San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2011

The San Francisco Tape Music Festival will take place at the Southside Theater at the Fort Mason Center, starting January 7th through the 9th, as curated by sfSound.

First of all: what is “tape music”? According to sfSound:

It is a bit paradoxical to use the word traditionally with a practice of the avant garde — but, traditionally the words tape music have referred to the target media of a new kind of music. This new kind of music is not composed for arbitration by a pianist and the piano, so it must not be piano music. . . not for the string quartet, not for the orchestra, not even for the rock ‘n roll band.

The idea of a music composed for a fixed medium, while perhaps starting down a path, does not really lead us to a fundamentally new art. If the only criteria for differentiating tape music from all other musics is the fixed delivery medium — magnetic tape, vinyl, CD, miniDisc — then our thought has just led us to all industrialized forms of music, so called “popular” and “classical”.

The pieces we present transcend simplistic notions of music and its materials and its “instruments.” The recording/playback media itself is treated not as a stand-in for an absent performer, a poor man’s orchestra, but as a vital and unique territory for exploration/exploitation. They coexist in many worlds, blurring the line between composition, field recordings, sound design, “cinema for the ear,” virtual

reality, “radio” drama, and sound synthesis. This artform does not depend upon the posturing of performers. It does not worship the technology with which it was produced, nor does it fetishize the physical medium in which it is contained. There is nothing to see here! In the same way cinema is NOT theatre, tape music is NOT music.

The 2011 Tape Music Festival will feature performers (local and international) from a variety of backgrounds and genres.

The festival costs $15 (or $8 for the “underemployed”) each night, or $30 for a festival pass. More information on the schedule, performers, and the concept of tape music can be found on the 2011 Tape Music Festival website.