Beep is a collective made up of bassist Nate Brenner, pianist Michael Coleman, and drummer Sam Ospovat. All three are stalwarts of the Bay
Area scene that have honed their interests in diverse projects spanning indie rock, free jazz, and the avant-garde fringe. The trio
has evolved into the Bay Area’s most eclectically beautiful purveyor
of avant-pop. The chemistry in the group is born of friendship and a
shared desire to open up new pathways for musical enjoyment. Their
latest album "City of the Future" (Third Cultured Records 2011)
received wide critical acclaim including a spot in the top ten best
experimental albums of 2011 from Quebec radio station CHYZ 94.3 FM.
Cornelius Boots plays renegade nature music on giant Zen bamboo flutes. These raw bamboo flutes evoke the breathy sound of sacred mysteries and have been used as meditation tools by esoteric Zen monks and mountain hermits for over 1000 years. Exploring these earthy sounds creates a connection to Nature and primordial dream states of consciousness: the trees singing, the mud chanting, the cave yawning, the sage wandering, the invisible glowing.
His Switchboard program will consist of original compositions written by the performer for the Taimu shakuhachi (mukyoku): one solo and one in duet with local shakuhachi player, improviser Philip Gelb. The 3rd piece is an arrangement for 3 different size shakuhachi of a late 14th century English motet performed by CB, Philip Gelb and Karl Young.
Accordionist/pianist/saw player Dan Cantrell is an Emmy winning composer known for his innovative and energetic approach to documentary film and television scoring. He can be heard on albums from Tom Waits, Joanna Newsom, the Toids, Beats Antique, as well as numerous self-produced albums. He was recently a featured soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, and has performed with the Oakland Symphony, Mike Marshall, members of the Klezmatics, Brave Old World, and Fishbone.
Dan composed music for three seasons of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack on Cartoon Network and received an Emmy Award for his scoring work on the PBS documentary Home Front.
Influenced by the music of Eastern Europe, Early American Jazz and modern alternative rock, His extensive scoring catalogue for film and television is described as “hauntingly beautiful…quirky and energetic” (SF Bay Guardian). Dan’s music spans a wide range of emotion and style, rich with virtuosic performance, lush acoustic orchestrations, sonic textures resonant with sound design, and strikingly innovative melodic themes.
Listen to "hitting things won't solve your problems (but it might make you feel better)" by Andrew Tholl
Called “exceptional” by the Los Angeles Times, pianist DANNY HOLT specializes in performing contemporary works, 20th century music, and obscure and neglected repertoire from past centuries. The late music critic Alan Rich praised one of Holt’s recent performances as "phenomenal" (SoIveHeard.com) and The Record (Waterloo, Ontario) called him "the classical music equivalent of an extreme sports athlete." In addition to championing the works of emerging composers, Holt has worked with composers such as Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen, Christian Wolff, James Tenney, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Augusta Read Thomas, and many others. Holt's Fast Jump CD (Innova Recordings, 2009) was a featured new release on both WNYC and iTunes, and includes world premiere recordings of works by David Lang (co-founder of Bang on a Can), Caleb Burhans, Lona Kozik, Graham Fitkin, and Jascha Narveson. Gramophone called the disc "a compelling showcase for Holt's innate virtuosity and gregarious temperament" and Sequenza21.com called Holt's playing "brilliant". Holt resides in Los Angeles, where he is an active freelance performer and educator, and he serves on the faculty of the Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts.
Dominique Leone is a composer and performer based in San Francisco. His music is a mix of pop, avant-garde, electronica, minimalism, progressive rock and noise, and has been compared to artists ranging from Paul McCartney to France's Magma to Giorgio Moroder. Having released records on European dance labels and American experimental imprints, his sound is tough to pigeonhole, but he's worked with many great musicians in the Bay area: Matmos, William Winant, Fred Frith, Ava Mendoza, Jordan Glenn, Aaron Novik, Wobbly and Kevin Blechdom, among others. His most recent project is a radical reinterpretation of Igor Stravinsky's classic ballet Les Noces (The Wedding), paring down the original ensemble of full choir, soloists, four pianos and chamber orchestra to a lean ten-piece group featuring vocalists, percussion, bass and pianos. Using Kickstarter, Dominique and the Ensemble Epouser raised money to record and print CDs of the piece, including their premiere performance in 2011 at the storied Maybeck Studio in Berkeley. Dominique has also written about music for Pitchfork, All-Music, PASTE, and has presented at the EMP Pop Conference in Seattle, WA.
“To me, life has always felt like a place reverberating with all kinds of shrieking and laughing things. At some point I learned that my role as a singer was to be a storyteller, a shapeshifter.”
Faun Fables is an approach to songmaking and the- ater, led by the voice. It brings to mind song form and expression very old, though not old fashioned. It is a collection of songs often embellished with prop, narration and physicality. Faun fables shows can read as a series of song ‘settings,’ where the world of each song expands into a fully dimensional place.
As a creative vehicle of Dawn McCarthy and frequent co-pilot Nils Frykdahl of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, it has been generating a unique blend of music and theater since 1998.
“Musically and theatrically versatile, Faun Fables can do whatever they want, and that’s what they do; their sound is invariably original, slightly mystical and timeless with a dramatic thrust impossible to categorize."
– Times Standard
Grains was founded in San Francisco in 2009 after drummer Marc Deriso met guitarist Brendon Randall-Myers through a Craigslist posting entitled "Math Rock". Whether performing in dive bars, all-ages punk clubs and new music concerts, the group marries the energy and aesthetic of DIY punk to the precision and rigor of contemporary chamber music and the spontaneity of free jazz. Recently the duo has focused on collaboration with other artists and ensembles, working with guitarist George Pritzker (Japandi, Weatherbox, Realization Orchestra), tenor sax/laptop improviser Alex Christie, guitarist Bill Wolter (Slydini, Inner Ear Brigade), postclassical guitar/percussion duo The Living Earth Show, and chamber music group Nonsemble 6.
Performing original music by San Francisco-based composer George Hurd, The Hurd Ensemble unifies the worlds of electronic and classical music. Wrought from the various elements of classical, electronic, jazz, rock, ambient, experimental and more, each piece is carefully bound together with digitally-arranged recorded sounds collected along Hurd's travels, woven together with the chamber quintet to form a greater whole. Made up of violin, viola, cello, bass and piano alongside an array of electronics, Hurd's music is both wildly, intricately rhythmic and aglow with shimmering harmonies and melodies. The electronics create textures and rhythms that perfectly complement the acoustic instruments, giving rise to a sound that is extremely organic despite its partially digital origins. Accessible and daring, its percussive yet lyrical qualities make it at home in both concert halls and nightclubs. Their first album will be out spring 2012.
Clarinetist/bass clarinetist Jeff Anderle is currently enjoying an extremely diverse musical life. He is half of the bass clarinet duo Sqwonk, which infuses aspects of classical, folk and popular music into its own distinct style, and is a member of Edmund Welles, the world’s only composing bass clarinet quartet, performing “heavy chamber music.” An exponent of contemporary classical music, Jeff is currently the clarinetist of the bi-coastal ensemble REDSHIFT. He has also performed extensively in the SF Bay Area in diverse venues as a member of the Paul Dresher Electro/Acoustic Band and Magik*Magik Orchestra, as well as with the San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Del Sol String Quartet, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and Earplay. Jeff is on the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and is a founder and co-director of Switchboard Music.
Guitarist Travis Andrews and percussionist Andrew Meyerson are The Living Earth Show, a San Francisco-based chamber ensemble. The Living Earth Show (formerly Ballsagna) performs commissioned compositions for guitar and percussion, with or without electronics, and has commissioned works by such composers as Alden Jenks, Samuel Adams, Alexis Alrich, Dan Becker, Max Stoffregen, Damon Waitkus, Luciano Chessa, Jon Russell, and Brendon Randall-Myers. The Living Earth Show’s music draws from its members’ diverse musical backgrounds performing rock, Celtic, jazz, and Polynesian music. The members of the Living Earth Show, with bassist Jason Braatz, also comprise the avant-metal trio Freighter.
Mercury Falls exists in the endless space between dreaming and awareness, light and dark, thought and expression. The band's music moves in countless directions at the same time, but without confusion or cacophony. It's quiet, but not ambient, it's free, but not formless. As Mercury Falls pull you deeper into their own singular world, musical phrases rise and fall and spin together without any obvious logic or resolution, inviting you to open your mind and drift into a comforting space where sound is the only reality.
Mercury Falls is Patrick Cress, sax and composition; Ryan Francesconi, guitar, composition and electronics; Eric Perney, upright bass and drummer Tim Bulkley. The quartet brings years of experience in jazz, folk, pop, experimental, electronic and world music to Quadrangle, an album with seven interconnected tracks that flow together like a suite. The music can suggest West Coast cool jazz, the sounds of a tropical forest, experiential indie rock and the dark, creaky rhythms of a passing carnival, but doesn't really sound like anything you've heard before.
Nonsemble 6 is a contemporary chamber group based in San Francisco, California. Formed in 2009 as students in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music's chamber music program, Nonsemble 6 has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, at Willamette University, as artists-in-residence at the Astoria (Oregon) Summer Music Festival, and on tour in Illinois at Augustana, Monmouth, and Knox Colleges, plus Western Illinois University. In January 2011 they piloted an educational project, helping a 3rd grade class compose their own expressionist melodrama. Their signature work is Arnold Schoneberg's Pierrot lunaire and they look forward to staging the work in celebration of its centennial in 2012.
Ramon & Jessica played the uke before it was cool. But then, multi-instrumentalists Dina Maccabee and Jesse Olsen have been making music together since becoming pals in high school over 15 years ago. The comfort and closeness of their long-standing friendship is apparent in Fly South, their upcoming third album, and the quirky and experiment-friendly qualities of their music that have been central from the start (in their senior year of high school, Dina was playing the Pope in a rock opera written by Jesse) are in full swing.
The San Francisco Conservatory Guitar Ensemble, directed by David Tanenbaum, explores repertoire from all periods, but it specializes in new music written for the ensemble. Appearing frequently on and off campus, the group went on a three city tour with Steve Reich in the fall of 2000, performing Electric Counterpoint. The Ensemble performed the Us premiere of Terry Riley's Y Bolanzero, and in 2007 it gave the world premiere of Steve Mackey's Measures of Turbulence, which was commissioned for the group to play in the new Concert Hall opening concert. They followed that with a recording on Naxos. Other composers that the group has commissioned and premiered include Belinda Reynolds, Dan Becker, Jorge Liderman, Ryan Brown and many others.
Volti’s twenty professional singers, under the direction of founder and Artistic Director Robert Geary, are dedicated to the discovery, creation, and performance of new vocal music. Volti seeks to expand the choral repertoire by working with composers who explore timely issues of modern human experience. The group has commissioned more than 70 new works by emerging as well as established composers including Kirke Mechem, Mark Winges, Ken Ueno, Ted Hearne, Robin Estrada, Kurt Rohde, and many others. Volti has collaborated with many distinguished theatrical and musical organizations, both on stage and in recording, including among others George Coates Performance Works, Earplay, SF Contemporary Music Players, the Berkeley Symphony, the Oakland Symphony, and the Russian National Orchestra.
Volti presents intelligent music for listeners who want both cerebral and emotional stimulation and fulfillment – a visit to a modern art museum for your ears.