February is definitely going out like a lion as far as the performance of music is concerned. The remaining activities at the Center for New Music have already been covered in a special article, along with a separate piece devoted strictly to the latest installment in the Electric Shadow Theater of silent movies with live improvised accompaniment provided by Fushigi Kenkyūkai. There was also a compilation of the hard choices that would have to be made this coming weekend, even without worrying about approaching the bleeding edge. However, in the immortal words of Billy Mays, “That’s not all folks!;” and there are several bleeding edge events that have not yet been added to the ranks. First of all this will be a week (the first week in 2016, according to archival records) in which Outsound Presents will offer a “doubleheader” of concerts in both the Luggage Store Creative (LSC) Music Series and the Static Illusion Methodical Madness (SIMM) Series, both at the usual times and places.
The LSC concert will feature Arrington de Dionyso and China Star, both of whom specialize in playing invented wind instruments. China Star also plays soprano saxophone, while Dionyso plays bass clarinet and is a vocalist. In addition the performance will feature four guest artists, John McCowan on clarinets, Christina Stanley on violin, Rent Romus on both saxophones and flutes, and Thollem Electric on keyboard.
This concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday, February 25. The venue will be 1007 Market Street. As always, admission will be on a sliding scale between $6 and $15.
The SIMM Series concert will consist of two sets, each roughly an hour in duration. The first set will be duo B., which brings bassist Lisa Mezzacappa together with percussionist Jason Levis to perform both composed and improvised works. The second set will feature a visit from Vinny Golia performing on a variety of woodwind instruments with Max Johnson on bass and Ross Hammond on guitar.
This concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 28. It will take place at the usual venue of the Musicians Union Hall, located at 116 Ninth Street near the corner of Mission Street. Admission will again be on a sliding scale, this time between $10 and $15.
This will also be a week for listening to clarinetist Ben Goldberg playing in San Francisco. He will be performing at the Comstock Saloon in North Beach, playing with percussionist Vijay Anderson and bassist Ken Filiano. They will simply be the house band, playing between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. The Comstock Saloon has no cover charge, so listening to the group involves little more than showing up and buying a drink. The location is 155 Columbus Avenue, about a block south of City Lights Bookstore.
Among the overlooked hard choices for the weekend will be the return of Black Cedar to the Old First Concerts (O1C) series. This is the trio of Kris Palmer on flute, Nancy Kim on cello, and Steve Lin on guitar. The program they have prepared for Old First is entitled New Music for a New Sound, the latter referring to not only the combination of instruments but also the sonorities unique to the black wood of Palmer’s flute and the cedar of Lin’s guitar. They will perform two pieces that they commissioned, “Of Emblems” by Garrett Shatzer (2014) and “Miscellaneous Music” by Durwynne Hsieh (2015). They will also play Nathan Kolosko’s 2012 “Hungarian Trio,” as well as earlier works by Chinary Ung, his 1997 “Luminous Spirals,” and Klaus Hinrich Stahmer, “Debussyana,” composed in 1983.
This is the latest O1C event to venture out to the bleeding edge. These concerts take place in the Old First Church at 1751 Sacramento Street (on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue). This recital will be held on Friday, February 26, at 8 p.m. General admission is $18 with a special $15 rate seniors aged 65 and older and $5 for full-time students. Children aged twelve and under are admitted at no charge. These may be purchased through the event page on the Old First Concerts Web site. Further information may be obtained by calling 415-474-1608.
The Sunday of that weekend will also be the next occasion when Tom Nunn will open up his garage workspace, which he calls The Nunnery, for a public concert. This will be a two-set afternoon. The opening set will feature Rova saxophonist Bruce Ackley improvising on soprano saxophone. He will be followed an hour later by Cheryl Leonard, who will perform both compositions and improvisations based on both natural-object instruments and field recordings made during research into Californian, Australian, and Polar ecosystems. Ackley will join her for the final improvisation of her set.
This concert will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 28. The Nunnery is located in the Mission at 3016 25th Street. These events are sustained by donations, with a recommended amount of $10.
Finally, the month will conclude with the February installment of the Meridian Composers in Performance series. Featured performer will be Arma Agharta, a performance artist from Lithuania working with electronic gear. He will be preceded by an opening set presented by the Collision Stories quartet of Bryan Day, Jorge Bachmann, Mason Jones, and Michael Gendreau.
This event will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, February 29. The Meridian series continues to be hosted by the Canessa Gallery, which is located at 708 Montgomery Street, right on the border between the Financial District and North Beach. Admission is between $10 and $15, payable at the door.