Harry McDoggus
January 10, 2011
Other Minds Announces Details of 16th Festival, March 2011

Other Minds (OM), the global new music community based in San Francisco, has announced the schedule for its 16th annual Festival, to take place between the 3rd and the 5th of March 2011 at the Jewish Community Center in San Francisco. Each year OM invites composers of differing nationalities, ages and styles to bring their music to the Festival and a prior four-day private residency in the South Bay hills, where they exchange music and ideas. "This year we are thrilled to welcome Louis Andriessen (Netherlands), I Wayan Balawan (Indonesia), Han Bennink (Netherlands), Kyle Gann (U.S.), Janice Giteck (U.S.), David A. Jaffe (U.S.), Jason Moran (U.S.), and Agata Zubel (Poland) - eight composers whose work we deeply admire and who, we expect, will have a great deal to say to one another and to our audiences," reports Charles Amirkhanian, Executive and Artistic Director of Other Minds. "We will also enjoy the participation of a stellar group of performing artists for the 16th Festival - Bandwagon (+ special guests), Sarah Cahill, the Del Sol String Quartet, Fred Frith, Monica Germino, Andrew Schloss, the Seattle Chamber Players, Trimpin, and Cristina Zavalloni. Each concert (8pm) will be preceded by a panel discussion (7pm). The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco is located at 3200 California Street / San Francisco, CA 94118. Single tickets (from $20 - $40), and festival passes for all three concerts (from $51 - $102), are available at the JCCSF box office (415-292-1233), or online at www.jccsf.org/arts-ideas/performances/music/other-minds-16/


This year, for the first time, OM has offered The Other Minds Composer Fellowship in conjunction with its annual festival. Over 100 composers from all over the world applied for the fellowship, and the four winners were announced in November: Nicholas Chase, Lisa Coons, Ben Hjertmann, and Zibulkle Martinaityte. Fellows will participate in a series of residency events from Sunday, February 27 through Saturday, March 5, 2011, including lecture-presentations, panel discussions, workshops, and seminars. Fellows will have frequent contact with OM Festival composers and musicians, through observation of the OM Festival Residency, roundtable discussions, and informal gatherings. Fellows will be invited to observe onstage dress rehearsals for all mainstage Festival concerts, and receive free admission to all Festival events. Works by OM Fellows will be performed by the Other Minds and Nativitas Ensembles in a concert at the Meridian Gallery (535 Powell Street, San Francisco) on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at 7:30pm. Tickets are extremely limited for this special concert, and must be purchased separately. Seats may be reserved starting 15 January 2011 by phone (415-934-8134) or email (fellowship@otherminds.org). Panel and performance recordings will be provided to the Fellows and made available as part of the Other Minds Archive on www.radiOM.org.


The schedule for Other Minds Festival 16 is as follows:

Thursday, March 3
Anthony Gnazzo
pre-recorded media


Kyle Gann
Triskaidekaphonia I
Aron Kallay; keyboard
Kierkegaard, Walking(2007)
Seattle Chamber Players


Louis Andriessen
Le voile de bonheur(1971)
Monica Germino, voice & violin; Andriessen, piano
Seattle Chamber Players & special guests


Agata Zubel

Zubel, voice; Seattle Chamber Players


Janice Giteck
Seattle Chamber Players; film by Emiko Omori


After a ceremonious opening in honor of Oakland poet-composer Anthony Gnazzo's 75th birthday, the Seattle Chamber Players (flute, clarinet, violin, cello) will kick off OM 16 with works by four of this year's guest composers. Esteemed composer-author and former Village Voice critic Kyle Gann offers his peripatetic depiction of Kierkegaard wandering endlessly through Copenhagen, and SCP will join forces with a percussion trio for the rock-tinged Zilver by Holland's legendary Louis Andriessen. Virtuoso vocalist-composer Agata Zubel (Poland) will join SCP onstage for her riveting work Cascando, with text from Beckett's three-part poem of the same name.


Other opening night gems include Aron Kallay performing Gann's 13-limit microtonal invention Triskaidekaphonia, and a special performance by violinist-vocalist Monica Germino, with Andriessen at the piano, of the surprising and captivating Le voile de bonheur (The veil of happiness). The evening concludes with the SCP-commissioned Janice Giteck's multimedia masterpiece Ishi, inspired by the songs of the last surviving member of the 8,000-year-old Yahi tribe. The work's sixth and final movement features a short film made in collaboration with San Francisco's Emiko Omori, shot on location on Mount Lassen, Ishi's former home.
Reception to follow.


Friday, March 4

David A. Jaffe
The Space Between(2011; world premiere)
Andrew Schloss, percussion; Del Sol String Quartet; Left Coast Chamber Ensemble featuring a special installation by Trimpin
commissioned by Other Minds


I Wayan Balawan(first US appearance)
Balawan, guitars; I Nyoman Suwide & I Nyoman Suarsana, gamelan


Agata Zubel
Zubel, voice & electronics


Han Bennink
with Fred Frith, guitar


The second night of OM 16 opens with the world premiere of a new work commissioned by Other Minds, by Berkeley's David A. Jaffe. Eight string players will surround the audience, with Andrew Schloss onstage controlling a Disklavier piano and a battery of percussion instruments including chimes hanging from the rafters. This incredible installation, constructed by inventor-composer and MacArthur Fellow Trimpin, makes use of instruments willed to Jaffe by the late maverick composer and spatial music innovator Henry Brant (OM 4).

Balinese guitar phenom I Wayan Balawan makes his first US appearance, bringing to the OM stage his double-necked guitar, his lighting-fast tapping style, and a special blend of Balinese music and jazz. Agata Zubel performs solo in her work Parlando, adding to an already eclectic evening. The concert closes with a set featuring Dutch drummer Han Bennink, the co-founder of the Instant Composers Pool in 1967. He'll be joined by the Bay Area's own raucous noisemaker, guitarist Fred Frith (OM 11).


Saturday, March 5
Louis Andriessen
Monica Germino, voice & violin
Passeggiata in Tram in America e Ritorno(1998)
Cristina Zavalloni, voice; Germino, violin; Andriessen, piano
Letter from Cathy
Zavalloni, voice; Germino, violin; special guests
Zavalloni, voice; Andriessen, piano


Kyle Gann
Time Does Not Exist(2000)
Sarah Cahill, piano


Jason Moran
Slang(2011; world premiere)
Moran, piano; Tarus Mateen, bass; Nasheet Waits, drums; Mary Halvorson, guitar; Alicia Hall Moran, voice; commissioned by Other Minds


The final concert of OM 16 brings Louis Andriessen back to the stage, with Monica Germino and the riveting Italian soprano Cristina Zavalloni. This set of more recent works by Holland's leading composer includes Letter from Cathy, with text by the inimitable vocalist Cathy Berberian, written to Andriessen in 1964, the final year of her marriage to Luciano Berio. The other works also draw on fascinating texts: Passeggiata uses poems by Dino Campana to create a fantastic dream-like collage, and the third movement of Xenia includes an optional vocal part with Rimbaud's "Voyelles," in translation by Andriessen.


The Bay Area's "fiercely gifted" (NY Times) pianist and new music advocate Sarah Cahill takes the stage in Kyle Gann's tour de force, Time Does Not Exist. The work's repetitive texture draws inspiration from Freud's assertion that "In the unconscious, time does not exist."


The festival closes with the world premiere of Slang, a new work commissioned by OM, by 2010 MacArthur Fellow Jason Moran. The work draws inspiration from a number of sources including a 1970 LP by Western Electric titled Dialect of the Black American, and folk music of Taiwan's Bunun tribe. Moran will be joined by the members of Bandwagon, plus spellbinding mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran, and New York guitarist Mary Halvorson, a veteran of ensembles led by Anthony Braxton, Trevor Dunn, Elliott Sharp and others.


Founded in 1992, Other Minds Inc. is a leading proponent for new and experimental music in all its forms, bringing together artists and audiences of diverse traditions, generations and cultural backgrounds. By fostering cross-cultural exchange and creative dialogue, and by encouraging exploration of areas in new music seldom touched upon by mainstream music institutions, OM is committed to expanding and reshaping the definition of what constitutes "serious music." From festival concerts, film screenings, and the commissioning of new works, to producing and releasing CDs, to archival preservation of thousands of concerts and composer interviews (which OM distributes free on the internet), OM has become one of the world's major conservators of new music's ecology.


2011 Grawemeyer Award winner Louis Andriessen was born in Utrecht in 1939 and studied composition with, among others, Luciano Berio. From a background of jazz and avant-garde composition, he evolved a style employing elemental harmonic, melodic and rhythmic materials, heard in totally distinctive instrumentation. His acknowledged admiration for Stravinsky is illustrated by a parallel vigor, clarity of expression, and acute ear for color. Groups who have commissioned or performed his works include the San Francisco Symphony, BBC Symphony, Kronos Quartet, Ensemble Modern, Bang On A Can All-Stars, and the California EAR Unit. Among his collaborative works are a series of dance projects; the theater piece De Materie, created with Robert Wilson; and two stage works and a film by Peter Greenaway. Nonesuch Records has released a series of recordings of Andriessen's major works.


I Wayan Balawan (b. 1973, Bali) grew up with the traditional gamelan music of Bali, but from an early age preferred rock music, gravitating to such bands as the Scorpions, Deep Purple, and the Beatles. He taught himself to play guitar at the age of 8, and after enjoying rock in his adolescence he decided to study jazz at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney. After graduating from the Institute, he returned to Bali in 1997 and formed a band called Batuan Ethnic Fusion, which combined Balinese gamelan music with a jazz/fusion style. Balawan plays a special guitar with two necks made by Julius Salaka. There are six strings on the guitar's upper neck and seven strings on the lower neck, which utilizes MIDI pickups to trigger synths and samplers. He has made three recordings as a soloist and others with various ensembles.


Born near Amsterdam in 1942, Han Bennink's first instrument was a kitchen chair. Though he ultimately came to excel on a number of instruments, including soprano saxophone, trombone, clarinet and others, he is primarily known as a percussionist and drummer. In the early part of his career, he played with many jazz greats on their European tours - such artists as Eric Dolphy, Sonny Rollins, Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon and Wes Montgomery - and at the same time started to develop his own style as part of the Instant Composers Pool, a musicians collective formed in 1967. Through the latter part of the 20th century he performed in small ensembles with a great many players from both Europe and the U.S. - Steve Lacy, George Lewis, Dave Douglas, Roswell Rudd, Ray Anderson and Johnny Griffin among them. He has recorded frequently throughout his career as both leader and sideman. He now fronts his own trio, which includes clarinettist Joachim Badenhorst and pianist Simon Toldam. Since attending art school as a young man, Bennink has also pursued a successful parallel career as an artist in several media, and has designed many of the covers of the LPs and CDs on which he appears. He is represented by Amsterdam's Galerie Espace.


Kyle Gann (b.1955, Dallas) has achieved success as both composer and music critic for decades. He studied composition with Ben Johnston, Morton Feldman and Peter Gena, and his music is often microtonal, using up to 37 pitches per octave. His rhythmic language, based on differing successive and simultaneous tempos, was developed from his study of Hopi, Zuni, and Pueblo Indian musics. His major works, including a piano concerto, music theater, choral works, microtonal chamber operas and solo piano compositions, have been performed by prominent ensembles worldwide. He was new music critic for the Village Voice for 20 years and is the author of The Music of Conlon Nancarrow, American Music in the 20th Century, No Such Thing as Silence: John Cage's 4'33", and Robert Ashley. Since 1997 he has taught music theory, history and composition at Bard College and has also lectured at Columbia University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Bucknell University. For his music criticism, he has received the Peabody Award (2003), the Stagebill Award (1999) and the Deems-Taylor Award. His music is available on the New Albion, New World, Cold Blue, Lovely Music, Mode, Meyer Media, New Tone, and Monroe Street labels.


Now based in Seattle, Janice Giteck (b.1946, New York) was raised in Tucson from the age of 12, and attended Mills College. Among her teachers were Darius Milhaud, Olivier Messiaen, and in studies of Indonesian gamelan music, Daniel Schmidt. Greatly influenced by Native American music, her compositions are in turn rhythmic and meditative, ritualistic and serene. Ms.Giteck's works strive to recapture the ancient musical attributes of ritual and trance, exploring ways in which music can be a truly healing experience. Though she is of Russian Jewish heritage and has explored Judaism's mystical Kabala, her natural eclecticism and curiosity have drawn her to many cultures and she has learned from them all. She has received commissions,grants and awards from such organizations as Meet the Composer , the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fromm Foundation and the San Francisco Symphony. She has written music for two films by Pat Ferrero. Giteck also holds a degree in psychology.


David A. Jaffe (b.1955, New Jersey) studied violin, mandolin, and composition from an early age, then attended the Ithaca College School of Music, Bennington College, and received his DMA in composition from Stanford University. He has taught at Princeton, UCSD, and Stanford, and has lectured widely in Europe, Japan, the Americas and Australia. His musical language is at once personal and audacious, drawing on pop music elements, with aesthetic roots in the music of Charles Ives, Carl Ruggles, and Henry Brant. His "maximalist" approach extends to extra-musical material as well, with elements ranging from birdsong to politics and social justice. Jaffe's technical innovations date back to the early 1980s, when he developed a breakthrough technique for plucked string synthesis, in collaboration with Alex Strong, Kevin Karplus and Julius Smith. He has continued to explore his interests in physical modeling and software design as part of the Sondius/SynthBuilder project. His compositions have been commissioned by such ensembles as the Kronos Quartet, the American Guild of Organists, and the Mostly Modern Orchestra. Recordings of his music can be found on Elektra/Asylum, Wergo, CDCM/Centaur, Vienna Modern Masters, and Well-Tempered. His writings on music have been published extensively in prominent music journals.


Pianist and 2010 MacArthur Fellow Jason Moran (b.1975, Houston) and his group The Bandwagon (bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Watts) have challenged the status quo in so many arenas - improvisation, composition, group concept, repertoire, technique and experimentation - that they have been called the "future of jazz". The Blue Note Records recording artist has established himself as a risk-taker and innovator of major proportions. Moran's debut recording as a leader, Soundtrack to Human Motion, was released in 1999 to tremendously enthusiastic response. Ben Ratliff of the New York Times named it Best Album of the Year, and the Jazz Journalists Association awarded it "Best Debut Recording." In the ensuing 12 years, Moran has garnered extravagant critical praise as he has released one innovative recording after another, gathering awards as he goes along. Drawing inspiration not only from musical heroes like Thelonius Monk, Moran frequently channels energy from favorite artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Egon Schiele and Robert Rauschenberg. He has received commissions from the Walker Art Center, the Dia Art Foundation and Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has lectured at Yale University, Dartmouth University, and the Eastman School of Music, and is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music.


Agata Zubel (b.1978, Wroclaw) graduated with honors Primus Inter Pares from the Karol Lipinski Academy of Music, where she studied composition with Jan Wichrowski and Danuta Paziuk-Zipser. She has enjoyed as much acclaim for her singing as her composing, and frequently performs her own music. She has won several competitions, for both voice and composition. In 2005, she received the prestigious Passport of Polityka award for classical music. In the same year, her second symphony - commissioned by Deutsche Welle - was premiered during the Beethoven Festival in Bonn. She has performed extensively throughout Europe, Canada and the U.S. She is featured on two Cds recently released by CD Accord: Cascando, with her own chamber music, and Poems, with the songs of Copland, Berg and Szymañski. She is a member of the Polish Composers' Union and is on the faculty of the Academy of Music in Wroclaw. Her motto is "At the beginning there was rhythm and colour"!


The 16th Other Minds Festival (OM 16) is presented in cooperation with the Djerassi Resident Artists Program and the Eugene and Elinor Friend Center for the Arts of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.


Tickets & Information


Thursday-Friday-Saturday, March 3-4-5, 2011 - 7pm Panel Discussions / 8pm Concerts


Kanbar Hall, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF), 3200 California Street (at Presidio Ave.), San Francisco


Standard Seating
Single Concerts $30 General, $25 JCCSF Members, $20 Students
3-Concert Pass $77 General, $64 JCCSF Members, $51 Students

Premium Seating
Single Concerts $40 General, $30 JCCSF Members
3-Concert Pass $102 General, $89 JCCSF Members


Available online from www.otherminds.org or through the JCCSF Box Office, (415) 292-1233. Box Office hours M-F 12-7pm, Sat. 12-5pm. JCCSF subscription series tickets also available. www.jccsf.org/arts


Special Event
Other Minds Composer Fellowship Concert
Wednesday, March 2, 7:30pm
Toyoji P. Tomita Performance Gallery
Meridian Gallery, 535 Powell Street, San Francisco
$20 general, $12 standing / floor


"the premier new music festival west of the Rockies." -L.A. Times

For more information about the 16th Other Minds Festival, call 831-620-1332

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