Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

                 
The Lab
2948 16th St
San Francisco CA   

The Lab is a catalyst for artistic experimentation. Our projects ignite critical dialogue amongst individuals, organizations, and communities. We support diverse and underserved artists, providing them with essential resources, time, and space to develop work that takes risks and pushes the boundaries of the non-profit platform. As a site of constant innovation and iteration, our programming exposes the elements of art making and transforms the creative process here and abroad.

We are W.A.G.E. Certified. W.A.G.E. Certification is a program initiated and operated by working artists that publicly recognizes non-profit arts organizations demonstrating a commitment to voluntarily paying artist fees that meet a minimum standard.

The Lab does not accept unsolicited submissions.
http://www.thelab.org

Upcoming Events:
Saturday, February 24 2018 8:00 PM
Tawil & Khoury: "Atlas" / Lord Tang


7:30pm Doors / 8:00pm Performance
$15 Guests / Free for members
Reserve seats: guest registration

Weight of the world.
We crack.

Atlas presents an urgent sonic experience where silence is as meaningful as the nervous but minimalist vocabulary raining down. Atlas is concerned with the negotiations of burden – who holds what. It teases assumed agreements between performer and audience – using immersive physical sonic states to press weight upon the room. Atlas is a score of disorientation that places the performers at the mercy of their own doing.

Atlas was developed at TAC (Oakland) and Movement Research (NYC). Atlas premiered at New York Live Arts/Live Ideas 2016 and shortly thereafter was presented at the After the Last Sky Festival (Berlin). This is the duo’s first bay area appearance. Dominic Cramp’s Lord Tang will open.

"disturbing, uncompromising, and awe-inspiring" – American Theater Magazine

“crushing relevance” – TanzRaum Berlin

"extraordinary"– New York Times

TAWIL & KHOURY is the duo of Leyya Mona Tawil and Mike Khoury. They work with sound and movement practices and are community leaders in the field of Arab Experimentalism. Tawil & Khoury operate within the diaspora; narrating identity on their own terms. They began collaborating in Detroit in 2006, and have since toured nationally and internationally with their performance scores. tawil-khoury.tumblr.com


LEYYA MONA TAWIL (b. 1975) is an artist working with dance and music practices. She is Syrian, Palestinian, American; engaged in the world as such. Her articulation of Arab Experimentalism embeds political sub-narratives and cultural confusions into the performance fabric. Tawil is the director of ELIXIR / TAC – which supports transdisciplinary arts on a local and international level. Her work has been presented in 16 countries and throughout the US, including engagements at The Soap Factory (Minneapolis), TransDance Festival (Cairo), YBCA(San Francisco), Museum of Nonconformist Art (St. Petersburg), Bimhuis (Amsterdam) and the National Opera House of Syria (Damascus). Her work has been written about in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, American Theater Magazine and PAJ: Journal for Performance and Art. danceelixirlive.org

MIKE KHOURY (b. 1969) is an improvising violinist, researcher, and economist. His primary work involves the application of quantitative methods from the social sciences to improvisation. Khoury has performed or recorded with Faruq Z. Bey, Dennis Gonzalez, Wolfgang Fuchs, Simply Saucer, and Alex Cline. He currently performs with The Redford Civic Symphony Orchestra, Inscribe, in duo with Leyya Tawil, in duo with Ben Hall and as a member of the group Devotional. Khoury is the author of a chapter in an anthology of the Arab Avant-Garde and is the curator of the Entropy Stereo label and performance space. He currently records and produces artists from his Redford, MI studio, and laboratory. mikekhoury.com

LORD TANG is a warm descent into a dub fueled frenzy of color and light. Dancing inside the vividly colorful abstract narratives created by artist Kelly Porter, Lord Tang, in a white tuxedo with a white painted face, creates a moving canvas that mirrors the kaleidoscopic surrealism of his sound. It is a sound dredged from the depths of Jamaican dub and spun into a new form that incorporates the many influences on Lord Tang’s creator, Dominic Cramp: soundtracks, vintage science fiction, British dark comedy, dirty electronics, modular electronic music, abstract tone clouds. It is a sound and sight that fills a room and transforms it into a ship set sailing into parts unknown.

Dominic Cramp has taken Lord Tang to several venues on the West Coast of the United States and all over Europe. He is currently involved in the Talking Book, an abstract instrumental project with Jared Blum and Bill Gould from Faith No More; that more recently has taken him down to Chile, Brazil, and Argentina. He has an ongoing collaboration as a composer and performer with dance artist Leyya Tawil and her company Elixir / TAC. lordtang.com  More...

Saturday, March 3 2018 8:00 PM
Maggi Payne / John Krausbauer & Kaori Suzuki

John Krausbauer and Kaori Suzuki will present an improvisational-composition with voices, amplified strings, electronics, and bell percussion. Their work originates from their shared interest in ancient and spiritual musics as much as the western “avant-garde”. Their performance utilizes sustained tones (drone), long durations, and playing endurance, aiming to create environments that are ‘experiential’ in nature, more than exclusively ‘musical’. Krausbauer and Suzuki will be touring together performing their solo and duo sets in Japan in March 2018 and have multiple forthcoming releases later in the year. Maggi Payne will open.

7:30pm Doors / 8:00pm Performance
$15 Guests / Free for members
Reserve Seats

John Krausbauer and Kaori Suzuki will present an improvisational-composition with voices, amplified strings, electronics, and bell percussion. Their work originates from their shared interest in ancient and spiritual musics as much as the western “avant-garde”. Their performance utilizes sustained tones (drone), long durations, and playing endurance, aiming to create environments that are ‘experiential’ in nature, more than exclusively ‘musical’. Krausbauer and Suzuki will be touring together performing their solo and duo sets in Japan in March 2018 and have multiple forthcoming releases later in the year. Maggi Payne will open.

Kaori Suzuki (b. Tokyo) is a composer of electronic and electroacoustic music living in Oakland, CA. Her musical works are concerned with inner-sensory responses and transformative states, often emphasizing duration and dynamics through meticulous synthesis techniques.

She has performed her music in numerous DIY venues and galleries on the west coast of America, music festivals such as Debacle Fest, TUFFest, and the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, and academic institutions such as Mills College, Stanford (CCRMA), and Berkeley Art Museum. Her electronic performances often involve spatialization and high volumes to build saturated frequency interactions in the room, combined with spectral properties of transducer-driven materials; her recent solo computer music employs combinatory pure vhf tones and pulses to create auditory distortion products and other inner ear phenomena.

John Krausbauer (b. Indianapolis) is a music conceptualist/multi-instrumentalist currently living in Oakland, CA. He has performed and presented his music in a multitude of settings for 20 years - from basements, sidewalks, and rock clubs to colleges, churches, and art galleries. Numerous recordings of his work have been released on independent labels in the US, Europe, and Japan.

His recent musical work involves ritual-endurance happenings for solo voice, violin, and synth, and with the Ecstatic Music Band (a rotating 10+ member collective), both of which utilize 'just' tunings for amplified bowed strings at high volumes and long durations, with live stroboscopic lighting for TOTAL/immersive environments; The Essentialists (w/David Kendall), an electric country-blues-boogie-raga guitar/violin duo; the minimalist psych-punk group, Night Collectors; his systems-based phase compositions; and a new collaboration with the steel bodied resonator guitar player, R. Keenan Lawler.

Veramusement & Trance-Psychedelia

Maggi Payne composes music for concert presentation, video, and dance, and is a video artist, photographer, recording engineer, flutist, and Co-Director of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College, in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches composition, electronic music, and recording engineering. Her works have been presented in the Americas, Europe, Japan, and Australasia. She received Composer's Grants and an Interdisciplinary Arts Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts; video grants from the Mellon Foundation and the Western States Regional Media Arts Fellowships Program; and six honorary mentions from Concours International de Musique et d’Art Sonore Electroacoustiques de Bourges and one from Prix Ars Electronica.

Her works appear on Aguirre, Innova, Lovely Music, Starkland, The Label, Asphodel, New World (CRI), Root Strata, Centaur, Ubuibi, MMC, Digital Narcis, Music and Arts, Frog Peak, and/OAR, Capstone, and Mills College labels. www.maggipayne.com  More...

Sunday, March 11 2018 9:00 PM
Stranded presents: Ellen Arkbro / Sarah Davachi

Ticket link: https://www.strandedrecords.com/collections/tickets/products/ellen-arkbro-sarah-davachi-march-11th-at-the-lab
There will be a limited amount of $12 tickets available for members of The Lab, but they must be reserved in advance. Please email thelabsf@thelab.org to have your name added to the member list.

Ellen Arkbro is a composer and sound-artist primarily working with intervallic harmony in just intonation. Her work includes long duration compositions for ensembles as well as electronic sound environments in the form of installations and live performances, employing both traditional acoustic instruments as well as digital algorithmic sound synthesis. In 2017 Arkbro released her first album, For Organ And Brass, a set of recordings of her compositions in just intonation for renaissance organ, horn, trombone and microtonal tuba. ellenarkbro.com

As a composer of electronic and electroacoustic music, Sarah Davachi's compositional projects are primarily concerned with disclosing the antiquated instruments and forgotten sonics of a bygone era in analog synthesis, with concurrent treatment of acoustic sources – particularly organ, piano, strings, and woodwinds – often involving de-familiarization through processing. Her work considers the experience of enveloped sonic dwelling, utilizing extended durations and simple harmonic structures that emphasize variations in overtone complexity and psychoacoustic artefacts. sarahdavachi.com  More...

Thursday, April 5 2018 8:30 PM
Norman Westberg / Thor & Friends / Kal Spelletich

Best known for his work with the seminal outfit SWANS, Westberg’s output beyond that group is sprawling and restless. His name recurs and ripples through many interconnected micro-histories surrounding New York City’s music and art scenes. From appearances in film works associated with the Cinema Of Transgression, through to his participation in bands such as The Heroine Sheiks and Five Dollar Priest, Westberg’s name is woven deeply into the fabric of New York over the past three decades.

After five years of touring as the percussionist of The Swans, Thor Harris began Thor & Friends in the autumn of 2015 as a vehicle to experiment with a cast of rotating Austin based musicians in the vein of American minimalism. As an instrument carpenter and acoustic polyglot, Thor & Friends is the sound of Harris’ return home — an elongated greeting and ode to his community, woodworking shop, and the instruments his hands bring texture too.

With the three core members of Harris, Peggy Ghorbani and Sarah “Goat” Gautier, the expanding and contracting ensemble works within the flux of compositional and improvisational contexts, where the range of tonal color depends on what instrumentalists are joining or absent from the process. They can perform acoustically or with hues of electronic instrumentation, as a stripped-down trio or a large ensemble. In addition to drawing on minimalist composers such as Terry Riley and Steve Reich, Thor & Friends amalgamate the diverse influences of Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, Moondog and The Necks through a polyrhythmic center of mallet instruments, primarily marimba, xylophone, and vibraphone. Around the core motifs of the aforementioned mallet timbres are shifting streams of everything from processed pedal steel and analog synthesizer to violin, viola, stand up bass, clarinet, duduk, and oboe.

The group builds off of the similarities and contrasts of Harris’ past projects and continuing collaborations, which include The Swans, Ben Frost, Bill Callahan, Hospital Ships, Shearwater and John Congelton . The result ushers in a utopian optimism contemporized through 20th-century predecessors via the promise of improvising with neighbors and friends and utilizing what and who is around at any given moment.

Kal Spelletich explores the interface of humans and robots, using technology to put people back in touch with real-life experiences. His work is interactive, requiring participants to enter or operate his pieces, often against their instincts of self-preservation. He probes the boundaries between fear, control and exhilaration. He has exhibited at The Catharine Clark Gallery, Gallery Maeght and the De Young Museum, all in San Francisco, SFMOMA, all over the world. He was awarded San Francisco Art Commission funding for 2016.  More...