The Guerrilla Composer Guild (GCG), directed by Nick Benavides, was originally founded in 2012 by “a few unruly souls” (a GCG-based phrase); but it has emerged as far more than an umbrella organization for composers eager to seek platforms for their creations. As an organization GCG has arranged partnership projects with performing groups, through which the ensemble prepares a program of music by GCG composers. The Center for New Music (C4NM) has frequently served as a platform for the results of such projects. These have included Teleformation, which grew out of a commission for GCG composer Danny Clay by the MUSA Baroque Ensemble, a recital by the Ignition Duo, and Jarring Sounds.
The most recent of these projects has been a partnership with the Boston-based duo Transient Canvas, consisting of Amy Advocat on bass clarinet and Matt Sharrock on marimba. Transient Canvas first visited San Francisco a little less than a year ago, when they came to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for the first New Music Gathering. This led to a connection with Clay, who then invited them to return to San Francisco to perform in his second don’t be a stranger concert, which he curated for C4NM and which took place this past August. That, in turn, led to the initiation of the partnership project with GCG.
The results of that project will be performed at C4NM at the end of this month. Clay will again be one of the participating composers, along with David Coll, Robert Nance, Brenna Noonan, Crystal Pascucci, and Jon Yu. It is interesting to note that Pascucci was the cellist for the Teleformation concert. Readers of this site with long memories may recall that she is also a prodigious improviser, as was demonstrated in July of 2013 by her performance with saxophonist Joshua Marshall in the duo Opera Wolf. In addition her 2012 string quartet, “Endurance Capture,” has been performed by the Arditti Quartet. She is a relative newcomer to GCG; but this may be the right setting for the breadth of her interests, which include working with standard notation and graphic scores, as well as improvisation.
GCG’s C4NM concert will take place on Friday, January 29. It will begin at 8 p.m. General admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members. Tickets will be available only at the door. C4NM is located at 55 Taylor Street, about half a block north of where Golden Gate Avenue meets Market Street. The information line for C4NM is 415-275-2466 (C4NM).