The Music For People & Thingamajigs Festival is an annual event dedicated to promoting experimental music that incorporates made/found instruments and alternate tuning systems. Each year, MFP&T invites artists who design their own musical instruments to join in a festival of workshops, music making, and performances with the goal of reaching a large, diverse audience of all ages. It is also a festival where the public can participate in instrument building and tuning educational workshops, as well as hear unique sounds and compositions from up and coming artists. Now in its 14th 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, William Winant, and Laetitia Sonami.
This year’s festival features music and world premiere performances from 10 exciting artists and groups from the Bay Area and beyond. Noted works include performances by New Yorks’ Electric Junkyard Gamelan, a piece for computer controlled metal percussion by Matthew Goodheart and developed in collaboration with the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at UC Berkeley, Tim Phillips’ Bubble Organ instrument, a series of sound sculptures for repurposed vintage typewriters called Poemophone by Tracey Cockrell, and new pieces for microtonal sixth-tone scale guitar by East Coast composer Lewis Krauthamer.
Thursday, September 22nd 8pm: Meridian Gallery, 535 Powell Street San Francisco, CA 94108 ($10-$15 sliding scale).
Friday, September 23rd 8pm: Vessel Gallery, 471 25th Street, Oakland, CA 94612 ($10-$15 sliding scale).
Saturday, Sepember 24th 8pm: Pro Arts Gallery, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612 ($10-$15 sliding scale).
Matthew Goodheart is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, pianist and composer Matthew Goodheart has been working professionally since the age of 17. As an improviser, he has performed internationally, working and recording most notably with Wadada Leo Smith, Cecil Taylor, Fred Frith, Gianni Gebbia, Pauline Oliveros, and Glenn Spearman. His compositions and sound installations have been performed and featured in festivals throughout the US and Europe. He has published several articles, released numerous CD’s, and founded the online, artist run recording label Evolving Door Music. He is presently in advanced standing as a Ph.D. candidate in Music Composition at the University of California at Berkeley.
Matt Davignon is an experimental musician living in Oakland, California. His unique style of music is largely characterized by organic textures, arrhythmic patterns, musical imperfections and occasional elements from pop music. Historically, he has worked
extensively with fx pedals, household objects, live sound collage, consumer-grade electronics, prepared instruments, real-time sampling/looping, turntablism, and field recordings. Since 2004, he has been working almost exclusively with a drum machine, which with his array of effects devices becomes an unusual synthesizer for making
gloopy and biological sounds.
Tim Phillips is a designer of interactive exhibits for museums. He has a background in participatory architecture & moved to California in 2008 from England. His passion for experimentation alongside experience as a designer and musician (accordion and piano) has spurred him to delve into collaborative instrument making. Through Tim's latest project, CMT creates: music, he has not only realized the Bubble Organ, but has also inspired a group of musicians and artists to invent and perform new experimental musical instruments together. They are as follows, listed with their inventions: Claire Phillips ‐ Sound Swing; Meghann Welsh ‐ Texture Harp; Nao Nakazawa ‐ Stringtotter; Sam Hernandez ‐ Chime Forest; Charlie Gurke ‐ Bartz Box; HJ Mooij ‐ Tinkler; Will Longstreth ‐ Thornton OG Musicycle.
Tracey Cockrell completed her MFA with a focus in Sculpture at the University of California at Berkeley in 1991. An interdisciplinary artist, Cockrell has cultivated a studio practice that synthesizes sculpture, experimental music, linguistic theory, and collaborative strategies. She has taught in MFA, BFA, and nonprofit institutions including Maine College of Art and The Crucible. Most notably, her work has been featured at Boston Center for the Arts, Institute for Contemporary Art in Portland, Maine, Oakland Arts Council, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. She is currently an Associate Professor and Associate Academic Dean at Pacific Northwest College of Art and recently completed a Senior Residency in Woodworking at Oregon College of Art and Craft.
Lewis Krauthamer was born in New York but grew up in Wheaton, Maryland. He studied composition at the New England Conservatory and the Longy School of Music, and he completed his master's degree in musicology at the Université Jean Monnet Saint-Étienne in France. His master's thesis "Expression politique dans la musique de Christian Wolff" has been received with great enthusiasm by the new music community and in academia as the first serious and developed piece of scholarly research ever completed on the music of Wolff. He has studied with many composers over the years, including Tom Johnson, John H. Morrison, Malcolm Peyton and Steve Antosca. Lewis Krauthamer currently lives in his home town of Wheaton, MD where he composes and teaches music privately through various institutions.
Danishta Rivero is a musician and sound artist who resides in San Francisco, California. She performs solo improvisations on the Hydrophonium, a water-based electro-acoustic percussion instrument, with which she has toured the Pacific NW. Danishta also does vocals and digital processing in Blood Wedding, a just intonation noise duo with Chuck Johnson on steel guitar and modular synth. Through the years, she has been involved in various music projects. Most notably, she was lead vocalist of progressive metal band Aghora (1997-2006). She co-founded Optiphonal Wonder Machine, a multimedia collaboration with Jennifer Rannells.
Electric Junkyard Gamelan plays the original groove driven music of composer Terry Dame on musical instruments of her invention. Originally inspired by the infectious interlocking rhythms of traditional Gamelan from Bali, today the group is a true world fusion project with influences from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, West Africa, American funk, hip hop and a little circus on top. They perform on Dame's unique musical contraptions such as the Rubarp and Big Barp (electric rubber band harps), the Sitello (an electric cello/sitar combo), the Terraphone (copper pipe horn), the Clayrimba (a three octave tuned clay pot "marimba") and an arsenal of percussion instruments fashioned from old farm equipment, kitchen ware, turntable platters, saw blades, and truck springs. The result is a super original sound with hypnotic melodies and syncopated strings riding over funky bass lines and layers of dance-able interlocking rhythms.
Featuring musicians Terry Dame, Mary Feaster, Lee Free & Julian Hintz,
EJG has been performing together since 2000 at venues ranging from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to elementary schools in Iowa, arts centers large and small to music festivals, underground raves and even a couple weddings.
Travis Weller is a native Texas composer and instrument builder, and has been a violinist for over twenty years. He helped to found the Austin New Music Co-op in 2002. His music has been commissioned by ensembles in Europe and various cities around the US. A performer and advocate of new and experimental music, Travis has collaborated with and premiered new works by many artists including Ellen Fullman, John Butcher, Phill Niblock, Olivia Block, Radu Malfatti, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Jeph Jerman, Tristan Perich, Pauline Oliveros, Michael Pisaro, and Arnold Dreyblatt.
Weller's 2011 projects include a piece for 3 percussionists playing an amplified building commissioned by the University of Texas Visual Arts Center, the first complete US performance of the 7 paragraph cycle of Cornelius Cardew's "The Great Learning" and a fully-immersive site-specific 36 hour piece for a single audience member with the OdysseyWorks collective.
T.D. Skatchit & Company is a collection of Bay Area improvisers who have participated in a 2 year “Skatchbox” recording project consisting of trios in which a guest improviser was invited to record with T.D. Skatchit. The recordings took place at Eye-Full Studios in San Francisco. Select improvisations were chosen from each set, edited and compiled to form a library of Skatch recordings. Twenty-two musicians have been involved in this project, which Tom & David initiated in the summer of 2009. T.D. Skatchit & Company now focuses on public performances featuring different trios with various Company members.
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.