Tuesday, April 16, 2013: 7:49 PM

sfSoundSalonSeries: The High and Low – Tinnitus Insect Volume Knobs + Paul Hoskin and friends.

The High (and Low): A project of sfSound, Tinnitus Insect Volume Knobs is an ensemble/composition that explores the psychoacoustic phenomena of “difference tones”. When two tones are played simultaneously, listeners can perceive an additional tone whose frequency is a sum or difference of the two frequencies. By performing only closely-tuned pitches above 1000Hz, the resulting synthesized difference tones are in a clearly lower audio range. In a reverberant space such as the Center for New Music, the acoustics only contribute to this effect. Hard to reproduce over recordings, listeners often perceive the (harmless!) difference tones as originating from inside the ear. Performers include John Ingle, Phillip Greenlief, Jesse Canterbury, Kyle Bruckmann, and others.

The Low (and High): With a pitch range down to 29Hz, the contrabass clarinet can indeed play low, but the instrument also lends itself to some of the most complex multiphonics of any wind instrument. Paul Hoskin, who has been on the improv scene since late 80′s, has taken “multiphonic improvisation” on the instrument to new heights. His sonic explorations will be matched with local virtuosi Ken Ueno (extended vocals), Matthew Goodheart (extended piano), and Matt Ingalls (extended extensions).


Paul Hoskin began playing contrabass clarinet in the summer of 1985. Utterly self-taught, his reed playing life started in the fall of 1980—c melody saxophone, then clarinet, and the bass clarinet exclusively by the spring of 1981. Baritone saxophone added in the spring of 1984. Hoskin performs (and performed) extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Paul’s solo oeuvre is initiated in Seattle June 1986. The fall of 1986 finds himself in Eastern Europe—seven solo performances in twelve days. As solo language develops, Hoskin begins the extended contrabass clarinet work. Ninety minutes continuosly (a switch of technology commands its current eighty minute form). The growth and definition of his solo work is part and parcel of the decade of music life in New York City (1986-1995). Three different ensembles (The Same, Trigger, Dierker/Meehan/Hoskin) provided Hoskin with musics of many sorts. Paul’s life as an organizer for an improvised music community is also shaped. Seattle is returned to in 1996. And, solo language, multiple creative ensemble work, endless ad hoc meetings are resuscitated. Different people, different coast. A brief stay in Astoria, Oregon (2006-2009) reinvigorated the organizer chunk of his work. And, fortunately, the Oregon chapter managed to put Paul in touch with the Bay Area creative music world.