San Diego has long been a haven for musical experimentalists of all stripes, from instrument-builder Harry Partch to the avant-opera vocalist Diamanda Galás. These days, the avant-garde scene is as rich as ever, with multiple concerts and festivals going on each year showcasing anything from classical-oriented "new music" to the weirdest digital experiments. And two concerts this week will highlight a new generation of young San Diego experimentalists.
A concert at UCSD's Conrad Prebys Music Center tonight (more info here) will feature new works by UCSD computer-music graduate students Andrew Allen, Joe Mariglio, Issac Garcia-Muñoz, Joachim Gossmann and The New Brutalists, an improvisational noise trio armed with laptop, saxophone, clarinet and flute. (The flutist won't be there for this show.) The concert's program will likely be much more abstract than the type of music you'd usually associate with the computer, like dubstep beats made on Fruity Loops or Reason. Allen modeled a recent series of compositions on the idea of the microchip. As you can see in the video below, they all last a mere five seconds long:
Cooper Baker, who organized the concert, suggests in an email that the music will be so mind-blowing, it can't be put into words. He declined to offer any highlights of the show, saying: "It would be most informative for you to come to the concert. The music is experimental electronic music and trying to describe it in this message would probably be futile."
This pathbreaking spirit carries into the weekend with the 21st installment of SDSU's Electronic Music Marathon, which happens at SDSU's Smith Recital Hall on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 6 to 10 p.m. (Get $7 tickets here.) For the marathon, undergraduate and graduate students at the university's School of Music will perform in live bands and show their music videos. The lineup ranges from students who've never written music before to ones who've won major national contests and performed at international festivals.
Songwriter and video artist Earline Petersen, for her part, has been getting some blog buzz in Europe lately for her project Erleen Nada. A maker of minimalist electro-pop and colorful music videos, she'll screen the video for her song "Situation," a delightful piece of underwater psychedelia: