The San Francisco Tape Music Collective is dedicated to presenting performances of audioArt diffused through a surround-sound speaker environment.
The SFTMC and the SF Tape Music Festival is a project of sfSound
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sfSound presents

“Tape Capsule” -- The New York Times
“Cinema for your ears.” -- SF Weekly
“…literally surrounded by sound.” -- San Francisco Chronicle
“ enthralling survey of experimental proclivities from the last fifty years.” -- East Bay Express

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2018

Friday January 5, 9pm
Saturday January 6, 8pm
Saturday January 6, 11pm
Sunday January 7, 8pm

16th Street Victoria Theater
2961 16th Street
San Francisco

$20 general
$10 balcony/underemployed
$60 fest pass (general seating all 4 concerts)

advance ticket purchase
or at the door (cash only) the day of show after 7pm

America's only festival devoted to the performance of audio works projected in three-dimensional space, The San Francisco Tape Music Festival features four distinct concerts of classic audio art and new fixed media compositions by 30 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 (24 high-end loudspeakers) with the audience seated in complete darkness. It's a unique opportunity to experience music forming - literally - around you.

The 2018 Festival's first two concerts showcase the entire range of the “fixed media” artform; the Saturday late-night show presents longer, psychedelic, and ambient tape pieces; and the Sunday concert features an entire concert of “audio postcards” and “sound walk” compositions. Throughout the festival, composers from the empreintes DIGITALes label will be highlighted.

Remembering the pioneering work of one of the fathers of musique concrète, Pierre Henry (1927-2017), the festival presents a performance of his seminal work, Variations For a Door And a Sigh (1963). Other tape music classics include Karlheinz Stockhausen's quadraphonic Gesang der Jünglinge (1956) and James Tenney's proto-plunderphonic composition, Collage No.1 (Blue Suede) (1961).

Recent works by international artists Hildegard Westerkamp, Jonty Harrison, Francis Dhomont, Natasha Barrett, and others will be performed alongside bay area composers Thom Blum, Cliff Caruthers, Nathan Corder, Matt Ingalls, Fernando Lopez-Lezscano, Maggi Payne, Adam Sohn, Sophia Shen / Gabby Wen, Tim Walters, and Chamberlain Zhang.

works by:
Pierre Henry
Karlheinz Stockhausen
James Tenney
Hildegard Westerkamp
Francis Dhomont
Jonty Harrison
Natasha Barrett
Tim Walters
Maggi Payne
Fernando Lopez-Lezscano
Matt Ingalls
Cliff Caruthers
Thom Blum
Joseph Anderson
Chamberlain Zhang
Sophia Shen / Gabby Wen
Adam Sohn
Nathan Corder
Rocío Cano Valiño
Hans Tutschku
Nikos Stavropoulos
Demian Rudel Rey
James O'Callaghan
Monique Jean
Panayiotis Kokoras
Orestis Karamanlis
Elsa Justel
Bernadette Johnson
Francesco Giomi

(program order for each individual concert will be announced here, shortly...)

funded in part by
The San Francisco Grants for the Arts and individual contributions
equipment kindly provided by The Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University and sfSound.

What is Tape Music??

It is a bit paradoxical to use the word traditionally with a practice of the avant garde -- but, traditionally the words tape music have referred to the target media of a new kind of music. This new kind of music is not composed for arbitration by a pianist and the piano, so it must not be piano music. . . not for the string quartet, not for the orchestra, not even for the rock band.

Music Composed for Tape.

The idea of a music composed for a fixed medium, while perhaps starting down a path, does not really lead us to a fundamentally new art. If the only criteria for differentiating tape music from all other musics is the fixed delivery medium -- magnetic tape, vinyl, CD, miniDisc -- then our thought has just led us to all industrialized forms of music, so called "popular" and "classical". When this is our only standard, we discover tape music is actually the foremost music of our time. The kids love it, the moms subdue their road-rage with it, the dads sing tunelessly with it, and so on.

But This Music May Not be Music.

The pieces we present transcend simplistic notions of music and its materials and its "instruments." The recording/playback media itself is treated not as a stand-in for an absent performer, a poor man's orchestra, but as a vital and unique territory for exploration/exploitation. They coexist in many worlds, blurring the line between composition, field recordings, sound design, "cinema for the ear," virtual [audio] reality, "radio" drama, and sound synthesis. This art form does not depend upon the posturing of performers. It does not worship the technology with which it was produced, nor does it fetishize the physical medium in which it is contained. There is nothing to see here! In the same way cinema is NOT theatre, tape music is NOT music.

contact us for more info

sfSoundRadio is now playing many tape works from
our past concerts. TUNE IN NOW!

Read Joseph Anderson's short Essay & Program Notes on the history of San Francisco Tape Music Center & our San Francisco Tape Music Collective (aka the "new" SFTMC).
[ from the The University of Edinburgh Soundings Showcase ]

Past SFTMC concerts

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2017
January 6-8, 2017

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2016
January 8-10, 2016

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2015
January 9-12, 2015
READ: a review by Sam Lefebvre in the East Bay Express

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2014
January 3-5, 2014

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2013
January 25-27, 2013

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2012
January 20-22, 2012

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2011
January 7-9, 2011

Unravelling Tape An installation by the San Francisco Tape Music Collective
June 15-July 15, 2010

The San Francisco Tape Music Collective @ Mills College
November 9, 2009

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2009
January 30-February 1, 2009

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2007
January 26-28, 2007

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2006
January 25-27, 2006

Cinema for the Ear: The San Francisco Tape Music Festival
January 20-22, 2005
READ: a review by Jonathan Russell in San Francisco Classical Voice
a preview of the festival by SILKE TUDOR in the SFWeekly

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival
February 20-22, 2004

HEAR: Colin Berry's feature about the festival on NPR's California Report

San Francisco Electronic Music Festival
Sunday July, 27, 2003

READ: a review by David Bithell in Computer Music Journal

Strictly Ballroom Series
Thursday October, 23, 2003

Stanford University

The Tranparent Tape Music Festival II
8/16/2002 - 8/18/2002
a review by Tom Djll

The Tranparent Tape Music Festival
1/11/2002 & 1/12/2002
East Bay Express' Preview Article
READ: a review by Jonathan Segel in Computer Music Journal

a review by Mark Alburger in the SF Classical Voice & 21st Century Music

Big Sur Experimental Music Festival II

The East Bay Tape Music Festival 1 @ Art Rattan Warehouse

The San Francisco Tape Music Collective is
Joseph Anderson | Thom Blum | Cliff Caruthers
Ma++ Ingalls | Kent Jolly | Maggi Payne

We are always looking for new works.
Click here for submission information.

Background image: a "diffusion score" for Edgard Varèse's Poème Électronique