New Music Gathering

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the first New Music Gathering in San Francisco. The event was co-founded by Lainie Fefferman, Daniel Felsenfeld, Mary Kouyoumdjian, and Matt Marks, and took place both at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Center for New Music over the course of three days.

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Composers and performers from various New Music communities across the country were brought together in a single location for a series of concerts, presentations, and panels, which fueled immediate friendships and talks of collaboration. By using the hashtag #NMG2015, participants were able to interact with each other via social media before, during, and after the event.

Panels allowed for the attendees to gain insight into a wide range of topics often overlooked in New Music. For example, the business and marketing side of the industry was explored with presentations such as Michael Clayville (from Alarm Will Sound)’s talk titled “A Rising Tide: Using Social Media to Grow a Global Audience for New Music”, which outlined how to properly use social media to build a sense of community and connection with your followers. There were also opportunities for open discussions on social issues that are relevant not only within the New Music community but in society as a whole, as demonstrated by the packed open-discussion style forum on Women in New Music.

The concerts were of course numerous and impressive as well, and included performances by New Music heavyweights such as Claire Chase (International Contemporary Ensemble) and Sarah Cahill, and even an open rehearsal with the Kronos Quartet/Wu Man.

The full program can be viewed here:

Despite the jam-packed schedule, we still found time to enjoy a bit of the city with our new New Music friends.

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Can’t wait to see what New Music Gathering 2016 brings!