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Pacific Pythagorean Music Festival

March 31, 2019 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

$10 – $25

Pacific Pythagorean Music Festival presented by The Del Sol String Quartet at the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

San Francisco’s first festival celebrating ‘just intonation’ compositions with an all-star lineup of Bay Area performers from experimental to traditional styles

Most music traditions around the world tune musical intervals as whole number ratios of frequencies. The Pythagoreans did this, playing the monochord, a single-string instrument that generates simple divisions of the string to create music. Touch the string at ½, ⅓ or other fraction of the length, and you get tones that create beautiful resonant intervals. In Europe, the rise of the piano, designed to move between keys without being retuned, forced a compromise in this mathematically rational system.

San Francisco’s Del Sol Quartet presents San Francisco’s first festival to return to the world of pure intervals often called “just intonation.”

The Bay Area is the birthplace of American just intonation composition, from archetypal outsider artist Harry Partch to composer Ben Johnston, and continues to nourish this tradition.

The four-hour festival will take place in the soaring Yud Gallery at The Contemporary Jewish Museum. In this light-filled space built with acoustic resonance in mind, audiences can experience a whole range of music that can be made with keeping “rational numbers” in mind, from soulful variations of “Amazing Grace” to highly calculated avant-garde compositions to the improvised world of extended wind techniques.

Performers include composers/performers: Ellen Fullman (long string and autoharp), Theresa Wong (cello and vocals), Matt Ingalls (clarinet), Kyle Bruckmann (oboe), Chris Brown of Mills College (tuned piano), Larry Polansky of UC Santa Cruz (guitar), Arjun Verma (sitar), as well as the Del Sol String Quartet.

Music to be performed includes the world premiere of new quartet work by Michael Harrison and works by Ben Johnston, Ellen Fullman, Chris Brown, Larry Polansky, Matt Ingalls, Arjun Verma, Theresa Wong, and more. This first festival also launches a new commissioning arm of Del Sol Performing Arts Organization to produce future works in just intonation, including works to be premiered in 2020.

$25 general (all day ticket, includes Museum admission); $10 with valid student ID


March 31, 2019
12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
$10 – $25
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Del Sol String Quartet
Contemporary Jewish Museum


Contemporary Jewish Museum
736 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103 United States
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