The evening will feature performances by musician and composer Zachary Watkins (formerly of Black Spirituals) and his collaborator Sharmi Basu. Both are resonant forces in the Bay Area experimental sound community, and they will perform both collaborative and solo compositions. Additional music will be provided by DJ Patrick Lotilla.
Proceeds from opening night party ticket sales will support YBCA’s arts and civic engagement residency at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in San Francisco’s Excelsior district, which helps students develop the creative, collaborative and critical thinking skills to become change makers in their communities.
Regular Admission: $12 in advance / $15 at the door
FREE for YBCA Members at all levels*.
YBCA Members enjoy unlimited free admission to Opening Night Parties*.
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*Number of tickets per visit based on membership level.
Zachary James Watkins studied composition with Janice Giteck, Jarrad Powell, Robin Holcomb and Jovino Santos Neto at Cornish College. In 2006, Zachary received an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College where he studied with Chris Brown, Fred Frith, Alvin Curran and Pauline Oliveros. Zachary has received commissions from Cornish College of The Arts, The Microscores Project, the Beam Foundation, Somnubutone Radio Series free103point9.org, sfsound and the Seattle Chamber Players. His 2006 composition Suite for String Quartetwas awarded the Paul Merritt Henry Prize for Composition and has subsequently been performed at the Labs 25th Anniversary Celebration, the Labor Sonor Series at Kule in Berlin Germany and in Seattle Wa, as part of the 2nd Annual Town Hall New Music Marathon featuring violist Eyvind Kang. Zachary has performed in numerous festivals across the United States, Mexico and Europe and his band Black Spirituals opened for pionering Drone Metal bandEarth during their 2015 European tour. In 2008, Zachary premiered a new multi-media work entitled Country Western as part of the Meridian Gallery’s Composers in Performance Series that received grants from the The American Music Center and The Foundation for Contemporary Arts. An excerpt of this piece is published on a compilation album entitled “The Harmonic Series” along side Pauline Oliveros, Ellen Fullman, Theresa Wong Charles Curtis and Duane Pitre among others. Zachary designed the sound and composed music for the plays “I have loved Strangers” produced by Just Theatre, which listed “top ten of 2007” in the East Bay Express and the 8th Annual ReOrient Theatre Festival. His sound art work entitled Third Floor::Designed Obsolescence, “spoke as a metaphor for the breakdown of the dream of technology and the myth of our society’s permanence,” review by Susan Noyes Platt in the Summer 05 issue of ARTLIES. Zachary releases music on the labels Sige, Cassauna, Confront (UK), The Tapeworm and Touch (UK). Novembre Magazine (DE), ITCH (ZA), Walrus Press and the New York Miniature Ensemble have published his writings and scores. Zachary has been an artist in resident at the Espy Foundation, Djerassi and the Headlands Center for The Arts.
Sharmi Basu is an Oakland born and based South Asian woman of color creating experimental music as a means of decolonizing musical language. She attempts to catalyze a political, yet ethereal aesthetic by combining her anti-colonial and anti-imperialist politics with a commitment to spirituality within the arts. She is an MFA graduate from the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College in Electronic Music and Recording Media and has worked with Fred Frith, Roscoe Mitchell, John Bischoff, Pauline Oliveros, Chris Brown, George Lewis, Nicholas Collins, Laetitia Sonami, Jesse Drew, Bob Ostertag, Dr. Nalini Ghuman, Maggi Payne, and more. Her workshops on “Decolonizing Sound” have been featured at the International Society for Improvised Music, the Empowering Women of Color Conference, and have reached international audiences. She performs almost 100 times a year and has toured through the US and Canada as well as internationally in Europe. She specializes in new media controllers, improvisation in electronic music, and intersectionality within music and social justice. She currently teaches Sound Art and Interactive Art at Ex’pression College in the Bay Area. She also founded and hosts an all people-of-color improvisation and performance group called the MARA Performance Collective in Oakland, CA.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.
YBCA Exhibitions 2017–2018 are made possible in part by: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Panta Rhea Foundation, Meridee Moore and Kevin King, and United Airlines.
YBCA Programs 2017–2018 are made possible, in part, by: The James Irvine Foundation.
Additional Funding for YBCA Programs 2017–2018: National Endowment for the Arts, Abundance Foundation, Grosvenor, and members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.
Lead Image: Tommy Lau