Founded in 2008 by Ryan Brown, Jeff Anderle, and Jonathan Russell, Switchboard Music is best known for its annual “rite of spring” in the form of an eight-hour marathon music festival that showcases some of the most adventurous and boundary-pushing local composers and musicians. However, now that the Center for New Music is up and running, Switchboard has expanded its scope to sponsor a monthly series of concerts. They call this Switchboard Presents: Split Bills of Eclectic Bay Area Music. As the title suggests, each concert involves two or more groups with the same emphasis on diversity that is found in the annual Switchboard Music Festival.
These concerts are held on the third Friday of every month. Performers for the first half of this year have been scheduled as follows:
- February 21: The Living Earth Show, Friction Quartet, Mobius Trio
- March 21: Crystal Pascucci’s Wild Hen, the Americana Ensemble with Danny Clay
- April 18: Nonsemble 6, the Hurd Ensemble
- May 16: Areon Flutes, Mobius Trio
- June 20: Friction Quartet with Jeff Anderle, Makeunder
All concerts in this series begin at 7:30 p.m. The Center for New Music is located at 55 Taylor Street, about half a block north of the corner of Market Street. Tickets are $15 with a $10 rate for members of the Center. Information about membership may be found on the Membership Web page of the Center’s Web site. In addition, tickets for all of these concerts may be purchased in advance through hyperlinks on the Center’s Calendar Web page.
The schedule for the seventh annual Switchboard Music Festival has not yet been finalized. However the lineup of performers was announced at the beginning of this week. Here is what has been released about who will be presenting what:
- The Kronos Quartet will be featured and will perform world premieres by Sahba Aminikia and Switchboard co-founder and co-director Brown.
- The Mobius Trio will expand their repertoire of original commissions for three guitars.
- Grex will continue to explore the influences of new approaches to both rock and jazz.
- Gamelan X mixes traditional Balinese music with West Coast funk.
- Odessa Chen will present her songs in orchestrations by Max Stoffregen that will be performed by the Invisible Stories Ensemble.
- Matthew Welch is a Highland bagpipe virtuoso influenced by Anthony Braxton and Alvin Lucier, who will perform original works with his ensemble Blarvuster.
- Jordan Glenn and Michael Coleman will present a suite of songs that incorporates mallet instruments, Casio keyboards, and homemade instruments.
- Splinter Reeds is the Bay Area’s first reed quintet, bringing together Anderle (bass clarinet) with Bill Kalinkos (clarinet), David Wegehaupt (saxophone), Dana Jessen (bassoon), and Kyle Bruckmann (oboe).
- Matthew Cmiel will conduct the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Orchestra in a performance of Anna Clyne’s “Within Her Arms.”
- Rapper and songwriter Dublin will bring his own approach to eclecticism with his ensemble.
- Hamilton Ulmer will lead the seven-person experimental indie band Makeunder.
- Brian Dowdy will conduct The Operators in a performance of Deerhoof Variations, based on songs by the band Deerhoof and composed by their drummer Greg Saunier.
- Kate Campbell will give a solo piano performance (with prerecorded tracks) of Julia Wolfe’s “My Lips From Speaking,” originally composed for six pianos.
Once again, the Switchboard Music Festival will take place at the Brava Theater, whose acoustics are particularly conducive for the unorthodox spirit of the event. The address is 2781 24th Street, between York and Hampshire. The Festival begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, and will continue (non-stop) until 10 p.m. Tickets are $25 with a $20 rate for students. It will also be possible to purchase tickets in advance for $15 from the Festival Web site, but that link has not yet been installed on the home page.