SUNDAY MARCH 18, 2004 AT 9:30PM. $10 AT THE DOOR. 21+


The Penderecki Quartet was founded in Poland in 1986 at the urging of the pre-eminent Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, and has fashioned a reputation for virtuosity and interpretive subtlety among critics and audiences alike, and is one of the most celebrated quartets in today’s music world. Acclaimed worldwide, The Penderecki Quartet’s recordings include the authoritative interpretation of Krzysztof Penderecki’s complete works for String Quartet on CD (United Records, England) and a new set of recordings of Brahms’ Op.51 on the ECLECTRA label. This season, the quartet will release the Schoenberg Concerto for Quartet and Orchestra on the CBC label with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony under the direction of Martin Fischer-Dieskau, and complete its recording of the six Bartok quartets under the auspices of the Napa Valley Chamber Music Society.

The Penderecki Quartet has collaborated with many eminent ensembles including The Borodin Trio and The Fine Arts Quartet and artists such as James Campbell and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. The Penderecki Quartet has performed throughout Europe, Asia, and North and South America; their recent schedule has included concerts in New York (Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall and the 92nd Street “Y”), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), St. Petersburg, New Haven (Yale University), Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto. Their international schedule includes repeat performances at the prestigious Krakow Festival in Poland and the Festival Internacional de Musica in Venezuela.. To this day the Quartet is a devoted champion of the music of our time, and has commissioned new quartets from numerous composers.


Mem1 is a collaborative venture between Los Angeles based cellist Laura Thomas-Merino & laptop artist Cera (Polyrhythmic/Subduction). In their improvisation-based performances, the cello is manipulated using custom software built by Cera. The outcome is a subtle hybrid of electronics and acoustic instrumentation. Utilizing a full range of sonic possibilities, Mem1’s sound is a constant evolution of textures ranging from sparse to dense, ambient to beat-driven, and is ultimately unpredictable in its results.


Polyrhythmic is a California-based electronic music record label that has been moving crowds since 1998. Polyrhythmic’s performances are made possible through the use of music applications created in max/msp which allow realtime manipulation and improvisation. Artists include dE3, O.S.T., RS-232, Cera and David Scott. Performances have included gigs at The Knitting Factory (LA), CafŽ Du Nord (SF), Static (SF), Christie Turlington’s Up & Down Club (SF), The Highlands, and Woody Harrelson’s Oxygen Bar with artists such as Sutekh, DJ Tomas (XLR8R), Consciousness Lab, Freescha (Attack Nine), Sage and UFO! (Phunckateck), and Chris Liberator. Polyrhythmic has hosted long-standing weeklies at Liquid (SF), The Temple Bar (SF) and The 56 (LA). Guest appearances on KXLU (Headspace), KUCI (Space Disco for Fish Tacos) and Electroradio led to the current Polyrhythmic weekly broadcast on KillRadio.org, featuring live electronic performances every Saturday, 10pm-12am PST. Polyrhythmic has been featured on releases by Mythic Music with Miguel Miggs, Simballrec with Jan Jelinek, Dntel and DJ Spooky, and Come-Unity with Orbital, Spacetime Continuum (aka Jonah Sharp), Dubtribe Sound System, and Doc Martin. Polyrhythmic has released two 12″ EP’s and a full-length CD of O.S.T.’s Does Not Play Well with Others.


Composer Steve Reich is widely considered the third major pioneer of minimalism (following in the footsteps of La Monte Young and Terry Riley). Credited as the innovator behind phasing Ñ a process whereby two tape loops lined up in unison gradually move out of phase with each other, ultimately coming back into sync Ñ his early experiments in tape manipulation also anticipated the emergence of hip-hop sampling by well over a decade. Reich studied philosophy at Cornell University; while at the Juilliard School of Music, he turned to composition, finally landing at Mills College in Oakland, California under the tutelage of avant-garde composers Luciano Berio and Darius Milhaud. Reich’s work has varied from quintessential minimalism (1972’s self-explanatory Clapping Music) to orchestral compositions (1976’s Music for Eighteen Musicians, again everything its title promises), with the latter aesthetic becoming his primary focus in later years. Rarely recorded throughout his first decades as an artist, during the 1980s, Reich’s major works finally began appearing on album, among them 1988’s Different Trains, a Holocaust-inspired piece created for live string quartet, pre-recorded string quartet and sampled voices. On LP it was paired with Electric Counterpoint, a composition for jazz guitarist Pat Metheny which was later sampled by the UK ambient duo the Orb on their hit “Little Fluffy Clouds.”


Philip Glass is among the most innovative and influential composers of the 20th century. Postmodern music’s most celebrated and high-profile proponent, his myriad orchestral works, operas, film scores and dance pieces proved essential to the development of ambient and new age sounds, and his fusions of Western and world music were among the earliest and most successful global experiments of their kind. Educated at Julliard, and a student of Nadia Boulanger, Glass’ admitted artistic breakthrough came while working with Ravi Shankar on transcribing Indian music; the experience inspired him to begin structuring music by rhythmic phrases instead of by notation, forcing him to reject the 12-tone idiom of purist classical composition as well as traditonal elements including harmony, melody and tempo. Glass’ growing fascination with non-Western musics inspired him to hitchhike across North Africa and India, finally returning to New York in 1967. Glass rose to international fame with his 1976 “portrait opera” Einstein on the Beach, a collaboration with scenarist Robert Wilson. An early masterpiece close to five hours in length, it toured Europe and was performed at the Metropolitan Opera House; while it marked Glass’ return to classical Western harmonic elements, its dramatic rhythmic and melodic shifts remained the work’s most startling feature. In addition to his theatrical productions, Glass is widely known for his film scores and recordings with David Byrne, Suzanne Vega, Paul Simon and Laurie Anderson.


Canadian composer, saxophonist, and sound collage artist John Oswald is best known for his plunderphonics, which involves using samples of existing recordings to create a new work. A year before Negativland got sued for their U2 EP, Oswald was taken to court for his 1989 Plunderphonics CD by one of the many sample sources, Michael Jackson. Plunderphonics was deemed a copyright infringement and all unsold copies were destroyed. He has since recorded Rubiyat Plunderphonics and the demonstrative Nine Examples of Plunderphonic Techniques, as well as written papers and given lectures on related topics. Oswald is also well-known for his Grayfolded releases, a plunderphonics-like treatment of recordings of the Grateful Dead’s “Dark Star.” In the mid-’70s, he co-founded Pitch with Marvin Green; the project consisted of playing music in the dark. His improvisational work includes leading an (improvising) orchestra weekly for most of the 1980s and performing as an alto saxophonist in a variety of lineups as well as solo. He has composed numerous scores for dance, and has conducted an improvised dance workshop for over a decade. Oswald is the research director for Toronto’s Mystery Laboratory experimental studio, and North American Experience’s music director. He has produced a number of recordings, and has his own releases on the Swell and Musicworks labels, among others.