A little over a year ago, Thingamajigs co-presented Wet Invention, “an evening exploring aquatic sound,” with Soundwave in the Window Gallery of the Center for New Music (C4NM). This week Thingamajigs will return to C4NM for the eighteenth annual Music for People and Thingamajigs Festival. This will provide a performance platform for a dozen of the finest experimental instrument builders, not only in the Window Gallery but also in the C4NM performance space. The entire Festival will take place during the first four days in October with performers scheduled as follows:
Thursday, October 1, 6 p.m.: The Festival will open by returning to the Window Gallery to present instruments and performance by Sung Kim. This has been arranged in collaboration with C4NM. The Window Gallery is curated by Bart Hopkin and David Samas.
Friday, October 2, 8 p.m.: The inventor/performers will include Cheryl Leonard, Tom Nunn, and Window Gallery curator Hopkin.
Saturday, October 3, 7:30 p.m.: The inventor/performers will include Alex Cohen, Luciano Chessa, Johnny Radio, and Tim Kaiser.
Sunday, October 4, 7 p.m.: This will feature a joint performance by Neil Feather and Rosie Langabeer, a group performance by The Crank Ensemble, and solo presentations by Taylor Gersbach and Peter Whitehead.
The Center for New Music is located at 55 Taylor Street, about half a block north of where Golden Gate Avenue meets Market Street. The Window Gallery event is free and includes an opening reception. General admission for the remaining three concerts will be $15 with a $10 rate for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased in advance (with a service fee) from a Brown Paper Tickets event page. Tickets must be purchased separately for individual dates, which are selected from a pull-down menu.
In addition, the Turquoise Yantra Grotto will host a preview event for the Music for People and Thingamajigs Festival. As has previously been noted, the Turquoise Yantra Grotto is a monthly house concert series that highlights a particular interest in invented instruments. The title of their preview concert is Inventor’s Quorum, and it will consist of two sets. The first is the Two To Tutu Too duo of Feather and Langabeer, who will be performing on Sunday. For the second set, Nunn, who will be performing on Friday, will play with Pet the Tiger, the duo of Samas and Kevin Corcoran.
This concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 30 (the eve of the Music for People and Thingamajigs Festival). The venue is located near Glen Canyon at 32 Turquoise Way, and admission is between $10 and $15. However admission will be free for those participating in the Festival and their guests.
This week will also see the Bay Area premiere of Glorious Ravage, Lisa Mezzacappa’s multimedia song cycle, which, as regular readers know, was given two preview performances at the de Young Museum. Mezzacappa’s subtitle for Glorious Ravage is A Panoramic Free Jazz Song Cycle inspired by Victorian lady adventurers. The multimedia side of the performance will include film, video, and animation by Janis Crystal Lipzin, Alfonso Alvarez, Kathleen Quillian, and Konrad Steiner. The music will be provided by the Grapevine Ensemble, led by Mezzacappa on bass. This is an impressive group that will include vocalist Fay Victor, violist Dina Maccabee, Nicole Mitchell, Vinny Golia, Cory Wright, and Kyle Bruckmann on winds, Darren Johnston and Michael Dessen on brass, pianist Myra Melford, guitarist John Finkbeiner, Mark Dresser as “second bass,” percussionists Jordan Glenn and Kjell Nordeson, and live electronics provided by Tim Perkis.
This premiere will be given two performances on Thursday, October 1, and Friday, October 2, both at 8 p.m. The venue will be the Brava Theater Center, located in the Mission at 2781 24th Street. General admission will be $20 with a $15 rate for students and seniors. Vendini has created a single event page for the purchase of tickets for both performances.
Since this is a week of “multiples,” it will also include a “double header” of performances in the two concert series organized by Outsound Presents as follows:
LSG Creative Music Series, Thursday, October 1, 8 p.m.: This week this concert series, still displaced from the Luggage Store Gallery (LSG), will host a night of touring noise artists visiting the Bay Area in conjunction with NorCal NoiseFest. The concert will serve as an “overture” for the remaining three days of NorCal NoiseFest, which will take place in Sacramento. The first set will begin at 8:15 p.m. and will present Thirteen Hurts, a Colorado-based experimental noise project that utilizes modified guitar pedals to control handmade sound source devices. This will be the fourth time Thirteen Hurts has appeared at NorCal NoiseFest.
The performers for the remaining three sets will be making their first appearances at NorCal NoiseFest. The Italian experimentalist KOMPRIPIOTR will begin his set at 8:40 p.m. He will be followed at 9:10 p.m. by Phil Dole, from Los Angeles, who will present his solo experimental project X-Bax. The final set, at 9:35 p.m., will be a duo performance by Daniel Watkins and Christina Santa Cruz, also based in Los Angeles. They call their group Chestnut, named after a horse that does not exist.
The temporary quarters for the LSG Creative Music Series continue to be the 509 Cultural Gallery. This is located in the Tenderloin at 509 Ellis Street. As always, admission will be on a sliding scale between $6 and $15.
SIMM Series, Sunday, October 4, 7:30 p.m.: The SIMM (Static Illusion Methodical Madness) Series will be the usual two-set gig. The first set will be a solo saxophone performance by Dan Plonsey. He will be followed by a somewhat unconventional duo performance by Karen Stackpole on her extended array of gongs and Bill Noertker on bass. 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.
If all this is not enough, there are also three “one-off” concerts that are likely to appeal to “bleeding edge” tastes as follows:
Friday, October 2, 7:30 p.m.: Not affiliated with the Music for People and Thingamajigs Festival but definitely in the same spirit, the Red Poppy Art House will host A Ritualistic Musical Journey Improvised With Traditional & Invented Instruments. This will be a duo performance by Idris Ackamoor and David Molina, both of whom play a diversity of instruments. Ackamoor plays both alto and tenor saxophones; but he also plays percussion instruments, including an invented Cymbal tree. Molina plays both classical and electric guitar, as well as cello, autoharp, and Burmese harp.
The Red Poppy Art House is located in the Mission at 2698 Folsom Street. Admission will be between $10 and $20. Tickets will be sold at the door, which opens at 7 p.m. Because the space is relatively small, those interested in attending are advised to show up early.
Saturday, October 3, 8 p.m.: The next performance at The Lab will involve a fascinating coupling of generations by a father-and-son duo; and, in the spirit of events related to the Music for People and Thingamajigs Festival, the father applied his education in sculpture to the creation of homemade music instruments. He is Yoshi Wada, who joined the Fluxus movement in 1968 after meeting its central coordinator and founding member George Maciunas. Other Fluxus members included Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, and John Cage. Wada also studied with Pran Nath, whose other students included La Monte Young, Terry Riley, and Charlemagne Palestine.
Wada’s Wikipedia page states that his compositions “often incorporate the use of drone and are usually performed at very high volume, allowing for the overtones within the sound to be heard very clearly.” Due to his interest in the drone, he often plays the Great Highland bagpipe, as well as his own invented instruments. His son, Tashi, lives in Los Angeles and grew up in New York. His compositions use relatively simple structures, and he works with carefully calibrated alternative tuning systems to arrive at unique sonorities. Father and son will perform with Lisa Graves on bagpipe and Corel Fogel on percussion.
The Lab is located in the Mission at 2948 16th Street, between South Van Ness Avenue and Mission Street. Because it is only half a block from Mission Street, it is convenient to both the 16th Street BART station and the bus stop at that corner. Tickets are $21.97 for general admission and $16.73 for members of The Lab. They may be purchased online at the Web page for this event on The Lab’s Web site. Given that William Basinski’s performance this past Saturday was sold out and members of the audience occupied just about every available space, advance purchase is highly recommended.
Monday, October 5, 8 p.m.: Finally, one week from today will be the first Monday in October. That means that it will be time for “The Monday Make-Out” at the Make Out Room. This will be the usual series of three sets with the music beginning at 8:30 p.m. The first set will be the modern jazz quartet called Patrick Cress’s Telepathy, led by saxophonist Patrick Cress. The other members are Michael Bello on tenor saxophone, Sam Bevan on bass, and Jeff Marrs on drums. They will be followed by the ROVA saxophone quartet, consisting of Larry Ochs, Jon Raskin, Bruce Ackley, and Steve Adams. The final set will be taken by Harbinger, led by percussionist Tim DeCillis. The front line consists of Theo Padouvas on trumpet and Cory Wright on woodwinds. The rest of the rhythm section involves Safa Shokrai on bass and Alex Cohen on guitar.
The concerts in this series are free, but only those 21 or older will be admitted. Donations are, of course, encouraged. The Make Out Room is located in the Mission at 3225 22nd Street, just west of Mission Street.