This fall, Other Minds released Sarah Cahill’s recording of works that have come out of her A Sweeter Music commissioning project, developed as a response to the Iraq War. Innova released High Art, a collection of pieces that San Francisco-based percussion/electric guitar duo The Living Earth Show has been performing regularly which were written for them by a younger generation of composers than those represented on Cahill’s disc.
Described as a “spatial symphony” composed and directed by Lisa Bielawa, Crissy Broadcast involved hundreds of musicians drawn from a dozen or so local ensembles, including middle school and high school bands and orchestras, adult amateur musicians, two choruses, a traditional Chinese instrument orchestra, and a gaggle of electric guitarists with portable battery-powered speakers slung over their shoulders.
Pianist Sarah Cahill’s engaging solo recital last Friday included an advance look at a program of music by Henry Cowell she’s planning to perform at San Quentin State Prison next month. Though nearly all of the Music@Menlo’s programming is traditionally in the Bach/Beethoven/Brahms vein, one concert this year’s stood out for its programming of Nancarrow, Cage, Reich, and other 20th-century composers.
A work six years in development with a libretto written by the composer, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is an earnestly personal and thoroughly researched re-examination of the role of the main women in Jesus’s life, as well as an attempt to understand Jesus and his disciple Peter as flawed human beings.
Old First Concerts, a series founded in 1970 in a Presbyterian church in San Francisco, presented two exceptional young chamber ensembles performing contemporary music in late March. Both concerts demonstrated O1C’s commitment to emerging and mid-career artists who are exploring non-standard repertoire.