16th Annual Music for People & Thingamajigs Festival: David Samas + Dennis Aman
Berkeley Arts Festival Berkeley, CA
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16th Annual Music for People & Thingamajigs Festival: David Samas + Dennis Aman
About the Artists
Composer Dennis Aman (born Alameda, California, 1971) studied Composition and Electronic Music at San Francisco State University with Richard Festinger and Wayne Peterson. Also trained as a Baritone singer, he performed and recorded as a member of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. Aman's compositions include works for various chamber groups and chorus (with and without electronic elements). A large number of works have been written for the Yamaha Disklavier. His music has been performed in the United States as well as Europe, in Kaunas and Vilnius, Lithuania on the Is Arti New Music Festival, and in Odessa, Ukraine on the 2D2N (Two Days/Two Nights) New Music Festival, and most recently in Tokyo, Japan in July of 2013 by the percussion ensemble Bloom.
David Samas is a composer, cosmologist, poet, painter, performer, philosopher, farmer and father of 4; he is a practitioner and professor of arcane healing technologies and traditional magics- a field which includes massage, herbalism, hypnotherapy, psychoacoustics and shamanism. He has a BFA from the SF Art Institute in conceptual art and studied poetics at the New College of California, Vassar, Bennington and S.F. State. As a young man he performed with the SF Boys Chorus, the SF Opera and the SF Symphony with which he won a GRAMMY for the "best classical recording" of 1994. He also makes sacred geometry amulets and talismans, is an excellent cook, and self publishes small editions of hand bound art books. Lately, he focuses on inventing instruments and extended vocal techniques. He is the creator of the Superb Metaliphone, the Gamelan Piano, the Crystalithaphone, Glassilalia and a number of musical paintings which serve as sets, orchestras and characters for his inventive operas and shadow plays. He uses Tuvan overtone singing and Tibetan deep chanting along with a host of birdsongs, whale songs, howling and polyphonic split tones to weave a dense tapestry of unusual sounds.
International cellist and composer, Doug Carroll expands into new sound domains with the use of electronic processing and creative thought. Carroll's compositions for electronic cello and tape feature the spontaneity and drama of a live performance combined with the richness and diversity of the taped material. His solo improvisations have received international acclaim for their stark originality and musical sensitivity. Additionally, he has composed for a variety of multimedia events, including modern dance, theatre, film, and video, as well as collaborations with visual artists. He studied composition with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Lou Harrison, and Anthony Braxton. He has an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College and a BA in Music from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Other studies include the Darmstadt International Course for New Music and the Royal Conservatory at the Hauge, Netherlands.
Tom Nunn has designed, built and performed with original musical instruments since 1976, having received a B.Mus. and M.A. in music composition from the University of Texas at Austin and S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook, and post-graduate work at U.C. San Diego. His instruments typically utilize commonly available materials, are sculptural in appearance, utilize contact microphones for amplification, and are designed specifically for improvisation with elements of ambiguity, unpredictability and nonlinearity. Tom has designed and built over 200 instruments, representing three basic types: space plates, electroacoustic percussion boards, and skatchboxes. Space plates are metal sheets with bronze rods that are bowed; the plate is supported by inflated balloons, allowing the plate to resonate. Electroacoustic percussion boards are plywood sheets with various hardware devices attached such as nails, threaded steel rods, bronze rods, combs, etc., played with a variety of small percussion implements. Skatchboxes are cardboard boxes with objects such as washers, combs, toothpicks, bronze rod, dowel, etc. taped or glued to the exterior that are played with various modified combs. All of Tom's instruments are amplified using contact microphones and have sculptural qualities.
Ron Heglin is a Trombonist and Vocalist working with extended technique on the Trombone and with spoken and sung imaginary languages as a Vocalist. His vocal music has been influenced by his study of North Indian vocal music. He works both compositionally and in an improvisational mode and is a member of the Bay Area music context as well as performing internationally. He is a founding member of the groups MUSIC FOR ALL OCCASIONS, ROTODOTI, and BRASSIOSAURUS, and has performed with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Leo Smith, Henry Brant, Logos Duo, Tim Perkis, John Bischoff, Tom Djll,and Toyoji Tomita.
Grace Renaud is Director of Music at the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco (MCC-SF), Principal Pianist for the Oakland-East Bay Gay Men's Chorus (OEBGMC), Pianist for Colla Voce, has a private piano studio, and was Music Director for the new musical "In the Hands of the Raven" by Peter Alexander. Grace holds a Master of Music Degree in organ performance from Mills College, Oakland. She also taught middle school for 9 years, has four children, and likes to boogie.
About the Festival
Thingamajigs presents another year of exciting new musical works for homemade instruments, found objects, DIY inventions, and alternate tunings by some of the Bay Area's most innovative artists. This year audiences will see first hand instruments as unique as Fred Frith's homemade string instruments, Danishita Rivero's Hydrophone water instruments, sonic suits from Bob Marsh, re-tuned Fischer-Price instruments by Dennis Aman and the premiere of a new opera incorporating objects from the sea by David Samas.
The Music For People & Thingamajigs Festival is an annual event featuring experimental and traditional musicians and performing artists who incorporate made/found instruments and alternate tuning systems in their work. Each year, MFP&T invites such artists to join in a festival of workshops, music making, and performances with the goal of reaching a large, diverse audience of all ages. People can participate in instrument building and tuning and educational workshops, as well as hear unique sounds and compositions from up and coming artists.
Now in its 16th year, Thingamajigs' genre-crossing MFP&T Festival is the only annual event completely dedicated to music created with made/found materials and alternate tuning systems. Past participants include Carla Kihlstedt, Walter Kitundu, Pauline Oliveros, Brenda Hutchinson, Electric Junkyard Gamelan, and Laetitia Sonami.
History and Mission Statement:
Thingamajigs is a genre-crossing arts organization that promotes, presents and performs music and other art forms created with made and found materials or alternate tuning systems.
Our mission is to develop and nurture the exploration of alternate materials and methods of creating sound, as well as promote collaborative efforts within other artistic disciplines. With open workshops, performances, artists exchanges and an educational program, we welcome audiences/participants of all ages and backgrounds to join in a wonderful tradition started in the Bay Area by such composers as Harry Partch, Lou Harrison, and John Cage.
Thingamajigs was founded as an art project in 1997 at Mills College, Oakland California. Created by Edward Schocker and Dylan Bolles, the project was originally conceived as a forum for composers/performers who develop new and unique ways of producing sound. The project soon broke out of the college environment and into an annual music festival called Music for People & Thingamajigs (now in its 15th year). In 2004 a permanent group of unpaid volunteer organizers and advisors was created. Together they expanded the yearly festival as well as created a season of international artist exchange programs (The Pacific Exchange) and an education program (Thingamakids!).
Berkeley Arts Festival (View)
2133 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94710