The First Listener

  by Benjamin Taylor, SFCA Composer in Residence In my practice as a composer, I have a philosophy that I believe helps me keep my bearings and objectivity, a way to remind myself why I’m making music. I remember the first listener. All music ever heard by human ears has had a premiere performance, but

Color in music: Sweet Voices and Noyses with The Whole Noyse

by Magen Solomon, Artistic Director Pop quiz! 1. Define “curtal,” “gittern,” “cornetto.” 2. Use all three words correctly in a sentence. Incorrect: No, “curtal” is not a sauce for roasted meats… no, “gittern” is not a kind of gigolo…no, “cornetto” is not a corn-based snack food … Correct: “You will shortly be hearing a curtal

Lessons from Motherhood: Loving the Audience

by Kala Pierson, SFCA Composer-Not-in-Residence 2013-14 A parent becomes intensely attuned to her baby’s sounds, both for practical reasons (guessing right about a whimper can stave off screaming) and for more abstract ones (communicating outside traditional language can be pretty amazing). For musicians and non-musicians alike, parenthood will probably be life’s most intensive ear-training lesson.

Tracing the Origins of Sephardic Folk Songs

By Joseph Smeall-Villarroel, tenor This concert (Omens, Dreams & Curses) set features a trio of Sephardic Jewish folk songs. As a chorister who claims both Jewish and Latin-American ancestry, I think it worthwhile to give some background on the intersection of Jewish culture with Spanish / Latin-American culture, which is what brings SFCA the songs entitled

Composer Eleanor Aversa Interview

The following is an interview of 2013 Composer-Not-in-Residence Eleanor Aversa by SFCA on February 1st, 2013. SFCA: How come you know so much about science? When did that start in your life? I think that people who read your bio and get to know you as an arts & letters person (language, music, teaching, translating,

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