Past Event

Music for Piano by Luciano Chessa

March 8, 2017
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
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Performed by Sarah Cahill and Luciano Chessa

Louganis (2007), with a video by Terry Berlier; 
Tre Danze da Salotto (1983/2010); 
Cupric Donna I & II (Premiere); 
Le Miniere (2003) from "Quadri da una città fantasma"
Dr. Quill, Let There Be Light (2013); 
Green Sea (Premiere). 

Luciano Chessa is an Italian composer, musicologist, conductor, performance artist, pianist, and musical saw/Vietnamese dan bau soloist. Recent compositions include the experimental opera Cena oltranzista nel castelletto al lago produced for the TRANSART Festival in Bolzano, Italy: a work lasting 60+ hours (including  55 hours of fasting) accessible in its entirety via 24hrs/day live streaming; Squeeze! Squeeze! Squeeze!, a large-scale work inspired by Melville’s Moby Dick; and A Heavenly Act, an opera with original video by Kalup Linzy commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Chessa has been commissioned for many performance projects by NYC's Performa and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; he presented at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires a series of events to celebrate the Art of Noises Centennial; has been featured in the PSI International at Stanford University; and performed with Ellen Fullman and Theresa Wong at Houston’s CAMH. In 2014 he offered three concerts at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, as part of a retrospective dedicated to Italian Futurism; his voice reading Marinetti’s 1909 Manifesto and poetry to accompany Jen Sachs’ videos has been experienced by all exhibit visitors. Two additional videos by Chessa/Sachs have been on view at LA’s Getty Museum for the exhibit WWI: War of Images-Images of War.

Chessa is the author of Luigi Russolo, Futurist: Noise, Visual Arts, and the Occult, the first monograph ever to be dedicated to Russolo and his Art of Noise (University of California Press, 2012).

Currently he teaches at the SF Conservatory, serves on the Advisory Board of TACET, a research publication dedicated to Experimental Music from the Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne; and is a member of the Steering Committee of the SF Electronic Music Festival. His music is published by Edizioni Carrara and RAI TRADE.

Recent record releases include PETROLIO, a monographic CD issued by Stradivarius.

Sarah Cahill, recently called “fiercely gifted” by the New York Timesand “as tenacious and committed an advocate as any composer could dream of” by the San Francisco Chronicle, has commissioned, premiered, and recorded numerous compositions for solo piano. Composers who have dedicated works to her include John Adams, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Pauline Oliveros, Annea Lockwood, and Evan Ziporyn, and she has also premiered pieces by Lou Harrison, Julia Wolfe, Ingram Marshall, Toshi Ichiyanagi, George Lewis, Leo Ornstein, and many others.

Sarah has researched and recorded music by important early 20th-century American modernists Henry Cowell and Ruth Crawford, and has commissioned a number of new pieces in tribute to their enduring influence. She enjoys working closely with composers, musicologists, and scholars to prepare scores for performance. Recent appearances include a concert at San Quentin of the music Henry Cowell wrote while incarcerated there, Lou Harrison’s Piano Concerto with Steven Schick and the La Jolla Symphony, and a residency at Dickinson College. She has performed chamber music with the Alexander String QuartetNew Century Chamber Orchestrathe Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and many other chamber groups. Upcoming concerts are at Le Poisson Rouge, the inaugural New Music Gathering at the San Francisco Conservatory, a Terry Riley birthday celebration at MIT, and the North Dakota Museum of Art.

She is working on two new commissioning projects: one explores our relationship to nature, and the other celebrates the eightieth birthday of Terry Riley in 2015. Most of Sarah’s albums are on the New Albion label. She has also recorded for the CRI, New WorldOther MindsTzadikAlbanyCold Blue, and Artifact labels. Her album A Sweeter Music is on the Other Minds label, and Pinna Records has just released her two-CD set of Mamoru Fujieda’s Patterns of Plants. Her radio show, Revolutions Per Minute, can be heard every Sunday evening from 8 to 10 pm on KALW in San Francisco. She is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory, hosts a new music series at the Exploratorium, and curates a monthly series of new music concerts at the Berkeley Art Museum.

Photo by Jamie Lyons