This is the time of year when it is difficult to avoid being besieged by holiday music. Worse yet is a growing trend in which producers of television advertising spots appropriate music having absolutely nothing to do with the season and use it as yet another technique for selling more stuff. Fortunately, the “usual suspects” within the city limits of San Francisco are making a noble effort to provide refuge from the claptrap. It is thus with both gratification and relief that I can announce that Outsound Presents will begin the month of December with its latest “double header” 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 follow the usual format of two sets, each somewhat less than an hour in duration. On this occasion both sets will be free improvisation duos. The first will feature Biggi Vinkeloe on alto saxophone playing with/against drummer Donald Robinson. In the second set Tim Perkis will assemble his electronic gear to jam with Ron Heglin performing as both trombonist and vocalist.
This concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 3. The venue will be back at the usual 1007 Market Street. As always, admission will be on a sliding scale between $6 and $15.
The SIMM Series concert will also consist of a two-set program. The first set will feature the California Outside Music Associates (C.O.M.A.). This is a collective of improvising musicians from central California. The improvisers on this occasion will be saxophonist John Vaughn and drummer Dax Compise. They will be followed by another collective, K Band, whose members are saxophonists Joshua Marshall and Stephanie Neumann, performing with pianist Julie Herndon. In their own description these three musicians “create and dissolve structures and songs with improvisation, electronics, and occasional found objects.”
This concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 6. 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.
As was reported over the weekend, the Center for New Music (C4NM) will host the next concert in Danny Clay’s don’t be a stranger series on Saturday, December 5, with a double-bill featuring the Friction Quartet and the experimental pop band Religious Girls. In addition C4NM will put its own twist on the season with a Holiday Party entitled Tritones We Have Heard On High! This will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, December 6, and will be open to the general (i.e. ticket purchasing) public. Admission will be at the usual rates of $15 for general admission and $10 for C4NM members. Tickets will be available only at the door. Staff and volunteers will be admitted at no charge. Seasonal festivities will include the second annual collaborative performance of “Jingle Bells in C.” C4NM is located at 55 Taylor Street, about half a block north of where Golden Gate Avenue meets Market Street.
C4NM will also host two additional recitals this week. Ken Ueno will curate a solo violin recital by Sara Cubarsi, who will be performing one of Ueno’s own compositions, “Vedananupassana.” She will also present two complementary approaches to the traditional chaconne form. The first of these will be the opening movement of Béla Bartók’s solo violin sonata, marked Tempo di ciaccona, which will be followed by Brian Ferneyhough’s “Intermedio alla Ciaconna.” Cubarsi will begin her program with the eighth of Luciano Berio’s “Sequenza” compositions and conclude with a new work of her own. Tickets for this recital will also be $15 for general admission and $10 for C4NM members. Again, tickets will only be available at the door.
The other recital of the week will also have a seasonal flavor. Van-Anh Nguyen and Julian Toha, best known as solo pianists, will join forces for a program of four-hand music. In the spirit of the season, they will play a complete four-hand arrangement of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker suite. They will also perform several of the Hungarian dances that Brahms originally wrote as four-hand compositions. The program will also feature support from multi-genre pianist Ryan Hickey. Tickets for this recital will be $25 for general admission and $20 for C4NM members. Tickets will only be available at the door.
Finally, Artists’ Television Access (ATA) will host a record release show for Douglas Katelus. The recording documents the work on his SOLO ORGAN project, involving solo performances on a Hammond organ. Katelus describes the results as “somewhere along the lines of free-from gospel blues drone jazz while also incorporating elements of moving pictures and classic rock, it’s often loud and somewhat dissonant.” He will share the program with the Black Spirituals duo of Zachary Watkins and Marshall Trammell, working with percussion and electronics. The final set will be taken by the Ettrick duo of Jacob Felix Heule and Jay Korber, both performing on drums and saxophones.
This concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, December 4. Admission will be between $7 and $10. ATA is located in the Mission at 992 Valencia Street. Further information is available from the event page on the ATA Web site or by calling 415-824-3890.