The Nomad Session octet, from their Facebook site
Regular readers probably know by now that the Nomad Session octet has been running a series of concerts that have been presenting a movement-by-movement introduction to a new composition by Nicolas Benavides entitled Cool Grey City. The octet consists of four woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon) and four brass instruments (horn, trumpet, trombone, and tuba) and is the first ensemble of its kind in the Bay Area. It has also taken on some highly imaginative arrangements of unlikely sources, such as the “Jupiter” movement from Gustav Holst’s Opus 32 suite The Planets, which is about as large-ensemble as a concert offering is likely to get.
Cool Grey City is a suite of three movements, each of which has been inspired by a different source of hidden spaces in San Francisco. The titles are “Gardens,” “Stairs,” and “Landscapes.” The performance will also involve video projection. Maggie Beidelman has created a video reflection for each of Benavides’ movements based on the respective choices of titles. (Benavides observed that usually a composer is presented with a film or video and asked to create a soundtrack. For Cool Grey City he and Beidelman decided to reverse the process!)
Readers may recall that the first two movements of Cool Grey City were introduced in the club-like setting of the Eristavi Winery. Now that the composition has been completed in its entirety, it will be presented in a more concert-like setting. The presentation will be hosted by The Lab and will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 18. The performance will be preceded by a wine reception at 7:30 p.m.
The Lab is located in the Mission at 2948 16th Street. This is a short walk east of the northeast corner of 16th Street and Mission Street, which is a major hub for both Muni and BART transportation. The Lab is hosting this concert but not presenting it as part of its own calendar of events. [updated 4/24, 10:35 a.m.: Tickets will be available at the door, but they may also be purchased in advance through an Eventbrite event page. If purchased before the beginning of next month, they will have an early bird rate of $15. After that, the price will be $20, both online and at the door.]