16th Annual Music for People & Thingamajigs Festival: Fred Frith and Sudhu Tewari + Tim Phillips + Todd Lerew
About the Artists
About the Artists
Fred Frith is a songwriter, composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist best known for the reinvention of the electric guitar that began with Guitar Solos in 1974.
He learned his craft as both improviser and composer playing in rock bands, notably Henry Cow, and creating music in the recording studio. Much of his compositional output has been commissioned by choreographers and filmmakers, but his work has also been performed by Ensemble Modern, Hieronymus Firebrain, Arditti Quartet, Ground Zero, Robert Wyatt, Bang on a Can All Stars, Concerto Köln, and Rova Sax Quartet, among many others.
He continues to perform internationally, most recently with Lotte Anker, Evelyn Glennie, Chris Cutler, John Zorn, Eye to Ear (a septet performing selections from his film music) and his latest band, Cosa Brava, whose first CDRagged Atlaswas released in 2010 to critical acclaim.
Fred is the subject of Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzels' award-winning documentary film Step Across the Border.
Sudhu Tewari has been called a professional bricoleur, junkyard maven and young audio-gadgeteer. An early interest in disassembling alarm clocks and coffee makers gave rise to electro-acoustic instruments constructed with the remains of discarded stereo equipment, kinetic sculptures and sound installations. Sudhu builds audio electronics, acoustic instruments, kinetic sculptures, interactive installations, wearable sound art and recently began working with bicycles with wide variety of end results.
Highly educated at Mills College in electronic music, Sudhu has been seen performing improvised music in various configurations with the likes of Fred Frith, Cenk Ergun, Mark Bartscher, Tadashi Usami, Gunda Gottschalk, Eric Glick-Rieman and Shelley Burgon.
In 2006 Sudhu was selected to be the Artist in Residence program at the Recology in San Francisco. Since then, Sudhu's visual and interactive art has been exhibited at Swarm Gallery, 21Grand, ProArts and FLOAT Gallery in Oakland, California, Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California, UC Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, California and Laboratoire Village Nomade and PROGR in Bern, Switzerland.
In 2010 Sudhu collaborated with sculptor Bryan Tedrick to create an interactive light and sound installation to "breathe life" into Tedrick's 50 foot tall climbable steel sculpture, Minaret at Burning Man 2010. Tewari's installation used the movement of climbers to control LED lighting, pre-recorded sound and electro-acoustic instruments, creating an immense responsive interactive sculpture.
Most recently Sudhu spent most of a week in a tree creating a site-specific interactive, kinetic sound installation at Montalvo Arts Center and has been working on a series of sculptures for an interactive sound garden.
Todd Lerew is a Los Angeles-based composer and instrument inventor, currently pursuing an MFA in Experimental Sound Composition at CalArts. His work deals with the physical properties of sound and the nature of perception, exploring the use of sound as a plastic medium, and revisiting our understanding of what sound is and how it operates.
He is the inventor of the Quartz Cantabile, which utilizes a principle of thermoacoustics to convert heat into sound. He is the founder and curator of Telephone Music, a collaborative music and memory project based on the children's game of Telephone. His piece for e-bowed gu zheng, entitled Lithic Fragments, is out now on cassette on the Brunch Groupe label.
Tim Phillips is an English sound artist, musician and inventor based in Oakland, CA. His work looks at making people curious about sounds and rhythms, while using participation and collaboration to encourage interdisciplinary and unexpected outcomes. Tim received a BA and MA in architecture from Sheffield University, England and has worked on public architecture and installations throughout Great Britain and France. He is currently working for a design studio, Gyroscope, Inc., designing interactive exhibits for museums across the US. Tim's latest personal project 'CMT creates: music' explores combining collaborative art with raising awareness for a disease, Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT).
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!).
535 Powell St
San Francisco, CA 94108
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