Last week this site reported that the transition from March to April would be only “moderately busy.” Saturday was the one day shaping up to require making some choices; and they included the “bleeding edge” option of Electric Shadow Theater: Film Truth + Surreal Sound by Fushigi Kenkyūkai taking their latest program based on real-time improvised accompaniment for Jean Cocteau’s The Blood of a Poet to Second Act, having premiered it at PianoFight on February 23. On the other hand, for those interested in the SF Opera Lab production of Ana Sokolović’s “Svadba-Wedding,” Saturday’s performance was the first of a run of seven.
The BayImproviser Calendar tells a different story, though. Things start getting busy tomorrow and almost every day will require choosing among alternatives. It may be premature to call this the most interesting week of the year, particularly for those with adventurous tastes; but, by the time we get to December, it stands of good chance of being remembered as a major contender. The best way to deal with all of the options in is chronological order as follows:
Tuesday, March 29, 7 p.m., Center for New Music (C4NM): The Greek Chamber Music Project recording label will host a listening party to celebrate their release of The Mood is Red: A Tribute to Mano Hadjidakis. The shindig will begin by listening (remember what kind of party this is) to selected tracks from this new CD. Things will then get a bit more interesting with an open jam session inspired by the music. All who attend are invited to bring their instruments.
General admission will be $12 with a $10 rate for C4NM members. Tickets will be available only at the door. The price of admission will include a copy of the CD and a beer. C4NM is located at 55 Taylor Street, about half a block north of the intersection of Golden Gate Avenue with Market Street.
Wednesday, March 30, 8 p.m., Second Act: This will be another evening involving both a film and live music, but in this case the music performance will take place after the film has been screened. The film, about 60 minutes in duration, is entitled Reak: Trance Music and Possession in West Java. It is an attempt to capture a particular Javanese ritual as it unfolds, including the relationship between the celebrants and the greater community. What makes the film unique (and probably controversial among anthropologists) is that the director, Arrington de Dionyso, becomes part of the celebration. He adds his free-jazz inspired bass clarinet playing to the participation of the Reak Sanca Birawa artists. Following the screening Dionyso will then jam with percussionist Pezham Akhavass playing the Persian tombak (goblet drum) and daf (frame drum). Second Act is located at 1727 Haight Street in the building that used to house the Red Vic Movie House. Tickets will be $15 at the door but $10 if purchased in advance online through Brown Paper Tickets event page.
Thursday, March 31, 8 p.m., Outsound Presents: Thursday is also the day for the usual Luggage Store Creative (LSC) Music Series concert produced by Outsound Presents. This week there will be three sets, each about half an hour in duration. The first two will be solo improvisations, bassist Jake Rosenzweig at 8:15 p.m. and trumpeter Garrett Hickman at 8:50 p.m. The final set will be a duo improvisation bringing together two adventurous percussionists, Jordan Glenn and Nava Dunkelman. The Luggage Store Gallery is located at 1007 Market Street. Admission will be on the usual sliding scale between $6 and $15.
Thursday, March 31, 8 p.m., Turquoise Yantra Grotto (TYG): This week the LSC gig will overlap with the next house concert at TYG. This will be the first of two events organized around the Samalan, described by its inventor Alan Tower as both an instrument and an environment. It is based on a chamber that provides a fully immersive sonic experience, but it is also a space in which sounds can be created by bowing and stroking. The program will also feature two other invented instruments, the Hang & Halo and the Huaca, a wind instrument capable of playing three-tone chords. Tower will be joined in the performance by Kim Riccelli. TYG is located at 32 Turquoise Way near Glen Canyon. Admission is between $10 and $15.
Friday, April 1, 7:30 p.m., Canessa Gallery: The Canessa Gallery has prepared an exhibit of new landscape paintings by Ethan Cranke. Cranke lives in Sonoma County, and his works capture the uniqueness of lighting there in a style that evokes nineteen-century expressionism. The opening reception will be at 5 p.m. on April 1, but there will also be a concert at 7:30 p.m. This will be a series of improvised compositions bringing together Doug Carroll on cello supplemented with original field recordings and David Samas and Bryan Day using invented instruments to recreate natural soundscapes. The Canessa Gallery is located at 708 Montgomery Street, where the Financial District bumps into North Beach. Admission to the concert will be by donation.
Saturday, April 2, 1 p.m., The Nunnery: This is the second Samalan event of the week. Instrument inventor Tom Nunn is opening up his garage to provide Alan Tower with an opportunity to discuss and perform on the instrument for the curious. Attendees will be invited to play the instrument and to experience the chamber it affords.
This will be a free and friendly social engagement for those in the Bay Area interested in inventing instruments and/or new techniques for playing existing instruments. Tower will be there for feedback, rather than just to make a presentation. The event should last about two hours. The Nunnery is located in the Mission at 3016 25th Street. Nunn arranges events like these entirely on his own initiative, so it is likely that there will be a request for support through donation.
Saturday, April 2, 7:30 p.m., C4NM: Zoë Holbrook is curating a program entitled PremieresPlus. The program will offer world premieres of four works by three composers. Holbrook herself will contribute two pieces to the program, a guitar concerto and a piece for electric guitar, cello, and electronics. The other composers will be Nikolai Teich (with a piano solo) and Nichols Denton-Protsack (with a string sextet). General admission will be $5, and C4NM members and students will be admitted without charge. Tickets will be available only at the door.
Saturday, April 2, 8 p.m., Victoria Theatre: This will be the fifth program in the CROSSROADS 2016 festival organized by the San Francisco Cinematheque. The title will be Apparent Motion with the subtitle Electronic Cabaret: Popcorn Before The Crash! The emphasis will be on screening recently completed short films; but there is also an interest in preparing music (or “organized sound”) for those films. Such accompaniment may be either on a soundtrack or performed in real time during the screening.
The Victoria Theatre is located in the Mission at 2961 16th Street. General admission will be $10 and a $5 charge for Cinematheque members. The entire festival runs from April 1 through April 3. A full festival pass is $70 with a $40 charge for Cinematheque members. Brown Paper Tickets has set up event pages for both festival passes and single tickets to the Apparent Motion program.
Sunday, April 3, 2 p.m., C4NM: Swift Rose is the name of the duo of violinists Mazz Swift (from the East Coast) and Alisa Rose (from the Bay Area). This will be their first West Coast collaborative performance. The program will consist of both expressive duets and solo pieces of their own creation. There may also be “a few morsels” (their phrase) from the classical repertoire. General admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members. Tickets will be available only at the door.
Sunday, April 3, 4 p.m., Old First Concerts: The Wooden Fish Ensemble will be giving their next performance in the Old First Concerts series at Old First Church. This group presents programs that place performers of classical instruments from Europe and Asia on the same stage. Wooden Fish members include Thomas Schultz on piano, Sonia Lee on harpsichord, and Hyunjung Choi on violin. They will be joined by the Sonnet Ensemble, a string ensemble directed by Sue-mi Shin, as well as two kayageum players, Kyungso Park and Ji Hye Lim. (The kayageum is basically the Korean version of a zither.) The featured composer will be Hyo-shin Na, with the world premiere of her “Song of the Bear” for string ensemble and kayageum and the United States premiere of “Invisible Door” for harpsichord and violin. The program will also include works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Felix Mendelssohn, and Arnold Schoenberg, as well as traditional Korean music for kayageum.
Old First Concerts events are performed at Old First Church, located at 1751 Sacramento Street on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue. There will be the usual admission charge of $18, with a $15 rate for seniors and $5 for full-time students with valid identification. Children aged twelve and under will be admitted without charge. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through an event page on the Old First Concerts Web site.
Sunday, April 3, 7 p.m., Hemlock Tavern: Once again the Hemlock Tavern will venture onto the bleeding edge with enough intensity to melt the wax in your ears. The opening set will be by Ötzi, a trio from Oakland with heavy doses of electronic synthesis. They will be followed by the dark love songs of Perfect Loss, sung by Jason Hoopes, who also plays bass. His rhythm will be provided by Karl Jensen on drums and Noah Phillips on guitar. Surplus 1980 will then close out the program with another onslaught of decibels.
The Hemlock Tavern is located at 1131 Polk Street. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show. Admission will be $7, and only those aged 21 or over will be admitted.
Sunday, April 3, 7:30 p.m., C4NM: Tania Chen will curate a performance by Angles 3, the trio whose members of Martin Küchen (saxophones), Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten (bass), and Kjell Nordeson (drums). All compositions will be by Küchen. General admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members.
Monday, April 4, 7 p.m., C4NM: Wooden Fish will head south from Old First Church to give a second concert, this time curated by Jon Raskin, at C4NM. This performance will focus entirely on Na’s music for Asian zithers. Park and Lim will again be playing kayageum, but this time they will be joined by Shoko Hikage on koto. General admission will again be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members.
Monday, April 4, 8 p.m., Make Out Room: Next Monday will be the first Monday of a new month, meaning that it will be time for the next Monday Make-Out gig at the Make Out Room. This will be the usual three-set evening of cutting-edge jazz improvisation. The program will begin with the ZE BIB! electroacoustic duo of Robert Lopez on percussion and Shanna Sordahl on cello. This will be followed by contemporary instrumental improvisation by Bruce Ackley on saxophone, Scott Walton on bass, and Ross Hammond on guitar. The final set will be taken by the Jakob Pek Ensemble, whose full membership has not yet been announced.
Doors will open at 7:30 p.m., and the first set will begin at 8 p.m. The concerts in this series are free, but only those 21 or older will be admitted. Donations are, of course, encouraged. The Make Out Room is located in the Mission at 3225 22nd Street, just west of Mission Street.