Thoughts on "Sound Patterns"

By Deborah Underwood, SFCA singer. When SFCA singers open a new piece of music to rehearse, we expect to see, um, musical notes. So I was a bit bemused to find Pauline Oliveros’ Sound Patterns devoid of specific pitches. Instead, it’s a series of carefully-notated ssshs, clicks, pops, brrrrrrings, and other noises. Some are voiced

Freed From Words

by 2013 Composer-in-Residence Mark Winges. Composers write choral music for a lot of reasons. Leaving aside the immediate practical benefits (instant fame and fortune, the promise of excellent cookies at post-concert receptions), at the top of my list is that I love the sound of a chorus. “Love” in my case refers to both listening

"Where do you FIND all this stuff?"

By Magen Solomon, Artistic Director. “Where do you FIND all this stuff??” is the most common post-concert question I get asked. And there’s a good reason for it: SFCA programs are unabashedly eclectic and quirky, and they always include a few pieces that even the most well-rounded choral musician has never heard. It starts with

A new singer’s perspective

by Claude Willan, SFCA singer. We don’t do a lot of klezmer music in the Church of England. But that wasn’t the only reason I was blown away the first time I heard the Choral Artists singing Jewish wedding music. Sitting in Mount Sinai Temple in Oakland in March 2012 I was transfixed by what

Musical Mind-Reading

by Eleanor Aversa, 2013 Composer-Not-in-Residence. For me, the biggest challenge in writing for a group on the opposite coast is how to convey my vision for a piece: sure, I can sing to Magen over the phone, but mostly my means of communication is purely written notation. This brings up one of the biggest issues