This is turning out to be a busy week of events having absolutely nothing to do with any holiday celebrations taking place this month. Tonight’s Gray Area gig was already listed last week, and December activities at the Center for New Music were reported even earlier. Nevertheless, there are five additional activities that are likely to be of interest to adventurous listeners. On the other hand, as of this writing, no activities are currently listed on the Outsound Presents calendar. As a result, the additional options for the week are as follows:
Wednesday, December 7, 7:45 p.m., The Nunnery: Those who have been following “bleeding edge” events for some time probably know that The Nunnery is the garage in Tom Nunn’s house in which he works on inventing and building musical instruments, many of which are known as skatchboxes. Nunn opens this space to the general public for occasional concerts. These usually take place on Sunday afternoons, but this one will be an exception. The program will follow the usual Nunnery format of two sets, using the time between the sets to collect donations. The Nunnery is located in the Mission at 3016 25th Street, and the requested donation amount is $10.
On this occasion the opening set will be taken by Bryan Day, performing on his own invented instruments. He will be followed by the T.D. Skatchit duo of Nunn and David Michalak giving premiere performances of two pieces from their current Skatch Art project, along with one other new work. The two of them play skatchboxes, other invented instruments, lap steel guitar, and percussion. They will also be joined by vocalist Dean Santomieri for a performance of Santomieri’s composition, “The lowercasing of Isabel Sands.”
Wednesday, December 7, 8 p.m., Gray Area: This will also be the final installment of Perpetual Motion, a series of performances presented through a partnership of Gray Area Art And Technology and the San Francisco Cinematheque. The theme of the series has been the combination of innovative approaches to the projection of animated images with real-time performance of music. This final program will consist of three sets.
Both the opening and closing sets will be taken by Bruce McClure. At both of these, McClure will present his Rotorattlers. He calls these “deconstructive prepared projector performances;” and they involve flickering film loops, optical sound, 3000-watt strobe lighting, and control through guitar effects pedals. Between these two “bookends,” there will be a performance of “Skeleton,” a four-movement dance macabre conceived by Greg Pope involving a battery of slide projectors and hand-cranked flicker devices. Music will be provided by Sult, the acoustic noise trio that brings Oakland-based percussionist Jaco Felix Heule together with visiting Norwegians Håvard Skaset on acoustic guitar and Guro Skumsnes Moe on bass.
The Gray Area Art And Technology Theater is located in the Mission at 2665 Mission Street. Admission is $20 at the door with a special rate of $8 for Cinematheque members. Tickets purchased in advance are only $10 or $15 on the day of the show. (The Cinematheque discount is only available at the door.) A cash bar will be available for those aged 21 or older. Ticketfly has created an event page for advance purchase of tickets.
Thursday, December 8, 8 p.m., Exploratorium: This will be the next concert in the Resonance series, presented as offerings during After Dark Thursday Nights at the Exploratorium. Curated by Wayne Grim, these events present new works by contemporary musicians and sound artists. The performances are then supplemented by discussions about the creators’ ideas, techniques, and inspirations hosted by Nicole Minor.
This particular event will be a solo performance by composer and intermedia artist Marielle Jakobsons. Her music-making involves synthesizers, strings, flute, and voice as well as her “macro-cymatic visual music instrument,” which converts audio source content into hypnotic waves of water and light. She will perform selections from her recently released Thrilljockey album Star Core. That performance will then be followed by a screening of her film “‘Recognition’ for Prepared Piano, Sine Waves, and Macro-Cymatic Instrument.”
Resonance events are held in conjunction with the “adults only” offerings at the Exploratorium on Thursday evenings. The Exploratorium is located at Pier 15 on the Embarcadero, across from the intersection with Green Street. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $20 for members. Admission is only for those age 18 or over. Tickets may be purchased in advance from a special Web page for Thursday Nights admission on the Exploratorium Web site, which has a calendar for selecting the specific date. Those interested in visiting the Tactile Dome will be required to pay an additional $10 at the door. The performance itself will take place in the Kanbar Forum, where seating is relatively limited (150 seats) and will be made available on a first-come-first-served basis.
In addition, this will be the first of five events in the fourth season of Resonance. As a result, season tickets are also being sold, which will entail a 20% discount, amounting to $100 for general admission and $80 for members. The schedule for all five events is given on the Season Tickets Web page, which includes a hyperlink to the Calendar Web page for purchasing this season passes.
Friday, December 9, 7 p.m., Adobe Books: Adobe may have a monthly music series, but that does not mean that the concerts have to be separated at four-week intervals. Following up on last Wednesday’s gig, Heule will return, performing this time in his Voicehandler duo with Danishta Rivero. There will also be another percussion set taken by Jordan Glenn. The remaining set of the evening will be taken by the neem duo of kelley kipperman and gabby fluke-mogul. The concert will be hosted by Benjamin Tinker.
Adobe Books is now located at 3130 24th Street (still in the Mission). The gig is free. However, donations will go directly to the performing artists and are strongly encouraged.
Friday, December 9, 8 p.m., Turquoise Yantra Grotto (TYG): The next house concert at TYG will offer two sets involving invented instruments. One of these is the Bazantar, created for Mark Deutsch, who may well be its only performer. It extends a conventional five-string acoustic bass with four drone strings and 29 sympathetic strings, the latter covering a range of four octaves. As can be imagined, the resulting sounds are more resonant; and the sympathetic strings exploit the contributions of upper natural harmonics. Deutsch will use this instrument to accompany a butoh performance by Martha Matsuda.
The other set of invented instruments are those of the Schumann-Theta Harmonic Series Gamelan performed by the Pet the Tiger Instrument Inventors Collective. The instruments of the Schumann-Theta Harmonic Series Gamelan were inspired by the ideas developed by William Colvig and Lou Harrison in their work on the American gamelan. However, as the name suggests, the Schumann-Theta gamelan involves pitches that are the frequencies of natural harmonics. The performers will be David Samas (vocals, corrugated whirling tubes, and conduction), Peter Whitehead (flute overtones and voice) and Stephen Parris (playing the Harmonic Compass that he invented).
TYG is located at 32 Turquoise Way; and admission is between $10 and $15.