The San Francisco Tape Music Festival

Pierre Boulez in 2004
Pierre Boulez in 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival takes place this weekend.

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2015
January 9/10/11, 2015
16th Street Victoria Theater
2961 16th Street
San Francisco


A cinematic “radio play”, sine wave synthesis, a collage of recordings made on optical film in the 1920’s, brownian motion sonification, drones, and manipulated bandoneón music. We perform a rare work by CONLON NANCARROW and an optical film piece by WALTER RUTTMANN that predates “tape music” by decades. We also premiere a new work by Stanford professor FERNANDO LOPEZ-LEZCANO and perform numerous recent works by international composers including the San Francisco based THEO MATHIEN. We also feature a tribute performance of Antony by UC Berkeley professor DAVID WESSEL, who unexpectedly passed away in October.

Walter Ruttmann – Wochenende (1930)
Conlon Nancarrow – Piece for Tape (1955)
David Wessel – Antony (1977)
Theo Mathien – A Trace of Finches (2011)
Jason Bolte – Putt’n Around (2012)
Diana Salazar – La Voz Del Fuelle (2012)
Isobel Anderson – Going Under: Above and Below The River Ouse (2014)
Gordon Delap – “Perpetual Jiggling”: Noise portrait of Richard Feynman (2014)
Jane Rigler – Mukta (2014)
Fernando Lopez-Lezcano – The Hidden and Mysterious Machinery of Sound (2015 WORLD PREMIERE)

Field recordings, cinema for the ear, sound-design works, a processed gamelan, samples of tejana and synth-pop music, and a FRANK ZAPPA classic. We also present numerous recent works by international composers and locals BYRON EVORA, KENT JOLLY, and CHERYL LEONARD. In addition, bay area composer COLLIN MCKELVEY and San Francisco Tape Music Collective’s own THOM BLUM premiere new works.

Frank Zappa – Nasal Retentive Calliope Music (1968)
Carla Scaletti – sunSergeAutomata (1987)
Kent Jolly – Bellbox (2003)
Francisco Eme – Cuerno de Chivo (2012)
Byron Evora – FLUX – Sound Re-Design (2012)
Matthew Schoen – Track #1 (2013)
David Arango-Valencia – giraSol~giraNada (2014)
Cheryl Leonard – Ablation Zone (2014)
James O’Callaghan – Bodies-Soundings (2014)
Pierre-Luc Senécal – Schrei (2014)
Collin McKelvey – Sufficient for a Head: Radio Edit (2015, WORLD PREMIERE)
Thom Blum – Walkways of the Hopeful and the Hopeless (2015, WORLD PREMIERE)

This concert features a premiere by BRIAN ENO. In 2007, Eno composed a 16-channel piece, Golden for our festival. He created multiple versions of various lengths, and the “full” 17-minute version will have its public debut on this program. In addition, we present a rare performance of PAULINE OLIVEROS’S The Day I Disconnected the Erase Head and Forgot to Reconnect It – one of her classic analog synth tape pieces from 1966 that predates the Bay Area Noise scene by decades. The program also includes a new work by dutch composer AUGUSTO MEIJER and a sonic landscape composition by San Francisco Tape Music Collective’s own CLIFF CARUTHERS.

Brian Eno – Golden (2007, WORLD PREMIERE)
Pauline Oliveros – The Day I Disconnected the Erase Head and Forgot to Reconnect It (1966)
Cliff Caruthers – Natoma (2003)
Augusto Meijer – Utopia (2014)

SUNDAY JANUARY 11 8pm (with sfSoundGroup)
Our final concert features the Festival’s first collaboration with acoustic musicians in a double-program exploring the relationships between electronic and acoustic instruments. Performed by SFSOUNDGROUP, the first half features a program of music by French master composers PIERRE BOULEZ (violin and live electronics), LUC FERRARI (improvising ensemble and tape), and two works that consist of mainpulated instrumental sounds on tape by acousmatic icons BERNARD PARMEGIANI, and HORACIO VAGGIONE. The second half features a program by American composers MARIO DAVIDOVSKY (ensemble and tape), ROBERT ERICKSON (ensemble and tape), HANS TUTSCHKU (oboe, bass clarinet, and iPads), and MATT INGALLS (clarinet and tape).

“Does listening to this constant transition from one state to another tell us anything about the nature of sound?“ — Bernard Parmegiani

Pierre Boulez – ANTHÈMES II (1997 :: violin + electronics) – Benjamin Kreith, violin + Sam Nichols, electronics
Luc Ferrari – ARCHIVES SAUVÉES DES EAUX (2000 :: improvisers + tape) – sfSoundGroup + SF Tape Music Collective
Bernard Parmegiani – ACCIDENTS / HARMONIQUES (from DE NATURA SONORUM) (1973 :: tape)
Horacio Vaggione – PRELUDES SUSPENDUS III (2009 :: tape)

Mario Davidovsky – Synchronisms #2 (1964 :: flute, clarinet, violin, cello, tape) – sfSoundGroup
Robert Erickson – Pacific Sirens (1969 :: ensemble + tape) – sfSoundGroup
Hans Tutschku – Still Air 3 (2014 :: oboe, bass clarinet, iPads) – Kyle Bruckmann, oboe, Matt Ingalls, bass clarinet
Matt Ingalls – CrusT (1997 :: clarinet + tape) – Matt Ingalls, clarinet

Monica Scott, cello
Sam Nichols, electronics
Brendan Lai-Tong, trombone
Benjamin Kreith, violin
John Ingle, saxophone/conductor
Matt Ingalls, clarinet
Diane Grubbe, flute
Tom Dambly, trumpet
Kyle Bruckmann, oboe/english horn

Food North American Tour

Iain Ballamy
Iain Ballamy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Food consists of Iain Ballamy on saxophones, electronics and Thomas Strønen on drums, percussion, electronics, Their upcoming tour dates include:

Jan. 15         Vancouver, CA     The Ironworks
Jan. 16         Edmonton, CA      Yardbird Suite
Jan. 17         Seattle, WA           Poncho Concert Hall
Jan. 21         Austin, TX             The North Door
Jan. 22         Chicago, IL            Constellation
Jan. 23         NYC,NY                Le Poisson Rouge
Jan. 25         Baltimore,MD        The Windup Space
Jan. 26         Montreal, CA         Casa del Popolo
Jan. 29         NYC, NY               Sjømannskirken

AMN Reviews: Kim Myhr – All Your Limbs Singing [SOFA542]

The title of this release by Norwegian guitarist Kim Myhr perfectly captures the atmosphere of highly saturated, sonically rich music on offer. Playing only an acoustic twelve-string guitar, Myhr creates a dense, orchestral sound that does indeed give the impression of all limbs singing all at once.

As a solo instrument the twelve-string guitar is a choir of its own. The arrangement of its strings in unison or octave pairings makes for a choric effect that Myhr channels into complex, unstable chords that shimmer and envelop the listener. On the aptly titled Weaving with Choir and on Sleep Nothing Eat Nothing, rapidly strummed chords build up a thick texture permeated by beats and sustained tones that sound at times like bowed piano strings. On Weaving with Choir Myhr accentuates the slight dissonances of out of phase, doubled strings by laying on harmonies of minor seconds. The texturally lighter Descent, built around a slowly repeated motif with a descending figure in the bass, differs from the frantic Leaping into Periphery, with its manic, ghost-note arpeggios on muted strings and spiky, harp-like timbres. The slowly strummed, unchanging chord on Blinky leaves space between soundings that allows its reverberations to hang in the air like so much transparent connective tissue.

Overall, an aurally lush, harmonically challenging music that’s unapologetically beautiful even at its sparsest.

Creative Music in DC

English: Ken Vandermark, moers festival 2010
Ken Vandermark

A few upcoming DC shows:

Upcoming Performances of
Creative Music in DC

Monday, January 5 @ 8:00PM
Malportado Kids :: DCIC :: Gauche :: DJ La rAt
MALPORTADO KIDS is a power Cumbia-Punk Duo from Providence, Rhode Island. GAUCHE is a new Anti-capitalist super DC punk group. DCIC is the longtime DC Improvisers Collective, lead in part by guitarist/pianist Jon Matis. They will perform in a 6-member ensemble. DJ RAT is one half of the Maracuyeah collective, as well as the Anthology of Booty collective.
Suggested Donation $5
Union Arts DC
411 New York Ave NE
Enter through the loading dock off the corner of 4th and Penn Street NE

Thursday, January 8 @ 8:00PM
f o u n d t a p e s showcase
Insect Factory :: IGM :: Tony Risotto/Jimmy Kreutzer
FoundTapes is a new cassette label specializing in Experimental Music – Founded in Arlington, VA in 2014. Insect Factory guitarist Jeff Barsky. His music focuses on texture and mood, building layers of dense sounds that slowly evolve into hypnotic and atmospheric drones, using a guitar and an array of effects pedals. IGM is the solo moniker of multi-instrumentalist and composer Ian G. McColm. He has performed nationally and internationally in a variety of ensembles and has been featured by WFMU,, Dusted Magazine, and Mike Watt’s “The Watt from Pedro Show.” Much of his music can be heard on releases from Ergot Records, Marmara Records, Holy Cheever Church Recordings, Pidgin Records, Cabin Floor Esoterica and Feeding Tube Records. Tony Risotto is the FoundTapes label head, and performs ambient/noise/drone music with only a guitar, a handful of change, and distortion. He will perform with multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Kreutzer.
Suggested Donation $5
Union Arts DC
411 New York Ave NE
Enter through the loading dock off the corner of 4th and Penn Street NE

Monday, January 12 @ 8:00PM
Ken Vandermark/Nate Wooley Duo :: Anthony Pirog Ensemble
Presented as part of CapitalBop’s Weekend of the Avant Garde in Jazz, January 10 – 12
Chicago saxophonist/composer Ken Vandermark and New York trumpet stalwart Nate Wooley had been operating in each other’s orbits for several years, having worked together with Paul Lytton, Joe Morris, Agusti Fernandez, and Terrie Ex. In October 2013, they put together their duo project when they toured the United States for the first time. With this unique ensemble, they deal directly with each other’s iconoclastic compositional and improvisational vocabularies, and have created a book of original material that takes inspirational cues from the under-appreciated work of John Carter and Bobby Bradford. Vandermark and Wooley have worked together to create an organic combination of the jazz tradition, free improvisation, and modern composition, and have then placed it into the raw and intimate context of this duo. Washington, D.C.’s jazz and experimental music scenes wouldn’t be quite where they are today without Anthony Pirog. The guitarist, composer and loops magician is a quiet but ubiquitous force on stages around his hometown. With fearsome chops and a keen ear for odd beauty, Pirog has helped expand the possibilities of jazz, rock and experimentalism in a town long known for its straight-ahead tradition. For this performance, he will present an expanded 5-member ensemble featuring trumpeter Dave Ballou, saxophonist Jarrett Gilgore, bassist Nathan Kawaller, and drummer Mike Kuhl.
Suggested Donation $15
Union Arts DC
411 New York Ave NE
Enter through the loading dock off the corner of 4th and Penn Street NE

Friday, January 16 @ 8:00PM
Chester Hawkins :: The Plums :: Luke Stewart
Chester Hawkins has recorded and performed a wide range of experimental music since 1985. Using an arsenal of electronics, tapes, acoustics, and modified objects, the goal remains the creation of deep and elegant trance states with a glaze of paranoid tension. The Plums are a DC-area Experimental Rock supergroup, made up of guitarist Jeff Barsky, bassist Marc Masters, guitarist Martha Hamilton, and drummer John Howard.
Suggested Donation $7
Union Arts DC
411 New York Ave NE
Enter through the loading dock off the corner of 4th and Penn Street NE

Friday, January 23 @ 8:00PM
Nagual :: Michelle Webb
Nagual was spawned in Oberlin, Ohio’s proliferating experimental circles. The duo of Ian McColm and David Shapiro have since 2010 become adept at coaxing damaged shades of Frippertronic drone from their extended guitar rigs. Meticulously crafted loops comprise the phonetic basis of Nagual’s vernacular, with clusters of decayed piano and spluttering ARP seamlessly shifting in and out of coherence while deep tones expand across the stereo field. Multi-String instrumentalist Michelle Webb is a restless collaborator who is engaged in exploring and extending the boundaries of her instruments. Her playing is visceral, with a expressionistic approach to creating timbre and velocities.
Suggested Donation $7
Union Arts DC
411 New York Ave NE
Enter through the loading dock off the corner of 4th and Penn Street NE

Every 2nd Sunday of the Month
CapitalBop’s DC Jazz Loft
The DC Jazz Loft showcases and stimulates the talent and forward-focused creative thought that is occurring in the DC Jazz community. On the second Sunday of every month, at Union Arts DC, a variety of idioms and approaches to Jazz are presented by members of the diverse local scene.
Union Arts DC
411 New York Ave NE
Enter through the loading dock off the corner of 4th and Penn Street NE