Once again this week’s Bleeding Edge column got the jump on the beginning-of-the-month activities at the Center for New Music (C4NM), but not entirely. Once again, there will be a performance at the Asian Art Museum held in conjunction with the current Tomb Treasures; and that will take place this coming Sunday. Even earlier, there is an event tonight that just popped up on the radar. For those who need reminding, C4NM is located at 55 Taylor Street, half a block north of where Golden Gate Avenue meets Market Street. Tickets for all events at C4NM are now available for advance purchase online through the indicated hyperlinks:
Thursday, May 4, 8 p.m.: The Sonic Body Series of concerts has been curated and produced by Christine Bonansea since 2013. It is a “moveable feast” that takes place in a variety of different Bay Area venues; and tonight the tenth installment of the series will come to C4NM. Each performance is a gathering of musicians and dancers to perform improvisations that explore relationships between bodies of sound and human bodies. Beyond that “mission statement,” few details have been provided. General admission will be $10 with a $5 rate for C4NM members. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Vendini Web page.
Sunday, May 7, 11 a.m.: This will be the third Music for the Afterlife program, conceived to supplement the Tomb Treasures exhibition at the Asian Art Museum. Once again the concert involves a partnership of Bart Hopkin’s ensemble of custom-built instruments called Gamelan Encinal with local instrument inventor group Pet the Tiger. For this program the two ensembles will join forces with the Cornelius Cardew Choir to perform “Last Words” by Brenda Hutchinson. Hutchinson conceived of this piece as an inquiry and meditation on how we plan the transition to the afterlife. The program will also present a third performance of “Yantra Meditation,” the interpretation of a graphic score by David Samas. The Asian Art Museum is located in the Civic Center at 200 Larkin Street. The performance will be free for those admitted to the museum.
Tuesday, May 9, 8 p.m.: Julia Ogrydziak will curate the next installment in her PRISM Series. She will host a visit from New York by ENSEMBLE MISE-EN, a chamber orchestra led by composer Moon Young Ha. The name of the group is not French but, rather, conjoins the Korean noun “mee,” which means “beauty,” with the verb “zahn,” which means to decorate. The group was formed in 2011, and it has a repertoire of 163 world premieres and counting. The program will conclude with one of Moon’s own compositions from 2015, “(in)stillness.” There will also be recent works by Sergio Augusto Cote Barco, Robert .A. Baker, Anna Meadors, and Amanda Feery. In addition, the program will include “Moonrise with Memories,” Frederic Rzewski’s concertante composition for bass trombone. General admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Vendini Web page.
Saturday, May 13, 8 p.m.: Firesong will return to C4NM. Founded in 2013, this group provides a creative space for composers and performers to advance the vocal chamber repertoire. For this concert the vocalist will be soprano Vanessa Langer, joined by pianist Allegra Chapman. The participating composer will be David Coll. The title of the program will be The Refuse Project, and it has been structured around pairing the world premiere of Coll’s monodrama “Refuse Collection” with his 2010 “Position Influence,” which he scored for soprano and sound sculpture. The program will also include George Crumb’s 1979 song cycle Apparition: Elegiac Songs and Vocalises, scored for soprano and amplified piano and setting the poetry of Walt Whitman and Jeremy Prynne. The title of Prynne’s poem is “Refuse Collection.” General admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Vendini Web page.
Thursday, May 18, 8 p.m.: MicroFest North will continue with the world premiere of a project that Lou Harrison was never able to see realized. In 1957 he completed the score for Cinna, a project he had been working on for about twenty years structured around incidental music for the 1643 play by Pierre Corneille of the same name. Harrison envisioned the drama being presented as a puppet play, but he never lived to see such a production. Four days after Harrison’s 100th birthday, Shadowlight Productions will present Cinna as Harrison had intended it to be performed. Shadow puppets have been designed and will be manipulated by Larry Reed, and the music will be provided by Linda Burman-Hall, playing a tack piano with just intonation tuning. The program will also include a performance of “Moving Parts” by the invented instrument duo of Paul Dresher and Joel Davel playing on the Hurdy Grande, a ten-foot fretted-string instrument controlled through Don Buchla’s Marimba Lumina. Both Reed and Dresher will contribute to a pre-concert panel discussion, which will begin at 7 p.m. General admission will be $25 with an $18 rate for C4NM members. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Vendini Web page.
Friday, May 19, 8 p.m.: This will be a two-set evening of innovative improvisations. The first set will be taken by RTD3, named after the group’s three members, Ron Heglin (trombone and voice), Tom Nunn (playing instruments of his own invention), and Doug Carroll (cello). They will be followed by the Aluminati quartet. Nunn is also a member of this group, as is Samas. The other two players are Ian Sexton and Derek Drudge. All instruments are metallic, thus evoking a faint family resemblance to the Indonesian gamelan; but the performances themselves are a highly innovative synthesis of Western and Eastern practices. General admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Vendini Web page.
Saturday, May 20, 7:30 p.m.: Local recording artist PC Muñoz will perform his touring music/poetry piece HALF-BREED. He will be joined by Los Angeles-based improvising violinist Yvette Holzwarth for this performance. The concert is a special benefit performance for Hapa Marrow Match, an Oakland-based non-profit concerned with finding bone marrow donors for the local Asian-Pacific Islander community. General admission will be $10, and C4NM members at no charge. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Vendini Web page.
Thursday, May 25, 8 p.m.: This will be an evening of jazz with the trio of Ben Goldberg on clarinet, Trevor Dunn on bass, and Scott Amendola on drums performing as The Miscreants. All three of them contribute original music. However, they also perform selections from a diverse variety of sources that includes (among others) Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Ornette Coleman, Diamonda Galás, Black Sabbath, Wayne Shorter, and The Beach Boys. General admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Vendini Web page.
Friday, May 26, 8 p.m.: Jason Thorpe Buchanan will curate a solo bass recital by Kyle Motl based on his recent recording Transmogrifications. He will also play a new work by Caroline Louise Miller entitled “Hydra Nightingale;” and other selections will be announced at a later date (possibly from the stage). General admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Vendini Web page.
Saturday, May 27, 8 p.m.: Mark Alburger’s Opus Project has now advanced to the rich diversity of Opus 53 compositions. As usual, the program is one of excerpts and short complete works. As usual, Alburger has included his own music in the program. The working list of sources can be found on the C4NM event page. This particular program has the title Essential Existential. General admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members, seniors, and students. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Vendini Web page.
Wednesday, May 31, 8 p.m.: The month will conclude with a second concert curated by Jason Thorpe Buchanan. This will again be a solo recital, this time given by Phil Pierick on saxophone with and without electronics. The title of the program will be memories in gray; and the composers to be performed will be Lei Liang, Kati Agócs, David Reminick, Stefano Gervasoni, and Javier Quislant. General admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members. Tickets may be purchased in advance through a Vendini Web page.