Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Switchboard Music Festival
The eight-hour-plus "Switchboard Music Festival" took place Sunday at 24th & Mission and from all accounts it was a great success. Patrick Vaz (click here) managed to survive six hours of musical "performers and composers who are working outside genre lines, creating sounds that defy description." Sid Chen (click here) only managed a couple of hours in between singing engagements while Joshua Kosman flitted in and out according to his amused report in the SF Chronicle (click here).
After watching Tiger Woods on TV make his comeback late in the afternoon, I arrived in time for a local group called "Melody of China." Yangqin Zhao, Gangqin Zhao and Thomas Lee were playing classical Chinese music, quite beautifully.
Patrick Vaz enjoyed hearing the group after the three hours of jazz/rock/classical/klezmer fusion music which had preceded them since the sound was so different. "It was like a sorbet in the middle of a huge meal."
The concerts were being held in the main stage of Dance Theatre Mission on the second floor and somebody had decided to turn the heat up so we wouldn't get cold, but by 5PM the room was stifling, and I wished I was wearing the distressed T-shirt of the young man in front of me.
After "Melody of China," the Edmund Welles bass clarinet quartet played a long multi-movement work called "Agrippa's 3 Books" that was fascinating. Two of the festival's co-directors, Jeff Anderle and Jonathan Russell, were performing this "heavy chamber music," as they call it on their website (click here), and their look was straight out of the latest bromance movie. I wish I'd had the stamina to stay longer.