Those who follow this site regularly know that January is the month of the annual San Francisco Tape Music Festival. While magnetic tape itself has become pretty much an obsolete technology, the festival is a three-day celebration of “fixed media” compositions diffused live over a multi-speaker array. Tonight such an array will be set up in a surround-sound system especially tailored to the Center for New Music. As a result, sfSound, which now runs the bi-Tuesday sfSoundSalonSeries, will devote tonight’s slot to a single evening of tape music.
The program will feature works by members of the San Francisco Tape Music Collective (the group that organizes the January festival), Kent Jolly, Matt Ingalls (also a member of sfSound), Cliff Caruthers, and Thom Blum. It will present “greatest hits” from past festivals, as well as a live diffusion of a major pioneering work in the genre, “Poème électronique,” created by Edgard Varèse in 1958. This piece tends to be best known through two-channel stereophonic recordings; but it was conceived as a highly spatial composition, designed for performance in the Philips pavilion at the 1958 World Fair in Brussels, designed by Le Corbusier. While the Center for New Music space is not as large as Le Corbusier’s structure, the speaker array should provide a better account of Varèse’s composition than any stereophonic system would.
This performance will take place at the Center for New Music, 55 Taylor Street. It will begin at 7:49 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, September 10. Tickets are $10 with a $7 rate for members of the Center. Information about membership may be found on the Membership Web page of the Center’s Web site.