November 19 – Guest speaker at “Art-talk Salon”

In his light-filled Sculpture Studio, Artist Brian Goggin
The latest Project Artaud and Developing Environments Art-talk Salon

When: Saturday November 19, 2022, 2-5pm
(Note: If it rains we will reschedule for December 3)
Where: Project Artaud
401 Alabama Street
The Sculpture Studio #123
San Francisco, CA

2-3 p.m. – Art-talk (part 1): Thom Blum – Making Music with Found Sound,  with piano music played by Hadley McCarroll
3-4 p.m. – Art-talk (part 2): Improvisation with the environmental soundscape outside Brian’s studio
4-5 p.m. – Gramophone music and mingle

Thom Blum has been composing abstract electroacoustic and “tape music” since about 1973. He is primarily a self-taught composer but counts as his earliest mentors Curtis Roads, James Tenney, Earl Howard, and Ingram Marshall, all of whom he met while studying classical guitar and composition at California Institute of the Arts, in 1972. He’s lived in San Francisco since 1978 and composes from his studio, In situ.

Pianist Hadley McCarroll, hailed for her “… lively and exhilarating …” pianism (San Francisco Classical Voice), is a well-known San Francisco Bay Area-based collaborative and solo pianist. She has performed in the United States and internationally with, among others: Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet at the Chaillot Theater, Paris and the Joyce Theater in New York, the Royal Danish Opera, San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, and Utah Festival Opera. She has appeared at Festivals in the Olympic Peninsula and the Napa Festival del Sole. Quite active in the contemporary music scene, she has collaborated with Left Coast Ensemble, Composer’s Inc., and sfSound. Hadley has given solo performances ranging from Sonatas and Interludes by John Cage (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) to recitals of Beethoven, Ligeti, Liszt and Schumann at Old First Concerts.

About this talk…
Thom Blum – Making music with found sound

I’ve been making concrete and abstract music and sound objects for the past forty-five years. By “concrete”, I mean that I have a predilection for composing music with found sounds, and I’ve embraced the notion introduced by John Cage, Luigi Russolo, Pierre Schaeffer, and others  in the late 1930s and early 40s, that any sound can be considered a source for music if that suits the composer’s and listener’s intentions. I often use found sounds that I then edit and process using “tape music” techniques and computer-based tools. 

In the 2-to-3 p.m. hour I’ll describe some of the notions and concepts I like to explore in composing, including using found sounds. I’ll play brief excerpts from audio postcards and other works to demonstrate. During this hour I’ll also invite pianist extraordinaire, Hadley McCarroll, to come and offer us some of the more and less traditional music for piano that supports or conveys similar notions. 

During the 3-to-4 p.m. hour I’ll conclude the talking presentation, and  spend the bulk of the hour gradually conjuring  up an improvisation using and refracting the live ambient sound of “Jackhammer Park” adjacent to Brian’s sculpture studio. With luck and some patience we might be able to coax the environmental sounds into something (even more) pleasing to the ear. Joining again will be Hadley who will contribute piano passages when the moment calls out.

Note: Please consider bringing a beverage to share and some cash donation for the musicians (we will be passing the hat). Also, the Art-talk will take place outdoors. Your health is our concern. Please do not come if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID.

Thom Blum (photo by Ron Pelletier)

This entry was posted in Recent events, Talks/Papers and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.