As usual, the annual San Francisco Tape Music Festival will be held during the month of January. Once again it will take place over the course of a three-night weekend, during which 30 audio works will be projected in a three-dimensional space using a surround system consisting of 24 high-end loudspeakers. In 2014, however, the Festival will take place during the first weekend in January, thus having the honor of being one of the events to usher in the new year.
Also as usual, the programs prepared for the Festival will both honor the historical legacy of tape music and provide a platform for currently active composers, both local and international. That legacy will include a recorded invocation delivered by perhaps the best-known pioneer of electronic sound, Alexander Graham Bell. At the other end of the historical time line, there will also be a projection of “The Sounds of Earth,” the collaborative sound collage currently traveling through interstellar space on the surface of the Voyager satellite.
The pioneering compositions on the program will consist of works by François Bayle, Willem de Ridder with The Hafler Trio, Denis Smalley, Hildegard Westerkamp, and Iannis Xenakis, as well as “Melodica,” a rarely-heard tape-loop piece that Steve Reich created in 1966. The program will also include a variety of premieres and established pieces by members of the San Francisco Tape Music Collective, Matt Ingalls, Cliff Caruthers, Thom Blum, and Joseph Anderson. “Guest composers” for this year’s festival will include Jacob Felix Heule, Aaron Oppenheim, Maggi Payne, and Bruno Ruviaro.
The full details of the three Festival programs have not yet been finalized. When that information has been settled, it will all be posted on the Festival Web site. This year the program for Saturday, on January 4, will be given two performances at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The Friday (January 3) program will begin at 8 p.m., and the Sunday, January 5, program will begin at 7 p.m. This year the venue will be the Z Below Theater at 470 Florida Street. Admission to each concert will be $15, with a special $8 rate for the underemployed. For those paying full price, there will also be a $35 Festival Pass. Both single tickets and Festival Passes may be purchased through an event page set up on the Z Space Web site. The underemployed rate requires cash in person at the Box Office.