Leading up to the concert on April 24th at the Center for New Music we will be talking to our composers and performers to get an idea of how their brains work and releasing one or two per day leading up to the show. The rehearsals are going great, and I know everybody involved couldn’t be happier with how things are moving along.

Per usual, the composers will initially be anonymous, but you are welcome to read this (spoilers!) and give yourself a competitive advantage in guessing before the official announcement!


Introducing plucked string master and half of Jarring Sounds, Adam Cockerham:

Friend or foe?

My name is Adam Cockerham, I’m a Bay Area guitarist and early music specialist. I grew up playing trumpet in Maryland and picked up guitar in high school to join a rock band. Electric guitar wasn’t a great fit, but when I first started learning classical guitar it came pretty naturally. I moved to San Francisco seven years ago to study guitar. Right now, I work mostly as an ensemble player, whether its baroque accompaniment or doing ensemble work with vocalists and instrumentalists. Performing in ensembles, especially with someone like Danielle, is much more rewarding to me than solo work.

Working on brand new pieces… why would you ever do this to yourself?

Working directly with composers is always a huge pleasure for me. This opportunity was pretty unique, seven world premieres in one concert?! That many composers at once made for really interesting comparisons in writing style; some people started the composition with the text, some with the music; some people have a guitar background, some don’t; there were jazz influences, microtonal influences, baroque opera influences….I’m really impressed and delighted by the variety of pieces we ended up with.

crater lake pic
What’s it been like so far?

Our first workshop with partially finished pieces was really interesting with so many composers in the room at the same time. Composers weren’t just getting mine and Danielle’s feedback from a technical standpoint, but were also hearing compositional suggestions from fellow composers. I had fun hearing suggestions from another composers perspective, something that’s hard to get when you’re working one on one with a composer.

Anything people should know about leading up to the show?

Jarring Sounds has one more full program before we take the summer off. To balance out all of this new music, we’re playing a concert at the Berkeley Early Music Festival. Concert will take place on Friday, June 6th, at St. Joseph of Arimathea Chapel in Berkeley at 12 pm. Program will include lute songs, airs de cour, and baroque monodies.

Photo by Betsy Kershner.

Performer – Adam Cockerham – Jarring Sounds (making our own)

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