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Featured Concert

share Sunday, February 22, 2009 3:00 pm   Concert Hall
Pre-concert talk with performers at 2:00 pm  

A Celebration Of The Center For Contemporary Music
More than 40 years of electronic innovation

Desert Ambulance: "A vehicle of mercy sent into the wasteland of (academic) modern music"

The Center for Contemporary Music (CCM) presents a concert of electronic music and intermedia that celebrates its pioneering role in the development of electronic music and culture since its origins as the San Francisco Tape Music Center in the 1960s. Beginning as a cooperative exploring uses of taped sounds in music composition, the CCM has, for more than 40 years, been a home to composers whose experiments with new technologies have become part of the history of new performance practice. The CCM is clearly alive and kicking, demonstrating passionate innovation combined with an enviable sense of continuity.

The concert takes its title from one of the classic works to emerge from the San Francisco Tape Music Center, which became the Center for Contemporary Music when it moved to Mills in 1966. Ramon Sender's piece for accordion, tape, and visual projections will be performed by Pauline Oliveros and Tony Martin, for and by whom it was created in 1964, along with new video, interactive, and live electronic works by current CCM faculty members. Maggi Payne's video Liquid Amber is about images that compel one to want to reach out and touch them in real life and on screen. Almost all of the sounds are produced by touching skin, fabric, wood, metal, and water. Chris Brown's Imaginary Birds is about the relationship of nature to human artifice; computer-driven models of singing birds interact with a trio of stellar Mills performers, including William Winant on percussion, Joan Jeanrenaud on cello, and Brown on piano, improvising on themes from the score of Olivier Messiaen's Oiseaux Exotiques. James Fei's Faktura, for two alto saxophones and electronics, uses solely those elements usually considered undesirable in both acoustic and electronic sound production, the "dirty bits," like the dust in a room. Finally, John Bischoff's Audio Combine is a real-time sonic collage performed by a solo performer on a laptop computer, which samples, amplifies, and transforms the sounds of small objects based on the timing patterns of their initial occurrence.

This event also celebrates the publication of distinguished Mills musicologist David Bernstein's seminal history, The San Francisco Tape Music Center: 1960s Counterculture and the Avant-Garde. This authoritative account of an extraordinary era in Bay Area history was hailed on its publication in 2008 as "vibrantly detailed," "high-voltage history," and "as warm as it is brilliant." In the memorable words of Fred Turner: "Reading it is like visiting a foreign country and realizing you were born there."

View Program Notes

Performers: Pauline Oliveros, Tony Martin, Maggi Payne, Chris Brown, William Winant, Joan Jeanrenaud, James Fei, John Bischoff

Maggi Payne Liquid Amber

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Keywords: Mills Festival

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Audio Clips
John Bischoff
Audio Combine (0:45)
Chris Brown
Imaginary Birds (0:35)
James Fei
Faktura (0:50)
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