sfSoundFestival: experimental music 1938 to the present.

sfSound presents the sfSoundFestival: a three-concert celebration of 20th and 21st century music covering a wide range of graphical notation performed by some of the most passionate interpreters of such music in the Bay Area. Friday Night ($15) / Saturday Night ($15) / Sunday Night ($15) / Festival Pass ($30).

No stranger to making musical choices in real-time, sfSoundGroup, along with special guests, perform modern and historic compositions throughout the festival, covering a wide range of styles, including the logical conclusion of graphic notation: free improvisation. The programmed works also cover a wide range of ensemble sizes from solo to chamber orchestra, with and without electronics.

sfSoundFestival is a rare chance to hear many exciting and historic compositions that are almost never performed live—certainly not something to be missed!

This year the festival pays tribute to PIERRE BOULEZ, who passed away in January, with two large works for soloists—one for violin with electronics and one for clarinet with chamber orchestra. Both pieces include aleatoric elements where the performers select certain aspects of the music to play from an array of given choices. sfSound’s violinist BENJAMIN KREITH and clarinetist MATT INGALLS are featured soloists.

From the American experimental tradition, we feature two composers from the New York School: rarely heard box-notation works for large ensemble by MORTON FELDMAN and graphical and modular pieces by EARLE BROWN.

Special guest composer-performer LUCIE VÍTKOVÁ visiting from the Czech Republic will present her Piece for Accordion and Tap Shoes, in which physical movement is informed by sound -- and sound by physical movement.

Also included are compositions that continue (and pre-date) the American and European traditions from the 1950s to the present day with influences from Jazz, Electronic Music, Indie-Pop, Modern Art, and Psychoacoustics: pieces by JOHANNA BEYER, KYLE BRUCKMANN, JOHN CAGE, MATT INGALLS, PHILL NIBLOCK, PAULINE OLIVEROS, KRZYSZTOF PENDERECKI, STEVE REICH, GREG SAUNIER, SALVATORE SCIARRINO, JAMES TENNEY, XENAKIS, and improvisations by SFSOUNDGROUP.

Thank you to the funders: The Earle Brown Music Foundation, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, as well as individual contributors.


featuring Lucie Vítková
Doors: 8pm
Show: 9pm

JOHN CAGE - Cartridge Music (1960)

free jazz orchestra

IANNIS XENAKIS - Charisma (1971)
clarinet and cello

JAMES TENNEY - Critical Band (1988/2000)
16 or more sustaining instruments

JOHANNA BEYER - Music of Spheres (1938)
electronics (custom built iPhone app) and percussion

LUCIE VÍTKOVÁ - Piece for Accordion and Tap Shoes (2015)
tapdancing accordionist

KYLE BRUCKMANN - Following Orders (2014)
oboe, bass clarinet, alto saxophone

MATT INGALLS - Study for Hilbert Transforms (2016)
bass clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, and trombone

SFSOUNDGROUP - Improvisation (2016 )
chamber ensemble


in surround sound
Doors: 8pm
Show: 9pm

PIERRE BOULEZ - Étude 1 (1951)

PIERRE BOULEZ - Anthèmes 2 (1997)
violin and live electronics

STEVE REICH - Reed Phase (1966)
saxophone and live electronics

EARLE BROWN - December 1952 (1952)
instrumentalists surrounding the audience

SALVATORE SCIARRINO - Esplorazione del bianco II (1986)
flute, bass clarinet, guitar, and violin

GREG SAUNIER - Secret Mobilization (2010)
english horn, alto saxophone, violin, viola, and cello

PHILL NIBLOCK - Disseminate (1998)
chamber ensemble and electronics

SFSOUNDGROUP - Improvisation (2016)
chamber ensemble


Doors: 7:00pm
Show: 8:00pm

PIERRE BOULEZ - Domaines (1968/1969 : 30m)
solo clarinet and six ensembles

MORTON FELDMAN - Marginal Intersection (1951)
chamber orchestra, oscillators, and sound effects of riveting

MORTON FELDMAN - Out of “Last Pieces” (1961)
chamber orchestra

EARLE BROWN - Available Forms I (1961)
chamber orchestra

PAULINE OLIVEROS - The Inner/Outer Sound Matrix (for sfSound) (2007)
chamber orchestra

PAULINE OLIVEROS - Sound Patterns (1961)
voices (performed by sfSound chamber orchestra)

SFSOUNDGROUP - Improvisation (2016)
chamber ensemble


Lucie Vitková, accordion (special guest from the Czech Republic)

Tom Bickley, recorder

Diane Grubbe, flutes

Kyle Bruckmann, oboe, english horn and electronics

Jesse Canterbury, bass clarinet

Matt Ingalls, clarinets and electronics

Phillip Greenlief, clarinet and saxophone

Shawn Jones, bassoon

Joshua Allen, tenor saxophone

John Ingle, saxophones and conductor

Jon Raskin, saxophone

Armando Castellano, horn

Tom Dambly, trumpet and electronics

Tom Djll, trumpet and electronics

Kevin McLaughlin, trumpet

Theodore Padouvas, trumpet

Hall Goff, trombone

Don Kennelly, trombone

Brendan Lai-Tong, trombone and electronics

Scott Thornton, trombone

Emily Laurance, harp

Anne Rainwater, piano and keyboards

Mark Clifford, percussion

Jacob Felix Heule, percussion

Jason Levis, percussion

Kjell Nordeson, percussion

Gino Robair, percussion

Jennifer Wilsey, percussion

Giacomo Fiore, guitar

John Shiurba, guitar

Benjamin Kreith, violin

Thea Farhadian, violin

Derek Katz, viola

Monica Scott, cello and electronics

Scott Walton, contrabass

Sam Nichols, electronics

Thom Blum, electronics

John McCowen, clarinet

Erik Ulman, violin

and more!



from the latest music of the european avant-garde to the grittiest sounds of the west coast improv-underground, encompassing recent trends in instrumental technique, conceptual art, music theater, and electronic sound.