Source: Bay Improviser Calendar.
Friday, April 22
Fri 4/22 4:00 PM Holland Theater, Lisser Hall – Mills College [5000 MacArthur Blvd. Oakland, CA 94613]
The afternoon concert opens with the U.S premiere of a new version by Paul DeMarinis (Mills MFA, 1973) of Robert Ashley’s legendary work for voice and electronics In Sara, Mencken, Christ, and Beethoven There Were Men and Women. The performance will include live electronic music by an extraordinary ensemble including Chris Brown, John Bischoff, James Fei, Maggi Payne, and Laetitita Sonami. Zachary Watkins’ (MFA, 2006) music explores “pure” tuning, live electronics, resonant spaces, and the spatial diffusion of sound. Former Mills faculty member, composer, guitarist, and mandolinist, Larry Polansky will perform a solo work.
Fri 4/22 7:30 PM Audium Theater [1616 Bush Street]
An Immersive-Audio installation through 176 Speakers; Audium’s pitch-black sound space immerses audiences in sonic scenes that jump off the walls. Spring from the loud clatter of the Tenderloin to a remote Baker Beach cave. A familiar afternoon in the Sunset District gives way to an ecstatic celebration in the Mission. Audiences will hear birds flitter above, while children laugh and play below. Electronic melodies bump up against each other and burst.
Fri 4/22 7:30 PM CCRMA [660 Lomita Dr, Stanford, CA 94305]
CCRMAlite Spring Concerts #2
CCRMA presents two concerts of recent works by students, staff, faculty, and alums. Each night will feature a different program.
Free and Open to the Public
Fri 4/22 8:00 PM Mosswood Sound Series [3630 Telegraph Ave enter 2nd door on 37th St Oakland]
Cheryl E. Leonard performs new compositions and improvisations from “Unstable Material,” a project rooted in sonic explorations of Marin Headlands and inspired by the area’s geologic, ecologic, and human histories. Sounds played live on found natural objects intertwine with recordings captured in and around Headland’s transforming landscapes. Works reflect on borderlands, timescales, and the intersection of human-made worlds and the wild.
Improvised music by KEVIN CK LO (violin/flute/piano/electronics), Kevin Corcoran (percussion/electronics), and Danishta Rivero CASTRO (voice/electronics).
Fri 4/22 8:00 PM Mills College Littlefield Concert Hall [5000 MacArthur Blvd Oakland]
The evening concert features a duo with Fred Frith (Luther B. Marchant Professor of Composition, 1999–2008) and Zeena Parkins (currently Milhaud Professor of Music), former members of Skeleton Crew the legendary experimental rock band and now internationally acclaimed composers/master improvisers. Alvin Curran served as the Milhaud Professor of Composition at Mills from 1991 to 2006. His music “embraces all the contradictions (composed/improvised, tonal/atonal, maximal/minimal…) in a serene dialectical encounter,” a musical diversity, which he calls the “new common practice.” John Bischoff, a master musical alchemist in the tradition initiated by David Tudor, will perform two solo works: Visibility Study posits analog circuit actions in open dialog with laptop synthesis responses. Calliope casts Henry Cowell’s visionary idea of a Rhythmicon in the imperfect form of a digital instrument whose tones lose energy and disassemble as each phrase develops. James Fei, David Rosenboom, and William Winant will play a trio by the legendary composer/multi instrumentalist Anthony Braxton, who served on the Mills faculty from 1985 to 1990 and held the Milhaud Chair from 1985 to 1987.
Fri 4/22 8:00 PM California Jazz Conservatory [2040 Addison Street Berkeley]
Ben Goldberg’s Glamorous Escapades
Saturday, April 23
Sat 4/23 4:00 PM Holland Theater, Lisser Hall – Mills College [5000 MacArthur Blvd Oakland]
The afternoon concert presents a stellar multi-generational lineup of women composers and performing artists. New Zealand-born composer Annea Lockwood’s evocative music focuses on environmental sounds and life-narratives. IMA, an electro-percussion duo featuring two extraordinary Mills alumnae, Amma Ateria (aka Jeanie Aprille Tang, BA, 2013, and Nava Dunkleman, BA, 2013), perform expressionistic noise music influenced by Japanese poetry that is both industrial and serene. Acclaimed sound artist, performer, and instrument builder Laetitia Sonami will join composer, harpist, and master improviser Zeena Parkins in a duo that will surely “bring down the house.” And the superb all-women Eclipse Quartet will perform “Good Medicine” from Salomé Dances for Peace by former Mills faculty member Terry Riley.
Sat 4/23 8:00 PM Mills College Littlefield Concert Hall [5000 MacArthur Blvd Oakland]
James Fei’s installation in the lobby will welcome audience members attending the evening concert with a voicemail greeting from Alvin Lucier, slowed down by a factor of a thousand, rendering his voice inaudible but visible as a speaker cone slowly traces the compression and decompression of air from his speech. The evening concert will begin with a work created on the Moog synthesizer by Maggi Payne whose diffusion of her music in the Concert Hall will take listeners on a sonic exploration in space and time. James Fei will perform a series of works for live electronics: the first created on the original Buchla Box, the second focused on direct and electro-acoustic feedback, the third exploring scale in sound projection, shifting gradually from the PA system to small, local transducers and the fourth a quiet piece using only small speakers and transducers. The concert will conclude with a duo improvisation featuring two master improvisers—former Milhaud Professor (2002, 2004, 2006) Joëlle Léandre on the double bass and Mills faculty member, percussion virtuoso William Winant (MFA, 1982). Léandre and Winant are among the world’s most gifted improvisers and interpreters of new music. The list of performers and composers they have worked with is literally a Who’s Who in the history of contemporary music from the beginning of the second half of the twentieth-century to the present day.
Sat 4/23 8:00 PM California Jazz Conservatory – Rendon Hall/Fiddler Annex [2040 Addison Street Berkeley]
The Stray Horns play Mingus @ 100. Seven piece band explores the highly improvisatory music of bassist, composer and bandleader Charles Mingus. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth, arranger David Slusser has programmed seldom played pieces and re-imaginings of the more familiar.
Sat 4/23 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
The Opus Project presents Opus 94 – a selection of 94th opuses from across the classical canon
Sunday, April 24
Sun 4/24 4:00 PM Dresher Ensemble Studio [W Grand Ave and Poplar St Oakland]
House of Faern at the West Oakland Sessions: Creative Music Series. House of Faern is Beth Schenck (saxophone) Jenny Scheinman (violin), Matt Wrobel (guitar), and John Wood (piano).
Sun 4/24 4:00 PM Holland Theater, Lisser Hall – Mills College [5000 MacArthur Blvd. Oakland, CA 94612]
Henry Cowell appeared in a solo piano recital of his own music in Lisser Hall on April 4, 1923. Nearly one hundred years later, Mills faculty members Paul Flight (voice) and Nalini Ghuman (piano) will present a set of Cowell songs in the recently renovated historic building. Sally Decker (MFA, 2019) and Brendan Glasson (MFA, 2018, technical director of the Mills Center for Contemporary Music) explore relationships of sounds in their music, searching for shape and balance between oppositional musical forces. They will perform live electronic music with feedback, oscillators, and electric organ. The concert will conclude with a “Company Improvisation” with an extraordinary ensemble of Mills alumnae/i led by former and present Mills faculty Fred Frith and Zeena Parkins.
Sun 4/24 7:00 PM SIMM Series @ The Musicians Union Hall [116 9th St @ Mission SF]
Outsound Presents the rebirth of SIMM Series with a benefit for children in war zones (including but not limited to Ukraine, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria). All proceeds will be donated to UNICEF.
Lords of Outland
Rent Romus – saxophones, Ray Scheaffer – elec bass, Philip Everett – electronics/perc, Anthony Flores – drums
Tom Weeks Quartet
Tim Duff -Bass, Aaron Levin – drums, Jose Fernando Solares – woodwinds, Tom Weeks – saxophones
Sun 4/24 8:00 PM Mills College Littlefield Concert Hall [5000 MacArthur Blvd Oakland]
The evening concert concluding the Festival will begin with a work by David Behrman performed by Zeena Parkins (harp) and William Winant (percussion). Behrman, who with Robert Ashley served as the director of the Center for Contemporary Music in the 1970s, was among the first composers to write music in which performers play conventional instruments that interact with computers in real time. David Rosenboom also served as the director of CCM. In a performance featuring piano, e-vioviola, electronics, and computer algorithms, and video he will construct complimentary and contrasting sound worlds that challenge presumed meanings of “natural and artificial.” With a tip of the hat to Henry Cowell and Leon Theremin’s Rhythmicon, Chris Brown’s UrhythmichrOme for virtual piano and interactive computer navigates through four just-intoned modes. The festival will conclude with a performance by the William Winant Percussion Ensemble of music by John Cage, Lou Harrison, and Steed Cowart.
Thursday, April 28
Thu 4/28 8:00 PM Mitchell Park Community Center [3700 Middlefield Rd Palo Alto]
Earthwise welcomes Plays Monk: Ben Goldberg, Scott Amendola, Todd Sickafoose
Friday, April 29
Fri 4/29 7:30 PM Medicine for Nightmares [3036 24th St SF]
MYSTERY SCHOOL plays 2 sets
Fri 4/29 8:00 PM Mosswood Sound Series [3630 Telegraph Ave enter 2nd door on 37th St Oakland]
NICHOLAS ISHERWOOD performs a diverse program of contemporary vocal music, including 3 premieres by graduate composers from UC Berkeley and a rare performance of “Followe Thy Faire Sunne” (1962) for voice and tubular bells by Morton Feldman.
Fri 4/29 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
gabby fluke-mogul, Jean Carla Rodea, Gerald Cleaver, Moe Staiano, & Las Sucias present an evening of solo, duo, & quartet performances!