Anyone who thinks classical music is going the way of the telephone booth needs to be kidnapped by the Guerrilla Composers Guild (GCG) and taken to the Center for New Music holding pen… dozens of new-music lovers crammed into the concert space to hear the evolving group Phonochrome and friends play six new chamber works by as many worthy composers. Almost everyone — performers, composers, and, most significantly, audience members — was apparently under 30. I can now die in peace knowing art music will continue to prosper… Speaking in Early Telephone Booth lingo, my Hat Is Off to all concerned with this Guerrilla enterprise.

– Jeff Dunn on GCG and Phonochrome, San Francisco Classical Voice:


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On the Guerrilla Composers:

For this concert they [Phonochrome] have hooked up with the Guerrilla Composers Guild… I love that name… they’re new music impresarios in San Francisco.

– Cyrus Musiker on GCG and Phonochrome, KQED Arts:

While Choate clearly understood the nature of “fanfare rhetoric,” he managed to cast it in a framework of entirely different melodic and harmonic tropes. This was music to grab the listener’s attention through novelty and hold it through technical discipline.

This was followed by music by the oldest composer, Nick Benavides… For me this was a rather engaging bit of nostalgia, leaving me thinking about how the source material predated the composer’s birth by about two decades.

The music itself involved some fascinating approaches to texture, no mean feat when one realizes that the acoustic properties of the three instruments do not lend themselves to interleaving counterpoint. However, given the broad diversity of sonorities with which Clay has worked in the past, it was not surprising to find him rising to the challenges of the lower register.

– Review on the International Low Brass Trio + Guerrilla Composers Guild –

Clay chose to reassign the repeated passage to a tape loop, created and then captured on a cassette… the result was a faint suggestion of two distinct pitches, emerging, with some suggestion of a rhythmic pattern, through a fog of analog electronic noise.

…many of Withrow’s sonorous objectives seemed to involve meticulous attention to the balance of the different timbres contributed by each instrument.

…the audience was obliged to provide accompaniment [for Benavides] by intoning pitches they heard Chalasani playing for the duration of a breath… This made for a unique approach to get the listener involved in the embellishment process, situating the soloist in the middle of a cloud of seemingly unrelated pitches.

The trio then regathered to conclude the evening with Joseph Colombo’s “I Smoke My Pipe.” The was definitely the most energetic work of the evening…This music was clearly thought out in terms of how repetitions and departures from those repetitions had been planned; but, in its own way, it managed also to capture that spirit of jamming that was so prevalent at the beginning of the evening.

– Stephen Smoliar, review of “Teleformation” –

Those who read my account of the alliance between the International Low Brass Trio and the Guerilla Composers Guild will be happy to know that the alliance is continuing and will occupy the 1 p.m. slot. Other contributing ensembles will include the Friction Quartet, the Mobius Trio, and the Phonochrome Collective

– Preview of the Guerrilla Composers Guild set at the Hot Air Music Festival