The full schedule has now been announced for the sixteenth annual season of the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival (SFEMF). Once again the festival will run for four days, featuring three evening concerts at the Brava Theater Center and a special opening event utilizing the immersive Meyer Sound Constellation system of the Kanbar Forum of the Exploratorium. Many of this year’s performances will reflect a revived interest in analog synthesis. Both Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Charles Cohen will perform on the Buchla Music Easel, which was designed by Berkeley-based inventor Don Buchla over 40 years ago. Doug Lynner will play a 1975 Mystery Serge, an analog modular synthesizer designed by Serge Tcherepnin. Finally, the pioneering ambient music of Robert Rich was created through his own homemade analog electronic instruments.
All concerts at the Brava Theater Center will begin at 8 p.m. and will consist of three sets. Performers for each of the three dates have been planned as follows:
Friday, September 11: The opening set will be a duo performance by Lawrence English and John Chantler. They will be followed by Surabhi Saraf. The concluding set will be by psychoacoustics specialist Horaflora.
Saturday, September 12: Rich will open with his homemade analog electronic gear. The remainder of the evening will be devoted to the Buchla Music Easel. Cohen will take the second set, followed by Smith concluding the program.
Sunday, September 13: Lynner’s Mystery Serge performance will be the second set of the evening. He will be preceded by Olivia Block, who fuses field recordings with both traditional chamber instruments and synthesized electronic textures. The evening (and festival) will conclude with the fractal alien opera AQULAQUTAQU, composed by Kristin Erikson.
The first SFEMF event is presented as one of the Thursday Nights offerings at the Exploratorium. It will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 10; but admission begins at 6 p.m., allowing time for visitors to check out some of the museum’s exhibits. As was the case last year, the SFEMF concert will present site-specific works based on the Meyer Sound Constellation system built for the Exploratorium’s Kanbar Forum, located at the entrance to the museum. This year the contributing composers will be Alessandro Cortini and Thomas Dimuzio.
The Brava Theater Center is located at 2781 24th Street at the corner of York Street. Single tickets for each of the three concerts are $17 with a $12 student and “low income” rate. There is also a “generous” rate of $25 for patrons. All single tickets may be purchased online at a single Brown Paper Tickets event page with a pull-down menu for date selection. Tickets for Thursday Nights events at the Exploratorium, located at Pier 15 on the Embarcadero (across from the intersection with Green Street), are $15 for general admission and $10 for members. Exploratorium Lab Members are admitted free of charge. Admission is only for those age 18 or over. Tickets may be purchased in advance from a special Web page for Thursday Nights admission on the Exploratorium Web site, which has a calendar for selecting the specific date. In addition, it is possible to attend all four events with a full Festival Pass. This costs $50 and has its own Brown Paper Tickets event page. Further information may be found at the SFEMF Web site.