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The 13th Annual Outsound New Music Summit is returning to CMC

Regular readers know that, from time to time, I try to track the activities of Outsound Presents, which has a reputation for hosting some of the most adventurous performances of experimental music in the Bay Area. They maintain two regular concert calendars. One is the New Music Series at the Luggage Store Gallery (LSG), which is the longest running experimental music series in the Bay Area. The other is called the SIMM (Static Illusion Methodical Madness) Music series, which describes itself as “highly professional and truly adventurous music that would not normally be heard or supported by mainstream society.” The main factor differentiating these series is that SIMM tends to focus on free improvisation on acoustic instruments, while LSG performers often work with different forms of electronic and computer technology.

The Deconstruction Orchestra in performance in Oakland
by Miles Boisen, courtesy of Outsound

Every year at the end of July, there is an Annual Outsound New Music Summit co-presented with KFJC, one of the few radio stations in the Bay Area that regularly plays music consistent with the Outsound esthetic. This year will be the thirteenth event in the series; and it will be hosted by the Community Music Center (CMC) in the Mission, using the facilities of the Capp Street Concert Hall. As was the case last year, there will be four evening concerts and two afternoon workshops. Each concert is structured as a series of sets. Last year I was only able to get to one of the concerts, and I have to confess that I found myself with so much to write about the first set that I left early with my memories still fresh in my mind. There will also be two free evening events.

All concerts will again begin at 8:15 p.m., preceded by a Q&A session with the participants at 7:30 p.m. Specifics are as follows:

  1. Wednesday, July 30: PoetryFreqs will be a program of spoken word and poetry accompanied by electro-acoustic music performed by Pitta of the Mind (Maw Shein Win, poetry, and Amanda Chaudhary, electronics), jazz beat poet Ruth Weiss accompanied by Doug Lynner on Buchla synthesizer and Hal Davis on hollow log, and Watkins/Trammell/McZeal, the trio of James Watkins on electronics, Marshall Trammell on drums, and poet Amber McZeal.
  2. Thursday, July 31: Guitars will present seven talented and provocative guitarists: Henry Kaiser, Amy Reed in duo with Ross Hammond, Noah Phillips in duo with John Finkbeiner, and Sandy Ewen in duo with Jakob Pek.
  3. Friday, August 1: Constructions will bring together two extremes of magnitude. At the chamber music level the Teddy Rankin-Parker/Daniel Pearce Duo will perform new works by Renee Baker. On a much larger scale, the Deconstruction Orchestra will perform the debut of The Structure of Sound and Space. This is a suite inspired by the mathematics of cellular automata (such as the Game of Life), which will be performed by an ensemble of 25 leading Bay Area improvising musicians led by tenor saxophonist and composer Joshua Allen.
  4. Saturday, August 2: Improvisations will conclude the Summit with three groups of improvisers: Obstreperous Doves with Karl Evangelista in guitar, Bill Noertker on bass, Nava Dunkelman on percussion, Christina Stanley on violin, and Jordan Glenn on drums, The Emergency String (X)tet of Mia Bella D’Augelli, Jeff Hobbs, and Christina Stanley on violin, David Michalak on lap steel guitar, Doug Carroll on cello, Kanoko Nishi-Smith on bass koto, and Bob Marsh on cello (also directing), and the debut of the Jill Burton Trio with vocalist Burton performing with Tim Perkis on electronics and Doug Carroll on cello.

The two afternoon workshops will begin at 1 p.m. The first will begin the Summit on Sunday, July 27. It will be a general workshop on collaboration and improvisation for both musicians and non-musicians led by Thollem McDonas, pianist, composer, and educator. The second will be on August 2. This will focus of vocal work and be led by Jill Burton.

All events will take place at CMC, located in the Mission at 544 Capp Street, just north of the northwest corner of 20th Street. General admission for both concerts and workshops will be $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. General admission tickets may be purchased online from a Brown Paper Tickets event page for the entire Summit. It is also possible to purchase a Festival Pass for $45 by selecting “Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:00 PM” from the pull-down menu. All other menu selections are for individual concerts.

Finally, there will be two free events. Once again there will be a Touch the Gear exposition allowing for a hands-on experience of sound producing gear and instruments. This will begin at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 27, and will be open to the general public for three hours. Then, at 8 p.m. on July 28, there will be a free concert of the performance of works created through McDonas’ improvisation workshop on July 27.

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