Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

                 
Center for New Music
55 Taylor St
San Francisco CA 94102  
415-275-2466

The Center for New Music San Francisco, Inc. is a community center for participants of new music in San Francisco. The Center serves the practitioners of creative, non-commercial music by providing the resources they need, including space to work, rehearse, and perform, access to a like-minded community, and access to media resources. Through these services, the Center seeks to support and build the community of new music to encourage its efficiency, growth, integration, and excellence.
https://centerfornewmusic.com/

Upcoming Events:
Saturday, March 23 2019 8:00 PM
Chris Brown will perform live electronics in duets with Soo Yeon Lyuh, amplified haegum (two-string Korean bowed string instrument); and James Fei, analog electronics. This concert is the first in a new series at CNM of music for live electronic ensembles that Brown will curate during the next two years. A week-long mini-festival is next, scheduled for June 18-23rd. The series is generously supported with a state-of-the-art sound system donated by Meyer Sound.

Chris Brown, composer, pianist, and electronic musician, makes music with self- designed sonic systems that include acoustic and electroacoustic instruments, interactive software, computer networks, microtonal tunings, and improvisation. His compositions are designs for performances in which people bring to life the musical structures embedded in scores, instruments, and machines. He has been a member since 1986 of the pioneering computer network music band The Hub, which received the Giga-Hertz Prize for Electroacoustic Music in Nov. 2018 from ZKM, Karlsruhe. Throughout his career he has composed solos for acoustic instruments with interactive electronics, and for computer alone, using software he writes for his compositions and improvisations. Since 2005 he has written music in just intonation, often integrating rhythmic structures that parallel the proportions used in their tunings. Recordings of his music are available on New World, Tzadik, Pogus, Intakt, Ecstatic Peace, Red Toucan, Leo, and Artifact Recordings. He is a Professor Emeritus at Mills College in Oakland, California, where he taught electronic music, composition, theory, and ethnomusicology for 30 years.

James Fei (b. Taipei, Taiwan) moved to the US in 1992 to study electrical engineering. He has since been active as a composer and performer on saxophones and live electronics. Works by Fei have been performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble, MATA Micro Orchestra and Noord-Hollands Philharmonisch Orkest. Recordings can be found on Leo Records, Improvised Music from Japan, CRI, Krabbesholm and Organized Sound. Compositions for Fei’s own ensemble of four alto saxophones focus on physical processes of saliva, fatigue, reeds crippled by cuts and the threshold of audible sound production, while his sound installations and performance on live electronics often focus on electronic and acoustic feedback. Fei received the Grants for Artists Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in 2014 and he is president of Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Foundation. Fei has taught at Mills College in Oakland since 2006, where he is Professor of Electronic Arts, Music Department Chair and Head of the Art and Technology Program.

SOO YEON LYUH is a master of the haegeum, a two-stringed Korean bowed instrument. She possesses not only a full command of the haegeum’s traditional repertoire, but is also widely recognized for promoting the creation of new pieces for haegeum. For twelve years, Lyuh was a member of South Korea’s National Gugak Center, the foremost institution for the preservation of Korean traditional music. Since then, Lyuh has endeavored to weave authentic styles into new musical domains, relocating to the Bay Area and drawing inspiration from its dynamic improvised music scene. Her contributions have sparked the creation of new repertoire for haegeum—the lifeblood of any instrument. She has premiered dozens of new works and recently made her debut as a composer with the Kronos Quartet.  More...

Sunday, March 24 2019 2:00 PM
Clare Longendyke: From San Francisco With Love

Join award-winning concert pianist Clare Longendyke as she presents a program of solo piano works by composers currently living and working in the Bay Area.  More...

Thursday, March 28 2019 8:00 PM
Bard Music West Plays! 1.0: Games and Revolutions

The first show of Bard Music West's new concert series featuring composers Danny Clay and Gabriella Smith. Meet the composers and discover some of their many inspirations, including coral reefs, children's games, and Haydn!  More...

Friday, March 29 2019 7:30 PM
Our first Friction Commissioning Initiative concert will feature the premieres of “Two Hearts” by Sarang Kim and “El Correcaminos (The Roadrunner)” by Nick Benavides. Also on the concert will be ABACISCUS by Geoffrey Gordon.

We’ve started this initiative as a platform for generous people like you to be an integral part of the commissioning process. We know that by working together with our community of passionate music supporters, we can champion the creation of amazing new repertoire that will live for generations to come.

Composers have the unique ability to articulate the feelings and experiences of the contemporary world in a way that transcends language. They tell our stories and our truths with every expressive moment of their music. In this way, composers help define the history we are living.

In 2018, we also commissioned Sarang Kim, Nick Benavides, Nicole Lizée, Mario Godoy, Piers Hellawell, and Max Stoffregen. Stay tuned for concerts later this year that will premiere the other four works.  More...

Sunday, April 14 2019 2:00 PM
Amaranth Quartet premieres D. Riley Nicholson’s most recent work, Break, alongside a new quartet version of Nicholson’s Bend, and selections from Philip Glass’s Bent. The evening will include music by the winner of Amaranth’s young composer’s initiative, Alyssa Weinberg, Ryan Brown, and Sahba Aminikia. Join us for an afternoon of new music at C4NM, drinks and light bites will be available!

Billed as a sequel to the string trio Bend, Break explores the process of breaking: the beauty that can follow from something that is breaking, the energy of crossing a threshold that cannot be uncrossed, and the potential of something new once the old is broken. There is a truth to being broken; it demands that something has changed and must be addressed.

Amaranth Quartet is committed to presenting music of all eras with equal enthusiasm and artistry. Comprised of violinists Emily Botel and Abigail Shiman, violist Julie Michael, and cellist Helen Newby, the group was founded in 2014. Rooted in the San Francisco Bay Area, Amaranth performs frequently on a variety of concert series and festivals including the Presidio Sessions, San Carlos Eclectic Music Festival, Bay Area Modern Music Festival, Old First Concerts, and the Kronos Festival. They have appeared at prominent Bay Area venues such as Herbst Theater, SFJAZZ, the Fillmore, Freight and Salvage, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Amaranth has toured throughout North America and has been featured as quartet in residence at the Banff Centre, New Music on the Point, and Lake Tahoe Music Festival, where they performed as soloists with the festival orchestra. The quartet has worked with a number of established and emerging composers including Sahba Aminikia, Ashley Fure, Tania León, Christian Wolff, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Ryan Brown, and D. Riley Nicholson. Amaranth has performed alongside Ursula Oppens and JACK Quartet.

D. Riley Nicholson creates post-classical, metaphorically rich music that is viscerally satisfying and intellectually enriching. As a composer and performer, he creates ambitious and often collaborative new works that aim to inspire by embracing both aesthetics and innovation as means to emotional freedom and significance. Riley has been commissioned to create new works for Post:Ballet, David Herrera Performance Company, Amaranth Quartet, Switchboard Music, and Cello Street Quartet, as well as self-produced projects like One for large string orchestra which headlined Hot Air Music Festival in 2016, and Shimmer which toured nationally in 2018.

As an arts professional, Riley supports original and talented performing arts organizations in management and production to create artistic experiences of all kinds. He currently is Project Manager for Center for New Music, Marketing Consultant for Dance Film SF, and is on the Board of Directors for Post:Ballet.

Amaranth Quartet and D. Riley Nicholson heartily thank Intermusic SF for their generous support of this program through the Musical Grant Program, and Center for New Music for hosting.  More...

Thursday, April 18 2019 7:30 PM
Grex is an art rock band based out of Oakland, California. In biological terms, “grex” refers to the aggregation of a multitude of tiny, amoeba-like creatures combining to create a superorganism. Grex (the band) works the same way: two musicians who can function as one, the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Grex has been called “essential current-and-future listening” (Tiny Mix Tapes), exploring the meeting point between psychedelic pop/rock and the dark outer reaches of noise and free jazz. The band recalls the explosive power of late John Coltrane, the dark energy of Suicide, and the whimsical weirdness of Skeleton Crew and Deerhoof.

For this show Grex convenes in a special expanded configuration, exploring moments of spontaneous abstraction in the interstices of lilting song and wily rhythmic interplay.

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Gregg Belisle-Chi is a guitarist and composer from Brooklyn, NY who is “busily establishing himself as an important and distinctive new voice in the contemporary guitar world.” (Earshot Jazz)

Throughout his career he has performed with Bill Frisell, Cuong Vu, Steve Swallow, Reid Anderson, Ted Poor, Eyvind Kang, Wayne Horvitz, Tom Varner, Bob Sheppard, Jay Clayton, and Jessica Dobson (Deep Sea Diver, Beck, The Shins).

Book of Hours is a 50 minute through-composed piece with elements of improvisation, inspired by the history and texts of the Mass Ordinary, featuring a quartet for guitar, bass, keys, and drums. Recorded in New York City in 2017, the band will be touring the east and west coasts, supporting their release with ears&eyes Records of Chicago, IL.

“On this expansive and ambitious album Gregg Belisle-Chi strikes an engaging balance between lyricism and dissonance, with strong performances from everyone involved. Highly recommended.” (Ben Monder)  More...

Saturday, April 20 2019 7:30 PM
Sacramento-based pianist Sakurako Kanemitsu performs works spanning a wide range of 20th century and 21st century piano music. Exploring styles from minimalism, avant-garde, sans tonalité, and contemporary impressionism, she continues to shed light on the ever-versatile nature of the piano.

Program*:
Für Alina, Arvo Pärt
Au gré des Ondes, Henri Dutilleux
Frozen Heat, Dai Fujikura
The Floating Island II, Ryan Suleiman
My Windows, Lei Liang
Piano Etudes #13 & 14, Philip Glass
Für Arvo, Suleiman

*subject to change  More...

Wednesday, April 24 2019 7:30 PM
Paul Metzger
A master on a self-built 23 string banjo, Paul Metzger's Idiosyncratic & deeply original long form improvisations bring to mind American primitive guitar, the sarod of Hindustani music, or the Chinese Erhu. But fundamentally, his music grows from a deep commitment to exploring every possible expressive sound that can be extracted from his instrument. His 'home-made' aesthetic has drawn comparisons to DIY mavericks like Charlie Nothing and his Dingulators or Eugene Chadbourne with his electric rake, but the depth of Metzger's explorations led David Keenan to assert in Wire magazine that Metzger’s playing "reveals the true meaning of virtuosity”. A key voice in the world of avant-garde & experimental folk, he creates a music evocative of some magical forgotten age, but is simultaneously deeply rooted in the eternal present when fingers touch strings.

"…Metzger’s banjo and guitar contain multitudes. Suspended between past and future, honouring the tradition while hijacking it, listening for its voice while revelling in its inarticulacies; this is how the thing sings. And the song, in the obsessive extensions of Metzger’s instruments, truly has no ending." - The Wire.

John Saint Pelvyn
Guitarist, thereminist, singer, and player of some species of dismantled electrified folk, John Saint Pelvyn is a musical enigma of the best kind. At the root of his playing is something akin to traditional stride, but rich with quivering whammy bar wobble and shimmering feedback. He often plays the tailfin strings of his archtop like one would play harmonics, or retunes seamlessly mid-stream to create a shifting temperament across the length of a piece. An affinity for the likes of John Fahey and Loren Mazzacane-Connors can be heard here, but the comparisons quickly fall away as one takes in this ambidextrous musical sensibility. He will sing otherworldly vocal duets with his theremin while simultaneously accompanying himself fingerpicking, or will throw modulated feedback tones across otherwise inviting harmonic landscapes based on blues & folk motifs, overshadowing them with clouds of squelch that loom like an approaching post-noise squall, but that ultimately swell and punctuate more like the tone clusters of Henry Cowell or the lyrical saxophone of Frank Lowe.

“When wandering the stage singing into the F-holes of his electric arch top bringing forth arpeggios of feedback, or waving the neck of his guitar in the vicinity of a howling theremin, indeed, he seems to be playing the very air itself.” - Electro Motive Records

Voicehandler
Voicehandler plays intuitive, incantatory music grounded in the most primitive and somatic instruments -- the voice and percussion -- juxtaposed with contemporary, disembodied electronics. We situate ourselves in our physical and social environment through our music. Our improvisations are shaped by their setting and context, and we use site-specific installations to more deeply experience spaces. We deconstruct song forms in relation to mythology and literature to explore our humanity and the shifting discourse surrounding it.  More...

Sunday, April 28 2019 7:00 PM
GUIDED BY VOICES

New Music for Baroque cello
Elinor Frey, Baroque cello & 5-string Baroque cello
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Guided by Voices is the commissioning project of cellist Elinor Frey who uses two Baroque instruments that each have a very different sound than the modern cello. Here the Baroque cello and five-string cello are each instruments of sound in the present day, capable of inspiring some of today’s outstanding composers who wish to explore their unique qualities. Begun in 2014 with a work for the five-string Baroque cello by Scott Edward Godin, the project also features Canadian composers Linda Catlin Smith, and Isaiah Ceccarelli, and Maxime McKinley whose work calls for cello and harpsichord. Solo works by the Japanese-American composer Ken Ueno and Swedish-German composer Lisa Streich complete the program. In a sense, this music acts as a kind of update of the instrument; when composers write a new piece for “Baroque” cello it becomes an instrument of today, not only past eras, helping to expand the sound worlds of both the cello and new music audiences. Each work reveals the cello’s incredible versatility and remarkable colours. An article about the six-work commissioning project can be found in the journal of contemporary music, Circuit, published in September 2018. The CD recording will be released in March 2019 on the Analekta label.

Program:
Linda Catlin Smith (b. 1956)
Ricercar (11.5 min) 4-string cello (2015)
Isaiah Ceccarelli (b. 1978)
With concord of sweet sounds (11.5 min) 5-string cello (2015)
Scott Edward Godin (b. 1970)
Guided By Voices (11:30) 5-string cello (2014-15)
Lisa Streich (b. 1985)
Minerva (8 min) 4-string cello (2018)
Ken Ueno (b. 1970)
Chimera (20-25 min) 5-string cello (2017)
“Night opening its black flower”
“in the shadow of my sorrow”
“we are resurrected”
“the sky will be lavender”
“an ocean bell sounding”  More...

Sunday, May 5 2019 3:00 PM
Inn-fest, the annual Innova label showcase, is coming to the Bay Area, May 4-5, 2019 and will feature a smorgasbord of regional acts from its roster of visionary musical artists. Inn-fest is a two-day celebration that celebrates a range of groundbreaking music on the Minnesota-based label, tied to brand new and recently released albums. From daringly a cappella choral music, to dazzling flute trios, audacious string quartets, and breathtaking vocals with electronics, there will be much sonic tastiness to sample.

Innova, the record label of the non-profit American Composers Forum, has been called the premier label for American new music. Its catalog of over 650 titles encompasses diverse genres, concepts, and approaches — all somehow non-conformist, individualistic, and groundbreaking. More than just a record label, Innova coaches artists throughout the process of releasing their work into the wider world. Artists keep 100% of all rights and income — the highest in the business. Innova also produces annual live events such as Inn-fest, now in its fourth year having previously been at The Stone and National Sawdust in New York, and Studio Z in St. Paul.

The program includes sets by:

• Friction Quartet performing selections from Spark, an album of works by members of Common Sense Composers’ Collective: Dan Becker, Marc Mellits, John Halle, Carolyn Yarnell, Belinda Reynolds, Melissa Hui, Ed Harsh, and Randall Woolf;
• Areon Flutes (Jill Heinke Moen, Kassey Plaha, Meerenai Shim) performing selections by Ryan Brown and Cornelius Boots from their albums NO ERA and Thrive;
• Volti ‘Singing Without a Net for 40 years’ vocal ensemble under the direction of Robert Geary, reprising selections from their new album the color of there seen from here; and
Pamela Z, works for solo voice and electronics from her upcoming Innova album, A Secret Code.  More...

Friday, June 7 2019 8:00 PM
Bay Area chamber group, Sleight Ensemble (Erika Oba – flute, Mia Bella D’Augelli – violin, and Jacob Lane – piano) perform their new program Angles of Time featuring new works inspired by alternate notations of time in music. The program includes Steve Parris’s new piece, The Inner Planets and The Apple Tree–inspired by the orbit of the planets–and premiers of works by ensemble members. The program will also feature live visuals by composer and artist Jessie Austin.  More...

Sunday, November 10 2019 3:00 PM
The program includes, Shinobue solo (traditional or new music), Piano solo (new music by Hyo-Shin Na), Koto solo (new music by Hyo-shin Na), Japanese/Korean folk songs Koto and Shinbone and Koto and Piano duo

The Wooden Fish Ensemble presents concerts of music and musicians from a variety of cultural and national backgrounds working together in a collaborative way. The Ensemble has presented concerts of traditional music from Asia and new music by a diverse group of composers that includes John Cage, Christian Wolff, Frederic Rzewski, Morton Feldman, Hyo-shin Na, Boudewijn Buckinx and Walter Zimmermann. They have given numerous world premieres.  More...

Photo Albums (click to view photos):
News:
03/27/2013
Rova Saxophone Quartet is now in residence at Center for New Music. The Center, located at 55 Taylor Street, is establishing a hub for the new music community, providing space to work, learn, rehearse and perform.