Tape Music Festival, With a Live-Music Twist

SF Tape Music Festival 2015It’s time again for the San Francisco Tape Music Festival, this year being held at the Victoria Theater in San Francisco.

It’s the annual presentation of pre-recorded electronics works played on dozens of speakers surrounding the audience — a very cool event that has to be experienced in person, not on YouTube. I wrote my impressions of the experience back in 2012.

This year’s edition has a few unusual twists:

  • Sunday night, Jan. 11, will feature compositions that combine tape music with live performers. It’s not that unusual a concept but is new ground for the Tape Music Festival. I’m hoping the “tape” portion continues to take advantage of the multispeaker setup.
  • There’s a late-night show, 11:00 p.m. tonight (Saturday, Jan. 10) in addition to a normal-timed 8:00 p.m. show.
  • That late-night show will include the world premiere of a Brian Eno piece, “Golden.” The web site explains: “In 2007, Eno composed Golden, a new 16-channel work specifically for our festival. He created multiple versions of various lengths, and the “full” 17-minute version will have its public debut on this program.” Also on the program: a 1966 piece by Pauline Oliveros.
  • The Saturday 8:00 p.m. show features “Nasal Retentive Calliope Music,” a 1968 piece by Frank Zappa. Also on the program: a new piece by Cheryl Leonard, a musician who works with natural objects as “instruments” and once took that practice to Antarctica.

If that isn’t enough, you can also catch Bruno Ruviaro’s “Cinema for the Ears,” a recital of electronics being performed on Jan. 23 at Santa Clara University. Ruviaro is the SCU professor who guides the Santa Clara Laptop Orchestra (SCLOrk), which I’d profiled in 2012.