Photo by Deborah Palter
For ten years, the SoundON Festival of Modern Music has been a go-to event for music lovers looking for something a little more experimental and edgy. What's more the four-day fest, which takes place for the most part at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library (1008 Wall St.), also includes meticulously curated workshops, lectures and accompanying art exhibitions.
But for this year's festival curator Morris Palter, who plays percussion in SoundON's ensemble-in-residence NOISE, this year's theme of "Soundstreams and Rising Currents" is all about extremeness. That's not to imply that patrons will hear something as discordant as, say, death metal, but Palter says that the theme has more to do with the extremes of nature and how those extremes can often inspire musicians.
"It's much more than an ecological aspect," says Palter. "I was looking for musical pieces that derived their strength and even their identity from dynamic internal forces that connect them intimately to their immediate surroundings."
Whoa. That does sound pretty heavy, but Palter goes on to say that it's more about how the surroundings often influence what goes into the musician's compositions. For example, one of Palter's pieces is based on huge rock formations in New Mexico and the harsh environment that surrounds it. Another piece by Benjamin Sabey, titled "Winter Shore," is inspired both by the tranquility and violent temperament of the ocean.
"I like that tension of being in something that you ultimately don't know how it will turn out," says Palter, who cites his own experiences biking the iconic Iditarod Trail in Alaska. "I look for those same experiences in music. I look for that element of danger with the pieces. I'm looking for repertoire that really pushes our skills. Something that challenges the audiences as well as ourselves."
The SoundON Festival of Modern Music takes place from Thursday, Jan. 5 through Sunday, Jan. 8. Tickets range from $70 for a four-day pass and between $5 and $25 for a individual performance. Check out the full lineup and schedule at sandiegonewmusic.com.
Photo by Darren Bradley
While most are heading to warm homes for the holidays, thousands of protesters will continue their sit-in at Standing Rock Reservation well past Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. News of an oil leak just north of the DAPL-designated site has only stoked the fight's fire and its need for additional resources. If you want to do your part without heading to North Dakota, there's the Concert for Standing Rock at Blonde (1808 W Washington St.) Friday, Dec. 30 from noon to 2:00 a.m. More than 30 bands and DJs, including Mystery Cave, Astral Touch, Le Chateau and Nite Lapse, will perform at the fundraiser, which is a big upgrade from the bar's last supportive event. Tickets are $20 with proceeds going to the Standing Rock legal fund. facebook.com/events/1374467212624314/
Photo courtesy of new children’s museum
When it comes to New Year's Eve celebrations, kids often get the short end of the stick. Not fair. That's why this year the New Children's Museum (200 W Island Ave.) is hosting the Pajama Jam as part of its Honda Family Night Out event series. Parents and kids are invited to suit up in their most festive footies and the museum will provide dinner and drinks for families, as well as entertainment, prizes and a balloon drop to commence the New Year. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and lasts until 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 30, leaving plenty of time for parents to take part in more adult festivities. Tickets go for $25 for children and $15 for adults and the money raised at the event funds future programs for the museum. thinkplaycreate.org