Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Sat, Jun 15 2019 8:00 PM

Other Minds 24: Concert 2 – Brian Baumbusch's 'The Pressure'

Join us on Saturday, June 15 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for the second installment of our 24th festival season: Concert 2 – Brian Baumbusch's 'The Pressure'.

The Pressure is a tale of gothic horror told in music, harking back to world of German expressionist silent film­­–a story straight from the Twilight Zone.

A snake oil peddler comes to town – a town suffering from painful barometric pressure – and promises a cure. There are unforeseen consequences… be careful what you wish for.

With support from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, Other Minds has commissioned California-based composer and instrument builder Brian Baumbusch to write a new evening-length work, The Pressure, for narrator and a varied and eclectic mixed ensemble of instruments and voices.
It features more than 24 performers including The Lightbulb Ensemble and Friction String Quartet, 3 keyboardists, a vocal quartet, and the composer as narrator. Making their debut will be an array of newly created gamelan-style instruments in original tunings. And what results? – a sound palate of shimmering metallophones, a wide variety of keyboards, and the tonal warmth of strings and voices.

This nightmare world is explored through an original story written by award winning playwright, Paul Baumbusch, and evocative visuals by Federico Yankelevich of Madrid..

About the Artists
Brian Baumbusch is a composer and multi-instrumentalist based in Oakland, California, whose “harmonically vivid… intense… simmering” (NY Times) compositions push the boundaries of new music. He has spearheaded projects of both western and non-western music which are considered a “cultural treat” (Maryland Gazette). His 2015 composition, Hydrogen(2)Oxygen for the JACK Quartet and Lightbulb Ensemble is described by the Washington Post as being “exuberantly complex, maddeningly beautiful, and as intoxicating as a drug.” He has given major performances at such venues as the Bali Arts Festival in Denpasar, The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, The Clarice Smith Center of Maryland, Kresge Hall at MIT, Cambridge, and The Yerba Buena Center of San Francisco, among others. He has collaborated with musicians such as The JACK Quartet, I Made Subandi, Pauline Oliveros, David Behrman, Wayne Vitale, and Larry Polansky.

The Lightbulb Ensemble (LBE) is a new music percussion ensemble that champions experimental music, instrument building, and contemporary gamelan. Their “refreshingly innovative performances challenge conventional notions of how gamelan music should sound” (SF Classical Voice), and they are “as cutting edge as cutting edge gets, exuberantly complex, maddeningly beautiful, and as intoxicating as a drug” (The Washington Post). The ensemble emerged from the culture of new music at Mills College and the longstanding artistic exchange between Bali and the US fostered by Gamelan Sekar Jaya. LBE performs on steel metallophones, wooden marimbas, and other instruments designed, tuned, and built by Brian Baumbusch, LBE founder and director. Performing only new repertoire, the group presents in-house compositions and collaborates with other artists of the new music community, including the Paul Dresher Ensemble, the JACK Quartet, and The Center for Contemporary Music, among others.

Friction Quartet, whose performances have been called “terribly beautiful” (San Francisco Classical Voice), “stunningly passionate” (Calgary Herald) and “exquisitely skilled” (ZealNYC), exists to modernize the chamber music experience and expand the string quartet repertoire. Joshua Kosman (San Francisco Chronicle) declared that Friction Quartet is “an artist who should be discovered” and described their performance as “high-octane music making…a fine blend of rhythmic ferocity and tonal flair.”

More information about Other Minds Festival 24:
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