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Thingamajigs Exhibit @ Center for New Music

Thingamajigs Exhibit @ Center for New Music

The Center for New Music hosts a rotating exhibit of experimental music instruments, curated by Thingamajigs.


July 22, 2014Cheryl Leonard – Natural Object Instruments

Posted by: Center for New Music

Check out these great photos from Cheryl Leonard’s talk and performance celebrating her exhibit of natural object instruments. Special thanks to Michael Zelner for the snapshots.

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July 22, 2014: Brenda’s talk

Posted by: Center for New Music

Here’s an image from Brenda Hutchinson’s presentation, with her Giant Music Box in the foreground.

Brenda’s not typically an instrument builder, but this Music Box has been on a tour to children’s museums around the country for the last decade. We were thrilled to bring it to San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, and delight the many passersby, new music aficianadoes, and concert-goers alike.

July 22, 2014: Kronos, Peter Whitehead and Brenda Hutchinson

Posted by: Center for New Music

Our year of displaying experimental musical instruments has been a wonderful asset and opportunity so far! After a special collection of instruments presented in partnership with Kronos, we had exhibits by local inventors Peter Whitehead and Brenda Hutchinson.

Each exhibit has been accompanied by a free event with the artists. These have proven to be great opportunities for the community of instrument builders, inventors, tinkerers, and fans, to come together in an intimate setting.

If you’re visiting San Francisco this summer or fall, be sure to swing by our window gallery!

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Since the beginning of July, the Center for New Music has played host to an array of instruments curated by Bart Hopkin and David Samas on behalf of Thingamajigs, a genre-crossing arts organization that promotes, presents and performs music created with made and found materials or alternate tuning systems. Thingamajigs' mission is to develop and nurture the exploration of alternate materials and methods of creating sound, and promote collaborative efforts with other artistic disciplines not generally associated with festivals of music.

The Center for New Music is a community center for participants of new music in San Francisco. The Center serves the practitioners of creative, non-commercial music by providing the resources they need, including space to work, rehearse, and perform, access to a like-minded community, and access to media resources. Through these services, the Center seeks to support and build the community of new music to encourage its efficiency, growth, integration, and excellence.

The instruments are displayed in the Center's front window display at 55 Taylor Street. It is easily viewed from the street, and pedestrians are welcomed to enter the Center for a closer look and to interact with the exhibit.

The goal of these exhibitions is to bring the tradition of instrumental innovations, which is longstanding in the SF Bay Area, closer to the general public. The window display allows the Center to interact with people walking through the neighborhood on a daily basis. By creating this engagement, the Thingamajigs exhibit brings a greater awareness of the tradition of instrument building to the new music community.

There will be a new artist installation featured on the the display every 2 months. Each exhibit will be celebrated with a public opening reception at the Center, where the artists will present, discuss, and perform/demonstrate their works.


2014 Experimental Musical Instruments

January - February: Kronos Quartet presents select commissioned instruments from past projects.

March - April: Peter Whitehead with hand-made overtone flutes, harps, gongs and new instrumental toys.

May - June: Alternative keyboards and keybars in a group show including Dennis Aman, David Samas, and others, and featuring a metallophone by Lou Harrison and Bill Colvig.

July - August: Bryan Day with a motion activated site-specific installation.

September - October: Cheryl Leonard with sculptural instruments using objects from the natural world.

November - December:  Innovative electronics hacks and programs in a group show with Amar Chaudhury (programmer), Horaflora & Johnny Radio (acoustic hackers, circuit bending),  Joe Lasqo (keyboards, MAX)

Project-related Media

Bart Hopkin @ Thingamajigs Fundraiser Concert

Bart Hopkin, one of the featured artists, performing his instruments at the Meridian Gallery in San Francisco, CA. The same instruments were part of the front window exhibit at the Center for New Music.

Cheryl Leonard @ SF Electronic Music Festival

Cheryl Leonard, one of the featured artists from our 2014 season, performing her composition "Polarnatt" in the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival at the Brava Theater on September 8, 2012. The instruments played in "Polarnatt" are Norwegian seashells, Antarctic limpet shells, stones from Svalbard and Antarctica, glass, and sea salt. The piece also includes field recordings the artist made in Svalbard of melting brash ice, and an improvisation played on metal handrails in Pyramiden, an abandoned Russian coal-mining town.


Peter Whitehead @ Gallery 60Six

Peter Whitehead performs at Gallery 60Six for the opening of his solo exhibition "The Brightness of the Day...". "The Brightness of the Day..." presents found object instruments, never without a surprise (i.e. a ski, giant water container, wooden spoons, salad bowl, fishing line,) textile paintings and mixed media collages compiled over ten years, works which illuminate the whimsy, inventiveness, and integration of Whitehead's world of musical and visual poetry.


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Project Details

Start and End Date

01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


San Francisco, California

Updates (3 RECENT)

Last Updated July 22, 2014

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Center for New Music

San Francisco , California

The Center for New Music San Francisco, Inc. is a community center for participants of new music in San Francisco. The Center serves the practitioners of creative, non-commercial music by providing the resources they need, including space to work, rehearse, and perform, access to a like-minded community, and access to media resources. Through these services,...


Bart Hopkin

Point Reyes Station, California

Role: Artist


Oakland, California

Role: Curator

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