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ACME Observatory
Fall 2000 Season

Sunday, October 1

Scot Gresham-Lancaster's
Playing Time ... an investigation in group autism" every thought you have ever had is still alive as a spirit ... time is the most convincing of all illusions. Sound and music do not exsist without time. Somethings are broken and can never be fixed." from Scot Gresham-Lancaster's Hot Flaming Skull a user's manual. special thanks to Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan my skull is on fire, get me some ice


Ecstatic Member
Scott Looney
electronics Matt Ingallsclarinet
Matthew Sperrybass Gino Robairperc

Sunday, October 15


Humming, moving, still our flowers are blooming under the old Portcullis

 Daniel Popsicle
an hour-long piece for musicians & people in curious dress holding curious objects.


presented and created by Dan Plonsey

Dan Plonsey: c melody sax, oboe - Phil Gelb: shakuhachi - Michael Zelner: clarinet - Tom Yoder: trombone - Erling Wold: accordion, organ - Lynn Wold: farfisa organ - Randy Porter: cumbus - John Schott: steel guitar - Tom Swafford: violin - Sarah Willner: viola - Samantha Black: cello - Ashley Adams: bass - Mike Pukish: percussion


 Moe! Staiano

solo percussion, vibrators, found objects, etc.


Sunday, October 29

a special evening of traditional and cutting-edge world music



 hindustani vocalist

Rita Sahai


Tim Whitter tabla

Wallace Harvey violin

Disciple of Pandit Rama Shankar Mishra of Banaras Gharana, Rita Sahai, after her immigration to the United States, continued her training under the world famous sarod maestro, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan in Seni Allaudin Gharana style, known for its creativity and purity of ragas. Impressed by her talent and dedication, he gave her the title Gayan Alankar (jewel of music). The San Francisco Chronicle describes her voice as "a fresh blast of breeze on a sultry day." India West calls her an artist who is "long on talent and short on glitz and gimmicks." To her listeners, she is a creator of many moods, transporting them effortlessly into higher realms with her soulful singing and choice of melodies.




 John Inglesaxophone/

Dan Josephhammer dulcimer


With the unusual intrumentation of alto saxophone and hammer dulcimer, John Ingle and Dan Joseph offer a unique brand of 21st century world music. Influenced by free jazz, minimalism, Indian raga and Middle Eastern modalities, their music combines driving rhythm with complex patterns and improvisation. Unlike anything heard before, this music is entrancing and complex.


Sunday, November 5


 Detritus Duo

Ann Dentel and Karen Stackpole

Subterranean sonic sojourns on processed cello and percussion.




For the past five years, John Shiurba and Myles Boisen have been forcing the sounds of their guitar duo UNCLE down the throats of unsuspecting nephews and nieces. The group was named by Gino Robair, who was crying out for them to stop just minutes into their first performance. Uncle has recorded 2 CDs, "Uncle" and "Uncle Unplugged" and there's no telling how many more they have in the works. Shiurba (b. 1965) uses a Sterling silver serving fork with jumbo tongs, while Boisen (b. 1956) prefers the standard industrial issue stainless steel dinner fork, in addition to the Myles Boisen signature series jumbo cheese grater.


Sunday, November 19



a new music ensemble from Palo Alto and CCRMA @ Stanford University

Christopher Burns, Ching-Wen Chao, Christopher Jones, Damian Keller, Randal Leistikow, and Juan Reyes


Karlheinz Stockhausen's Mikrophonie I [1965]

Rarely performed, Stockhausen's work is a classic of live electronic music -- one of a handful of pieces which seriously consider the microphone as a musical instrument. In Mikrophonie I, two performers play a large tam-tam (a flat gong) with a variety of implements -- in this version, everything from standard percussion mallets to items found on kitchen shelves and in lumber yards. Another two players capture the resonances of the tam-tam with hand-held microphones, inflecting the sound via balletic motions. Finally, two performers seated in the audience apply digitally recreated versions of the original analog electronics, altering the sounds and moving them throughout the performance space. The result is an extraordinary blend of music, ritual, and immersion in sound.

"It is a work which, perhaps more than any other, shows how much Stockhausen's work with electronics had led him to concern himself with new sounds, for an important feature of the piece is its display of strange and subtle noises coming from an instrument which might have appeared limited." - modern music, Paul Griffiths

Stockhausen, a crucial early figure in live electronic music, has been cited by groups as various as the Beatles, new music composers, and electronica artists as a key inspiration. jTheta is pleased to present Mikrophonie I alongside a number of works which venture down paths charted by Stockhausen's work.


Chris Burns' Fabrication

a dialogue between a solo trumpet and its microphone-generated doubles


Ching-Wen Chao's The Captured Shadow

for soprano trombone and tape, an exploration of the theatrical aspects of live electronic music


Damian Keller's Metrophonie

for multichannel tape - a work which considers the microphone in the urban environment


Juan Reyes's Choi-Hung

this piece for tape extends the limits of real acoustics through computer-modeled shakuhachi and bells



Sunday, December 3


George Cremaschi

and John Raskin

Dedicated to the ongoing exploration of integrating saxophone, contrabass, composition, improvisation, intuition, communication, traditional musicianship, and extended techniques.


David Slusser's

Improv Derby

In an attempt to showcase the vitality, inventiveness and accessibility of what is usually considered "outside" music, an olympic class team of improvisers have been assembled to negotiate a series of challenges structured to deliver both fireworks and focus.

The ensemble includes: guitarist Myles Boisen, Ralph Carney on winds, violinist Carla Kihlstedt, instrument maker Tom Nunn, Len Paterson on guitar and samples, guitarist John Shiurba, multi-instrumentalist David Slusser, drummer Ches Smith, percussionist Moe Staiano, trombonist Tom Yoder and special guests bassist George Cremaschi, Matt Ingalls on clarinet, saxophonist Jon Raskin, and Scott Looney on keyboards.

JON RASKIN is well known as a founding member of the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, 
now in their twenty-third year of innovation and invention,with over two 
dozen recordings of their own music and the music of top contemporary 
composers including Anthony Braxton, Terry Riley, Alvin Curran, and Fred 
Frith. He recently released a quartet recording, The Bass & the Bird Pond, 
which features his and Tim Berne's compositons. He just returned from yet 
another tour of Europe with ROVA.

GEORGE CREMASCHI was born in New York City to Argentine immigrant parents. 
Inspired by Black Sabbath, he acquired a drum kit in the seventh grade. 
Later he took up the bass and studied jazz at the Jazzmobile in Harlem,
and composition at the Greenwich House Music School in
Greenwich Village. Recent years have seen many performances and 
collaborations with such renowned musicians as Marshall Allen, Vinny Golia, 
Eugene Chadbourne, Nels Cline, and Nicolas Collins. He is currently working 
with Beth Lisick on a new recording project, as well as several other 
projects: a solo recording, a trio recording with Greg Goodman and Mats 
Gustafsson, and a recording with Out By Five, a cooperative group with Jon 
Raskin, Bill Horvitz, and Garth Powell.

DAVID SLUSSER began playing tenor saxophone in 1962, around the same time
he started experimenting with reel to reel tape recorders and electric
instruments. Getting his first film sound job in 1975, he continued his
career with a move to the San Francisco Bay area in 1977, where he joined
Lucasfilm in 1984, and received an Emmy award for sound editing in 1993. He
has worked often as a music editor for directors Francis Coppola, George
Lucas and David Lynch, with whom he has co-composed music for his films. 
On his own he has composed for documentaries and public radio, 
as well as his jazz group Rubber City. 

His sound design is in the collections of both the Museum of Modern Art 
in New York and the Museum of Contempory Art in Los Angeles, though far 
more people have heard it in some of the more imaginative commercials on
television. The last four years have seen him developing projects at Pixar.
He began an association with John Zorn in the mid eighties that has
continued with two releases this year, "In His Own Sweet Way" (Avant 005)
and Xu Feng (Tzadik 7329) as well as  his benchmark release of 1997,
"Delight at the End of the Tunnel" (Tzadik 7024). He received first prize
and honorable mention in 1999's Julius Hemphill Compostion Awards presented
by the Jazz Composer's Alliance.

Sunday, December 17


An Evening of Experimental Electronic Music

with Thomas Day[san francisco],

Boris Hauf [vienna, austria],

and Kit Clayton [san francisco]

Thomas Day presents Withinnerspaces, a distillation of Day's recent large-scale work for the dance company Capacitor. During this evenings performance, material based on the preceding work will be expanded, transformed, and dissolved via a four-channel live electronic environment. Thomas Day has composed more than 40 works for a wide range of media. Recent activities included the evening-length Within Outer Spaces (for electronics) as part of the American Composers Forum Composer/Choreographer Residency Program, and the Berkeley Symphony's Under Construction Program where his orchestral score Objcey was among the works featured.

Vienna musician currently on a Northern California tour, Boris Hauf will present improvisations for saxophone and laptop running Max/MSP software.

A recent San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie Award Winner, Kit Clayton will present abstract audio and video memories somewhat similar to a recent betalounge broadcast from the CCAC [click here to listen to it - Time: 02:00-02:15] He will be joined with a video performance by Susan Costabile. Kit will be performing on a laptop running Max/MSP, a flexible environment for custom MIDI and DSP applications produced by Cycling '74, the company for which Kit works as a computer programmer.