Announcing Ensembles in Residence 2018-19

Center for New Music is thrilled to announce that for the 2018-19 season, we are expanding our Ensemble in Residence program to support two outstanding Bay Area new music ensembles: Mobius Trio and duo B. vs. viDEO sAVant! Congratulations to these two ensembles; we look forward to supporting them and having their creativity in our venue.

Mobius Trio

Mobius Trio is a group of three guitarists exclusively performing music they have commissioned; augmenting the expectations of a traditional ensemble and the guitar itself.

Mobius Trio can be described as a “classical guitar trio”, but that doesn’t mean they sound like what you’d expect from a classical guitar trio. It might be more accurate to describe the Trio as “three enthusiastic young men who will happily play any type of music on any type of plucked string instrument”. The music Mobius Trio performs might sound like Bach, Baden Powell, Schnittke, Glass, doom metal, punk, Brian Eno, etc. etc., and it might be performed on classical, acoustic, electric, baritone, bass or any other type of guitars.

The Trio exclusively performs music they’ve helped create – via composer commission, arranging, composing, improvising or some combination of these.They have commissioned over three dozen composers since 2010, and that pace isn’t slowing. Recent collaborations include Chris Kallmyer, Luciano Chessa, and Ryan Brown.

Mobius Trio was formed in 2010 by guitarists Robert Nance, Mason Fish, and Matthew Linder while studying at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. They started things off with a bang, commissioning and learning six pieces in a month and performing many of those pieces at Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center. The Trio has performed all over the United States and Europe, and their 2017 Brazil tour included a performance at the spectacular Teatro Amazonas in Manaus. They were featured artists at the 2014 Guitar Foundation of America Convention, the classical guitar world’s largest trade event, and their music has often been featured on radio programs like WNYC’s New Sounds, NPR’s From the Top, and KALW’s Revolutions per Minute.

duo B. vs. viDEO sAVant

duo B.​, the San Francisco Bay Area improvising and composing ensemble of percussionist Jason Levis and bassist Lisa Mezzacappa, is a musical think tank of grand schemes and impossible scenarios. For more than a dozen years, the ensemble has developed and refined its singular approach to improvisation and composition, through cross-disciplinary projects with film, collaborations with improvising instrumentalists at home and abroad, study of repertoire by like-minded composer-improvisers, and immersion in the improvised-composed musical worlds of masters Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, Henry Threadgill, and others.

The group has released three recordings, including these things seem natural to us (Evander Records, 2006), a bare-bones set of concise compositional statements; and start this before dawn touches the skyscrapers (Edgetone Records 2013), an LP of music inspired by visual material, including original works and music commissioned from SF Bay Area composers. Most recently, duo B. embarked on a journey in long-form improvisation with its latest project and release, No Ins & Outs (2017), an exploration of the musical vision of pianist Cecil Taylor, reimagined as a 45-minute work for bass and drums. At the Chapel of the Chimes garden of Memory Event in June of 2018, they performed a continuous 4-hour version of Wadada Leo Smith’s expansive and evocative graphic score, Luminous Axis (2002).

“…mysterious, complexly textured improvisations that sometimes take shape as the aural equivalent of abstract expressionist paintings, whether the ethereal, mystical canvasses of Mark Rothko or the jittery, splatter techniques of Jackson Pollock.” —Derk Richardson, KPFA

“The duo sounds like they have been working together for a long time, they are consistently connected, sounding like they are telling a story together as one force of nature. There is a strong, spirited dialogue going on here.” —Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

Charles Woodman, ​aka viDEO sAVant, ​is an electronic artist working in video and expanded media. His recent projects have concentrated on the creation of multi-image video installations for museums and galleries, and the integration of video with live performance, often in collaboration with musicians or dancers. Exhibitions of his work include screenings at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Block Museum of Art, Chicago; Black Maria Film and Video Festival, Edison, NJ; and the American Dance Festival, Raleigh, NC. Woodman is a founding member of the video performance group, viDEO sAVant and is a pioneer in the development of the performance genre of live cinema—real time video editing as live performance. Appearances by the group include performances at ISEA, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Spazio Contemporanea, Brescia, Italy; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; and the Tulsa New Genres Festival, Tulsa, OK.

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