Next month One Found Sound will present the second concert in their 2015–2016 (third) season. Regular readers know that this ensemble was the brain child of five graduates of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, clarinetist Sarah Bonomo, bassoonist Georgeanne Banker, violinist Emily Botel-Barnard, flutist Sasha Launer, and bassist Scott Padden. They envisaged a collaborative chamber orchestra that would perform without a conductor and would select repertoire to provide unique concert experiences, transcending the traditional barriers of classical music. The ensemble was founded in 2013, and thus far it has managed to complement its innovative approach to repertoire with the imaginative selection of performance venues.
Next month’s concert will see the return to one of the more imaginative of those spaces, the venue last used for the fundraising gala at the conclusion of the 2014–2015 season. This is Heron Arts in SOMA, which, at the gala provided not only a generous space for the performers but also wall space for an art exhibit and side areas for serving the food and drink offered as part of the gala. The program prepared for next month will highlight the different instrumental resources of One Found Sound, beginning with music primarily for winds and brass, followed by a string ensemble composition. The concluding work will then be a piece of chamber music combining a wind quintet with a string quartet and a bass.
The opening selection will be Edgard Varèse’s “Octandre.” As the title suggests, this three-movement composition has been scored for only eight players: flute doubling on piccolo, oboe, B-flat clarinet doubling on E-flat clarinet, horn, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, and bass. Like many of Varèse’s pieces, “Octandre” involves some very bold dissonances; but his instrumentation brings about a transparency through which one can appreciate how the individual lines contribute to those dissonances.
“Octandre” will be followed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Opus 48 serenade in C major. This four-movement composition is composed entirely for strings. Attentive listeners will recognize many familiar Tchaikovsky tropes in this music. However, by setting aside the more “spectacular” elements of brass, winds, and percussion, Tchaikovsky invites more focus on the expressiveness of his melodic lines and his skill in interleaving those lines within the syntactic confines of counterpoint.
The final selection will be Benjamin Britten’s Opus 1, which he called a sinfonietta. This is structured in three movements, the middle one being a set of variations, while the conclusion draws on the rapid-fire 6/8 rhythm of a tarantella. The ten contributing musicians evoke the same transparency that can be found in “Octandre;” and, while the dissonances may not be as harsh, Britten’s combinations of sonorities are as provocative as they are absorbing.
This concert will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, December 11. Heron Arts is located in SOMA at 7 Heron Street, just below Folsom Street and east of 8th Street. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $45 for VIP premiere seating and an invitation to attend an open rehearsal of December 8 at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online (with a service fee) from an Eventbrite event page.