Those who follow this site regularly probably know that Tania Chen is the Center for New Music (C4NM) curator for the new monthly series OPTICAL SOUND, which involves providing live music to accompany the projection of a film. Chen performed at the first installment of this series, playing piano, as well as other keyboards, found toys, and lo-fi electronic, as part of an improvising quartet whose other members were Bruce Ackley on saxophone, Andy Strain on trombone, and Nava Dunkelman on percussion. Yesterday Chen announced that, between September and November, she will be curating a second series of performances that will involve improvised accompaniment for slide projections.
The name of this series will be Vernacular Visions, which is also the name of a curated collection of found color photo slides managed by Justin Clifford Rhody. Because these are “found objects,” each slide amounts to an exploration of both the medium and its subject-matter content, “spoken” and coded in the “visual dialect” of the amateur photographer. Each concert in the series will involve the projection of slides selected from this collection accompanied by an audio mix of music and sounds that may or may not be related to the images on the slides. The intention is to provide a relaxed environment that offers the opportunity for meditative contemplation, as well as casual and comfortable social interaction.
At each performance the “live soundtrack” will be provided by two small groupings of musical improvisers from both Oakland and San Francisco. At the first concert in the series, those groupings will both be duos. The first set will be taken by Corey Hucks performing on a modular synthesizer. He will be joined by Jake Head, whose electronic gear will include a real-time sampler, stored sound effects, and a drum machine. For the second set Chen will perform with Jon Leidecker on electronic gear. Finally, the program will conclude with a third set in which all four musicians will participate. The plan is that every concert will conclude with such a collaborative set among all of the musicians. Most likely, they do not know each other and have never performed together on any prior occasion.
This concert will take place on Friday, September 4, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets will be $10 for general admission and $5 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.