Chris Cogburn recently curated the 10th annual No Idea Festival with six concerts in Austin and San Antonio. Hailed by the Paris Transatlantic as “one of the finest improvised festivals in the world,” this year’s gathering featured performances by nineteen musicians who made domestic treks from Austin, Houston, Jackson, and New York, as well as those who braved customs with loads of arcane gear from New Zealand, Germany, France, and Mexico.
It wasn’t about music in any technical sense, but really more in a social sense: How music fit into his life, how he created community, what he cared about, what he didn’t care about, and so on. The fact that Butch was fun, charming, a great person to travel with, to dine and drink with, and to hang with is something everyone who knew Butch can speak to. I would like to speak to two singular aspects of Butch’s contribution to music since he came on the scene in the ‘70s: community and conduction.
This is the second season in SFCMP’s 42-year history that has been under the artistic direction of Steven Schick, the longtime champion of contemporary music for percussion. Given the enthusiasm surrounding this Reich program, it will be interesting to see what other interests Schick and SFCMP can tap into as his tenure progresses.