On September 14, we open our 2019-2020 season with a stunning assembly of forces for the world premiere of a new, concert-length, site-responsive work by Bang On A Can founding composer Michael Gordon.
At the Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Cultural Center, within view of the Golden Gate and San Francisco Bay, we'll present the first-ever performance of this piece for twenty-one musicians–joining together for the first time the SF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC PLAYERS with the Grammy Award-winning vocal octet ROOMFUL OF TEETH and Bay Area wind quintet SPLINTER REEDS. From its seat across the Bay, Angel Island serves as a focal point for this powerful new work's exploration of the larger themes embedded in the history of immigration to the Americas.
The eight-voice ensemble Roomful of Teeth–known for their ongoing work in the study of pan-global vocal styles and the creation of a new repertoire without borders–will be a vehicle for the narrative element, while the adventurous virtuosity of Splinter Reeds and SFCMP will interact with and augment the work's drama through instrumental means. By virtue of its connection to the shared and tangible experiences of diverse peoples in the Bay Area and the larger scope of U.S. history, Gordon's piece will be a watershed exploration of issues at the forefront of our local and national dialogue.