by Robin Kirk
A friend of mine called this the "one-day-at-a-time-decade". Things are changing so rapidly in our lives that it is difficult to project beyond the immediate. However, that shortsightedness can mean relinquishing control over the direction of the change. We all need the support and commitment of friends and colleagues.
It is my hope that this festival will bring diverse groups of people together. The festival's visibility will introduce new music to new audiences, composers working from a broad range of concerns will have an opportunity to interact with one another, new sources of funding for contemporary arts will be tapped, and people will work collectively to solve problems.
Sources of funding are shifting and circumstances are economically uncertain. Federal funds are reduced and rather than that becoming a divisive force in the field, we will have to find new means of supporting our art.
It is my intention for the festival to be an expression of our unity. For me it has been an exciting and satisfying project. I have received support, commitment and energy from numerous individuals and organizations. I especially want to thank Rose Butte, Deborah O'Grady, Marina LaPalma and the rest of the staff and advisory committee without whom New Music America '81 would not have occurred.
From each event like this, new ideas and changes evolve. A basic premise behind new music is that artists experiment with new techniques and ideas. In each year, the region that produces a new music festival will be able to express ideas and music unique to that time and place.
I would like to give special thanks to the San Francisco Examiner for co-sponsoring the festival with the New Music Alliance. I would also like to thank the Exploratorium, Mills College, the Center for Contemporary Music, 80 Langton Street, the San Francisco Symphony, the L.J. and Mary C. Skaggs Foundation, the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music, Satellite Program Development Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, Bay Area Art Services, Paul Fromm Fund for Music, Chevron U.S.A., the Pacific Telephone Company, and Levi Strauss & Co. as well as Meet the Composer, Jeanne Marc, and all of the other institutions and individuals whose cooperation and support made this event possible.
Robin Kirck, Festival Director.