For 25 years, Other Minds has brought the Bay Area revolutionary new music with our annual Other Minds Festival and our environmental concert series The Nature of Music. We also produce Special Events focusing on a variety of unique musical presentations, including Latitudes, focusing on indie rock & other experimental forms. On this page you’ll find a chronological list of our upcoming extravaganzas, along with ticket links plus audio and video links so you can preview our artists.
Join us as to discover more about fine innovative composers spanning the globe.
Other Minds is excited to announce the 100th and 101st world premieres of the organizations 25-year history. The first work on the program will be an indeterminant spatial work for voice, glass harmonica, oboe, French horns, amplified guitar, and electronics. The work sets text from Cole Swensen’s The Glass Age, and uses sonic debris from Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, and piezo-electric crystals. Guthrie will then present a solo improvisation for French horn, electronics, field recordings, and video which all of which draw inspiration from sounds and shadows of translucent objects. Both pieces will utilize the Brower Center’s state of the art Meyer 5.1 surround sound system.
Anne Guthrie is an acoustician, composer, and French horn player based in San Francisco, CA. She studied music composition at University of Iowa, and architectural acoustics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Insitute. Her music combines processed field recordings and instrumental improvisation while exploiting architectural and psycho-acoustic phenomena to distort and obscure sonic identities. Along with her solo work, she often performs and records with Billy Gomberg as FrauFraulein, and with Gomberg and Richard Kamerman as Delicate Sen.
There are many examples of major symphonies having complicated premieres but none are more intriguing than the purgatory to which Dmitri Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony was sentenced back in 1936.
To say his work, when the composer was 30 years old, met with official disapproval is an understatement. The stage was set with the grand success that Shostakovich experienced in 1934 with his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. The work was a proven success until it was denounced by Stalin himself in early 1936. It is generally accepted nowadays that the fear that was implanted in Shostakovich during this episode was the principle reason for the withdrawal of his Fourth Symphony. This kind of grotesquely choreographed dance with the authorities throughout Shostakovich’s life really began with the Pravda condemnation of Lady Macbeth and the charade around the premiere of the Fourth Symphony.
Single-minded and visionary composers are so often the ones most easily ignored by the changing currents of music taste. Ivan Wyschnegradsky (1893-1979) led a life characterized by exile and cultural exclusion; he was never part of any school, and the individuality of his work reflects his personal and lifelong determination to honor his deeply idiosyncratic muse.
The Arditti String Quartet of London, champions of Wyschnegradsky’s work, will perform his microtonal pieces for strings. While string music comprises a smaller portion of Wyschnegradsky’s catalogue than his better-known works for microtonal pianos, the Arditti Quartet makes a compelling case for Wyschnegradsky’s quartets, exploiting the expressive capabilities inherent to strings. The expanded scalar and harmonic palette, and wider variety of timbres lead the way to reforming a repertoire long confined to 12 equal-tempered tones.