The nineteenth festival of avant-garde music to be presented by Other Minds will take place, once again, at the end of February and the beginning of March. This year’s festival will offer only two concerts. However, the first of those concerts will present the United State premiere of a new work by analog synthesizer pioneer Donald Buchla; and the second concert will present the world premieres of a piece for guitar by John Schott and a composition by Roscoe Mitchell scored for four bass saxophones.
The first concert will take place on February 28 and will showcase the work of four composers as follows:
- Mark Applebaum will present three short pieces. He will give a solo performance of “Aphasia.” This will be followed by his graphic score composition “Metaphysics of Notation” performed by the Other Minds Ensemble. The score will be projected during the performance. The set will conclude with an electronically enhanced sound sculpture entitled “Mouseketeer Praxis.”
- John Bischoff will give solo performances of two pieces, each of which involves imaginative instrumentation. “Audio Combine” is scored for laptop, toy chime, music box, ukulele, and hand drum. This will be followed by “Surface Effect,” performed on a laptop controlling analog circuitry of the composer’s own design.
- The intermission will be followed by two pieces composed by Joseph Byrd in the Sixties. Percussionist Alan Zimmerman will perform Byrd’s 1963 “Water Music,” scored for solo percussion and electronic tape. This will be followed by the earlier (1961) “Animals,” scored for string quartet, percussion, and prepared piano. For this performance Zimmerman will be joined by pianist Sarah Cahill and the Del Sol String Quartet (violinists Kate Stenberg and Rick Shinozaki, violist Charlton Lee, and cellist Kathryn Bates Williams).
- The evening will conclude with Buchla’s “Drop by Drop,” scored for his analog synthesizer (which he will perform) and piano (Nannick Buchla), played in conjunction with a film by Silvia Matheus.
The second concert On March 1 will present five pieces, each by a different composer:
- “Cloud Drawings” was completed this year by Charles Celeste Hutchins and will be presented as a solo laptop performance by the composer with a live interactive video.
- Schott will play guitar in the world premiere of his “Carving, Scraping, Changing,” accompanied by Dan Seamus on bass and John Hanes on drums.
- Wendy Reid’s 55th composition given the title “Tree Piece” was composed in 2008. Its subtitle is “lulu variations.” It will be performed by Reid on muted violin and Tom Dambly on trumpet. The score also calls for a digital recording of an African grey parrot and a blue parrotlet, as well as a stone/bowl of water. The performance also requires lighting controlled by Buchla circuitry.
- Pianist Myra Melford will perform a set of solo improvisations.
- The Mitchell world premiere is entitled “Nonaah” and will be performed by a bass saxophone quartet consisting of Mitchell, J. D. Parran, Vinny Golia, and Scott Robinson.
Both concerts will begin at 8 p.m. preceded by a panel discussion at 7 p.m. The venue for the Festival will be the new SFJAZZ Center at 201 Franklin Street (on the northwest corner of Fell Street). Ticket prices are $65, $45, and $25 and will be sold by the SFJAZZ Box Office beginning on January 1. Box office hours are from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and it also opens 90 minutes to all shows at the SFJAZZ Center. Further information is available from Other Minds at 415-934-8134.