19th Annual Music For People & Thingamajigs Festival (MFP&T)

19th Annual Music For People & Thingamajigs Festival (MFP&T)

Thingamajigs presents the 2016 edition of the sound-art festival that started it all. A power-pack of musical works of homemade instruments, found objects, and alternate tunings by some of the Bay Area’s most innovative artists; the 19th Annual MFP&T festival is a step further in Thingamajigs’ search for sounds; as it extends the spirit beyond its artist community. In order to achieve this, the festival will be held over 3 weekends and in different venues around Bay Area.

October - played in alternate tunings

October - played in alternate tunings

Found objects, innovative instruments, new music and a gathering of unusual performers - Thingamajigs gears up for its biggest annual celebration in October. It all begins on October 1st in a military bunker, gets to bay area streets on Oct 6th and concludes on Oct 16th with a performance by the legendary percussionist Willie Winant.

Tuning Thingamajigs : Ecological implications of tuning practices and theories in a California arts non-profit

Tuning Thingamajigs : Ecological implications of tuning practices and theories in a California arts non-profit

By far the dominant tuning system in Western music theory and practice, it doesn't reflect the tuning reality of many of those practices including American popular song and blues.  This is not because we are anti-technology. Our tuning is local to factors that the tuner, and the theory it reproduces, can't compass.  We 'sweeten' our tunings to sound the way we like them to on our various instruments, tune differently for different songs, and tune differently depending upon which other instruments we are playing with.  

Temporality - 2013


Temporality is the third in a multi-year collaboration between Thingamajigs Performance Group and poet Stephen Ratcliffe (HUMAN/NATURE, Remarks on Color/Sound). This marathon 14-hour work stems from 1,000 poems written in 1,000 consecutive days and combines spoken word, projected images, movable objects and live sound to create various levels of multimedia textures.

goal of the piece

Temporality narrates the process by which what we observe, and what we make of such observations, enter a relationship by way of language and sound. It is the relation between things seen/observed in the world and how such things might be made (transcribed/transformed) as works of art. Similarly, all works in this trilogy invite a kind of assessment of the technological, the found and the made, the intentional and the unintentional, the human and the natural - by placing these potentials alongside each other and simply exploring them.

the strategy: living exhibit

For this third work in the trilogy, Thingamajigs will install Temporality and transform a space into what we are calling a "living exhibit". The "living" refers to the performance aspect: Stephen Ratcliffe at his desk, who will be reading each of his 1,000 poems, and the Thingamajigs Performance Group, whose members will be moving within the space and creating a sonic score. The "exhibit" refers to the images (whether visual or other) that are produced from these actions, and the extended duration of time it takes for all these actions to unfold.

how audiences interact

Audience members are welcome to come and go at will, just as if they were viewing art at a museum or gallery. Unlike a traditional art exhibition,Temporality slowly changes and fluxes within its 14-hour duration, and the audience is invited to sit/walk/sleep within or around the events that are unfolding in the space. In performances of the first two works in the trilogy, the public stayed as little as five minutes, while others stayed as long as five hours.

why we do it

Thingamajigs is interested in testing the perceptions and labels of musical 'composition' and 'performance'. We are interested in spending years to develop and create work in a collaborative manner, and we are interested in pushing the limits of what we think of as human nature. Our extended works are the outcome of these investigations, and the public event/exchange is our motivation to reach these lengths. We aim to have a high impact on the local community of all ages by offering them a rare extended performance that invites them to investigate time and temporality; offers them a space to sit, move, and reflect; and gives the chance to be part of an exchange that is intended to change each participant who spends time in the space.