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, Jan 10 — Thu, Feb 28, 2019
Après Baschet by Marti Ruiz

François and Bernard Baschet, working in France in the second half of the 20th century, are best known for their Cristal Baschet, an extraordinarily refined and successful musical instrument of water, glass and steel. The Cristal is but one member of the extensive and varied instrumentarium the Baschets created while simultaneously developing a cohesive system of applied acoustics. Taken together, the instruments and the acoustical system applied to sound sculpture represent a fertile corpus that allows engagement in sound exploration with no need for particular skill, as a way to engage in aesthetic exploration. In the Baschet view, sound is a powerful tool for a playful, tolerant society, in which diversity can be celebrated. François Baschet devoted himself to teaching and sharing his acoustic and engineering discoveries, offering building workshops to a variety of people, from the children at the NY School for the Deaf to young unemployed or Spanish “offenders.”

Taller Baschet continues this work under the guidance of Martí Ruiz. Since his close collaboration with François, Martí has been evolving the theory, discovering new configurations and new sound devices, and demonstrating that the Baschet principles can be applied to contemporary sounding ideas and capabilities.  He calls this approach Après-Baschet — derived works honoring this lineage.

Martí Ruiz, born in 1982, is a sound and visual artist, musician, professor and researcher at the Barcelona University’s Fine Arts Faculty. He has a BFA in music language and modern guitar from Taller de Músics, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Art and Environment. After focusing on soundscape for some years, Martí transitioned to applied acoustics with a social approach. He wrote his PhD dissertation on applied acoustic systems in Baschet Sound Sculpture.

He is co-founder and coordinator of the Baschet Sound Sculpture Workshop at UB with François Baschet, and since 2010 has been devoted to the preservation and restoration of Baschet pieces. He has worked to encourage public interaction in museums, festivals and educational institutions in Paris, Moscow, Beijing, Munich, Czech Republic, Mexico DF, Los Angeles, Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo and now San Francisco.

Among the many new Après-Baschet instruments and sound sculptures Martí has developed from the Baschet theory are his directional tuning forks called Kouri-No-sen, and the Clavinimbus, a full acoustic tuning-fork keyboard amplified with balloons featuring a volume-tremolo pedal. In 1995 he co-founded Hamsterloco, an independent experimental electronic netlabel, and the band Híbrida, Nen i Cavall –, releasing music under the name of Katatsumuri since 2001. Martí is also a member of Gamelan Penempaan Guntur (Forge of Thunders), and the Gong Kebyar ensemble at the Museum of Music of Barcelona.

Mon, Feb 4 — Mon, Mar 4, 2019
Atrium Display: Musicians Make Garments

Atrium Display: Musicians Make Garments

Polymaths are often musicians and the talents and proclivities that make for great musicians quite often make for brilliant artists, engineers, mathematicians, activists, chefs, philosophers, poets, painters, cosmologists and gardeners. Society seeks to flatten these geniuses and so too often these gifts are considered tangential rather than being celebrated as the facets on a single, complex jewel.

In this series  of exhibitions we will explore non-musical works of artistic and cultural value created by members of the community primarily known for their music.

In 2018, curator David Samas commissioned five musicians to make hand painted shirts he could wear to openings and receptions. Katarina Countiss, Bob Marsh, Bryan Day, Monte Thrasher, and Mauro Ffortissimo created these unique garments each using their own visual vocabulary.

Feel free to check out some of their music on YouTube. For sales contact

Katarina Countiss is a multimedia artist based in Oakland, CA. She creates ASMR videos and enjoys exploring color and texture through light, ink, fabric and paint.

Bob Marsh is a well seasoned improviser whose work has involved shaping sounds words images ideas. Since his arrival on the west coast, multi-instrumentalist and composer Marsh has been busy with several projects. He currently leads or directs String Theory, a string ensemble focusing on textures and microtonics; the Che Guevarra Memorial Marching (and Stationary) Accordion Band, structured and free improv for six to fifteen accordions; Robot Martians, electronics and processed voice; the Out of the Blue Chamber Ensemble, a mixture of reeds and strings; Opera Viva, voiced physical theater; the Quintessentials, a quintet specializing in interpreting graphic compositions based on alterations to the Michelin Road Guide to France; and the Illuminated Orchestra, structured improves for large ensemble.  Bob Marsh tours frequently with his long term partner saxophonist Jack Wright.

Bryan Day is a improviser, instrument inventor, illustrator and installation artist based in Richmond, CA. His work involves combining elements of the natural and man-made world using field recordings, custom audio generation software and homemade instruments. Day?s work explores the parallels between the patterns and systems in nature to those in contemporary society. Day has toured throughout the US, Europe, Japan, Korea, Argentina and Mexico, performing both solo as Sistrum and Eloine and in the Shelf Life and Seeded Plain ensembles.

Monte Thrasher grew up among the prop shops, animators, sculptors and set painters of Burbank California. Craft awakens the senses and  and leads to art. A contributor to now-legendary Experimental Musical Instrument magazine, Thrasher has worked in sound sculpture since the early 80s. A critic/aesthetician as well as instrument builder, He is seeking the breakthrough that will deliver this orphan art form to the mass audience it deserves. Thrasher studied sound sculpture under Bill and Mary Buchen at SFSU, designed for motion pictures, TV and film (Star Trek the Next Generation, Steve Martin’s LA Story, Starship Troopers). He has received two certificates of merit from the City of Los Angeles for work as a muralist, fell into toy and collectables design and wrote a patent for a marvelous new material that’s as fun and versatile as fluorescent color.

Mauro ffortisimo, Argentinean/Italian/American, grew up in Argentina, where interest in art and music lead him to study classical piano and visual arts. He emigrated to California in 1981 to further his artistic explorations, taking classes in print making, sculpture and painting at San Mateo College, Art Institute, and Berkeley Extension. Mauro is a founding member of “849 Folsom Music”, a 13 member music and spoken word performance troop that brought vital energy to the San Francisco “South Market” artist underground scene in the pre-dot com years of the late 80’s. As a founding member of the Enso Art Collective and the Miles Davis Memorial Hall, Mauro has been investigating sounds with the deconstruction of pianos, becoming more able to expand the 12-tone scale.

Fri, Mar 1 — Tue, Apr 30, 2019

Bells are as old as time, marking its stately passage with roots in ancient Asia, Europe and Africa over 4000 years ago. Casting bells is often a ritual affair, whether in clay, crystal or bronze; even the act of playing a bell has ceremonial overtones, often reminding us to be present.

Acoustically, bells are characterized by modes of vibration having a node at the top or center, and more active vibration toward the rim.  (In this they differ from, for instance, gongs or chimes, which are active at the center and are more similar to tuning forks)

Bells are often rich in inharmonic overtones, summation tones, and beating patterns which entrain brainwaves. Historically, these overtones were tuned by artfully weighting nodes through varying their mass, while many contemporary commercial bells are machine lathed. The bells exhibited here have been all been masterfully cast, or found and repurposed.

Nick Diphillipo’s now life long interest in the profession of metal casting accompanying a passion for sound and music found a natural union in bell creation. An early interest in architecture led him to Paolo Soleri’s experimental urban project Arcosanti in Arizona. The project was partially funded by the manufacture of bronze wind bells at a foundry on site. This led to a sideways career switch from buildings to metal casting; eventually managing the foundry there and embarking on an exploration of bell design.

Nick spent last few decades learning and practicing the metal casting craft and developing techniques and designs in bell making. He is currently the Foundry Dept. Head at The Crucible in Oakland Ca. where, among other things, he teaches an annual class in bell making and is the casting director at Artworks Foundry in Berkeley Ca.

Brenda Hutchinson is a composer and sound artist whose work is based on the cultivation and encouragement of openness in her own life and in those she works with. Through her work with large-scale experiments in socially based improvisations and interactions, Brenda has developed a body of work based on a perspective about interacting with the public and non-artists through personal, reciprocal engagement with listening and sounding.

Tay Gersbach is an Artist, Musician and Educator living in El Cerrito, CA. As a graduate of California College of the Arts (Individualized, BFA 2015) she studied bridging the gaps between art and music through Sculpture, Community Art, and Sound.  Taylor teaches Wood Shop at Aurora School, and private instruction in drawing/painting, prop shop,  printmaking, ceramics, ukulele, songwriting and voice. When she is not teaching, you would find her Directing the monthly event, Bay Area Arts Mixer (BAAM), performing with her band Tay and the JangLahDahs, and engineering music and music videos as JangleTown Productions.

Bart Hopkin got a B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University in folklore and mythology specializing in ethnomusicology in 1974 and is considered the father of the modern slidewhislte. From 1985 to 1999, he edited the quarterly journal Experimental Musical Instruments which served as an essential resource and clearing house in an otherwise scattered but lively and growing field.  Since 1994, he has written a number of books on instruments and their construction, including the widely used manual Musical Instrument Design.

In 1974, Bart began working as composer, arranger and performer in a variety of contexts. He currently composes, builds instruments for and performs with Pet the Tiger and the Harmonic series Gamelan with a host of Bay Area inventors. At the same time, Bart is tirelessly designing and building all the far-flung musical instruments he can dream up. More information at

Paolo Soleri (21 June 1919 – 9 April 2013) was an Italian architect, designer and inventor of the wind bell with features a sail on the clapper. He established the educational Cosanti Foundation and Arcosanti: an idealogical social sculpture blending art, ecology, architecture and social models. He finally won a National Design Award in 2006.

For 50 years, the Paolo Soleri Studios have produced a wide range of bronze and aluminum sculptural pieces renowned the world over. The bronze and aluminum foundry at both Cosanti and Arcosanti typically pour two to three heats, a hundred pounds of bronze a day, with an average of 50 bells a heat. Sand casting, lost Styrofoam and lost wax techniques are used to create large mobile-like bell assemblages. Custom pieces with both patina and burnished finishes are sought after by collectors and adorn public and private buildings, residences and art galleries around the world.

GRAMMY wining vocalist David Samas is a polymath composer, conceptual artist, instrument inventor, curator, poet, painter, shaman and permacultualist native to San Francisco. He has a BFA in Conceptual Art from the SF Art Institute, and is a certified hypnotist, sound healer and Reiki master. He has performed commissions at the SF Asian Art Museum, Berkeley Art Museum, Oakland Museum of California, SF Spiral Dance, Stanford’s Bing Hall and CCRMA, Grace Cathedral, the Exploritorium, The Lab, Safehouse for the Arts, Cal Shakes and the the Tenderloin National Forest.

He is director of Pet the Tiger, a Bay Area instrument inventors collective and curates the Window Gallery for invented Instruments at the Center for New Music SF. He is the founder and primary composer for of the Harmonic Series Gamelan and also performs in Gamelan Encinal, both in Just Intonation. He was curator for the Meridian Gallery’s Composers in Performance Series and the Turquoise Yantra Grotto and has been festival director for Thingamajigs and MicroFest North.

David gives back to his communities through acoustic activism, the preservation of rare art and instruments and by teaching physics and math through instrument building in the Oakland School District.

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

The Window Gallery at the Center for New Music was supported by New Music USA in 2014.