Saturday, August 19, 2017

Center for New Music: First Half of September 2017

Things are gradually coming together for the launch of a new season at the Center for New Music (C4NM). At present, it seems to make sense to dwell on the first half of next month, particularly since two events in that period have already been given account:
  1. September 7: the opening reception and performance for the new Window Gallery exhibition, shiver me timbres
  2. September 10: the program of koto duos prepared and performed by Hyo-shin Na and her colleagues
Current scheduling shows that two more events will be taking place on or prior to September 15.

C4NM is (of course) located at 55 Taylor Street, half a block north of the Golden Gate Theater, which is where Golden Gate Avenue meets Market Street. Both of the following events will have the same prices for tickets: $15 for general admission and $10 for C4NM members. As usual, tickets will be available in advance through Vendini event pages. The offerings are as follows with each date hyperlinked to the corresponding Vendini page:

Saturday, September 9, 8 p.m.: Kurt Rohde is curating the program Textural Resonance, which will feature four pieces by three artists whose musical works are oriented around text and may involve additional media:
  1. The first work on the program will be “The Former World” by John P. Hastings. This multimedia essay on “deep time” draws upon two text sources, writings of the artist Robert Smithson and Annals of the Former World, a major book on geological history by John McPhee. The performance will involve video projection, acoustic guitar, stereo playback, roadside garbage, and mobile speakers.
  2. “Wharf Rat” was created by Benjamin Mayock. The text was taken from an anonymous guestbook entry, whose writer had been recently paroled from his prison sentence. These words will be delivered over both pre-recorded music and a live performance by Mayock and Hastings.
  3. The next work will be “How to Get There From Here,” created for solo speaking voice by Andrew C. Smith. This piece is in three movements. The first movement is based on 1600 segments of speech used to create a fixed-media electronic composition and then transcribed into the International Phonetic Alphabet as a score for spoken performance. The second movement is based on letter-based transforms of different text sources. The final movement is then based on the extraction of phrases from a wide variety of English texts going back to Geoffrey Chaucer and forward to H. G. Wells.
  4. The program will then conclude with Smith’s “Reconstruction,” a poem scored for solo speaking voice and an electronic reconfiguration of fragments of speech captured during the performance.
Friday, September 15, 7 p.m.: This will be a solo piano recital by Timothy Johnson. He will play compositions from his last album, A Guide to Misinterpreting the Past. He will also present several selections that have not yet been recorded for release. His approach tends to involve thinking of the notes he plays in terms of geometric shapes without attending consciously to characteristics of meter or tonality. What results amounts to a distinctive blend of impressionism and minimalism.

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