Time to get psyched about another Other Minds festival — the 15th, and the first that I’ll get to attend. It runs for three nights, starting tonight, in at the Jewish Community Center at 3200 California, in Pacific Heights (northern SF, near the Presidio).
The festival collects musicians and composers from around the world for performances of new music. It seems scaled down from the more elaborate programs that used to be held downtown at Yerba Buena … but then, it occurs to me that because I’ve never gone, I can’t really back up that statement.
In fact, because I’ve never gone, I can say with equal confidence that this will be the best Other Minds festival ever. Ever!
On the Sequenza21 site, Polly Moller has a good Q&A with Lisa Bielawa, whose “Kafka Songs,” for violin/vocal will be performed tonight by Carla Kihlstedt. The piece was written for Kihlstedt and has had the seasoning that comes with multiple performances: “Carla has taken these songs with her through so many twists and turns of life, they really do just keep growing and deepening,” Bielawa says.
Bielawa was also featured in an SF Chronicle article yesterday. Nice to see the festival get some big-paper exposure.
There’s what appears to be an outright jazz-improv spot on the Friday night bill. Saxophonist Kidd Jordan will appear with William Parker (bass) and Warren Smith (percussion). Jordan has recorded some great ecstatic jazz, including some quartet work with Fred Anderson (sax) by his side — specifically, I’m thinking of the CD Two Days in April (Eremite, 2000).
I became a fan of the Del Sol String Quartet after catching one of their concerts on a whim. (They’re based here.) Lively, vibrant interpretations of new classical music. On Friday, they’ll be performing String Quartet No. 2 by Paweł Mykietyn.
Kihlstedt returns in spirit to close out the Saturday evening program: Her composition, “Pandæmonium,” will be debuted by the ROVA Saxophone Quartet. That just sounds so cool I could burst. (Bonus: According to the ROVA site, the composition is “is a one-of-a-kind piece of tactile art made from individually sewn cloth graphic scores.”)
Sadly, it looks like Thursday is my big chance to catch any of Other Minds 15. I’ll learn a little about composers Jürg Frey and Chou Wen-Chung, and of course I’ll get to experience that Bielawa piece. It should be a really good evening.