet technique includes circular-breathing, multiphonics, various breath effects, and a unique hybrid-timbre polyphonic effect.

 MARCH 31 2024  7pm  $10-$25


The BETH SCHENCK QUINTET features BETH SCHENCK on alto saxophone, KASEY KNUDSEN on tenor saxophone, MATT WROBEL on guitar, LISA MEZZACAPPA on bass, and JORDAN GLENN on drums. Although these Bay Area improvisers have played together in different configurations for a decade, this quintet of musicians brings together their diverse backgrounds and influences to create boundary-pushing improvisation out of new compositional work from Beth. Inspired by the individual voices of each member of this ensemble, Beth set out to write music to specifically feature each one of these exceptional musicians. The result is music that is both challenging and accessible.

MATTHEW WELCH'S BLARVUSTER [MATTHEW WELCH (pipes, sax, vox), AARON GERMAIN (bass) and JORDAN GLENN (drums, perc)] is a bagpipe-driven amplified ensemble dedicated to Matthew Welch’s unique compositions and bagpipe virtuosity. Blarvuster’s music merges Scottish pipes, Balinese gamelan, minimalism, improvisation and rock into a textural labyrinth of ecstatic sound. The ensemble was formed in Brooklyn, New York City in 2002 and is now based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Blarvuster has performed at notable venues and festivals including: National Sawdust (NYC), Celtic Connections (Glasgow), The Stone (NYC), Jazzwerkstatt and BeeFlat (Bern, CH), Roulette, Le Poisson Rouge, EMPAC, Western Front (Vancouver), Switchboard Festival (SF 2014), The Kitchen (NYC), Tonic, Issue Project Room, Zebulon, MOMA, Galapagos and CBGB’s, TAC and most recently the Piping Live Festival in Glasgow. The ensemble’s debut eponymous album "Blarvuster" appeared on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records in 2010, with a follow up record, The Finger Lock, released on Kotekan Records in 2018.
“The ensemble’s border-busting music is original and catchy” – The New York Times

 APRIL 7 2024  7pm  $10-$25


JON RASKIN (saxophones) has been a member of Rova Saxophone Quartet for the last 46 years exploring the relationship of improvisation and composition, developing and honing the language of ensemble music and researching linguistic possibilities of the saxophone. CHRIS BROWN (piano & electronics) makes music with self-designed sonic systems that include acoustic and electroacoustic instruments, interactive software, computer networks, microtonal tunings, and improvisation. BEN DAVIS (cello), trained in classical cello and composition at the Guildhall, London. Later, he developed a taste for free improvisation, performing with Ellery Eskerlin, Evan Parker, Louis Moholo, Vincent Courtois, Wada Leo Smith, among others. SAFA SHOKRAI (bass) has been based in the Bay Area for 30 years. His musical practice focuses on finding new ways to connect art with the varied cultures present in the Bay, always drawing inspiration from traditions to create something fresh and vibrant.

HALLIE SMITH (viola) and ADRIAN MONTUFAR (voice and flute) present an amplified acoustic duo. Hallie is a musician and composer currently based in Oakland. Her work is focused towards sound installations and producing ambient electronic music. Adrian is currently a graduate student in the UC Berkeley music composition program. His practice blends instrument design and physical computing with voice and movement improvisation. Together, their duo gathers a lexicon of contrasts: loveliness and revulsion, staccato outbursts and droning time-stretching, airy textures and visceral surges.

SIMON LANZONI is a Franco-American artist who combines visual and sonic art to create multi-sensory experiences, which explore central themes of the human condition, such as memory, language, and the fluidity of consciousness. His practice is inspired by the visual perception of art, and the inherent physicality of sound. The fusion of the two mediums creates experiences in which sonic and visual become interchangeable. Sound enters into the third dimension, taking on a visual form, while what is seen becomes a physical, and aural experience. It is this quest for fluidity between the two mediums that is the driving force behind the aesthetics of his installations.

 APRIL 14 2024  7pm  $10-$25


BALSAMIC is a collective of sound and movement improvisers who developed their practice in (mostly) outdoor public spaces since 2020. This edition features:
KEVIN CORCORAN - percussion
RAE DIAMOND - found object, voice
MEGAN NICELY - movement
SUKI O'KANE - percussion
EDWARD SCHOCKER - hichiriki, shō, ocarina

Berkeley clarinetist BEN GOLDBERG, trombonist DANNY LUBIN-LADEN, cellist BEN DAVIS and saxophonist RAFFI GARABEDIAN present INSECT LIFE - a group dedicated to olive oil cake and the work of the imagination.

 APRIL 21 2024  7pm  $10-$25


CARL STONE returns to the Bay Area for an intimate performance of solo electronic music. Stone is one of the pioneers of live computer music, and has been hailed by the Village Voice as “the king of sampling” and “one of the best composers living in (the USA) today.” He has used computers in live performance since 1986. Stone was born in Los Angeles and now divides hs time between Los Angeles and Japan. He studied composition at the California Institute of the Arts with Morton Subotnick and James Tenney and has composed electro-acoustic music almost exclusively since 1972. He is on the faculty of the Department of Media Engineering at Chukyo University in Japan.

Drummer, percussionist, composer, improviser and constant collaborator JORDAN GLENN presents sketches for a new ensemble of clarinet, cello, guitar and vibraphone. Will these compositional seeds find their way to future contexts like dance or theater? Will Jordan remember how to play the vibraphone? Let's find out.

JORDAN GLENN - vibes/perc/composition
CORY WRIGHT - clarinets/bari sax
BEN DAVIS - cello
MATT WROBEL - guitar

 APRIL 28 2024  7pm  $10-$25


The Bay Area's premier piano duet, ZOFO plays excerpts from Echoes of Gamelan. This new program explores the influence of Balinese gamelan music on western composers, as well as how our music perception changes depending on the context.

Pemungkah and Tabuh Telu, from Balinese Ceremonial Music
    (transcribed by Colin McPhee for two pianos, arranged for one piano by ZOFO)
Beta Cygni - George Crumb
Prisms for Gene Davis, excerpts 1, 2, 4, & 5 - Brian Baumbusch
In the Kraton - Leopold Godowsky
Speech Delay - Ni Nyoman Srayamurtikanti (transcribed by Brian Baumbusch)

JOHN BISCHOFF (b. 1949, San Francisco) is an early practitioner of live computer music known for his solo constructions in real-time synthesis. A founding member of The League of Automatic Music Composers and The Hub network music bands, he was on faculty for many years in the legendary Music Department at Mills College. He presents three solo compositions for computer and custom analog circuits.

Both Visibility Study (2015) and Bitplicity (2020) feature homemade analog circuits in performance with software synthesis elements generated by a laptop. The analog circuits are pulse-wave oscillators sounding in audio and sub-audio realms which are animated by performer actions—-primarily the momentary shorting of conductive points in each circuit. To accomplish this, the circuits are fabricated by the composer with critical trace points brought to the top of the circuit box in the form of brass rails. The rails run parallel to each other where they can be "shorted" (the circuit points closed) with coins wielded by the performer. The two solos share common software structures throughout: -as circuit tones come to life they sound at the loudspeakers and trigger digital synthesis responses via the laptop as well - circuit events are also analyzed for spectral content and elapsed time between events - the pitch and timing of subsequent digital synthesis is driven by this performance-acquired data--no pre-performance data is employed

Calliope (2022) is a take-off on Leon Theremin’s realization of Henry Cowell’s concept—an instrument called the Rhythmicon which automatically reiterates its tones at rates corresponding to the ratios of selected pitch combinations. I was inspired by a YouTube clip of Andre Smirov playing one of Theremin’s original instruments. The device is so beautifully elegant, and sonically quirky at the same time, that I wanted to build a digital synthesis version on the same principles but where the electronic instrument has internal drift in all dimensions - the tones migrate out of tune and disassemble in time as each phrase develops.

 MAY 12 2024  7pm  $10-$25


GRETCHEN JUDE (voice, objects, field recordings) and CHERYL E. LEONARD (natural-object instruments, field recordings) present Peregrinations, a set of improvisations that delve into sonic minutiae. Very quiet sounds are amplified and dialogue with extended vocal and instrumental techniques as the duo evokes imaginary topographies and ecosystems.

From djembe to Nintendo Gameboy to contrabass flute to drum set, A/B DUO'S no-limits instrumentation and imaginative concert programming has delighted audiences all over the United States since 2013. Made up of flutist Meerenai Shim and percussionist Christopher G. Jones, A/B Duo has made a mark for its “fresh, vibrant new music” and “commitment to widening the repertoire.” (Fanfare Magazine)

For this concert, A/B Duo presents building, a new commission from Berkeley composer Ken Ueno. Building Stories, a graphic novel by Chris Ware, inspired this piece. Ware’s novel extends and reimagines both the novel and the comic book. A non-linear form, rather, a consortium of micro-linear forms in the physical guise of different forms (in various sizes and shapes), it gives physical form to a commentary on memory. Fragmentation enacts a repository of psychological traumas. The theme of "building" is literal as well as allegorical to the mechanism of "building" an identity. In my musical composition the flute is fragmented, literally and physically, so that we might build it (or re-build) anew.

 MAY 19 2024  7pm  $10-$25


SARAH SAVIET explores shifting limits: between interpreter and author, idea and body, virtuosity and failure, periphery and interior. This performance will include her own music which engages with texts by Bauhaus textile artist Anni Albers, as well as music by British composers Jack Sheen and Lawrence Dunn.

Sarah Saviet is an American violinist and compser based in Berlin and dedicated to the performance of contemporary music. She performs as a soloist and chamber musician and is a member of the Saviet/Houston Duo and Ensemble Mosaik. Sarah’s debut solo album SPUN (Coviello Contemporary) was recently nominated for the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik for new music. Her recording of Liza Lim’s violin concerto Speak, Be Silent, with the Riot Ensemble on HCR/NMC records was selected as one of New Yorker Magazine’s "Best recordings of 2019."

SAM WEISER (violin) and DUSTIN CARLSON (guitar) both exist in the spaces that straddle classical and improvised music. They have been working together for the past six months on Dustin's new suite for solo violin, entitled, "Her Warrior Longs to Rest". The piece is inspired by the Grave of Griffin Warrior (ca. 1450 BC), one of the wealthiest burials found in Greece in the last 70 years. In addition, the performance will also include Dustin's music for solo guitar, as well as duets.

Sam Weiser, currently the first violinist of the Carpe Diem String Quartet, is a lifelong chamber musician and advocate of contemporary music. He holds a number of positions around the Bay Area, including assistant concertmaster of the California Symphony, member of One Found Sound, and violinist in sfSound. Formerly, he was a member of the award-winning Del Sol Quartet.

Dustin Carlson is currently composer in residence with the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music in Boonville CA. Dustin is originally from New York where he played and recorded with notable jazz musicians such as Anna Webber, Matt Mitchell, Ches Smith, and Kate Gentile. He has recently moved to California after living as a flamenco guitarist in Sevilla, Spain.

 MAY 26 2024  7pm  $10-$25


In a co-presentation with sfSound's West Oakland Sound Series, the DEL SOL STRING QUARTET hosts the Bay Area's only festival celebrating 'just intonation’ compositions with an all-star lineup showcasing experimental and traditional styles!


GIACOMO FIORE - LARRY POLANSKY'S ii - v - i for electric guitar
DEL SOL STRING QUARTET - MAT MUNTZ'S 31. (endless and unreal) and JURI SEO'S Just Intonation Etudes
HWAYOUNG SHON - May You Find Rebirth in Paradise for gayageum
SAM WEISER - TAYLOR BROOK'S Vocalise for violin with tape
              ANDREW MCINTOSH'S Three Symmetry Etudes for two clarinets and violin sfSoundOrchestra - MATT INGALLS' 49 Rays

Hadley McCarroll, piano
Diane Grubbe, Michelle Lee, Kevin Lo, flute
Kyle Bruckmann, oboe
Matt Ingalls, Caleb Rose, clarinet
John Ingle, Elizabeth Schenck, saxophone
Tom Djll, trumpet
Ron Heglin, tuba
Paul Dresher, invented instruments
Giacomo Fiore, guitar
Benjamin Kreith, Wendy Reid, Sam Weiser, Hyeyung Sol Yoon, violin
Charlton Lee, viola
Kathryn Bates, Ben Davis, Monica Scott, Scott Thompson, cello

 JUNE 2 2024  7pm  $10-$25
click here to purchase advance tickets ($20) online on eventbrite


Instrument maker SUNG KIM demonstrates a few of his unique instruments and performs improvisations offering a melodic tapestry of healing and triumph.

Sung Kim's emergence in avant-garde sound has become inseparable from a defining moment of adversity: a life-altering accident that saw two of his fingers severed and reattached on his dominant left hand. Yet, from this crucible of challenge, Sung's artistic trajectory found new resonance. His workshop, once a space of routine craftsmanship, became a laboratory of innovation born out of necessity. From more rudimentary forms crafted during the initial stages of recovery to intricately designed instruments as his hand regained strength, each piece tells a story of perseverance and transformation.

The concert also features the OAKLAND REDUCTIONIST ORCHESTRA, a supergroup of local musicians with a predilection for lowercase/fricative/reductionist acoustic improvisation that often sounds more electronic than acoustic. This ensemble grows out of a rich tradition of "American reductionist" music that emerged (re-emerged?) in the late 1990's and early 2000's. Previous projects like Tom Djll's Grosse Abfahrt and The Jack Wright Large Ensemble Eight By Nine document the Bay Area's contribution to the genre.

Monica Scott, cello
Kanoko Nishi-Smith, koto
John Ingle, saxophones
Matt Ingalls, clarinets
Ron Heglin, tuba
Tom Djll, trumpet
Kevin Corcoran, percussion
Chris Cooper, objects, electronics
Kevin CK Lo, violin/flute/piano

 JUNE 9 2024  7pm  $10-$25
click here to purchase advance tickets ($20) online on eventbrite


THE SAN FRANCISCO TAPE MUSIC COLLECTIVE presents a "micro-festival" of fixed media works projected live over a 16-channel Meyer Sound System. Featuring a wide range works by international composers and collective members. If you’ve never been to our SF TAPE MUSIC FESTIVAL or you go every year, this is a perfect amount to tide you over until January 2025!!

HILDEGARD WESTERKAMP - Kits Beach Soundwalk (1989)
LUC FERRARI - Tautolgos I (1963)
LÉA BOUDREAU - Quatre machines pour sauver le monde (2019)
THOM BLUM - Combustible (2008-09)
CLIFF CARUTHERS - Cupido's' Suitcase (2009)
MATT INGALLS - Five Sketches (2024)
DOUGLAS MCCAUSLAND - why do you distort your face? (2023)
KRISTIN MILTNER - Syrinx (2012)

 JUNE 16 2024  7pm  $10-$25
click here to purchase advance tickets ($20) online on eventbrite


RUBEN MATTIA SANTORSA performs a solo electric guitar journey through diverse sonic landscapes. This concert showcases 5 distinct "planets," starting with the delicate sounds of Laurence Crane's Bobby J and moving through Lisa Illean's Tiding in scordatura tuning to Giulia Lorusso's loop-based composition, Unspoken and her fragile À fleur de peau. Additionally, the premiere of a wake up Siri! by Ying Wang, written for Ruben Mattia's American tour. Finally, Ruben Mattia presents his own composition, Drones II.

KAREN YU and KEN UENO perform Noise Box Cantos and Shadow Mudras, both developed collaboratively as a reaction to their experience being pitted in improvisative situations against a collective of modular synthesizer players. After a critical mass of a few modular synth players is reached, it is hard to discern the individual contributions of each performer. Outnumbered in such a context, Ueno and Yu, felt alienated and determined that such performance contexts were at odds with the core values of their respective performance practices as a vocalist and percussionist. As resistance to the culture of electronic noise performance in which physical gestures are decoupled from sonic output, Noise Box Cantos and Shadow Mudras, for Ueno and Yu, are performative investigations towards foregrounding subtle physical gestures in the generation of noise. The stylized use of the hands is important in both pieces. In Noise Box Cantos, four noise boxes, instruments with contact mics inputs and small speakers, built by Hong Kong-based sound artist, Kin Lam, are likened to tiles (or Kanji characters) that are “read” by the hands – likened also to the way Chinese characters operate in Ezra Pounds’ Cantos. In Shadow Mudras, the hand gestures of both performers on a snare drum subtly nuance the sonic output of contact mic inputs fed into a transducer placed on the snare drum. To further theatricalize the hand gestures, lights cast shadows of their stylized gestures (mudras) on the snare head, an abstract kind of shadow puppetry or sign language.

 JUNE 23 2024  7pm  $10-$25
click here to purchase advance tickets ($20) online on eventbrite


GOGGLE is the quartet of saxophonists Chris Jonas, Randy McKean, Dan Plonsey and Cory Wright. Individually they have worked with creative mavericks from Anthony Braxton, Vinny Golia, Yusef Lateef, Roscoe Mitchell, to ROVA, but the group has a brainiac squalling sound all its own, fueled by their original compositions—one part laboratory, the other playground. The nucleus of Goggle was formed in 1987 at Mills College, has recorded as the Great Circle Saxophone Quartet for New World Records, and since 2013, as Goggle, have worked with Taylor Ho Bynum, duo B., Lisa Mezzacappa and the Del Sol String Quartet. Goggle will be joined at this sfSound set of new compositions by special guests percussionist Jordan Glenn and vocalist Mantra Plonsey, whose mesmerizing “Nothing Wrong with Him” was featured on Goggle’s latest release Eeyahdi on Cure-All Records.

The UNITED BRASSWORKER'S FRONT seeks to draw on the broad and diverse experiences and interests of it's members, to blur the lines between composition and improvisation, and between tradition and experimentation, all in the hopes of distilling this recipe into a sound that is unique, soulful, and that reexamines what a brass band can be. After many years in hibernation, this will be the first ever performance for the newest incarnation of the UBF, originally founded in the Bay Area in the early 2000's by trumpeter/composer Darren Johnston. Along with Johnston, the other original member this evening will be trumpeter Henry Hung. Past collaborators include Ches Smith, Devin Hoff, Lisa Mezzacappa, Sameer Gupta, Chris Brown, Adam Theis, Ara Anderson, and many others, including the late John Finkbeiner, who's singular sound and approach on electric guitar was a crucial element to the original band's sound.

Darren Johnston, Henry Hung - trumpet
Danny Lubin-Laden, Alan Williams - trombone
Luke Kirley - tuba
Jordan Glenn - drums

 JUNE 30 2024  7pm  $10-$25
click here to purchase advance tickets ($20) online on eventbrite


TALES END is a new improvised music group fronted by ROVA Saxophone Quartet's LARRY OCHS featuring some of the best improvisers in the Bay Area, with KYLE BRUCKMANN (electronics), DARREN JOHNSTON (trumpet), LISA MEZZACAPPA (bass), and KJELL NORDESON (percussion).

RIC LOUCHARD + TOM DJLL present Flight from Identity for piano and attendants. An attempt to expose, analyse, and release the psychosis of a black and white subject with 88 points of inflexion and reported history of abuse from imperialist logics. Lacking a "standard framework for understanding identity changes in a psychotic subject," the practitioners must resort to a workshop approach using appropriate instruments and experimental methodologies. In the course of this examination, it may become apparent that a typical Viennese-bred subject will follow a line of flight to its most restful state in a place far from its historically defined role(s). The subject is thus freed from the personality-fracturing black-tie straitjacket imposed on it by main-line pedagogy and societal expectations.

The practitioners have developed a range of discrete transformational structures for undertaking this work, and hope to generate a sonic environment which lends the witness clues to not only the identity of the auditory stimuli bombarding them, but, as well, their own composition and identity as receivers and ultimate creators of musical (and other) meaning(s).
"You may never get to touch the master, but you can tickle his creatures."
— Thomas Pynchon, 'Proverbs for Paranoids' #1, Gravity's Rainbow (1973)

 JULY 7 2024  7pm  $10-$25
click here to purchase advance tickets ($20) online on eventbrite


sfSound performs a program covering half a century of composed, semi-composed, and improvised music by Anthony Braxton, Elliott Carter, Brian Ferneyhough, Vinko Globokar, Eva-Maria Houben, and Salvatore Sciarrino. From craggy complexity to sexy extended instrumental techniques including graphic notation and free jazz, the whole gamut of sfSound’s musical skill and interest is presented here in a single concert!

Kjell Nordeson, percussion
Lisa Mezzacappa, bass
Darren Johnston, trumpet
John Ingle, saxophone
Matt Ingalls, clarinet
Diane Grubbe, flute
Kyle Bruckmann, oboe


          - Composition No. 142 (+110A, +SBN-A-1 66K) (1988/1984/1971, 10m)
         - Composition No. 23E (489M 70 - 2 - - (TH - B) M) (1974, 10m)

ELLIOTT CARTER - Esprit rude/esprit doux II (1994, 4m)

BRIAN FERNEYHOUGH - In Nomine a 3 (2001, 2m)

VINKO GLOBOKAR - Correspondences (1971, 16m)

EVA-MARIA HOUBEN - by a departing light X 4 (2023, 15m)

SALVATORE SCIARRINO - Muro d'orizzonte (1997, 11m)

 JULY 14 2024  7pm  $10-$25
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NATHAN CLEVENGER is an Oakland-born composer and multi-instrumentalist, working on the margins of modern composition, jazz, and improvisation. His 10-piece ensemble is an expanded version of Clevenger's long-running Group, created in 2024 to perform an extended suite, Astrolabe. For this West Oakland Sound Series performance, the ensemble will perform pieces from the suite, including a premiere, and feature Kasey Knudsen (alto & tenor sax), Beth Schenck (alto & soprano sax), Cory Wright (Bb & bass clarinet, alto flute), Rob Ewing (trombone), Marissa Deitz (cello), Safa Shokrai (bass), Jon Arkin (drums, percussion), Tim DeCillis (vibes, percussion), Jason Levis (marimba, percussion), and Nathan Clevenger (piano, harmonium).

DAVID LEIKAM, SFBA-based composer-performer and bandleader presents An Evening Alone, with 4 Instruments and 1 Human on acoustic piano, Moog synthesiser, 6 string electric bass guitar, and 6 string electric cello. Being born with cerebral palsy has affected his body and speech, giving him a distinct view into his creative arts/music process and being largely a self-taught multi-instrumentalist. Studied music composition/improv at CalArts primarily with Wadada Leo Smith (BFA 2001, MFA 2006).

 JULY 21 2024  7pm  $10-$25
click here to purchase advance tickets ($20) online on eventbrite



DANIEL JAMES BURKE an improviser/composer/performer from Chicago using strings, piano, extended techniques, field recordings, synthesizer, & electronics performs with local musicians ALEXANDRA BUSCHMAN-ROMÁN (voice/electronics), KYLE BRUCKMANN (oboe/electronics) and KANOKO NISHI-SMITH (koto) -- a first time configuration for this quartet presenting improvisation with minimal preconceptions.

Burke has been making music since 1983 as Illusion of Safety & has recorded and performed with Jim O'Rourke, Thomas Dimuzio, Jon Mueller, Olivia Block, Kevin Drumm, CHEER-ACCIDENT, & others. Recently he has started performing original music in singer-songwriter mode, and has initiated free improvisation sessions with Chicago-based improvisors Erik Sowa (drums) and Jeb Bishop (trombone & electronics). Seeing musical tools & traditions as borders to cross and boundaries to play with, his interest in making challenging, exploratory music is now augmented by a desire to also create music as beautiful and enigmatic as possible. Through interaction, environment, intention, & spontaneity, his intention is to connect space, performers & audience, believing sound can be a catalyst in reaching states beyond normal consciousness.

SCOTT AMENDOLA, the drummer, composer and bandleader who’s been a creative force on the Bay Area jazz scene (and far beyond) for the past three decades, knows all about the power of subtraction. His new stripped-down trio STICKLERPHONICS brings together long-time collaborators RAFFI GARABEDIAN on tenor saxophone and trombonist DANNY LUBIN-LADEN, NewYork-seasoned improvisers who’ve worked together since their formative years in the vaunted Berkeley High Jazz Band, circa 2003. The trio has plunged into the unmediated terrain that opens up in the absence of the usual guidelines, “a situation where there’s no bass and no chords,” Amendola said. “The sound is ever evolving. We’re really settling in, but there’s also the feeling like there are places to go. We’ve been adding my electronics and Danny bringing in a little looper. We’re just getting started.”

With all three players contributing original compositions, SticklerPhonics is a volatile combo that can draw on a vast continuum of jazz practices, from traditional jazz polyphony and ambient soundscapes to funk and free jazz. Amendola, who first gained national attention in the Grammy-nominated three-guitar and drums band T.J.Kirk, has a deep well of experience in unusual instrumental settings.His long-running duo with Hammond B-3organist Wil Blades got its start when they developed an impressively detailed version of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s late masterpiece Far East Suite. There aren’t many models to follow for SticklerPhonics, though Barondown with tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin and trombonist Steve Swell is a major source of inspiration. “Scott hipped me to that group,” said Garabedian. “It’s fun to be in this almost uncomfortable situation. You need melody, rhythm,and harmony, and the challenge is how can you successfully get all that with what you’re working with.”

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