The festival’s name wasn’t intended to evoke the increasingly precarious status of the Bay Area’s most celebrated outpost for new music. But it’s hard not to read a double meaning into Music in the Fault Zone: Experimental Music at Mills College (1939 to the present).
A program of eight concerts that runs over four days, April 21-24, Music in the Fault Zone brings together a broad swath of the world’s most venturesome musicians, many of whom studied at Mills. Together, they’ll perform works by epochal Mills-associated composers, including Pauline Oliveros, Darius Milhaud, John Cage, Lou Harrison, Roscoe Mitchell, Robert Ashley, Anthony Braxton, Terry Riley and Henry Cowell.
Presented by the Mills College Music Department and the Center for Contemporary Music, the festival showcases a priceless legacy—and one that’s at risk, as seismic forces threaten to swallow a music program that’s long served as a proving ground for the future of music the world over.