Bay Sounds: In response to the recent trio of Disquiet concert reviews (“Beyond Laptops”), I got a request for info on how to find updates on San Francisco concerts of experimental/electronic music. These are some good resources: (1) the somewhat East Bay-oriented bayimproviser.com calendar, (2) the noise/rock-oriented thisactisnoact, (3) the S.F. e-flyer from flavorpill (sf.flavorpill.net, now featuring daily updates) and (4) local events site sfstation.com. And of course the websites of venues and musicians who promote/perform this sort of music, and the local newspapers and alt-weeklies. … Corona, N.Y.: A brief trip to Manhattan last week left little time for music, aside from some record shopping at and in the vicinity of the Other Music record store (othermusic.com). One exhibit of note, though: artist Chris Marker has a multi-screen video showing at MOMA, in the Yoshiko and Akio Morita Gallery, on the second floor. Titled OWLS AT NOON Prelude: The Hollow Men, it features stark images and reflects on the T.S. Eliot poem from which it takes its name. Playing for its 19-minute running time is Toru Takemitsu‘s Corona, in a performance by pianist Roger Woodward (link). … Z-Trip Unmashed: Turntable juggler DJ Z-Trip has a “celebrity playlist” up at the iTunes Music Store, featuring DJ Zeph, Prefuse 73, Cee-Lo and People Under the Stairs (iTunes link). Each track has a brief comment. Of D’Angelo‘s “Chicken Grease,” he says, “If you can’t feel this, you are probably that person at church who claps off beat.” And of a Miami Boyz entry from 1988, “I can’t believe this is in the iTunes store.”
… Meet the Composers: Some excerpts from the recent announcement of the Meet the Composers Commissioning Music/USA 2005 grants: “Mary Ellen Childs will write a work for pianist Kathleen Supove that incorporates live video of Supove’s physical movements; Pat Muchmore will create a work for solo trombonist Jennifer Baker using interactive electronics; Frederic Rzewski will write a solo for pianist Robert Satterlee. … Anthony Cornicello will compose an electro-acoustic work for ModernWorks. … [F]lute pioneer Robert Dick will compose a piece for wind quintet, with each movement based on a classic work of science fiction; guitarist/composer Fred Frith will write a work for the Bang on a Can All-Stars; Guillermo Galindo will write a piece for San Francisco’s Earplay using computers and abandoned machinery parts, and featuring his cybertotemic instrument MAIZ. … Kui Dong will write a work for string quartet and traditional Chinese instruments inspired by a combination of Vivaldi‘s Four Seasons and the work of John Cage. … Eve Beglarian will write a work for cellist Maya Beiser that incorporates sound design created from recordings of 12 women, each representing different vocal traditions from around the world.” More details at meetthecomposer.org.
… New CD Releases: Records due out on Tuesday, May 10, include Foetus‘ Love CD/DVD (Birdman), which includes “Blessed Evening” (video directed by Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs [link], with an assist from Spike Jonze) and guests Jennifer Charles (of Elysian Fields) and theremin player Pamelia Kurstin. … Rhys Fulber (ex-Front Line Assembly and Delerium) debuts as Conjure One, with Conjure One, hosting contributors Tom Holkenburg, Chris Elliott and various singers (on Nettwerk). … According to Steve Reich‘s website, Steve Reich & Musicians Live 1977 (Orange Mountain) includes live, unedited performances of “Six Pianos,” “Pendulum Music,” “Violin Phase,” “Music for Pieces of Wood” and “Drumming-Part IV,” recorded at the Kitchen in Manhattan. (“There is background traffic noise on ‘Violin Phase’ and ‘Music for Pieces of Wood’, and yet there is the real musical energy of intense young performers including the composer.”) … Cheb i Sabbah‘s La Kahena (Six Degrees) features North African vocalists, and was recorded in Marrakech, San Francisco, New York and New Delhi. … In the spirit of Verve’s remix series, Atlantiquity (Rhino) collects newly remixed Atlantic hits, including ones by Slave, Eddie Harris, Average White Band, Donny Hathaway, Chic and the Spinners, remixed by King Britt, Sa-Ra, Charlie Dark and others. … More new-release news at brainwashed.com/releases.
… Keeping Score: Via IMDB.com, Michael Nyman is attached as a composer on three films in progress: Charged: The Life of Nikola Tesla, from director Ken Russell, as well as Where Love Reigns and Therese Raquin. … Fellow minimalist Philip Glass is listed as the composer on Vic Sarin‘s forthcoming Partition.
… Quote of the Week: “I moved to a house whose owner had been absent a couple of years. The trees and bushes are so overgrown with parasitic vines that their growth is being stunted. I’ve pulled down hundreds of feet of vines, releasing the trees underneath to uncurl and grow toward the sky again. New music is similarly overgrown with vines: the school-taught classical assumptions about what constitutes musical sophistication.” That’s composer, critic and teacher Kyle Gann writing about “Strategies For and Against Sophistication” on his blog, PostClassic.