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Pamela Z to perform again her song cycle based on the ecological carbon cycle

Pamela Z in performance at the University of Colorado
Pamela Z in performance at the University of Colorado
by Tom Steenland, from Wikimedia Commons (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license)

Carbon Song Cycle, a full-length work created jointly by composer Pamela Z and video artist Christina McPhee, was premiered last April at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, where it was given a site-specific performance combining a chamber ensemble with multi-channel video projections designed by McPhee for the spatial characteristics of the venue. It then received its New York premiere the following November at the Roulette theater in Brooklyn, where the video was reconfigured for the proscenium stage. Next month Carbon Song Cycle will receive its first full-length fully-staged presentations within the San Francisco city limits, when Circuit Network will present two performances in the Joe Goode Annex of the Project Artaud complex.

The title is based on the ecological model known as the carbon cycle. The score is a fabric of melodic motifs inspired by both scientific data based on the model and related scientific texts. The source material for McPhee’s video is built from footage that she shot at petroleum fields, natural gas locations, and geothermal sites around back-country California along with carbon-inspired drawings and images of processes involving intense heat and chemical transformations. The Joe Goode Annex is the former machine shop for American Can Company. The industrial feel of its open-plan rectangular space will provide the setting for both McPhee’s projections and the disposition of the musicians. The instrumentalists who will perform with Pamela’s voice and electronic work will be Dana Jessen (bassoon), Charith Premawardhana (viola), Theresa Wong (cello and voice), and Suki O’Kane (percussion).

This revival of Carbon Song Cycle will receive two performances, both at 8 p.m., on Friday, February 7, and Saturday, February 8. Project Artaud is located at 401 Alabama Street, near the corner of 17th Street. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for students. They may be purchased in advance through a Brown Paper Tickets event page. Further information may be obtained by calling Circuit Network at 415-863-2441.