(all the gnus)
Spring 2020 [pz gazzetta xxxviii]
Pamela Z Arts' Quarterly Newsletter (view online)

event highlights | news travels goings-on | event details | past gazzetti | pamelaz.com


May 14, 2020: Global
Claire Chase: Density 2036
including Pamela Z's Louder Warmer Denser

Live Performance Streaming

May 15, 2020: Global
ODC Dance: Waving Not Drowning
score by Pamela Z

A DRINK & A DANCE: Cocktails, Screening
and Live-streeamed Artists conversation

May 23, 2020: Global
ROOM: Rooms!
Zeno Baldi, Donald Swearingen, Pamela Z
Live Performance Streaming

June 14, 2020: Global
Bang on a Can MARATHON
30 Live Performers (including Pamela Z)
Artists from homes all around the country

June 23, 2020: Global
Gray Sound Sessions
Pamela Z and Nomi Epstein
Live Streaming Solo Performances


Sonora Spolia InstallationSpeaker detail from PZ's Sonora Spolia installation at the
American Academy in Rome


di ritorno da Roma!

Gentle Gazzetta Readers,

A few short (actually extremely long) months ago, I was preparing to send you a much belated Gazzetta issue when, all of a sudden, the world turned upside down. I had a long list of upcoming events – including a Rome installment of the ROOM Series in the Salone at the American Academy, a performance of my string quartet Attention at Parco della Musica in Rome, a solo concert at the Barcelona Poesia Festival in Spain, a premiere of a newly commissioned work for cellist Amanda Gookin at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, and a performance of my Rome Prize fellowship project Simultaneous as part of the Studio Sound Series at New York's MoMA.

Fellows in exile
Before I could even finish writing and formatting the Gazzetta for you, the situation around this insidious novel virus ramped up and brought everything – and I mean everything – to a halt.

Ravioli da Rule
L'ultima cena della classe AAR del 2019/2020: Ravioli da Adam Rule!

MAXXI Museum, Rome

PZ with a Humphrey
PZ with a David Humphrey painting at Postmasters Roma

PZ at Trevi Fountain
I nearly had Trevi Fountain all to myself.

AAR Baristi (Alessandro, Tiziana, and Gabri)

AAR Kitchen Staff
AAR Kitchen Staff in the Bass Garden

AAR Fellows
Fellows gathered on the terrace
(pre-lockdown days) for a toast

Laurie Anderson and Pamela Z
Laurie Anderson and PZ at Princeton's Spatial-Sound Studio

The Tempietto in a small cortile at the Spanish Academy in Rome



A Trastevere street bizarrely devoid of people on my last day in Rome

At the beginning of March, I still thought I’d be finishing out the second half of my year in Rome but, by the end of March, the entire cohort of fellows was sent packing, and we were all disheartened to return Stateside straight into two-weeks of self-quarantine followed by the same lockdown that everyone else was sentenced to.

Needless to say, all of my live events were canceled or postponed, and I found myself facing this strange new reality – simultaneously isolated while in the very good company of all of you – making contact with the world via flat displays and headphones.

But, I should really count myself as fortunate. In spite of all those event cancellations, and my having to leave Rome just when I was starting to sink my teeth into the bounty that was my fellowship there, I still have an abundance of work to do and projects to complete. My outstanding commissions are still queued up for me to compose (including a work for soprano Julia Bullock with the San Francisco Symphony, a symphonic work for Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, Amanda Gookin's cello piece, and several more), even though the premieres are all being postponed for a season or two. So I have more than enough on my plate to occupy and sustain me through this lockdown period. I was also given two prestigeous awards – the United States Artists Fellowship and a composer award from the Academy of Arts and Letters – during my time away. As such, I’m endeavoring to turn my sympathies toward the many who are much less fortunate in this moment.

I do have some upcoming events – lockdown style – including a live installment of the Room Series – ROOMs plural! (featuring Italian composer Zeno Baldi, my longtime collaborator and partner in crime Donald Swearingen, and yours truly). Also, Claire Chase will be performing works from her Density 2036 project including my Louder Warmer Denser in a live streaming concert in support of the New Music Solidarity Fund, and ODC will be hosting an online dance and drinks event featuring cocktail delivery, a screening of Waving Not Drowning, and a live conversation between Brenda Way (the choreographer), and me (the composer). And I'll be appearing solo in two online festivals: The Bang on a Can Marathon and the Gray Sound Sessions. Scroll down for details on these events.

Buone Esperienze
Even though it was tragically cut short, I must admit that I did have some amazing experiences during the first half of my Rome Prize Fellowship. I bonded with a cohort of 30 extraordinary people – many of whom I feel will be friends for life. (We are all still actively conversing on WhatsApp, Zoom, and Google Hangouts!)

I also created and exhibited (as part of the Cinque Mostre Exhibiton) a 21-channel sound installation that will serve as the foundation for a larger work, using speech fragments taken from interviews I did with all the fellows. I created a solo performance for voice, electronics, and four channels of video for Rome’s Museo Nationale delle Arti dell XXI Secolo (MAXXI) and gave a solo concert at Sala Vanni in Florence. I explored Rome – though not nearly as thoroughly as I had planned – and I visited other locations from Tuscany to Veneto (attending la Biennale di Venezia during an extreme alta acqua period), and also made a few quick trips back to the US for engagements with Eighth Blackbird in Chicago and San Francisco, Steve Schick in San Diego, and a visit with Laurie Anderson's spatial-sound class at Princeton.

For six short months, I enjoyed countless beautiful meals lovingly crafted by the Rome Sustainable Food Project – our kitchen staff at the Academy, and at Roman bars and restaurants on Gianicolo hill, in Trastevere and beyond. I attended contemporary music concerts, operas, museum and gallery openings, and I did some studio visits at ateliers of local artists. And I participated in well-curated walking tours of monuments, churches, ancient landmarks, and archives.

I truly hope, some day after this all blows over, I’ll be able to return and spend more time in Roma, but no one knows, at this point, what the future holds.

Meanwhile, I hope you are all keeping safe and well in your respective lock-down abodes!

Bacioni a tutti,


Vatican Statues
The statues lining the Vatican City colonnades

Photos: Pamela Z, Eugenia Carabba Tettamanti, and a kind tourist


gazzetta | event highlights | news travels goings-on | event details | past gazzetti | pamelaz.com

upcoming event details:

Claire Chase: Live New Music Marathon
featuring works from DENSITY 2036
(including Pamela Z's Louder Warmer Denser)

Claire Chase, flutes

Thursday, May 14, 6-10pm EDT (3-7pm PDT)
Stream it HERE

Thursday, May 14 from 6-10pm ET , join CLAIRE CHASE for a wild four-hour LIVE STREAM Marathon of music from the Density 2036 project, generously hosted by Music on the Rebound in support of the New Music Solidarity Fund. Claire plays selections from Density 2036 (2013-2020) from her living room in Crown Heights, Brooklyn to raise money for the New Music Solidarity Fund. Solo flute works by Steve Reich, Marcos Balter, Mario Diaz de Leon, Felipe Lara, Nathan Davis, Suzanne Farrin, Du Yun, Dai Fujikura, Richard Beaudoin, Pauline Oliveros, Phyllis Chen, Pamela Z, as well as surprise world premieres every hour.
(Pamela Z's work will appear at the top of "Set 5" at approximately 6:30pm PDT/ 9:30pm EDT.)

The New Music Solidarity Fund has a goal of raising $500,000 by May 15 to make possible 1000 $500 grants to struggling artists in the new-music community. All money raised during the concert will go directly to the Fund.

.Claire Chase


6:00-6:45 pm (EDT) / 3.00-3:45 pm (PDT)
Set 1: Selections from Density 2036, prelude (2013)
Music by: Steve Reich, Marcos Balter, Mario Diaz de Leon, and a Surprise World Premiere

7:00-7:45 pm (EDT) / 4.00-4:45 pm (PDT)
Set 2: Selections from Density 2036, parts i & ii (2013-14)
Music by: Felipe Lara, Du Yun, and a Surprise World Premiere

8:00-8:30 pm (EDT) / 5.00-5:30 pm (PDT)
Set 3: Selections from Density 2036, parts iii & iv (2015-16)
Music by: Dai Fujikura, Suzanne Farrin, Nathan Davis, Pauline Oliveros, and a Surprise World Premiere

8:45-9:15 pm (EDT) / 5.45-6:15 pm (PDT)
Set 4: Selections from Density 2036, part v (2017-18)
Music by: Marcos Balter and a Surpise World Premiere

9:30-10 pm (EDT) / 6:30-7 pm (PDT)
Set 5: Selections from Density 2036, part vi (2018-19)
Music by: Pamela Z, Phyllis Chen, and
a Surpise World Premiere

Claire Chase Live (from her living room)

New Music Solidarity Fund


ODC/Dance Presents:
Drinks & a Dance

Friday May 15, 2020
5:15 pm (PDT)

Instead of a night out, we propose a night in with
Drinks & a Dance.

The drink: 
The Pivot by mixologist H. Joseph Ehrmann of SF’s famed Elixir (delivered to you)

The dance: 
Waving Not Drowning
 by choreographer Brenda Way, composer Pamela Z

ODC Dance

5:15 PST
Your Zoom theater date begins with you and your friends in an informal, social chat with mixologist, H. Joseph Ehrmann, leading you in the creation of a specialty cocktail designed for the occasion.

If you live within 20 miles of SF, your ingredients can be ordered for purchase and delivery. If you live further afield or already have the ingredients, you will receive a recipe. You will receive your link to Zoom on the day of the event.

5:45 PST
Join everyone in the Zoom lobby with choreographer Brenda Way and composer Pamela Z as they chat live about the work, its origins, humor, and implications.

6:00 PST
Waving Not Drowning, a 30 minute dance, is a wry engaging work based on the slim volume, “A Guide to Elegance” written in the 1960’s. (This performance by the ODC dancers was captured of the world premiere in 2010 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.)

6:30 PST
Meet back in Zoom for a post-concert conversation with the artists and dancers. Or make another one of those divine cocktails.
RSVP required, limited to 50 participants
Concert complimentary/Donation welcome

Info for ordering your drink from Elixer Here


Elixer Ingredients

room: ROOM(s)
Zeno Baldi, Donald Swearingen, and Pamela Z
performing LIVE
Saturday, May 23, 2020, 1pm PDT / 4pm EDT / 10pm CET


The ROOM Series is back with ROOMs (plural)!

Three composer/peformers will perform live solo works – Zeno Baldi (from a room in Verona, Italy), Donald Swearingen (from a room in Oakland, CA) and Pamela Z (from a room in San Francisco) and then finish the concert with a live, latency-washed, tutti improvisation.

Zeno Baldi (Italy)
Donald Swearingen (USA)
Pamela Z (USA)

Room Logo

This concert is free, but you're welcome to donate any amount to support the artists:

(RSVP Here to receive the Zoom Link)

ROOM(s) Series
Live Streaming over Zoom


Pamela Z Solo Performance during the

Sunday, June 14, 2020
, 3pm - 9pm EDT (noon - 6pm PDT)

Pamela Z will give a live solo performance from her live/work studio in San Francisco as part of the Bang on a Can Live Onine Marathon, on Sunday, June 14, 2020, between 3pm and 9pm EDT (12pm and 6pm PDT). Check the Bang On A Can website for the full schedule (coming soon)

Composers Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe created the first BANG ON A CAN Marathon concert in 1987 in order to break down the barriers that separate musical communities. "Imagine Lollapalooza advised by the ghost of John Cage," Vanity Fair wrote. "There are other places to hear new contemporary music, but it is seldom offered with such a potent blend of intensity, authority, and abandon." 

We are all waiting for the world to heal, but until it does, we all have to do what we can.  We will start by hosting a LIVE Bang on a Can Marathon. Six hours of uncompromisingly adventurous, searching music played by some of the most amazing performers on the planet.  Please join us!
– Michael Gordon, David Lang & Julia Wolfe

Bang On A Can Marathon


Pamela Z Solo Performance on

Tuesday, June 23, 2020
, 6pm PDT / 8pm CDT

Pamela Z will give a solo performance of works for solo voice and electronics, from her studio in San Francisco, on a shared evening with Nomi Epstein as part of GRAY SOUND SESSIONS, a weekly music-and-sound streaming series featuring virtual concerts, happenings, experiments, a playing-around with form and platform during quarantine. 

Pamela Z
(photo Scarlett Freund)

The Gray Center has launched Gray Sound Sessions, a free, streaming weekly music-and-sound series featuring concerts but also happenings and experiments with form and platform. The series showcases searching performances from some of our favorite musicians and sound-makers including Opera Povera, Seth Parker Woods, a•pe•ri•od•ic, Viola Yip and Nicola Hein, and many more.

Gray Sound Sessions take place on Tuesday evenings at 8pm Central Daylight Time on the Gray Center’s Gray Sound Sessions page and the Gray Center's Facebook page. All events are sponsored by the Gray Center and free and open to the public, but we ask listener-watchers to consider making their own donations to the featured performers. The series is the initiative of Seth Brodsky (Gray Center Director), Zachary Cahill (Gray Center Director of Programs and Projects), and Seth Parker Woods (Artist-in-Residence at the University of Chicago). Others will surely be brought into the mix. We look forward to tuning in with you, near and far.





gazzetta | event highlights | news travels goings-on | event details | past gazzetti | pamelaz.com

Pamela Z is a composer/performer and media artist whose solo works combine a wide range of vocal techniques with electronic processing, samples, video, and gesture activated MIDI controllers. Ms. Z has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. Her work has been presented at venues and exhibitions including Bang on a Can (NY), the Japan Interlink Festival, Other Minds (SF), the Venice Biennale, and the Dakar Biennale. She's created installation works and composed scores for dance, film, and new music chamber ensembles. Her numerous awards include the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Doris Duke Artist Impact Award, the Creative Capital Fund, the Herb Alpert Award, the ASCAP Award, an Ars Electronica honorable mention and the NEA/JUSFC Fellowship. www.pamelaz.com

Pamela Z is fiscally sponsored by Circuit Network. If you wish to make a tax-deductible contribution to Pamela Z or Pamela Z Arts, you can make a donation via PayPal:

Or you can write a check to Circuit Network with "Pamela Z Arts" in the notation and send it to:
Circuit Network, 499 Alabama Street, Suite 203, San Francisco, CA 94110

gazzetta | event highlights | news travels goings-on | event details | past gazzetti | pamelaz.com

Pamela Z Arts | 540 Alabama Street, Studio 214 | San Francisco, CA | 94110 | tel: 415 572 6352

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