Indeterminacy is a major component of 20th-century music theory. From Braxton to Cage, infusing the concept of infinite possibility into compositional frameworks simply makes sense. But novitiates often get the wrong idea. Ignoring the countless hours of training required even to begin to grasp the enigma of indeterminate organizing principles, they think that anybody can make music this way. After all, it's just chaos. But recent observations of phenomena like fractals have demonstrated that form arises from apparent formlessness. And not everyone can follow the internal logic that develops.
The top Bay Area hothouses for chance music include Mills College, alma mater of Cheryl Leonard and Brian Pearson, and UC Berkeley, where Brian Kane allied his dual passions for philosophy and music. Recent San Francisco transplant Scott Rosenberg studied with Promethean improviser/composer Anthony Braxton at Wesleyan, where, like Leonard, Pearson, and Kane, he investigated the complex relationship between predetermined structure and unpredictable improvisation.
The contributions of Kane and Pearson to "A Transformation of Pictures," a showcase for compositions using strings and percussion, will explore indeterminate avenues. See for yourself if, in fact, you can do it too.
"A Transformation of Pictures" will be presented on Friday, Feb. 21, at 8 p.m. at the Crucible Steel Gallery, 2050 Bryant (at 18th Street). Tickets are $10 general, $8 for students, and on a sliding scale for the financially challenged; call 621-3453.
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