Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Fri, May 10 2002 8:00 PM

SF Alt Music Festival
21 Grand 449 B 23rd St. Oakland CA 94612-3727 4 blocks from the 19th Street Bart Station
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Jack Wright/Bob Marsh Duo

Jack Wright - Saxophone
Bob Marsh - Cello

jackJACK WRIGHT, from Boulder Colo., is one of the more outrageous saxophonists and musical personalities of the continent. Continuously on tour, or organizing the next one, he has been called the Johnny Appleseed of free improvisation. To others, he is the scorned perpetrator of the "school of screech," even though at times he is practically inaudible. He plays alto, tenor, and soprano saxes, piano, and now pretends to play the unwieldy contralto clarinet.

For twenty years he has been doing this kind of music exclusively, and his audiences can still be counted on a couple of hands. Which is either a credit to his "refusal to compromise" or an indication that he is a fool. He considers himself as much a beginner as when he started the saxophone, back in the dark ages of the early fifties. He plays with everyone who asks, and currently visits and explores sound with over forty partners around the country. He records, yes, but the place where he learns what music can do is mainly in live performance. For him, "free music" is a verb, not a noun.

Despite his lack of the basic ingredients of fame, the Washington Post, April 2001, saw fit to crown him: "In the rarefied, underground world of experimental free improvisation, saxophonist Jack Wright is king."

bobBob Marsh performs regularly on violin, cello, piano, vibraphone, flute, and uses extended vocal techniques.

He is the leader of the Emergency String Quartet, the Robot Martians, the Illuminated Orchestra, Opera viva; co-leader of Lucha de Leche with Ernesto Diaz-Infante and member of Aaron Bennett's Nonet and Jim Ryan's Left Coast Improv Group.

Current musical projects include : Gene Coleman's "Ensemble Noamnesia", Fred Lomberg-Holm's "Phenomenal String Quartet", Marc Perlish's "Stray Quartet", duo with Blaise Siwula in "(a+b) squared", founder/director "Quintessentials"

SF Sound with Musical Director Matt Ingalls

mattThe sfSound Group performers:

David Bithell [trumpet]
Jorge Boehringer [viola]
Chris Froh [marimba]
Matt Ingalls [clarinet]
John Ingle [saxophone]
John Shiurba [guitar]
Matthew Sperry [bass]
Tom Yoder [trombone]


GYÖRGY LIGETI's "10 pieces for woodwind quintet" [ 4/5 Remix ]
JOHN CAGE's "five"
John Shiurba's "5x5"
and a new collaborative composition by the group.

Founded in 2001, the sfSound group is a contemporary music ensemble in the san francisco bay area consisting of some the bay area's finest composer-performers. the group is dedicated to the exploration of musical possibilities lying somewhere among the complexities of the traditionally composed, radically improvised, noisily sonificated, and collectively realized.

What is 21st century music? perhaps it is a shift away from the composer->score->performer paradigm. We are musicians who simply want to get new music that we create and admire performed. We think there may be more practical ways to get this music realized than by using traditional notation, taking advantage of performers, or commissioning ivy-league-cum-rocker-composers. The new century is here.

Bonnie Barnett

Bonnie Barnett, vocals
Richard Wood, alto sax & flute
Phillip Greenlief, soprano sax
Beth Custer, bass clarinet & vocals
Richard Saunders, bass
Spirit, drums

Bonnie BarnettBONNIE BARNETT, American singer and composer, b. Chicago, IL, May 2, 1947. She studied at the University of Illinois (B.S. Music Education, 1968) and with Kenneth Gaburo, Pauline Oliveros and Robert Erickson at the University of California, San Diego (M.A. Music, 1972), focusing on vocal multiphonics and ethnic sources thereof; then moved to San Francisco, where she developed the TUNNEL HUM PROJECT, a series of participatory vocal events taking place in acoustically interesting environments.

Since 1986 Barnett has lived in Los Angeles, working in the area of free jazz improvisation and has toured in the U.S. and Europe with various performers, including Hermann Buhler, Nels Cline, Kenny Wollesen, and Billy Mintz.

In addition to the unique features of extended vocal techniques, "faux text" and shamanistic statement, Barnett focuses on spontaneously creating structures within the context of improvisation. Here's what reviewers have to say:

JAZZ TIMES: "Cassandra Wilson on acid"

CADENCE: "Bonnie Barnett takes poignant texts, puts them to emotionally drenched music, and speaks or sings the lyrics with clenched teethy, creating stark, gut-wrenching paeans of unmitigated disturbing clarity"

ALL MUSIC GUIDE: "Not your everyday improvising singer, Barnett approaches territory exclusively tread by Diamanda Galas, sans the Satanic verses."
Audio samples in which musicians at this event play: