Things are definitely picking up at the Center for New Music (C4NM) this month. Through a variety of sources for advance notices, I have already given individual attention to three concerts of interest that will be taking place between now and the end of the month:
- August 16: a two-set evening of electronics presenting a solo by Thea Farhadian and the duo of Tim Perkis and Carter Scholz
- August 23: Søren Kjærgaard’s evening of solo piano improvisations
- August 26: the first program in curator Emma Logan’s Alone/Not Alone series
By my count that leaves another four items that need to be recognized, one of which is free.
For those who do not already “know the drill,” C4NM is located at 55 Taylor Street, half a block north of the Golden Gate Theater, which is where Golden Gate Avenue meets Market Street. The following events have different prices for admission. However, except for the free one, tickets will be available for advance purchase online through the indicated hyperlinks. The offerings are as follows:
Tuesday, August 15, 7:30 p.m.: Strictly speaking, this will not be a concert. Rather, it will be a film screening offered as a prelude to the Fall 2017 exhibition season of San Francisco Cinematheque. San Francisco Cinematheque is sharing production responsibilities with the Center for Asian American Media and the Noisebridge hackerspace, which organizes the monthly GODWAFFLE NOISE PANCAKES events. The title of the event is Ding Xin: Blood Beneath. Ding, whose Americanized name is “Sandy Ding,” is from Beijing and approaches filmmaking as the hand-made creation of moving-image artifacts and soundtracks. The program will review films he has made between 2006 and 2016. Ding will be present for the screening, and he will give a live electronic performance of the soundtracks for two of his films, “Prisms” (2012) and “River in Castle” (2016). Admission will be free to all Cinematheque members and $10 for everyone else. Tickets may be purchased in advance online from a Vendini event page.
Friday, August 18, 8 p.m.: This will be an evening of duet and solo percussion compositions and improvisations. The performers will be Jim Santi Owen and Sameer Gupta. Between them they represent diverse backgrounds in multiple percussion traditions including North and South Indian classical techniques, jazz, and “new music.” The instruments on which they will perform will include tabla, kanjira, morsing, thavil, and the conventional jazz drum-kit. General admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members. Tickets may be purchased in advance online from a Vendini event page.
Sunday, August 27, 4 p.m.: This is the free event of the month. Soundsmiths 2017 is the third annual fundraiser to support the exhibits in the Window Gallery. These exhibits have provided a platform for the Bay Area instrument inventing community to present the theory and practice behind their efforts. The primary vehicle for fundraising will be an online auction, which began around the middle of last month. The Web page for this auction is collecting bids for an impressive diversity of items. The auction will close at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a one-hour concert featuring invented instruments that have been displayed in Window Gallery shows. There will be complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a no-host bar.
Monday, August 28, 7 p.m.: C4NM will host a benefit concert for Lacuna Arts, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides both educational and performing opportunities for choral singers. The organization is run by Sven Edward Olbash, who conducts a series of choral recitals every season. At this benefit concert he will give a recital of the repertoire for baritone voice entitled The New Music, examining how that term applied to different periods in music history. The recital is named after a collection of monodies and songs for solo voice published by Giulio Caccini in 1602. Olbash will sing selections from this collection.
However, Caccini is remembered not only as a composer but also as a teacher. He trained the castrato Giovanni Gualberto Magli, who was part of the cast in the first performance of Claudio Monteverdi’s first opera, L’Orfeo in 1607. Olbash will recognize this event by singing the aria “Possente spirito” from that opera. He will then conclude his program by advancing to the first half of the twentieth century, performing Benjamin Britten’s Opus 22 settings of seven of the sonnets written by Michelangelo. His accompanists will be Kevin Korth on piano and Caitlin Austin on harmonium.
Doors will open for this concert at 6:30 p.m., and drinks will be served before the performance begins. General admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members. Tickets may be purchased in advance online from a Vendini event page.