Dog Star Orchestra: Experimental Music in [Sometimes] Experimental Spaces

Vazquez Rocks

Dog Star Orchestra members at Vazquez Rocks last summer.

The Dog Star Orchestra, led by composer and CalArts faculty member Michael Pisaro, performs a series of concerts each summer that highlight experimental music in surprising locations.

Last year the orchestra—a loose collective of CalArtian musicians and composers—braved the daytime heat of the Santa Clarita Valley to perform at Vasquez Rocks (best recognized as a stand-in for extra-planetary landscapes on the early Star Trek television series).

This summer, the orchestra will play a number of dates at The Wulf complex in Los Angeles, the Wild Beast on the CalArts campus and as-yet-to-be-announced private locations for its Monday, July 11th concert program, A Few Rooms Around Town.

For the past seven years, the Dog Star series has brought together CalArts alumni, faculty and students with other members of LA’s experimental music community to play works by John Cage, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff, and younger composers like Michael Winter, Julia Holter and Mark So.

This time around, however, Pisaro is mixing things up by turning over the curatorial reigns of each concert to different musicians, in what promises to be an even more diverse and eclectic sampling of sounds than in years past.

The music continues tonight at 8 pm in the Wild Beast with Indigenous and Diasporic, featuring music by Stephen “Lucky” Mosko, Daniel Corral (Music MFA 07) and Feldman.

Other concerts at CalArts this week include:

Thursday, June 30 at 8 pm: Audio Destructinators + the LA Stylophonic with collective compositions and pieces by Colin Wambsgans (Music MFA 11), Archie Carey (Music MFA 11), Paul Fraser (Music MFA 11),  current CalArts BFA music student Ingrid Lee and others

Friday, July 1 at 8 pm: Music For Solo Amplified Violin with music by Adam Fong (Music MFA 06), Brent Miller, Lisa Coons, Denise Gilson, John Hastings (Music MFA 06)

Saturday, July 2 at 8 pm: Very Quiet Solo and Small Ensemble Music
with music by Michael Pisaro, Sam Sfirri, Jack Callahan, Emi Tamura (Music MFA 11) and others

Download full schedule.

Listen: New Tombstones (Michael Pisaro)

The Wild Beast (Calarts Campus)
24700 Mcbean Parkway, Valencia

The Wulf
1026 South Santa Fe Avenue #203, Los Angeles

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