Last week, the L.A. experimental music festival Dog Star Orchestra returned for its ninth year. The series of concerts created by composer and CalArts faculty Michael Pisaro, brings together the local experimental music community for nine concerts in two weeks at the culmination of summer. The festival began on Monday (Aug. 5) and wraps up on Aug. 17.
This year’s series is co-directed by alumni Colin Wambsgans (Music MFA 11) and James Klopfleisch (Music MFA 10), with each of the nine concerts curated by a separate Los Angeles-based composer. Like last year’s festival, each concert covers a broader scope of experimental music, ranging from aleatoric music to music created with nature sounds. Some concerts include one or two longer works, while other programs feature many composers’ works. The concert venues vary from music performed in a canyon and at Echo Park Lake, to house concerts around Los Angeles and traditional venues like Automata in Chinatown and the Wild Beast at CalArts.
“A couple of concerts feature real warhorses of the genre (in as much as this genre has warhorses) such as Christian Wolff’s Changing the System and Morton Feldman’s For John Cage. There are also many premieres from LA composers and special performances and pieces by Dutch composer and pianist, Dante Boon,” says Wambsgans via telephone. “Generally, the festival is a nice way for L.A. experimental composers to coalesce around a series of events that happen towards the end of every summer.”
The final show on Aug. 17 at the Wild Beast features music by multiple young composers from the German experimental music label, Wandelweiser.
Below is the schedule of remaining concerts:
- Mon. 8/12 – Andrew McIntosh and Dante Boon perform music by Jürg Frey, Dante Boon, John Cage, W.A. Mozart and Franz Schubert, Wild Beast at CalArts, Valencia, 8 pm.
- Tue. 8/13 – Kathy Pisaro presents music by Alvin Lucier, Kunsu Shim, Howard Skempton, John Cage and Urs Peter Schnieder. Wild Beast at CalArts, Valencia, 8 pm.
- Wed. 8/14 – Andrew McIntosh and Dante Boon perform Morton Feldman’s For John Cage. Wild Beast at CalArts, Valencia, 8 pm.
- Friday 8/16 – Brendan Carn’s Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo. Echo Park Lake, in the park near the corner of Echo Park and Park, 8 pm. Bring picnic food and/or blankets.
- Saturday 8/17 – Es geht weiter, music by Jason Brogan, Dante Boon, Taylan Susam, Sam Sfirri, Daniel Brandes, Stefan Thut, Johnny Chang. Wild Beast at CalArts, Valencia, 5 pm. Potluck at Michael Pisaro’s house in Valencia following the concert.