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Category: New Music

MULTICULTURALIST HARRISON HONORED AT CENTENNIAL

MULTICULTURALIST HARRISON HONORED AT CENTENNIAL

Of all the Lou Harrison centennial tributes, the Other Minds Festival produced one to beat the band. In addition to the sheer variety of works & instruments offered, Other Minds also created palpable environment of good vibrations. This was attributable too to a large crowd resonating with affection and admiration for the inventive and congenial composer who had spent his final half century in the region spanning sites from Santa Cruz to Oakland. The May 20 all-Harrison concert at Mission…

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‘HEROINE-ISM’ SPOTLIGHTED IN MAJOR ADAMS WORK

‘HEROINE-ISM’ SPOTLIGHTED IN MAJOR ADAMS WORK

The essence of the “Scheherazade” tale is not sweeping romantic music, a la Rimsky-Korsakov; composer John Adams outlived that phase of his long ago. Here the essence is the gruesome fate of a heroine faced nightly with becoming murder-victim unless she is a master story-teller on every one of the 1,001 nights. So contends Adams, who introduced his bigger-than-life “Scheherazade.2” (2015) at the S.F. Symphony. This winter the SFS has offered multiple celebrations of his 70th birthday. Call it a…

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MUSIC FROM BRAKE DRUMS—–BUT WHICH ONES??

MUSIC FROM BRAKE DRUMS—–BUT WHICH ONES??

Treasure that 1936 Studebaker! Stash the old brake drums in the safe! Composer Lou Harrison, a lover of “found instruments” and new sound timbres, called for percussionists to strike resonant brake drums in pieces like “Canticle No. 3.” But not just any old brake drum. “The ’36 Studebaker had the best ones,” he told me in an interview over 20 years ago. “After that, the car factories all changed the metal (alloy), and the drums wouldn’t ring any more.” A…

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PUT AMY X ON YOUR A LIST

PUT AMY X ON YOUR A LIST

Contempo Singer/Composer Neuburg Stellar By Paul Hertelendy artssf.com, the independent observer of San Francisco Bay Area music and dance Week of June 26-July 3, 2016 Vol. 18, No. 75 What impresses me most about Amy X Neuburg is not that she’s an exquisite lyric soprano who can even dip down to the baritone register, nor that she’s always in pitch, nor that she’s a techno whiz, nor that she animates contemporary repertory as though written for her. Not even that…

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DIGGING UP NEW MUSIC, DIGGING UP AN OLD POPE

DIGGING UP NEW MUSIC, DIGGING UP AN OLD POPE

Other Minds in Unusual Vocal Music Zounds! A contemporary concert takes up sacred music along with a satirical work highly critical of Church history. If you hate the one, you might LOVE the other! Such was the opening event of the unique Open Minds festival, which brings in close to a dozen living composers for residencies and three tightly-packed concerts over three days—then often goes dormant for another 364. It’s a dizzying, high-quality whirl that can and should attract a…

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