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ACME Observatory

a    s e r i e s    o f    c o n t e m p o r a r y    m u s i c
@ The Jazz House
3192 Adeline in Berkeley, CA USA

One block from the ASHBY BART Station - look for the "ANT" sign
This series is a negative-profit institution, your donation at the door is greatly appreciated!

The ACME Observatory Contemporary Music Series is a concert series presenting bi-weekly events of new music by 20th and 21st century composers and performers. Since its inception, the series (currently held at the The Jazz House in Berkeley, California) continues striving to host composers of high caliber, representing a diverse range of styles, countries, and cultures. A typical concert might pair a well-known musician from abroad with a local emerging composer.


The ACME Observatory Contemporary Music Series represents the culmination of a decade of concert presentation by Bay Area musicians and new music advocates. Frustrated with frequent closings of Bay Area alternative performance spaces, a group of presenters came together in early 2000 to produce high-quality concerts of music they felt was being condemned to cultural exile. This collective represents members from many now-defunct series, including Beanbenders, The Dark Circle Lounge at The Hotel Utah, Art Rattan New Music Series/East Bay Creative Music Festival, The Sweat Shop, and 1502 Performance Space.


The music presented here is not easily classified. It is art for art's sake - experimental in nature and not easily packaged to push onto a music consumer. The commercial music industry's co-optation of every given musical genre has left us with no adequate terminology to describe this music. Some have used the term creative music - we choose to use the less-colorful contemporary music, which includes a broad range of styles including newly notated instrumental compositions, electronic noise, experimental improvisations, avant rock, acousmatic sound diffusion, advanced jazz, and esoteric folk music from around the world.


partial funding for the acme observatory contemporary music series
provided by the city of berkeley and meet the composer

* photo of aaron bennett's NONET by alan brightbill *