color_logo_442.jpg Welcome to MindAlert!
Brought to you by Other Minds

In this November 2011 issue:
1. OM 17 Preview by Charles Amirkhanian
2. Brian Eno Day on
3. Now available for free VIEWING on
4. Special offer: 50% off Brentano String Quartet
5. Eventwire: Lou Harrison Piano Concerto
6. Eventwire: Droneshift

1. OM 17 Preview by Charles Amirkhanian

Dear fellow Other Minds,

Every year we bring to San Francisco the excitement of unknown musical riches that rarely make their way to this corner of the planet, and we strive to encourage the making of lasting friendships between composers of different generations, styles and backgrounds with our pre-concert residency, unique among festivals. We're even taking responsibility for one festival that brought together composers George Lewis and Miya Masaoka (pictured here at OM 3 with David Raksin, Henry Kaiser, and Kui Dong; photo by John Fago); the two are now happily married.

Our hope is to bring to San Francisco, from wherever they live, the most inventive people making music in the classical and jazz traditions. Recently I've been investigating the scenes in Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Reykjavík and over the next few years you'll hear the best composers from the far North. This year we'll host a sextet from Norway called "asamisimasa," who will introduce Neon Forest Space by Øyvind Torvund. The players augment their instrumentation with megaphones, spray cans, and children's toys, but the integration is so subtle the novelty is in the elegance of the timbres rather than shocking theatricality.

I'm also excited to welcome here composer and pianist Harold Budd from Los Angeles, whose collaborations with Brian Eno are as legendary as his visits to the Bay Area are rare. And you will meet Gloria Coates, an American living for three decades in Munich, whose 15 symphonies and 9 string quartets are finally being widely circulated on Naxos CDs. We're presenting her Fifth String Quartet that contains a gloriously (!) orchestrated version of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."

Please be sure to save the concert dates, March 1-2-3, 2012, or buy your tickets now for the best seating!



Follow us on Facebook for updates and video links as we gear up for the Festival.

back to top

2. Brian Eno Day on

Brian Eno Day (1988)
On February 12, 1988, KPFA dedicated an entire day to take a closer look at the music and career of Brian Eno, one of the most influential composer, performer, producer, and visual artist of our times. Eno joins Charles Amirkhanian in the studios of KPFA to assist in hosting a day of his music. In a number of far ranging interviews, some previously recorded and some live in the studio, Eno discusses his English adolescence and early musical influences, as well as sharing stories about his work as a producer of famous rock bands such as U2, Devo, and the Talking Heads, and his own musical collaborations with Harold Budd, David Byrne, and others. A relatively complete review of his work as composer, performer and producer is included, including selections from his early rock albums and ambient recordings, along with a discussion of his series of video installations which have been presented at art exhibitions throughout the world. Topics touched upon in over 10 hours of programming include his outreach efforts with Soviet artists, the band dynamics of U2, his interest in architecture and genetic evolution, and the various techniques he uses in the studio. When talking about his own musical interests and tastes, Eno reveals such tasty tidbits as his dislike for computer keyboards; an admission that even he does not know what his lyrics mean; a preference for the music of Stockhausen’s students rather than that of Stockhausen himself; and the differences between New Age, Minimal, and Ambient music. Eno also takes several hours to answer question from the listeners, including the last half hour of this extended extravagance where a clearly exhausted Eno lightens the mood by declaring that all his responses will be lies, something he then accomplishes with respectful and proper English aplomb and much ensuing hilarity. Throughout it all Eno proves to be not only a great creative artist, but also a remarkably intelligent, curious, humble, and extremely kind individual.

back to top

3. Now available for free VIEWING on color_logo_442.jpg

Other Minds Presents:
Something Else: A Fluxus Semicentenary // onscreen
Q & A with Alison Knowles

This past September, Other Minds celebrated the 50th anniversary of Fluxus with a series of events, including an evening of films, a radio event, and a live performance. This video, from Thursday, September 15, 2011, features special guests Alison Knowles and Fluxus scholar Hannah Higgins, in a Q & A with OM Director Charles Amirkhanian, and Peter Esmonde, who curated the Fluxus film screenings at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas that evening. In this brief but far-reaching discussion, Knowles demonstrates her bean turners and reminisces about the Fluxus activities that have made her one of the most prominent and historically significant performance artists of our time.

Ellen Fullman: Sympathetic Resonances

Derk Richardson interviews composer and inventor of the Long String Instrument, Ellen Fullman (OM 8), at the Red Poppy Art House, in San Francisco on February 18, 2009, as part of the ROVA:Arts Improv 21 series of informances. Fullman describes her own evolution from a visual artist to musical instrument builder, improviser, composer, and collaborator, and the evolution of her instrument.

Vinny Golia: The Large Ensemble Experience

Derk Richardson interviews composer, improviser, and multi-wind instrumentalist Vinny Golia, recorded at the Red Poppy Art House, in San Francisco on March 18, 2009, as part of the ROVA:Arts Improv 21 series of informances. Golia touches on his background as a visual artist and self-taught musician, the most exciting elements of leading a large improvising ensemble, and his relationship to the history of free jazz and the American avant-garde.

For news and links from ROVA, sign up here.

back to top

4. Special offer: 50% off Brentano String Quartet

Fragments: Connecting Past and Present
Brentano String Quartet
Sunday, December 4, 7pm
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
SPECIAL OFFER: 50% off, use code OMBSQ

In a project co-commissioned by SF Performances, five living composers tackle unfinished works from the past. The Brentano String Quartet will perfrom both the original and the new works, by these pairings of composers: Bach/Sofia Gubaidulina; Haydn/John Harbison; Mozart/Vijay Iyer; Schubert/Bruce Adolphe; and Shostakovich/Stephen Hartke.

To claim your MindAlert discount of 50%, use this link and promo code OMBSQ.

5. Eventwire: Lou Harrison Piano Concerto

In Celebration
featuring Piano Concerto by Lou Harrison
with Sarah Cahill
Thursday, December 8, 8pm
Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley

Sarah Cahill and Berkeley Symphony explore Lou Harrison's Piano Concerto, on a program of "commemorative" music, with guest conductor Jayce Orgen.

The Piano Concerto by Lou Harrison (pictured here at OM 2 with Terry Riley; photo by John Fago) was premiered in 1985 at Carnegie Hall by Keith Jarrett, with the American Composers Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies. The piece is in four movements and features a re-tuned piano that combines an almost perfect C major scale in just intonation with perfect fourths and fifths, drawing on the Pythagorean system favored in medieval earlier times.

The evening's program also includes Symphony No. 5 by Sibelius, written for his own 50th birthday, and Verge by Lei Liang, composed in 2009 in anticipation of the birth of his son, Albert.

6. Eventwire: Droneshift

Saturday, December 10, 8pm
The LAB, San Francisco

After five years at the Luggage Store, Matt Davignon's Droneshift moves to the LAB this year for a continuous 3-hour drone, performed by 50 local musicians including Cheryl Leonard, Wobbly, Thomas Dimuzio, Bill Hsu, Tim Perkis, Laurie Amat, and Ure Thrall. Featuring the most diverse array of instruments imaginable, from iPhone apps to mini-Moogs, wine glasses to Sho, this community event invites performers to each contribute a specific amount of sound, at any point over the course of 3 hours. It becomes the responsibility of the enormous, evolving ensemble, to keep the drone going without pause.


Join the Gathering of Other Minds!

Other Minds is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your tax-deductible contribution is essential to our work. Be part of the Gathering -- our growing circle of adventurous listeners and cultural trailblazers! Join today!

If you have received this newsletter from another source and would like to subscribe to MindAlert, please visit our website to subscribe.