Public Lectures
Concert Hall
Honorary Committee
Plan Your Visit
Music At Mills
Giving To Mills
Press Room
Featured Concert

share Sunday, April 5, 2009 3:00 pm   Concert Hall
A special birthday reception follows.

The Music of Fred Frith
A rocking birthday concert of new music

Celebrate the birthdays of both the Mills College Concert Hall and composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist, and Mills faculty member Fred Frith. This very special performance will feature an eclectic lineup of artists performing Frith's work and a special birthday reception following the concert. Performers include: Liz Albee, Matthias Bossi, Minna Choi, Beth Custer, Joan Jeanrenaud, Carla Kihlstedt, Myra Melford, Roscoe Mitchell, Ikue Mori, Larry Ochs, Bob Ostertag, Zeena Parkins, and William Winant.

Hear Frith's newest band Cosa Brava, featuring: Fred Frith, guitar and voice; Carla Kihlstedt, violin and voice; Matthias Bossi, drums and voice; Zeena Parkins, keyboards and accordion; and The Norman Conquest, sound.

Fred Frith at 60—An Interview

What does reaching 60 mean to you?

Time is running. Better get on with it! But when I look over at Pauline [Oliveros] and Roscoe [Mitchell] and Alvin [Curran], I think I have some pretty good role models!

Do you think your music has changed over the years?

The answer's always going to be yes and no, isn't it? I'm still engaged in most of the things I was engaged in 40 years ago—writing songs, composing, improvising, performing, recording. I keep going at it. I think in a way I feel more like a sculptor or a painter. I'm wrestling with the material, hearing it from different angles, worrying away at it, trying to get it to reveal itself. You get a tantalizing glimpse and then it eludes you and you start again. I resonate strongly with what Francis Bacon said, when he talked about having thrown all his best work away, because he couldn't stop himself from going just that one step too far.

What can we expect from this afternoon's concert?

Mostly it brings together various aspects of what I've been up to lately. I'll be playing with some very dear friends, old and new. I'm also excited to be performing a duo with Roscoe Mitchell, whom I first met 30 years ago when Henry Cow and the Art Ensemble of Chicago shared the bill for a week at the New Morning Club in Paris, a somewhat life-changing experience! There's a new version of the International Occasional Ensemble playing Stone, Brick, Glass, Wood, Wire, with some of the original members—Zeena Parkins, Ikue Mori, Myra Melford—and some local legends who've played the music before in one context or another. I hope we'll be doing some recent additions to my photo/graphic score catalog.

Any composed music?

A couple of years ago I was commissioned to write a piece for the Hebrides Ensemble in Scotland, and I've assembled some of my favorite Bay Area musicians to play it, so I'm quite excited about that. It's called Water Stories.

And songs?

That's where Cosa Brava comes in, my something like a rock band, which will actually be celebrating its first birthday. We have a lot of songs. The interesting thing for me will be to see how all of these elements fit together. That will be a kind of composition in itself. I'm looking forward to it.

View Program Notes

Sample Performance


Buy Tickets

Order individual or series tickets.
Keywords: Mills Festival

Get tickets now

Sign Up
Sign up for our mailing list, and you'll get all the latest updates.

Send me more info