San Francisco Conservatory of Music

October 17 , 2007

Once upon a time…

as a good little Asian kid I took piano lessons and I even ventured into trying (keep that in mind) to play the flute. Music should on some level be a part of everyone’s life. Music is a way to escape aka time out in a hectic life and be in your own world. It’s another form of expression whatever genre. Kevin Smokler invited me to participate in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music‘s blogger night this past Saturday.

The performances

Blueprint was conducted by Nicole Paiment. She stayed after to speak to the bloggers and she spoke about “New Music.” I was a bit nervous since its been ages since I don’t know how to speak “music.”
I had forgotten that in this day and age where we all listen to music over and over via our ipods while walking around the town,  or the sound systems in our houses what it was like listening to experimental music, works in progress. She explained (just like when I was getting my Fine Arts degree) that you don’t have to “get it” but just experience it. That it was OK to walk away and wonder what exactly that music was supposed to be. I was agitated by the first two pieces. She explained that was fine. The performances made me wonder about how everyone plays a part in the performance, different elements bring in another flavor you didn’t originally expect. The last piece of music was no different, it was a poem and it had singers, rappers, and an orchestra. Music is supposed to bring some emotion and you won’t like everything. You can sit there and just be there to soak it in.  The pieces played aren’t going to be on tour so come and listen and enjoy the evening of just opening your mind to a new experience.
Sometimes working on the web is awesome but its nice to get out once in a while to experience things not via a computer is good too. ;-)

If you want to attend and experience the San Francisco Conservatory of Music you can get a discount or free tickets by telling them, “SFCM Blogger” for the code.


Thu Oct 18, 2007 at 02.29 pm

M. Jackson Wilkinson

Experimental music can be enjoyable or frustrating, but I almost always find it interesting.  Being a music major in a program that had a pretty active experimental scene (with Elliot Schwartz as the leader of it, still today considered one of the leading x-music composers in America), I heard a lot of it. 

It took me a couple of years to get past the constant thought that it was all a waste of time, but once I was able to perform in it a few times, that started to change.

I started realizing that the focus of the art isn’t always on the sound that’s produced, but sometimes how the sound is produced, and other times what the music on the page looks like.

There’s one piece for women’s choir I’ve seen performed (and I wish I could recall the title and composer) where the music itself is a series of illustrations of snowfall.  The singers change their pitch, dynamics, and timbre depending on how heavy the snow is falling, and how much has accumulated on the page.  In that case, the art is on the page (the illustrations are beautiful), in the interpretation by the singers, and in how the singers interact with each other to try to create something cohesive.

The produced sound isn’t always a masterpiece of western art, but it’s always interesting.


Constantly, trying to learn new things, and on the way I get to meet some amazing people with my camera by my side. XOXO!

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