Shin-ichi Matsushita: Subject 17
The Third Annual Festival of the Avant Garde took place at 321 Divisadero St., San Francisco, in April 1965, sponsored by KPFA and run by myself, Peter Winkler and Robert Moran. Looking back on it I don't know how we had the guts: later endeavors have since convinced me of the enormity of such an undertaking. But we did, and it worked for the most part.
It was a sort of celebration of having the hall at all. KPFA and Ann Halprin’s Dancers’ Workshop joined the Tape Music Center in renting it. KPFA put on three concerts in the Festival, which was of course the first Third Annual. (There was a second one the following year, of which the less said the better.)
Earle Brown: Four Systems Robert Moran, piano; Georges Rey, violin; Gwendolyn Watson, cello
Robert Moran: Interiors Third Annual Ensemble
Peter Winkler: But a Rose John Thomas, countertenor; Peter and Judy Winkler, piano
Joshua Rifkin: Winter Piece Robert Moran, Georges Rey, Gwendolyn Watson
John Cage: The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs John Thomas; Peter Winkler
Ian Underwood: The God Box Nelson Green, horn.
Douglas Leedy: Quaderno Rossiniano for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, bassoon, piano, horn, cymbals and bass drum.
Third Annual Ensemble
Roman Haubenstock-Ramati: Decisions I Robert Moran; with prerecorded tape.
John Cage: three pieces for solo piano
Sylvano Bussotti: Piano Piece for David Tudor 3 Robert Moran
LaMonte Young: 42 for Henry Flynt Peter Winkler, gong
Shin-ichi Matsushita: Hexahedra Third Annual Ensemble
Morton Feldman: Durations 1 for piano, violin, and cello
Durations 3 for piano, violin, and tuba
Charles Shere: Two Pieces for two cellos
Ed Nylund, Gwendolyn Watson, cellos
Shinichi Matsushita: Hexahedra Third Annual Ensemble
Shere: Accompanied Vocal Exercises Linda Fulton, soprano; Peter Winkler, piano
Galen Schwab: Homage to Anestis Logothetis
Moran: Invention, Book I Robert Moran, piano
Anestis Logothetis: Centres
John Cage: Variations II Third Annual Ensemble
Third Annual Festival of the Avant Garde Ensemble:
John Thomas, voice; Nelson Green, horn; Arthur Schwab, Robert Moran, Ian Underwood and Peter Winkler, piano; Linda Fulton, soprano; Georges Rey and John Tenney, violin; Ed Nylund, Gwendolyn Watson, cello; Jim Basye, tuba; Charles Shere, bass drum and cymbals; William Maginnis, percussion; Judy Winkler, door and piano interior
I don't recall who played flute or bassoon in Quaderno, or who played piano and violin in the Feldman pieces. I do remember the hall was pretty well full for the opening concert, say 150 people. We scheduled the Soft Concert — so called because it was generally rather quiet — late, because a big Ernst Bloch memorial had been scheduled for that night in Marin county, and we knew a lot of our audience would be playing in it, so we scheduled the Soft Concert late, starting at 11 p.m. to give people a chance to get to 321 Divisadero. In the event, we had a full house.
Jim Basye had never played solo tuba before, it was his 16th birthday and the performance was gorgeous. The Japanese composer Shinichi Matsushita had never been heard in San Francisco before. 42 for Henry Flynt almost brought me and Bob Hughes to blows, in a disagreement which was finally healed later when he heard the piece again, a few years later, played just for him at a symposium at Esalen. Peter Winkler's performance at this Festival was much better, as can be heard online.
When I last wrote about the Festival, in 1975, I concluded with a Where Are They Now paragraph. Many are gone from this realm entirely, alas. All the composers were living when their music was programmed; of them Brown, Cage, Haubenstock-Ramati, Matsushita, Feldman, and Logothetis have left us, and I don't know about Galen Schwab, who seemed ephemeral even at the time.