Lazy, hazy summer days… Not much really happening, unless you hoof it to some festival or other… Or, for the price of simply wearing out your finger clicking, you could spend the better part of the next couple weeks feasting on the treasure trove that is the Other Minds website.
Founded in 1993 by Jim Newman and Charles Amirkhanian, the Other Minds Festival has become a San Francisco Bay-area institution, supporting the exposure for and exchange between a vast array of new-music and musicians important these last twenty-plus years, on or off the beaten path. The festival doesn’t simply rely on the concert-hall, but spreads to initmate, open places where the audience and artists can truly feel free to interact.
More significant for us, early on Other Minds realized the value of the web for not just presenting but also archiving and sharing the music and ideas that flowed from the festival. They began to offer snippets, then entire concerts, from all of the festivals; added special articles and tributes to important musicians; and now even sell their own CDs, videos and books. I should also mention sometime-S21-visitor Richard Friedman’s related “Music from Other Minds” bay-area radio program, which also streams each broadcast and is linked at the OM site. There’s lots of news on their homepage, too, making well worth becoming one of your regular bookmarks.
It’s futile for me to even attempt to list all of the wonderful musicians documented at the site; so just go, see, hear, listen and learn. What else were you doing with your summer anyway? Maybe it’ll even get you thinking about how you can make it to next year’s festival…