2020 soundOn Festival of Modern Music

Thresholds, January 9-12, 2020

Open Rehearsals and Chamber Music Concerts


The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library is pleased to announce Thresholds, the 13th Annual soundON Festival of Modern Music, a three-day long series of concerts curated by Colin McAllister.


The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, together with San Diego New Music, presents the soundON Festival of Modern Music, annually in January. The soundON Festival of Modern Music brings together an international roster of composers and performers to present a three-day exploration of contemporary chamber music. Featuring performances by NOISE and Affiliated Artists, the multi-day festival format allows us to present unconventional works in an informal and enjoyable setting. We also reach out to young artists and audiences through an interactive workshop to build a new generation of new music supporters and artists. Now in its thirteenth year, the soundON Festival has become a fixture in the musical landscape of San Diego.


In the Confessions, St. Augustine wrote about the distentio animi, the distension of the mind that refers to its stretching out in relation to past and future, a three-fold present known in memory, attention, and expectation. This is an analogue to what musicians would call “performative time,” or perhaps, what Gabriel Motzkin calls “abnormal time,” a transcendent state that can be experienced only at those rare moments when the normal, everyday world loses its meaning, thus making this kind of time more authentic. The 13th edition of the SoundON Festival of Modern Music explores these rarified states, these journeys to thresholds of space, time, memory and perception.


The soundON Festival of Modern Music is underwritten by a generous donation from Garna Muller and is supported by a grant from the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation. 


Housing for artists is generously provided by Ann Craig and Garna Muller.


Thank you to our Friends of soundON Julia S. Falk, Ph.D., Drs. Sally and Einar Gall, Christian Hertzog and Susan Dorin, Garna Muller, Catherine and Robert Palmer, Erika and Fred Torri, Eric Starr and Sarah Skuster, and to the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library for their continued support, to Ann Craig and Garna Muller, to San Diego State University for providing rehearsal space and instruments, and to the University of San Diego for providing audio equipment.



Colin McAllister, guitar and conductor
Lisa Cella, flute
Mark Menzies, violin
Franklin Cox, cello
Morris Palter, percussion 
Robert Zelickman, clarinet
Christopher Adler, piano



Jane Zwerneman, horn
Matt Kline, bass
Todd Rewoldt, saxophone
Derek Keller, composer, voice
Anthony Tan, composer, piano


Thursday, January 9, 7:30 PM

... on the edge of forever ...


Graciela Paraskevaídis, Sin ir mas lejos
Anthony Tan, Endlessnessnessness
Mark Osborn, Sleep in the Shape of My Body
Glenda Keam, Rimmer in Space
Stuart Saunders Smith, Giants ** world premiere
Student composer commissioned work by Diego Rodriguez (UCSD)
Nathan Brock, Cenotaph
Salina Fisher, Komorebi

Saturday, January 11, 7:30 PM

liminal space and the archetypes of time


Alberto Posadas, Tres pinturas imaginarias
Stuart Saunders Smith, Peace ** world premiere
Gerard Grisey, Vortex Temporum

Sunday, January 12, 2:00 PM

... the edge of perception ...


Derek Keller, Three Pieces for Piano
Student composer commissioned work by Ezekiel Mortensen (Palomar College)
Benjamin Britten, Along the Field
Anthony Tan, On the Sensations of Tone II
Vera Ivanova, Aura
Luke Schulze, Racines
Graciela Paraskevaídis, Libres en el sonido presos en el sonido



Joan & Irwin Jacobs Music Room

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

1008 Wall Street

La Jolla, CA 92037

Click here for directions


Festival Pass: $55 member / $70 nonmember / $15 student

Individual Concerts: $20 member / $25 nonmember / $5 student




Online tickets are subject to ticketing fees.