For the last few years, the UC San Diego Springfest has been one of the best annual showcases of not only the university's graduate music programs, but often the future of the local experimental music scene. This year, doctoral student and cellist Judith Hamann was picked to organize the performances.
"The fact that Springfest is so varied is one of its strengths. It can appeal to a lot of people from different backgrounds," Hamann says. "That's a credit to the UCSD music department which supports and generates very diverse approaches to music."
It all starts with the annual "Immersion" opening event from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 10, at the Birch Aquarium (2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla). The aquarium will be transformed to include art installations, performances and music from local composer Joe Garrison, among others. There will also be instrument-building workshops and improvised music in different areas of the aquarium.
Then, from Monday, April 11 through Friday, April 15, and spread out across the UCSD campus, there will be a ton of fun musical events. Some of the highlights include a screening of the Dario Argento horror classic, Suspiria, on Tuesday, April 12 at 8 p.m., with Hamann joining percussionist Ryan Nestor to perform the film's score live. Another is an experimental theater performance from Los Angeles-based Southland Ensemble, who will be collaborating with UCSD musicians on Friday, April 15 at 7 p.m. There will be concerts from cellist/flutist duo Autoduplicity, as well as two nights of improvised music at The Loft @UCSD. Most performances are free. See ucsdmusic.blogspot.com for full lineup and venues.
Finally, Hamann, who lives in Barrio Logan, says she saw a disconnect between UCSD and other neighborhoods so she coordinated a final Springfest Festival event on Saturday, April 16, from 2:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Bread & Salt space (1955 Julian Ave.) in Barrio Logan.
"There will be a synthesizer petting zoo where kids can play around with them," Hamann says. "There will also be speaker-making workshops and improv stuff and this local '90s queer-pop duo called Vodka Gummy Bear Lollipop that will potentially involve a lot of color and backup dancers."
You had us at synthesizer petting zoo.
The hills aren't the only thing alive with the sound of music. San Diego's dance scene is, too, with the upcoming Live Arts Festival. This year's theme, "Cross-Pollinating Dance: Diversity in Movement," pays tribute to San Diego's border town status and all the diversity that comes with it. Anne Gehman and Erin Tracy will start the 10 days of dance on Tuesday, April 12, with their performance of Precipitate, an artistic interpretation of animalistic instincts and mortal appreciation. The rest of the fest, which runs until Sunday, April 24, dances through topics of age, disability, culture and even the relationship between Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. At White Box Live Arts (2590 Truxtun Road, Building 176), every show will begin at 7:30 p.m. and each costs $20, with passes for all 10 performances going for $110.
Imagine living a life where, instead of simply seeing words on a page or sensing someone is happy just from their smile, you saw both in a wave of intense colors. It's a real condition called synesthesia and while it sounds kinda cool, in the case of autistic artist Jeremy Sicile-Kira it can be quite overwhelming. Luckily, he transforms his visual processing into vibrant, colorful abstract paintings which will be on display at Inner Dimensions, a solo show opening from 6 to 9 p.m. on Monday, April 11, at Space4Art (325 15th Street). Some might already be familiar with Sicile-Kira from his appearance on an episode of the MTV doc series, True Life, but this will be his first curated art show. Check out some of his work and get more info about the show at jeremysvision.com