UC San Diego's Department of Music

January 05, 2011

  Celebrating UCSD's 50th anniversary, music alumni from several decades join forces January 20-22 for Sonic Diasporas, the Department of Music's first ever alumni music festival and symposium.

Two prominent alums give keynote speeches on Jan. 20 at 8 pm: Cutting edge performance artist Diamanda Galas and edgy Bay Area composer/band leader Paul Dresher. The festival features thirteen concerts as well as panel discussions and lectures--all events are free and open to the public.

Showcasing influential innovators in new and experimental music, Sonic Diasporas represents the tremendous impact UCSD's music department has had since its founding by composers Will Ogdon and Robert Erickson in the  sixties. Today, the department is ranked on a par with Ircam in Paris and other nodes of groundbreaking music.

Alumni artists who will participate in Sonic Diasporas also include film composer Larry Groupe, renowned bassist Mark Dresser (now on UCSD's music faculty), and Aiyun Huang, who directs the percussion program at McGill University in Montreal.

Groupe's credits include The Contender, Deterrence, the upcoming remake of Straw Dogs, as well as the television program Commander in Chief. Dresser has recorded and performed around the world with luminaries such as John Zorn and Anthony Braxton. Huang is known for critically acclaimed performances around the world--and as a groundbreaking woman percussionist in field traditionally dominated by men.

The festival also gives music alums the chance to re-unite with mentors from the music faculty, such as trumpeter Ed Harkins, vocalist Philip Larson, and violinist János Négyesy, who will all perform during the festival.

In addition to concerts, several lectures and panel discussions cover topics of research and theory explored by music alumni, such as Carol Vernallis' presentation of ways in which new technologies have helped shape popular music, film, and video games. And the festival also includes installation works.

Festival events take place at UCSD's Conrad Prebys Music Center, with two concerts also scheduled for the Loft night club at the Price Center on campus.

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