Skip links

OM 10 festival composers pose in sculpture on the grounds of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program

A tenth anniversary for Other Minds, one of American’s premiere avant-garde music festivals, calls for extra celebration. We’re moving back to the site of our first production in 1993, the beautiful Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater and Forum for our most ambitious festival yet.

With composers and performers from Germany, Holland, China, Korea, Japan, Poland and the Republic of Armenia, in addition to our usual American contingent, you’ll also experience the remarkable music of an Italian Dhrupad singer, a German classical accordionist, a Burmese pat waing player and a French composer from Montréal who performs with 12 loudspeakers.

San Francisco, the most inviting cityscape in America, is the birthplace of extraordinary innovation in modern music. Here the great long line to experimental American music founded by Charles Seeger, Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison, and John Cage took root. Here the seeds of live electronic music were planted when Morton Subotnick, Ramon Sender, Pauline Oliveros, and Don Buchla enlivened the sonic landscape. Here the birth of minimal music with La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Terry Jennings, Steve Rich, and John Adams flowered. And here this long and brilliant tradition is upheld with annual celebrations in the hearts and Other Minds of Northern Californians.

Other Minds is here to celebrate musical innovation in all its forms and to remind us that new music truly is a joyful noise.

Charles Amirkhanian
Artistic Director, Other Minds

Artist Bios

Mark Grey is a composer and sound designer currently living in San Francisco. His compositions have been premiered by and adopted into the repertoire of the Kronos Quartet, The Paul Dresher Ensemble, The California EAR Unit, cellist Joan Jeanrenaud and violinist Leila Josefowicz, in major venues internationally. During and following his Masters degree studies at San Jose State University’s CREAM (Center for Research in Electroacoustic Music), under the direction of electroacoustic music pioneer Allen Strange, Grey began sound design work for John Adams, Philip Glass, Terry Riley and Boosey & Hawkes music publisher to name a few. His work with Adams for the first anniversary of September 11, On the Transmigration of Souls, premiered by the New York Philharmonic, won the Pulitzer Prize in Composition, 2002. He collaborated with Adams on The Dharma at Big Sur, for the grand opening of Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in fall of 2003. Grey has been the sound designer for the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

Joan Jeanrenaud was born in 1956 and raised on a small farm outside Memphis, Tennessee. She started playing the cello at age 11 and developed an interest in contemporary music as a teenager. She continued her studies with Fritz Magg at Indiana University, where she was a founding member of the IU Contemporary Music Ensemble. Subsequently she moved to Geneva, Switzerland to study with Pierre Fournier. At age 22, Jeanrenaud joined the Kronos Quartet and relocated to San Francisco. For twenty years she worked with hundreds of composers and musicians such as John Cage, Terry Riley, Morton Feldman , Philip Glass, Joan Armatrading, David Byrne, John Zorn and many others. The quartet performed more than 2,000 concerts in the most renowned venues in the world and made more than 30 recordings, most of which were released on Nonesuch Records. She left the Kronos Quartet in 1999 to pursue independent artistic directions including composition, improvisation, electronics, video and multi-disciplinary performance. Jeanrenaud was an Artist-In-Residence at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in the 2000/2001 season where she developed an evening length solo multi-media work, Metamorphosis (which received its world premiere at the Walker Art Center, May, 2001), and Ice Cello, a four hour installation piece inspired by the work of Fluxus artist Charlotte Moorman.

Jon Raskin (b. 1954, Heppner, OR) is a composer and performer with the ROVA Saxophone Quartet on baritone & alto saxophones. His musical training includes saxophone studies with Eddie Flenner, James Rotter, and John Handy; and composition studies with Dr. Barney Childs and Allaudin Mathieu. Before ROVA, Raskin served as music director of the Tumbleweed Dance Company (1974-77) in San Francisco. He was a founding member of the Blue Dolphin and the Farm, two alternative art spaces in San Francisco. The ROVA Saxophone Quartet was formed in 1978 and incorporated in 1985. This allowed them to present artists from around the world, including the Ganelin Trio from the Soviet Union, the first Soviet jazz group to tour the US. Since then, ROVA has worked with John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Terry Riley, Fred Frith, Alvin Curran, Sam Rivers, SF Taiko Dojo, John Carter and many others, released over 20 recordings, and toured extensively in Europe the US and Japan. Raskin’s numerous grants and commissions include: Composition grants from Chamber Music of America (2002) and Meet the Composer (2000), Berkeley Symphony commission (1995), Reader’s Digest/Meet the Composer (1991), Gerbode Interdisciplinary grant for Occupancy with Howard Martin (1990), NEA composer grant for Poison Hotel, a theater production by Soon 3 (1988).

Tigran Mansurian was born in Beirut in 1939. In 1947 his family moved to Armenia, finally settling in the capital Yerevan in 1956. Mansurian studied at the Yerevan Music Academy and completed his PhD at the Komitas State Conservatory where he later taught contemporary music analysis. In a short time he became one of Armenia’s leading composers, establishing strong creative relationships with international performers and composers such as Valentin Silvestrov, Arvo Pärt, Alfred Schnittke, Sofia Gubaidulina, André Volkonsky and Edison Denisov as well as Kim Kashkashian, Jan Garbarek, and the Hilliard Ensemble. Mansurian was the director of the Komitas Conservatory in the 1990s. He has recently retired as an administrator and teacher, and concentrates exclusively on composition. Mansurian’s musical style is characterized mainly by the organic synthesis of ancient Armenian musical traditions and contemporary European composition methods. His oeuvre comprises orchestral works, seven concerti for strings and orchestra, sonatas for cello and piano, three string quartets, madrigals, chamber music, and works for solo instruments.

Hanna Kulenty was born in Bialystok, Poland, 1961. She began her musical education as a pianist at the Grazyna Bacewicz Elementary Music School in Warsaw. She studied composition at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw and did her post-graduate work in composition with Louis Andriessen, at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague, The Netherlands. Recognized as one of Europe’s emerging composers, Kulenty just was awarded the 2003 UNESCO Rostrum of Composers prize for her Trumpet Concerto. Previous awards include a DAAD scholarship to Berlin and composition commissions and scholarships from the governments of Poland and Holland. The highly charged energy of her music is based on a finely woven web of contrasting rhythms and tempi, laid out in long-lined arches that are breathtaking in their grandeur. Kulenty is a highly prolific composer, the symphony orchestra being her preferred medium of composition. However, she recently has written numerous chamber works as well, and in 1996, the Hamburg Opera premiered her opera Mother of Black-Winged Dreams at the Munich Biennale. Kulenty teaches composition at various courses and seminars in Europe, and presents her music at festivals in Poland, Denmark, England, Germany and Holland.

Keiko Harada was born in 1968 in Japan. She studied composition, conducting, piano and chamber music at Toho Gakuen School of Music where she graduated in 1993 with a Master’s degree in composition. Harada’s works have won numerous awards including the 62nd Music Competition of Japan Awards, Akiyoshidai Prize and the 2001 Akutagawa Prize. She has received grants from major foundations in Japan, Canada, Germany and the US. Most of her works have been commissioned by leading international festivals and performers including ictus ensemble (Brussels), Nieuw Ensemble (Holland), Ensemble Modern (France), ELISION (Australia), Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus, Mayumi Miyata, Yo-Yo Ma, Stefan Hussong and others. In recent years Harada has composed collaborative works for dance, theatre and film. She established Ensemble Manufacture for contemporary music in 1989. Since 2000, she has chaired the executive committee of SOUND GEAR, a project bringing together musicians from various parts of world focusing on theatrical new music. She is currently teaching composition and theory at Toho Gakuen in Tokyo, Japan.

Stefan Hussong, Europe’s premiere accordionist, was born in Koellerbach an der Saar, Germany. He received scholarships from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, DAAD, Akademie Schloss Solitude and the Art Foundation of Baden-Württemberg State. His repertoire encompasses all stylist periods, with an emphasis on new music. In 1987 he received the first prize at the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition for contemporary Music. Hussong was awarded the Echo Classic Prize of the German Phonoacademy in the category Best Performer of the Year 1999. That same year his Solo CD published by DENON with works by John Cage won the Best Record Award of the year. Hussong has premiered more than 80 works dedicated to him and he has recorded more than 25 CDs, some of which have won several prizes. He has performed as a soloist with, among others, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Musikfabrik Nordrhein-Westfalen, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Rundfunk Symphonieorchester Saarbrücken and Tokyo Shin Nippon Philharmonic Orchestra. He is professor of Accordion and Chamber Music at the Musikhochschule Würzburg .

Francis Dhomont was born in Paris in 1926. He studied composition under Ginette Waldmeier, Charles Koechlin and Nadia Boulanger. In the late 40’s he intuitively discovered with magnetic wire what Pierre Schaeffer would later call musique concrète, consequently conducting solitary experiments with the musical possibilities of sound recording. In 1963 he decided to leave instrumental writing behind, dedicating himself exclusively to electroacoustic composition, becoming an ardent proponent of the then-new genre of “acousmatics.” His work consists exclusively of tape pieces using natural, or “found” sounds, exploring morphological interplay and the ambiguities between sound and the images it may create. Performances in public of his music are done using the French diffusion technique over multiple loudspeakers. Dhomont’s work has won many international awards including at the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (France), the Magisterium Prize in 1988, Prix Ars Electronica in 1992 (Linz, Austria) and others. In 1997, as the winner of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Lynch-Staunton Prize, he was supported by the DAAD for a residence in Berlin. He was recently awarded a prestigious career grant by The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec . Dhomont is the editor of several electronic music journals, and has produced many radio programs for Radio-Canada and Radio-France. Since 1978, he has divided his time between France and Québec, Canada, where he taught at the Université de Montréal from 1980 to 1996.

German-born Werner Durand is a composer, instrument builder, performer, and eclectic champion of experimental music. His interest encompasses many musical traditions: he studied with Ariel Kalma in Paris, Indian classical music with Kamalesh Maitra in Berlin and India, and Iranian Ney with Ali Reza Asgharia. Durand performs his own music for saxophones, Persian Ney flute, and self-made wind instruments which he began building in the early 80s. He has composed music for theater, dance, and radio. His personal, minimalist style is characterized by the rich layers, textures, and rhythmic effects he achieves using digital delays. Durand has received numerous awards such as a grant from the city of Berlin, the Cité des Arts (Paris), a residency at Podewil (Berlin) and a grant from the Worpswede artist colony. Durand organizes festivals of traditional as well as avant-garde music in Berlin such as the “Urban und Aboriginal,” “Pipeline,” “USArts,” and “Minimalisms and Intonations.” He has collaborated with performers such as Dhrupad singer Amelia Cuni, the Beatless Sax O’drones (specializing in just intonation), and the Armchair Traveler group with Sebastian Hilken (cello and percussion), Hella v. Ploetz (glassharp), and Silvia Ocougne (acoustic guitars).

Amelia Cuni was born in Milan, and lived in India for more than 10 years studying Dhrupad singing from renowned masters like Ustad Fahimuddin Dagar, Dilip Chandra Vedi, and others. She has been based in Berlin since 1992, where she and sound designer Werner Durand were awarded Artist-in-Residence grants by the Podewil-Zentrum für Aktuelle Kunst (1999). Cuni performs internationally, presenting solo concerts in Germany, London, Bombay and New Delhi, and participates in festivals such as the Festival of Vision 2000-Berlin and others in Hong Kong, The UK, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Spain, India, China, Brazil and Holland. Cuni’s style has both a traditional and experimental orientation; she draws elements from ancient Indian traditional music, yet reaches beyond the boundaries of classicism and form in attempt to explore a new musical terrain. Her experimental esthetic leads Cuni to collaborate with artists from various backgrounds, including early and new music, electronica, ambient, experimental, jazz, folk, dance, and theater (composers such as Terry Riley have written especially for her voice). Cuni herself composes songs in Sanskrit, English, and Italian. Currently engaged in preserving and fostering Dhrupad music, Cuni teaches Indian singing at the Conservatorio di Vicenza in Italy. Her music is featured on two solo CDs, several collaborative CDs, and on projects for radio and TV.

Alex Blake (born Alejandro Blake Feuron Junior, 1951) was born in Panama City, Panama. The region’s rich infusion of cultures influenced him at an early age and would later be echoed in his flair for numerous styles of music. When he was seven years old, Blake moved to Brooklyn where he began musical studies on the trumpet and the bass with his musician father. At the age of 12 he began touring in a Latin band with Carlos “Patato” Valdéz, and at 16 toured Europe with Sun Ra, continuing to study privately with some of the great teachers of stringed instruments, composition, theory and arranging. A year later, his keen musical instinct and devotion to rhythm perked the ear of Dizzy Gillespie with whom he played in 1968. Blake also performed with such greats as Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Stan Getz, McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders, and others. His career has spanned countless styles of music, including Afro-Cuban, Puerto Rican and Latino Jazz styles, collaborating with such artists as Mongo Santamaria, Machito, and Celia Cruz. Blake became one of the major proponents of the fusion movement in the late 70’s with his own compositions and performances with Lenny White and Billy Cobham. Bassist with Randy Weston African Rhythms for the last decade, Blake is recently stepping out as a bandleader on recordings and performances.

Festival Program

Thursday, March 4, 2004
7:00 pm: Forum

Panel Discussion: Kim Kashkashian, Tigran Mansurian, Hamlet Sarkissian (interpreter), Jon Raskin, moderated by Charles Amirkhanian

8:00 pm: CONCERT

Tigran Mansurian
Havik (1998)
Selections from Komitas (1869-1935)
Tigran Mansurian, piano and voice
Kim Kashkashian, viola
Funded in part by the Armenian Friends of Other Minds and Liz and Greg Lutz

Hanna Kulenty
Flute Concerto No. 1 (2001)
U.S. premiere
Anne LaBerge, quarter-tone flute
with *Stacey Pelinka, flute; *Karla Avila, clarinet; David Henderon, soprano saxophone;
Bill Aron, alto saxophone; *Scott Macomber, trumpet; *Zachary Maupin and Everett Doner, horn;
*Bruce Crisp and David Kunkle, trombone; Peter Wahrhaftig, tuba; *Matt cannon, percussion;
*Karen Rosenak, piano; Paul Binkley, electric guitar; *Stan Poplin, bass guitar;
Nicole Paiement, conductor

Jon Raskin
The Hear and Now (2004)
World premiere
ROVA Saxophone Quartet: Bruce Ackley, soprano and tenor saxophones, clarinet; Steve Adams, alto and sopranino saxophones, flute; Larry Ochs, tenor and sopranino saxophones; Jon Raskin, alto and baritone saxophones with Min Xiao-Fen, pipa; Kyaw Kyaw Naing, pat waing; Jiebing Chen, erhu; Shoko Hikage, koto; Sang Won Park, kayagum; Jim Santi Owen, tabla tarang
Gino Robair, conductor
Commissioned by Other Minds and funded in part by the NEA, Liz and Greg Lutz and the San Francisco Arts Commission
Presented in collaboration with ROVA: Arts
*denotes member of the Parallèle Ensemble
Funded in part by the Goethe-Institut, Gaudeamus, and the Consulate General of the Netherlands, New York
In partnership with the San Francisco Conservatory’s BluePrint Project

Friday, March 5, 2004
4:00 pm: Audium

Stan Shaff: in concert
7:00 pm: Forum

8:00 pm CONCERT

Amelia Cuni
Ashtayama—Song of Hours (1997-98)
       first yama: sunrise
second yama: morning
third yama: midday
fourth yama: afternoon
fifth yama: sunset
sixth yama: evening
seventh yama: night
eighth yama: deep night
World premiere
Amelia Cuni, voice and dance; Werner Durand, electronics; Uli Sigg, staging and projections
Funded in part by the Goethe-Institut

Mark Grey
Sands of Time for cello and live electronic processing (2004)
World premiere
Joan Jeanrenaud, cello; Mark Grey, electronics
Funded in part by Liz and Greg Lutz

Stefan Hussong
Traditional Gagaku:
Banshiki no Choshi, Japan, 10th Century

John Cage
Dream (1948)

Keiko Harada
Bone+ (1999)
U.S. premiere

John Cage
In a Landscape (1948)

Adriana Hölszky
High Way for One for Accordion Solo (2000)
U.S. premiere
Stefan Hussong, accordion; Pamela Wunderlich, stilt-dance/costume design (in Dream), for Jaevonne Anne
Funded in part by the Goethe-Institut

Saturday, March 6, 2004
9:00 am – 12 noon: Forum
Shulamit Ran, in panel discussion: “Women’s Voices in American Orchestral Music” 
Celebrating Women in Music Festival, presented by the Women’s Philharmonic

1:30 – 2:30 pm: Forum
A Cinema for My Ears, a documentary film on the musique concrète of Francis Dhomont

3:00 pm: Forum
Khachaturian, a documentary film on the composer Aram Khachaturian

7:00 pm: Forum
Panel Discussion: Alex Blake, Francis Dhomont, Stan Shaff, Brooke Wentz, 
moderated by Charles Amirkhanian

8:00 pm: CONCERT

Joan Jeanrenaud
Hommage (2004)
World premiere
Joan Jeanrenaud, cello and electronics
Commissioned for Other Minds by Nora Norden

Francis Dhomont
Les moirures du temps (The shimmering ripples of time)
(1999, rev. 2001)
Phonurgie from Cycle du son (1998)
Funded in part by Liz and Greg Lutz
Speakers generously provided by Meyer Sound Laboratories

Alex Blake Quintet
Alex Blake, bass; Chris Hunter, soprano, alto and tenor saxophones; Ted Cruz, piano; Victor Jones, drums; Neil Clarke, percussion
Funded in part by Liz and Greg Lutz

Selected Concert Audio

Start typing and press Enter to search