a weekly new music and experimental sound series presented by sfSound

mosswood chapel :: 3630 telegraph oakland ca :: enter 2nd door on 37th st
$10-$25 sliding scale (cash & venmo accepted at door)
click here to purchase advance tickets ($20) online on eventbrite

friday sep 22, 2023 6:15pm SPECIAL EVENT @ LIVE OAK PARK, BERKELEY: wendy reid's ambient bird
saturday sep 23, 2023 8pm dina emerson (las vegas) + philip everett / hadley mccarroll
sun oct 1, 4pm james ilgenfritz (nyc) + mark deutsch + lisa mezzacappa / oakland reductionist orch
sunday oct 15, 2023 7pm dorothea schürch (bern)
sunday oct 22, 2023 7pm chris jonas deserts quartet (santa fe) / headboggle / hallie smith
sunday oct 29, 2023 7pm oceans roar 1000 drums (berlin) / matthew goodheart (troy)

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 FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 22 2023 (Fall Equinox)
Live Oak Park is located at 1301 Shattuck Ave in Berkeley. The precise location of the performance will be just north of the recreation/theatre building, near the creek under the trees. There is no formal seating: stand and watch or wander, sit on the grass, ground, steps, distant picnic tables or bring your own chair/blanket. At 6:15pm (preceding the performance), there will be an introduction of the musicians and their instruments.


sfSound members join WENDY REID and THE BIRD ENSEMBLE in a special fall equinox outdoor performance of WENDY REID'S Ambient Bird - Live Oak 2023

Lulu, african grey parrot
Wendy Reid, violin
Krys Bobrowski, glisglas
Ron Heglin. tuba
Brenda Hutchinson, long tube
Aurora Josephson, voice
David Samas, percussion
Kanoko Nishi-Smith, koto
Brendan Lai-Tong, trombone
John Ingle, saxophone
Matt Ingalls, clarinet
Diane Grubbe, flute

Ambient Bird - Live Oak 2023 is a 44-minute interspecies sonic landscape/ambient environment which reflects a philosophy of connecting with all living creatures and the environment. The ensemble includes experimental musicians of various and combined approaches: traditional, improvisational, acoustic/electronic /ambient, human/non-human, working with silence.

The structure of this work can be described as a musical process which attempts to reflect nature’s manner of operations: sonic fragments of an African grey parrot (Lulu) create a spatially notated score to be interpreted and performed by the musicians within the ambient environment. Contextual in nature, the work allows performers to act according to unpredictable conditions and variables which arise within the musical continuity. In performance, an attempt is made at a spontaneous unforced growing of sound and silence in which emphasis is placed on formation rather than pre-established form, as in the building and shaping of cell-like units in living processes.

This site-specific piece, as with the first incantation of ambient bird entitled ambient bird 433, pays homage to John Cage’s composition 4’33” (1952).

Over the past 30 years, WENDY REID has composed an ongoing set of musical processes based on nature, Tree Pieces, ranging from electro-acoustic chamber compositions to larger works for chamber orchestra and open ensembles in site-specific environments.

The processes attempt to reflect the inter-connection of all things (including ourselves) in nature. In performance, an attempt is made at a spontaneous unforced and unblocked growing of sound and silence in which emphasis is placed on formation rather than pre-established form, as in the building and shaping of cell-like units in living processes.

The Tree Pieces have been performed and broadcast throughout the United States, Europe and Asia by the Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Kronos Quartet, Other Minds 19, Interpretations, Mills Performing Group, Mills Contemporary Performance Ensemble (Steed Cowart), New Music Works Ensemble (Phil Collins), San Francisco String Quartet (Nathan Rubin), Ensemble Klee, Ruffled Feathers, Brassiosaurus, Tree Ensemble, sfSound and the bird ensemble, and others.

Reid produced the new music series ‘New Music with Birds, Frogs and Other Creatures’ sponsored by the Natural Sciences Department of the Oakland Museum and the San Francisco Art Institute. Since 1990, she has taught music composition at Mills College and violin at Holy Names University PMD. She currently teaches at her studio in Berkeley.

 SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 23 2023  8:00pm  $10-$25


Visiting from Las Vegas, DINA EMERSON and PHILIP EVERETT perform their long-standing duo of voice, electronics, synths, prepared lap harp, electric clarinet and percussion.

Local virtuoso HADLEY MCCARROLL performs a solo set of 20th century piano works:

Toru Takemitsu - Romance (1949)
Claude Debussy - Homage à Rameau (1903)
Elliott Carter - 2 Diversions (1999)
Matt Ingalls - Minimalistic Etude #2 (1992, rev. 2019)


DINA EMERSON, native of Santa Barbara, CA, lived & worked in NYC from 1988-2000, joining the Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble in 1990 and remaining a member until the present. She moved to the SF bay area in 2002. Since 2000, Dina has performed with the acclaimed Cirque du Soleil, permantly rejoining the company in Las Vegas in 2007.

Since age 16, when she first heard the recordings of Meredith Monk, Robert Ashley and other cross-disciplinary artists, Dina has avidly pursued to integrate the separate media into performances that is are at once installation, concert and theatrical event. Combining voice, text, electronics, physical theater and specifically chosen physical objects/materials, these works defy categorization. They could be monologues with extended vocal techniques and songs, or collages of images, sounds and movement, or an installation that is built as a function of the performance. There has been a definite progression from exploring more electronic techniques (digital delay & looping, for example) to ultimately letting those technical aspects fall away in favor of a much more "handmade" emphasis on the voice itself and the materials that make up the performance/installation.

PHILIP EVERETT has let many groups since 1967, including Ice, Arrival, Sound Oasis, The Homewreckers, and The Ghettobillys. His experience from his earlier development brought him to the conclusion that discovering new music was much more truer to his heart and left it all for his decision to play only creative music in the direction of sonic exploration. His current projects include Tri-Cornered Tent Show, an improvisation group that explores music inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, various group concepts with saxophonist Rent Romus including the Abstractions and the Lords of Outland, and writing experimental country music for his project “White Buffalo, Midwestern Gothic”.

HADLEY MCCARROLL, hailed for her “... lively and exhilarating ...” pianism (San Francisco Classical Voice) is a well-known, diverse solo and collaborative pianist. She has performed locally, around the US and internationally with: Alonzo King's LINES Ballet (Paris and New York), AIMS in Graz, Festival del Sole (Napa Valley), Flower Piano (San Francisco Botanical Garden), Concerts in the Barn (formerly Olympic Music Festival- Quilcene, WA), Composer’s Inc., Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and as recital partner with KRONOS Quartet violist Hank Dutt (SF). For many seasons she worked with conductor Kent Nagano, helping prepare singers for concert performances of operas by Elliott Carter, Phillipe Manoury and Unsuk Chin. Hadley has worked on the musical staff of the Royal Danish Opera, San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, Festival Opera, Livermore Opera and West Edge Opera. She has given wide-ranging solo performances with Santa Rosa Symphony (Carnival of the Animals, Beethoven Lives Upstairs), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Cage’s "Sonatas and Interludes"), and many recitals (Old First Concerts, Noon Concerts at Old St. Mary’s). Her passionately persuasive programs frequently pair contemporary music with masterworks from the past: Carter, Lachenmann, and Ligeti with Beethoven, Debussy, Janáček and Schumann. (“One of the canniest things a performer can do in their programming is to set living composers into dialogue with those of the past...eclectic, deeply personal programming” –Joshua Kosman, SF Chronicle). Hadley loves working with living composers, and has premiered compositions by John Harbison and Robert Greenberg, among many others. For the past nearly 20 years she has performed as the pianist of the cello/piano duo martha & monica. Hadley received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance from the University of Texas at Austin. Her performances can be heard on Centaur Rastascan, Navona, Not Two, and Albany Records.

 SUNDAY OCTOBER 1 2023  4:00pm  $10-$25


Visiting from New York, bassist JAMES ILGENFRITZ assembles a trio with locals MARK DEUTSCH and LISA MEZZACAPPA. Ilgenfritz is recognized in The New Yorker for his “characteristic magnanimity” and his “invaluable contributions to New York’s new-music community.” James has performed around the US, Europe, and in Asia with his bands Hypercolor and 4tet2duos. He has composed for the Ghost Ensemble, the New Thread saxophone quartet, HUB New Music, Hypercube, baritone Thomas Buckner, and the Ostravska Banda in the Czech Republic. Recent albums include Altamirage, featuring duets with and compositions by Pauline Oliveros, and Aging, with Czech-born composer/performer Lucie Vítková. This follows two solo albums: Origami Cosmos and Compositions (Braxton) 2011 (featuring music by Annie Gosfield, Miya Masaoka, Elliott Sharp, JG Thirlwell, and Anthony Braxton). He holds degrees from University of Michigan and University of California San Diego, and received his PhD at University of California, Irvine in June 2023. James had two residencies at John Zorn’s The Stone in 2015 and 2018, and has composed two operas, The Ticket That Exploded (2011, using text by William S. Burroughs) and I Looked At The Eclipse (2019, with librettist Sarah Krasnow). His current projects include solo and ensemble performance situations with his Autonomous Mechanical Instrument Array (AMIA) and his Alien Generator alternate tuning system.

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.

Danishta Rivero, voice
Cody Putman, bassoon
Kevin CK Lo, piano, etc
Lisa Mezzacappa, bass
Matt Ingalls, clarinets
James Ilgenfritz, bass
Ron Heglin, tuba
Phillip Greenlief, saxophone
Sarah Grace Graves, voice
Tom Djll, trumpet
Kevin Corcoran, percussion
Chris Cooper, electronics

 SUNDAY OCTOBER 15 2023  7:00pm  $10-$25


DOROTHEA SCHÜRCH presents a solo for colored breath inspired by the voices of the Ultra-Lettrist. Schürch is internationally active as a singer and performer. She has worked interdisciplinary in the fields of improvisation, music, theater, and performance for 40 years. The emancipatory and anarchistic approaches of the 80s have shaped her work focusing on the voice as a respiratory-physiological soundscape on one hand and as an experimental research tool on the other. Schürch's performances have taken her to festivals such as the Workshop Free Music Berlin, Taktlos Zurich, Festival de la Bâtie Genève, Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon, Jazz Festival Willisau, After Yodel New York, High Zero Festival Baltimore, Total Music Meeting Berlin, Wien Modern, Donaueschinger Musiktage, festival de la musique actuelle Victoriaville, Western Front Vancouver. She wrote a doctoral thesis on avant-garde vocal practices of the Ultra-Lettrist movement in the 1960s in Paris.

Schürch is currently in Oakland as a postdoctoral research fellow working on tape-recorded compositions of the 1950s and 1960s as part of the Bern Academy of the Arts project "Schreiben mit Stimmen" [Writing with Voices] which is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Her research focuses on tape-recorder compositions from the perspective of studio work including the crafting and experimentation with the machines and sounds. This research is inspired by practice-based musicology addressing questions of re-enactment, redoing, re-considering, and the exploration of learning and understanding versus appropriation. She is also interested in theoretical approaches to the questions arising from composing with recordings. Her work has received numerous awards.


Our focus is on the bay area experimental and new music community, hopefully encouraging crossover among sub-scenes (composition and improvisation; established and emerging; institutional and underground; etc.) We strongly suggest local musicians attend concerts before requesting to perform on the series. Visiting aritsts are also welcome, ideally splitting a concert with local musicians. We are also seeking compositions (in all forms of notation) to be performed by the sfSoundGroup.

There is a "hall-like" reverberation in the space. Extremely dense or heavily amplified music isn't a great match for the acoustics, although it is possible to use drum kits and electronic music with some sensitivity. We have a 92-key (down to a Low F!) 1953 Bösendorfer 7’4” Model 225 Piano (no sostenuto pedal; inside/prepared is OK). There is a basic sound system with a mixer and two QSC K12 loudspeakers.

50% of ticket sales is given to the performers.

If you are interested in performing on the series, please send an email to

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