19th Annual Music For People & Thingamajigs Festival (MFP&T) October 1 | October 8 | October 16
Found objects, innovative instruments, new music and a gathering of unusual performers - Thingamajigs gears up for its biggest annual celebration in October 2016. It all begins in a military bunker, gets to bay area streets and concludes with a tribute to Lou Harrison.
Learn about some of the performers, ensembles and their works here.
Oct 1, 2016 - Sunrise to Sunset
Oct 8, 2016 - 8pm
Oct 16, 2016 - 3pm
It's the fourth work in a multi-year collaboration with poet Stephen Ratcliffe to create large scale multimedia works, each based on 1,000 of Stephen’s poems, which he writes one at a time for 1,000 days. It will feature Thingamajigs Performance Group along with performing artists Rae Diamond (composer and director of the Long Tone Choir), Shinichi Iova-Koga (artistic director of the movement theater ensemble inkBoat) and Jubilith Moore. Rae and Shinichi bring unique perspectives to durational creative practice, creating works built upon the exquisite control of breath and body in motion.
A manifold project that creates biotic and centripetal developments of sound, time and perception. The project uses inherently irregular tempo of breath as the musical pulse, plays within the harmonic series with specific pitches, vowels and vocal manipulations, and traverses the ragged edges of harmonic adventure through aleatory methods. The Long Tone Choir consists of local and national communities of singers, and has been facilitated by Rae Diamond since its founding in 2013.
Rae Diamond explores the elasticity of time and perception through experiments in sound, breath and movement in space. Rae received a degree in music composition from The Evergreen State College, studied intonation and voice with harmonic singing virtuoso - Stephen Fandrich, sings in the new music quartet, Ode Machines, and is the founder and director of the Long Tone Choir.
InkBoat is a physical theater and dance company founded by Shinichi Iova-Koga in 1998. The company performs in theaters and site specific locations. Repertory and research integrate the interplay of multiple artistic disciplines and viewpoints, both experimental and traditional, resulting in original performance compositions. Themes and subjects arise from meticulous examination of everyday life, with primary content arising from the body, resulting in both refined and raw expressions.
Shinichi is the Artistic Director of the San Francisco-based performance company inkBoat, founded in 1998. The company has performed throughout North America, Europe and Japan in theaters and site specific locations.
JUBILITH MOORE, a graduate of Bard College and a Founding Company Member of Theatre Nohgaku, is the former Artistic Director of Theatre of Yugen and has been a student of Yuriko Doi, since 1993. She acts, directs and writes for the theatre and has devoted her professional life to exploring the ongoing life of traditional Japanese and contemporary American theatre. She has studied noh with Richard Emmert, Akira Matsui and Kinue Oshima (Kita school). While under a Japan Foundation Fellowship in Tokyo, she had the honor of studying with Kanze School noh master Shiro Nomura, Kyogen master Yukio Ishida (Izumi school) and Kotsuzumi noh drum with Mitsuo Kama (Ko school). Noteworthy roles are the Old Man in theAt the Hawk's Well National Tour 2002, the Waki role in Greg Giovanni’s Pine Barrens; She led the chorus for David Crandall’sCrazy Jane and performed the role of the Waki in Jannette Cheong’s Pagoda, an English language Noh performed to critical acclaim in a European tour (2009) and an Asian tour (2011).
MFP&T19 breaks with its tradition of gallery and proscenium concerts to assemble for a night of pure rock in alternate tunings. Each act balances experimental and rock idioms, from heavy drone to swirling psychedelia, to give audiences not only a rare glimpse into the often surprising influences and passions of these avant-garde performers, but an experience of the through lines to the work they are more commonly known to create. The evening is sure to be provocative (and loud).The show comprises performances by the following.
The psychedelic alter ego of Thingamajigs Performance Group, 'Fraid o' Freyja features a stripped-down rock trio of electric guitar (Edward Schocker), drums (Suki O'Kane), and Wurlitzer organ (Dylan Bolles), all prepared in just-intonation. Owing as much to Danzig as Taoism, their improvised performances are heavy, ecstatic, loud, and long. 'Fo'F is currently mixing their first five records, which they recorded in a single day, for release in early 2017.
The de-tuned speed metal thrash duo Winner's Bitch, named for the esteemed dog show prize, uses the electric guitar of Joy Sue Hutchinson (Institute of Light and Joy, She Mob) and double-kick drum kit of Suki O'Kane (Thingamajigs Performance Group, New Zombies) to mercilessly pull the thread of life's existential sweater until it completely unravels and can no longer be used for its original purpose. Joy is better known as a sound healer and social change advocate credentialed by the California Institute of Integral Studies with a certificate in Yoga of the Voice from the Vox Mundi Mystery School of the Voice, led by her beloved teacher, Silvia Nakkach. Suki studies Naada Yoga with Ann Dyer. Together, Joy and Suki apply principles of breath and vibration to explosive compositions about shoes, paranoia, decision-making, out-sized herbal supplements and mammogram machines.
San Francisco filmmaker and musician Douglas Katelus performs under the name Solo Organ whenever he plays solo - on, you guessed it - an organ. Creating free-from psychedelic blues drone jazz while also incorporating elements of moving pictures and classic rock, this year Solo Organ released the album Atom Heart and Beyond the Infinite, which features the Pink Floyd epic "Atom Heart Mother" on one side and original compositions on the other, all played solo on the organ.
Spinning the choice mix in microtonal rock from Ethiopia, Baltimore, Northern El Cerrito and West Bay, with interstitial alternate tuned pieces from Southern Oregon and rare recordings of early editions of the Dylan Bolles' magnificent keyboard playing.
PLAY HEAR at MARKET STREET PROTOTYPING FESTIVAL
Oct 6-8 (performances at 12pm & 5pm)
Artists take their work to the streets on Oct 6, as they set up a space - PLAY HEAR for inventive and spontaneous musical collaborations with friends and strangers of all ages and abilities. This hands-on orchestra, by legendary instrument inventor Bart Hopkin, invites communities to improvise and explore each other and the Market Street corridor where it will be installed. The street-art is aimed to empower people to be makers and innovators and challenge the notion that music or instruments are outside ourselves or only available with complex, expensive electronics or prohibitively expert craftsmanship.
Presenters include David Samas, Stephen Parris, Bart Hopkin and Peter Whitehead.
Throughout the street festival, the space will host instrument-making workshops with local teaching artists; and will also be available for the public to play with and on. In addition, there will be performances at 12pm & 5pm as stated below:
Oct 6, Thu: Pet the Tiger
Oct 7, Fri: Gamelan Encinal
Oct 8, Sat: Bart Hopkin & Peter Whitehead
TRIBUTE TO LOU HARRISON
Thingamajigs will kick-off a year-long celebration - Harrison 100/Thingamajigs 20, on October 16. The commemoration project, in collaboration with various arts organizations will feature commissioned works by a wide range of composers. To start this project, all performances on the last day of 19th Annual MFP&T Festival will be a tribute to the great composer, and based on his lifework.
IN CONCERT WITH WILLIAM WINANT
The legendary percussionist Wilie Winant will present pieces on a special bell instrument designed by Lou Harrison and his partner Bill Colvig.
William Winant, "one of the best avant-garde percussionists working today" according to music critic Mark Swed (Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal), has performed with some of the most innovative and creative musicians of our time, including John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, Keith Jarrett, Anthony Braxton, James Tenney, Cecil Taylor, George Lewis, Steve Reich and Musicians, Jean-Philippe Collard, Frederic Rzewski, Ursula Oppens, Joan LaBarbara, Oingo Boingo, and the Kronos String Quartet. In addition to his work in contemporary classical music—notably performing Lou Harrison's compositions—Winant has worked in a variety of genres, including noise rock, free improvisation and jazz.
THE THETA HARMONIC SERIES GAMELAN by PET THE TIGER
The Harmonic Series Gamelan is a collection of instruments, tuned to the 8th octave of the Schumann Cavity Resonance (62.4 Hertz/ B1+19) and designed by inventors on the California Scene. The ensemble will present compositions inspired by the works of Lou Harrison and Bill Covig, on these instruments.
David Samas- Vocals, Corrugated Whiling Tubes, Duochord
Ian Saxton- Harmonic Aray, Multi Touch App/ Harmonic Siren
Peter Whitehead- Overtone Flutes
Stephen Parris- Harmonic Compass
Bill Wesley- Arithmetic Array Mbira
Stephen Kent- Didge and Jaw Harp
Pet the Tiger is an SF Bay Area inventors collective led by David Samas that plays in a wide variety of idioms, to explore new timbral dimensions through extended techniques, new instruments and microtonality. The music features specialized acoustic and physical phenomena like beating, interference, resultants, harmonic and in-harmonic overtones and summation tones.
GAMELAN ENCINAL by VARIOUS ARTISTS
This is an aluminum gamelan ensemble that focuses on contemporary works. The instruments use the same just-tuning that was used by Lou Harrison and Bill Colvig for Si Madeleine and Si Darius at Mills College. The current repertoire is composed of games, to highlight the playfulness and creativity of spontaneous innovation within the rules set by each score.
The presenters/performers include Stephen Parris, Daniel Schmidt and David Samas.
Stephen Parris is a composer and performer whose work has followed his interests in improvisation, and Javanese and American gamelan traditions. His work as a guitarist and improviser can be heard through various ensembles from the Monktail Creative Music Concern. As a gamelan musician, he has performed and recorded as a member of Gamelan Pacifica, and performed with Sari Raras, Mynah Gamelan, and Gamelan Sekar Jaya. He is currently the director and founder of Gamelan Encinal.
Daniel Schmidt likes to take the scenic route. He spent the latter half of the 20th century dividing his efforts between electronic music, mixed media work, theater based activities, instrument design and building, singing, teaching, and performing and writing for traditional and American Gamelan. He has worked with Allan Kaprow, studied with K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat, helped build the electronic music studios at Cal Arts, and has built numerous aluminum gamelans. He has been the director of the Berkeley Gamelan, the Eugene Chamber Theater, and currently directs the gamelan ensembles at Mills College and the Universal Unitarian Church of Berkeley.
David Samas is a composer, curator, conceptual artist, instrument inventor, and social sculptor. He is a native San Franciscan from a mixed immigrant roots, and got his BFA from the SF Art Institute in conceptual art in 2000 and studied poetics at the New College of California. He performed with the SF Boys Chorus, SF Opera and SF Symphony (received a GRAMMY, 1994 for best classical recording). His paintings hang in the Di Rosa collection and are showed at the Diego Rivera and Canessa Galleries. He has performed at the Exploratorium, Grace Cathedral, YBCA, Cal Shakes, Bing Hall, the Asian Art Museum, CCRMA, and Center for New Music where he also curates the Window Gallery for Invented Instruments. He is the artistic director of the Turquoise Yantra Grotto, a house concert series for free improv and ethno-modernism. He gives back to his communities by teaching at sound-invention workshops through Thingamajigs (Oakland), where he is the director of community outreach.