NUMUS Northwest Debuts At Kerry Hall

Kerry Hall and the entrance to PONCHO, the setting for NUMUS Northwest. Photo: Mark Bocek.

NUMUS Northwest Debuts At Kerry Hall

A day-long event dedicated to the creation, performance, and experience of new music in Seattle comes to Cornish College of the Arts.

A one-day new music festival, NUMUS Northwest, will be held this Saturday (January 28) at Kerry Hall. Shaya Lyon of the Live Music Project set the ball rolling last fall. To lead the project, she tapped Jim Holt, Kerry O'Brien of Nief-Norf, Kevin Clark, platform director at New Music, Maggle Stapleton from Second Inversion/Classical KING FM, and James Falzone, Cornish’s Music Chair.

“NUMUS Northwest is very explicitly modeled on the New Music Gathering. We got their permission and encouragement and everything!” wrote Clark on his website last November. “James Falzone, the new music chair at Cornish, has been an amazing ally, and is paving the way at Cornish for this to go super smoothly. He’s the man.”

The sessions begin with an invitation to Seattle’s music committee to make new friends with “New Music Speed Dating.” The format lets performers, composers, music critics, historians, music theorists, new-music aficionados, venue owners, event promoters, and students attending NUMUS to introduce themselves, chat for a minute, and then move to the next person to create more connections.

Kerry Hall is a fitting space for this gathering. Built in 1921 specifically to house Nellie Cornish's growing school of the visual and performing arts, it immediately became the gathering place for those interested in forging new ways to create music. In the 1930s, John Cage came from California to play for Bonnie Bird's dance department and teach percussion. In the 1960s, Cornish became a haven for jazz musicians. The Cornish Jazz Quintet formed in 1964 by Bob Winn, Chuck Metcalf, Floyd Standifier, Bill Kotick, and Jerry Gray opened the way for experimentation and jazz to be a hallmark of the program for the next 50 years. More recently, faculty members like Tom Baker have introduced further experimentation through such ensembles as CLEE (Cornish Live Electronic Ensemble).

Not surprisingly in a Seattle conference devoted to new music, there will much that fits right in with Cornish's history and current curriculum. The Inverted Space Ensemble will play John Cage’s open instrumentation work Four^6 (1992), featuring violin, electric guitar, live electronics, and piano. Later in the day, Cornish faculty member Paul Taub will perform the music of Latvian composer Pëteris Vasks.  Between concerts and discussion of music played, participants also will have workshops on everything from fundraising to creating collaborative composition projects.

And the best part about the day? Cornish students, and any student with a valid ID, can attend for free!  For the rest, the full day of programming, including all the concerts, is only $20.


NUMUS Northwest Schedule

9:00-10:00 Registration

10:00-10:15 Welcome (PONCHO Hall)

10:30-11:30 New Music Speed Dating (PONCHO Hall)

12:00-1:00 Workshops

  • What’s Your Story? (Aaron Grad) – Room 205
  • Group Improvisation Session (Steve Treseler & Kaley Eaton) – Room 119
  • 9 Things to Facilitate Collaborative Composition (Jessi Harvey & Lena Console) – Room 223

1:00-2:30 Lunch break

2:30-3:30 Concert: Cole, Cerrone, Cage (PONCHO Hall)

4:00-5:00 Workshops, talks, & demos

  • Fundraising & Cultivating the Medicis of Today (Jeremy Jolley & Rose Bellini) – Room 119
  • Defying Boundaries (Lori Goldston) – Room 223
  • Making Room for the Muse (David Schneider) – Room 205

5:00-6:00 Happy hour (Deluxe Bar & Grill, 625 Broadway Ave E.)

6:00-7:30 Dinner break

8:00-10:00 Concert: Oliveros, Vasks, Arteaga, Nono, Bassingthwaighte, Hagen (PONCHO Hall)

Tickets Information

Tickets include the full day of programming.

• General admission is $20

• Students are free with ID at the door