One Found Sound has built a reputation and a fan base by confounding expectations and presenting thoughtful concerts of classical music in casual, often unusual spaces, and by encouraging listeners to simply be themselves at its shows. No hushed tones, tony attire, or reverential behavior required: San Francisco’s conductorless, democratically run chamber orchestra seeks to invite its listeners into the experience rather than to keep them at an artistic remove.
The pandemic has, of course, put a damper on the Mozart mosh pit, but One Found Sound’s eighth season stays true to its mission and audiences a variety of ways to safely experience exciting musical performances. Two free “Virtual Watch Parties” and two live, outdoor performance in front of well-distanced audiences will present pieces for full orchestra and chamber ensembles reaffirm One Found Sound’s commitment to performing works by Black and underrepresented composers. The live dinner shows are scheduled for The Midway SF, a 40,000 square-foot “urban canvas of innovation” in the Dogpatch neighborhood east of the Mission.
In a press release, co-founder Sasha Launer says, “Our goal is to create an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome to enjoy world class music.” Her co-founder Sarah Bonomo adds, “Our programs reflect the diversity of our community and prioritize the advancement of the future of our field as relevant and powerful.”
On the calendar:
— Three works by Black composers: Valerie Coleman’s Umoja for wind quintet, William Grant Still’s Lyric Quartette for strings, and the world premiere of Quinn Mason’s Por Seis: Three Latin-American studies for six instruments. The prerecorded performance will feature creative music videos of each work, and will be augmented with live chat with the musicians, and a live conversation with composer Quinn Mason, who will join One Found Sound to speak about this world premiere.
October 21 and October 22: Live Performances — Two string quartets by Black female composers: Jessie Montgomery’s Strum and Florence Price’s String Quartet in G Major. Performed at a safe distance in the spacious environs of The Midway SF, the music will be paired with cuisine “curated to complement the music.”
November 19: Virtual Watch Party — Creative music video projects of the live October performances of works by Montgomery and Price. The performing musicians will join the broadcast live and will take questions and comments from the virtual audience throughout the event via live chat.
December 11: Digital Gala — Collaborative performances of orchestral repertoire including selections from Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s Sinfonietta No. 1 for Strings and Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations. The gala will also include live commentary by OFS musicians as well as a silent auction.