Resonance: About the Series

Hear a musical instrument made from penguin bones. Discover how remixed sound samples can form the backdrop for a lounge act. Experience songs composed from the frequencies of starlight.

Explore distant realms of musical possibility with Resonance, an evening new music series at the Exploratorium. Contemporary musicians and sound artists will perform new works and discuss their ideas, techniques, and inspirations with radio host and pianist Sarah Cahill.

Resonance performances will be held in the Exploratorium’s Kanbar Forum, and enlivened by its state-of-the-art, 72-channel Meyer Sound Constellation sound system, providing the audience with an intimate experience of each event’s sonic details.

About the Kanbar Forum

The Exploratorium’s 3,600-square-foot venue is a multidisciplinary theater space that features exceptional sound technology.

Learn more »

Curator Wayne Grim

"The Resonance series is about music and sound created or captured in interesting and unusual ways by important artists working in many fields. Some of the music and musicians may be unknown to the general public but that’s not a reflection of relevance. These musicians and sound artists are working on fascinating projects that need to be heard.

"During the series, we discover the hows and whys of music making, and explore the technology, culture, science, art, and perception of sound. We offer recorded interviews; live talks, performances, sound experiments, and demonstrations; installations; and produced audio and video segments. Sarah Cahill, an extraordinary musician, radio show emcee, and music scholar, hosts the series.

"Resonance was inspired by Speaking of Music, a series copresented by the Exploratorium with Charles Amirkhanian from 1983 to 1992. It featured prominent musicians and composers focusing on the creative process. I try to offer the same kind of enlightening and playful look at music with Resonance."

—Wayne Grim

Host Sarah Cahill

Pianist and radio host Sarah Cahill has commissioned, premiered, and recorded numerous compositions for solo piano. She has consistently championed new works by contemporary American composers, and many have dedicated works to her, including John Adams, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Pauline Oliveros, Annea Lockwood, and Evan Ziporyn. She enjoys working closely with composers, musicologists, and scholars to prepare scores for performance.

Cahill was music critic for the East Bay Express and other alternative weeklies for 20 years, and has contributed her writings to several books, including The John Adams Reader, Critical Essays on Galway Kinnell, and A Life Drawn to Liberation, an anthology about Frederic Rzewski.

Her radio show, Revolutions Per Minute, can be heard every Sunday evening from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. on KALW. She also teaches twentieth century keyboard literature at the San Francisco Conservatory and curates a monthly series of new music concerts at the Berkeley Art Museum.