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The Window Gallery presents the work of contemporary makers of unusual and newly invented musical instruments, including emerging artists as well as recognized pioneers. The emphasis is on originality in concept and design, recognizing the seminal role of the search for new sounds in the expansion of musical horizons. Equally essential to the exhibits are notions of beauty, craft, and humor.

The Window Gallery is curated by Bart Hopkin and David Samas. Located at 55 Taylor Street in San Francisco, the gallery is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 am – 5 pm, and during performances.

Email the Gallery Manager for information, questions, comments or to propose an installation. View past installations.

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Thu, Sep 6 — Mon, Oct 1, 2018
Liftoff, A Series of Songbirds by Nicholas Kanozik

Atrium Display: Liftoff, A Series of Songbirds by Nicholas Kanozik

“It’s probable that in the artistic hierarchy, birds are the greatest musicians existing on our planet … Birds have extraordinary virtuosity no tenor or coloratura soprano could ever equal, for they possess a peculiar vocal organ, a “syrinx,” which allows them to perform rolls and very small intervals, and to sing extremely fast.

Composers on Music― Olivier Messiaen

Artist Statement

Liftoff presents birds in an environment of new music graphic scores. Within these works you will find quarter tone demarcations, spatially oriented content, irregular use of standard notations and lots of color. The work plays with abstraction in attempts to visually project the extraordinary singing abilities of birds; as the visual content becomes representational – from music scores to bird forms – musically, each work becomes more abstract – from traditionally notated melodies to spiraling assortments of symbols. Throughout, hue, value, contour, shape, texture and form all connect with musical elements. Look closely to witness a transmuting narrative depicting articulations into songbirds.

Artist Bio

Nick Kanozik is an educator, clarinetist, pianist, visual artist, conductor, and composer who Chairs the Instrumental Music Department at Oakland School for the Arts (OSA), a 6th – 12th grade arts charter school located within the historic Fox Theater building in downtown Oakland. He conducts the OSA Chamber Orchestra and teaches composition, chamber music, and music history.

Nick Kanozik graduated with a Bachelors and Masters of Music Composition at the University of North Texas and Mills College respectively. Among many exceptional teachers, he studied composition with Pauline Oliveros and Fred Frith, improvisation with Roscoe Mitchell founder of The Art Ensemble of Chicago, computer music and intermedia with Laetitia Sonami and David Bithell, orchestration with Guggenheim and Fulbright Scholar Dr. Cindy McTee, and book art with Julie Chen, president of the College Book Art Association.

He has been fortunate to perform in a variety of ensembles from symphony orchestras, classical and new music chamber groups, jazz combos, Indonesian gamelans, to electronic and dance collaborations. Notably, he’s conducted Gustavo Dudamel’s Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, collaborated with Mason Bates for works premiered on Nick’s re-invented light organ, he worked directly with Pauline Oliveros for the premier of Tower Ring at Ann Hamilton’s double helical staircase, and come Sept 2018, he will make his conducting debut at Zellerbach Hall leading 190 musicians.

Kanozik’s compositions have been performed by the Eclipse String Quartet, the University of North Texas Chamber Orchestra, the OSA Chamber Orchestra, the Mills Contemporary Performance Ensemble, Gamelan X, and Roscoe Mitchell’s Improvisation Workshop.


Sat, Sep 15 — Mon, Oct 29, 2018
Inventions from The Maze and The Machine

Inventions from The Maze and The Machine:
Instruments by Daniel Schmidt for the Paul Dresher Ensemble
Featuring inventions by Daniel Schmidt in collaboration with Paul Dresher

Paul Dresher and Daniel Schmidt have collaborated on invented instruments since the mid-1970s.   Their initial inventions were for American Gamelan and were often in dialogue with composer Lou Harrison and his partner Bill Colvig.  Their current inventions fall into two general categories. The first includes visually beautiful and easily played instruments/sound sculptures suitable for general audiences, including children.  These instruments generally have one – or at most a few – means of producing sound.  The inventions on display here are of this type.

The inventions in the second group are complex, electro-acoustic instruments that require substantial practice and in experienced hands can express a vast range of musical textures and emotional content. Although general audiences have experimented with them, these instruments are designed for professional performances of concert and theatrical music by Paul Dresher and his collaborators, particularly with percussionist Steven Schick and Dresher’s long-time collaborator, Joel Davel, in the Dresher-Davel Invented Instrument Duo.  This group can be heard in concert on June 7 & 8, 2019 at ODC Theater in San Francisco.

Arist Bios

Paul Dresher is a multi-talented composer who is uniquely able to weave contemporary
classical, pop, minimalist, and South and Southeast Asian musical styles together into his
own distinctive personal style. He creates in a myriad of different genres, including
experimental theater, contemporary opera, acoustic and electronic chamber music,
orchestral compositions, dance scores, and musical instrument invention.

His solo percussion work Schick Machine (2009), was created for percussionist Steven
Schick and performed on a set huge invented musical instruments and sound sculptures
and his latest creation is Sound Maze (2015), a hands-on sound installation of twelve
large-scale invented musical instruments and sound sculptures that is touring widely in
the United States and internationally to both performing arts and interactive museum
institutions. Extensive information about Dresher’s work can be found at
www.dresherensemble.org and examples of works with invented instruments can be
found by searching for Paul Dresher or Dresher Ensemble at YouTube.

Daniel Schmidt is a musical instrument inventor, composer and music educator. His inventions
have been exhibited at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, Akademie der Kunst in Berlin, the
San Francisco Art Institute, New Langton Arts, EXPO ‘86 in Vancouver, Dartington College in
England, and the Cornish Institute in Seattle.  In addition he has built musical instruments for
John Cage with the Boston Symphony, John Adams and the San Francisco Symphony, and
worked closely with composer and inventor Lou Harrison on a number of projects.
Daniel is well known for his contribution to creating the genre known as American Gamelan,
broadening the range and timbral palette of traditional Indonesian designs and making the
instruments more well-suited to the western compositional approach. He has long been a leader
in field of American Gamelan & Javanese music, and in that capacity has directed performances
or had residencies at the Cabrillo Music Festival, the Oakland Museum, the Exploratorium, New
Music America in San Francisco and Los Angeles, UC Berkeley, California Institute of the Arts,
and the Berliner Kunstler Program (DAAD).

His work with Paul Dresher has brought about two significant new instruments, the Quadrachord
and the Hurdy Grande.  They have also developed instruments for specific use in two large
theatrical productions – Sound Stage (2001) and Schick Machine (2009) as well as for The Sound
Maze (2015-18), a hands-on interactive installation work that has regularly toured the United
States since its premiere in 2015.


Mon, Oct 1 — Thu, Nov 1, 2018
Brian Lucas: Gaze Emanations

Atrium Display: Brian Lucas, Gaze Emanations

Artist Statement

My paintings and drawings speculate on the visual similarities between micro- and macrocosmic worlds and the liminal spaces between their supposedly opposite extremes. The biomorphic growths, nodes, and nebulae on display reflect my interest in organic processes: they are at once cosmic and microbial, quantum and expansive. I have evolved ed this personal visual grammar consistently over the last twenty years.

Artist Bio

Brian Lucas’s exhibitions include: Defasaje Polícrono (Airesis, Guadalajara); Dark Star: Abstraction and Cosmos (Planthouse, New York); Divine Invasions (Krowswork Gallery, Oakland); Terra Incognita (Art@Archer, Oakland), and Naked Metaphysics (The Emerald Tablet, San Francisco). His book, Eclipse Babel, was co-published by Ensemble Editions and Bootstrap Press in 2015. He plays in the bands Dire Wolves and Angel Archer. 


The Window Gallery at the Center for New Music is supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission in 2016-17.
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The Window Gallery at the Center for New Music was supported by New Music USA in 2014.