Four events involving adventurous approaches to the creation and performance of music will be taking place at The Lab between now and the end of the month. The first of them will take place this coming Friday, making for an overlap with “coming attractions” announced not only in an article trying to summarize just how busy this weekend will be but also in this week’s Bleeding Edge installment. Nevertheless, The Lab is definitely a venue for those who prefer to get away from the beaten path; and that criterion means that it deserves the same focused attention that is usually given to the Center for New Music.
For those unfamiliar with the venue, the performing space is located in the Mission at 2948 16th Street. This is a short walk from the corner of Mission Street. This is particularly good for those using public transportation, since that corner provides bus stops for both north-south and east-west travel as well as a BART station.
The Lab is currently in the midst of a membership drive and has a Web page that summarizes the benefits of different levels of membership, which include reduced price (sometimes free) admission to all events. These events tend to attract a large turnout, so early arrival is almost always highly recommended. Advance registration is also recommended, but the names of members will always be on the list of those registered at the door. With all that as introduction, here are the four events coming up this month that are likely to be of interest:
Friday, March 17, 8 p.m.: British Artist (and winner of the Turner Prize) Martin Creed will be visiting to present a program entitled Words and Music. He has been producing musical compositions alongside his visual work ever since his graduation from the Slade School of Fine Art in London in 1990. The song “I Can’t Move,” from his album Love to You, was used in the television series Weeds and was included on the album of music from that series. Performances of Creed’s songs are often accompanied by his own films and videos. This event is being co-presented with Kadist, and the artist will be donating his fee to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Admission will be $15 with no charge for members of The Lab. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. Members may wish to login, and for others there is a Web page for advance registration.
Wednesday, March 22, 9 p.m.: John Chantler is currently based in Stockholm. He works primarily with synthesizers and other forms of electronic gear. He has developed his own personal approach that involves both composition and strategies for improvisation. While he applies this approach primarily to the electronic domain, he has also worked with pipe organs. This would make him a successor to David Tudor in spirit, if not in practice.
Admission will be $25 with no charge for members of The Lab. Doors will open at 8:30 p.m. Members may wish to login, and for others there is a Web page for advance registration.
Sunday, March 26, 9 p.m.: Arnold Dreyblatt was born in New York City in 1953 but has been based in Berlin since 1984. His music teachers were Pauline Oliveros, La Monte Young, and Alvin Lucier. He began composing in the late 1970s, making him a “second generation” minimalist, following the “first generation” of Young, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass (who prefers to avoid being called a minimalist). (For the record I have considered that the “zeroth generation” of minimalism was established by Anton Bruckner!) Dreyblatt has worked with ensembles he has arranged and organized under the title “The Orchestra of Excited Strings,” with which he has explored alternative approaches to both performance and tuning.
Admission will be $25 with a $15 charge for members of The Lab. Doors will open at 8:30 p.m. Members may wish to login, and for others there is a Web page for advance registration.
Wednesday, March 29, 10 p.m.: The month will conclude with a visit from Australia-based Lawrence English. English is both composer and media artist. His work covers an eclectic array of aesthetic investigations with research interests in field effects, perception, and memory. Through live performance and installations he creates works that ponder subtle transformations of space and ask audiences to become aware of that which exists at the edge of perception.