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San Francisco Contemporary Music Players Oceanic Migrations

On September 14, SF Contemporary Music Players open their 2019-20 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.

Guests are invited to visit Angel Island Immigration Station: An educational installation about this project will be on view at Immigration Station Museum on September 7-14.

The Saturday evening concert will be preceded by a talk with composer Michael Gordon, archivists, local historians, and residents who will share stories about their family member's experiences of passing through Angel Island years ago. Arrive early, doors open at 6:00pm: Enjoy a glass of wine and the views of the San Francisco Bay.


September 7-14, 2019 at Angel Island, Immigration Station Barracks
Educational multimedia installation about the creation and development of this project showing at the historical Immigration Station Barracks on Angel Island.
For free entry to the Sept 14 concert, bring an Angel Island ferry ticket, receipt, or any collateral from Angel Island or Immigration Station Museum.

September 14, 2019 at Cowell Theater, Fort Mason
6:00pm Doors open, full-service bar and finger food available by Cow Hollow Catering at the venue
7:00pm Pre-concert discussion with composer Michael Gordon; Rick Quan, two time Emmy award-winning broadcaster and filmmaker; William Greene, Archivist, The National Archives at San Francisco; and William Lowe, journalist, author, and community advisor
8:00pm Concert
Post-concert reception


Michael Gordon, new work (2019) (c.75’) (Commission)(World Premiere)
For SFCMP (8 players),
Splinter Reeds (woodwind quintet),
Roomful of Teeth (8 vocalists)

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Michael Gordon

New work, 75', evening-length commission


Roomful of Teeth

Ensemble, performer

Splinter Reeds

Ensemble, performer

Eric Dudley


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