It is probably just as well that I used the end of last week to provide a heads-up for programs coming to the Center for New Music, (C4NM), because a new venue seems to be positioning itself for hosting “bleeding edge” activities. That venue is Fort Mason, very much on “the other side of town” from C4NM and sporting the luxury of a variety of different locations for performance. Five events will be taking place there this coming weekend, at least two of which is site-specific. Most (but not all) of these are taking place as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival.
For those unfamiliar with the location, Fort Mason is at the northern edge of the city, right on San Francisco Bay, with a street address of 2 Marina Boulevard. It has been hosting arts and culture events since 1977. The events for this weekend are as follows, with more specific information about location:
- Saturday, May 30, 6 p.m., The Chapel: Movement artist Leyya Mona Tawil will perform with Phillip Greenlief (saxophone) and, Jon Leidecker (performing on experimental electronics as Wobbly). Tawil will perform “2 π r,” which she developed during residences in Berlin and St. Petersburg. Her use of the Chapel will be a site-specific realization of her score and will allow both musicians to inject their own “meta-scores” at will. Admission will be $20 with an $18 rate for students and seniors and $12 for children 12 and under with an accompanying adult. Tickets will be available at the door for cash only. Further information (but not advance sales) is available through a Brown Paper Tickets event page.
- Saturday, May 30, 7 p.m., Festival Central, Building A: In conjunction with the San Francisco International Arts Festival, the Asian Pacific Island Cultural Center, and Asian Improv aRts, composer and saxophonist Francis Wong will present the world premiere of “Wong Wei’s Gamble.” This will be a biography of the composer’s grandfather structured as a four-movement composition. The performers will include Tatsu Aoki (samisen), John-Carlos Perea (bass), Karl Evangelista (guitar), Yangqin Zhao (hammered dulcimer), Karen Stackpole (drums and gong), and Deszon X. Claiborne (drum set). The performance will also include choreography created and danced by Lenora Lee. Ticket prices range from $30 to $15 for both reserved and cabaret seating, Tickets may be purchased from a Brown Paper Tickets event page.
- Sunday, May 31, 11:30 a.m., Farmer’s Market and Firehouse: This will be a site-specific performance by inkBoat. It will be the next installment in performances of Anna Halperin’s collection of 95 rituals. Once again those performances will be directed by Shinichi Iova-Koga. Performers will include Dana Iova-Koga, Yuko Kaseki, Sten Rudstrøm, Heekyung Cho, Crow Nishimura and Dohee Lee in musical collaboration with Joshua Kohl. The performance will involve the benches installed by Dan Gottwald. Like the May Day Halperin performance at City Hall, this two-hour event will be free.
- Sunday, May 31, 4 p.m., Building B, Room B-301: The Commons for Art and Social Change (also known just as “The Commons”) will host an intimate program of music by living composers performed by the Del Sol String Quartet (violinists Benjamin Kreith and Rick Shinozaki, violist Charlton Lee, and cellist Kathryn Bates). The living composers on the program will be Ben Johnston and Mohammed Fairouz. They will also perform works by Claude Debussy and Stefano Scodanibbio. Food, drink, conversations, and mingling will follow the performance. Seating is limited; so advance reservations, which may be placed through a Brown Paper Tickets event page, are required. Admission will be through donation at the door, the suggested amount being $25.
- Sunday, May 31, 8 p.m., Festival Central, Building A: The San Francisco International Arts Festival will conclude with a concert by Broken Shadows, an all-star cast of musicians from greatly diverging backgrounds. They will play original works by trumpeter and vocalist Darren Johnston, including two different suites whose lyrics were based on recorded interviews and collected letters by immigrants living in the United States. The other performers will be Matt Szemela (violin and vocals), Schuyler Karr (bass), Faisal Zedan (derbekki, riqq, and vocals), and Hamir Atwal (drum set). Ticket prices range from $30 to $12 for both reserved and cabaret seating, Tickets may be purchased from a Brown Paper Tickets event page.
For those who prefer to stay closer to the Civic Center, this week will offer another “double-header” from Outsound Presents:
- LSC, Thursday, May 28, 8 p.m.: The opening set in the Luggage Store Creative (LSC) Music Series will be the Schaeffer Recycling Club. This is a trio led by bassist Ray Schaeffer, who performs on the fretless six-string and fretted four-string and eight-string versions of the instrument, using a host of electronic effects that are incorporated to be part of the instrument. He will perform with Joshua Allen on tenor saxophone and Philip Everett on drums. The second set will present the vocal duo of Kattt Atchley and Ron Heglin, who work with amplification and other electronics. The venue remains 998 Market Street, on the northeast corner of Taylor Street; and admission is on a sliding scale between $6 and $15, payable at the door.
- SIMM, Sunday, May 31, 7:30 p.m.: The Static Illusion Methodical Madness (SIMM) Music Series program will also consist of two sets. Saxophonist Rent Romus will open with his Life’s Blood Septet Ensemble performing The Sleeping Giant Suite. This is a compilation of works in multiple movement by Brett Carson, Joshua Marshall, Anthony Braxton, and Romus himself. Romus’ septet will also include Timothy Orr (drums), Scott Walton (drums), Jason Hoopes (bass), Marshall (tenor saxophone), Heikki Koskinen (e-trumpet), and Mark Clifford (vibraphone). The second set will be a “non-conventional improvisational sonic vibration” entitled “Circle Spins To Become A Sphere.” The performers will be KREation, an ensemble led by Kevin Robinson on woodwinds. The other performers will be Christin Hablewitz (clarinets), Maryclare Brzytwa (flute), Lee Hodel (bass), Tony Gennaro (percussion, including vibraphone), and Evan Jiroudek (drum set). As usual, the venue will be the Musicians Union Hall at 116 Ninth Street, near the corner of Mission Street. Admission will be on a sliding scale between $10 and $15.
In addition the Turquoise Yantra Grotto will host a two-set evening featuring Amy X Neuburg. First Neuburg will give a solo performance that will include improvisations on toys and gadgets and selections from her new interpretation of “Song Drapes” by the late Jerry Hunt. She will then perform with Bro Fist, the “insane brainchild” of Jason Berry and Amanda Chaudhary. They will present a live score for footage of captured digital compression errors. They will be joined by David Samas and Ian Saxton, as well as Neuburg. The Turquoise Yantra Grotto is located at 32 Turquoise Way. The two-hour concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 30, with $10 and $15 admission.
Finally, because a week from today is the first Monday of a new month, there will be a Make Out First Mondays concert at The Make Out Room. As usual, this will be a three-set evening, with each set running somewhat less than an hour. The schedule will be approximately as follows:
- 8:30 p.m.: the saxophone trio BARBEDWIRE (Steve Adams on alto, Greenlief on tenor, and Jon Raskin on baritone) playing contemporary compositions
- 9:30 p.m. the freak out rock group Dire Wolves, consisting of Kelly Ann Nelson (vocals), Jeffrey Alexander (guitarmagoria), Sheila Bosco (drum set), and Brian Lucas (bass)
- 10:30 p.m.: free jazz from Lords of Outland/Hammer (drummer Aaron Levin, bassist Ray Schaeffer, trumpeter Collette McCaslin, and Romus on saxophones)
Make Out First Mondays concerts are free, but only those 21 or older will be admitted. (I have been particularly impressed with what the bar has to offer; but have never had the pleasure of sampling, since I have been too involved with listening on my past visits.) The Make Out Room is located in the Mission at 3225 22nd Street, just west of Mission Street. Doors open at 8 p.m.