Music x Ideas x Space = Compose LA

Feb 6–Feb 27, 2019
Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs


Music x Ideas x Space = Compose LA

A Showcase of Composers, Musicians, and Ideas
From LA’s Dynamic Music Scene
February 6 to 27, 2019

Los Angeles – The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is spearheading a new city-wide music presentation and lecture series for 2019, Music x Ideas x Space = Compose LA. From February 6 to February 27, Angelenos and visitors will be able to experience performances across the LA region as music and ideas intertwine at historic concert venues and hidden underground spaces throughout the city.

“This new pilot initiative places art at the forefront of the musical and cultural conversation while amplifying and embracing the voices of community. DCA’s Compose LA creates a dialogue connecting the composers’ music with daily life. This synergy of music and ideas at venues that traverse LA neighborhoods will create conversations that are accessible, personal, and candid,” said DCA’s General Manager Danielle Brazell.

“Compose LA offers a diverse platform to explore a terrifically wide range of contributions at the interface of music, sound, culture, and ideas concerning the human and the racial. The University of California Humanities Research Institute is thrilled to work closely with the City of LA to benefit our various publics in thinking our futures together” said David Theo Goldberg, Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute.

By pairing music with ideas, each concert will feature not only the latest compositions by selected LA-based composers/musicians, but also California-based, world-class thought leaders who will speak to ideas the music inspires and the latest in Humanities research. This companion speaker’s series will address the theme, What is Human? What is Race? This collaborative effort with the University of California Humanities Research Institute reflects the mission of Compose LA which is to create a multi-disciplinary experience for its audiences.

All events are free and open to the public. Suggested donation is up to $20.

Seating is limited due to the capacity of the sites and event times and programs are subject to change. Please visit Compose LA’s website for full liner notes (including expanded event descriptions and press release).


Compose LA Programming 


Wednesday, February 6

Music x Ideas x Space = Compose LA 

Location: The Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90057

Program: The Future of Music in Los Angeles – A Symposium for the Music Scene of Los Angeles

Compose LA begins with a major symposium that focuses on the L.A. music scene: “The Future of Music in LA” which will feature panels and presentations by LA’s leading composers, festival producers, and music industry professionals.



Saturday, February 9

Clockshop x Compose LA

Location: Clockshop, 2806 Clearwater Street, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Curated by Clockshop Director, Julia Meltzer; Artist: Nicole Mitchell; Speaker: Josh Kun, PhD

Program: Nicole Mitchell’s Spider Web

In a new collaborative piece, composer/flutist Nicole Mitchell and scholar/author and MacArthur Genius Fellow Josh Kun will explore visionary/reflective glitches between 1970s and pre-apocalyptic Southern California in an exploration of race and politics of human life. 



Tuesday, February 12

Japanese American Cultural & Community Center x Compose LA

Location: JACCC Aratani Theatre Black Box 244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles CA 90012

Curated by: JACCC Vice President of Programs, Alison De La Cruz; Artist: Howard Ho & Tales of Clamour Creators; Speaker: Akira Mizuta Lippit, PhD

Program: Tales of Clamor “Salon”

Tales of Clamour is a new play centering around two artists positioned in a debate over notions of cultural and institutional silence. 



Wednesday, February 13th

Red Bull Music Academy and Film Festival x Compose LA

Location: Red Bull Festival HQ, Ukrainian Cultural Center, 4315 Melrose Ave., LA, CA 90029

Curated by: Alima Lee, Co-Curator of Red Bull Film Festival; Artists: Bapari and Alima Lee; Speaker: Patrisse Cullors

Program: Intersectionality

Working on themes of intersectionality, composer Bapari and filmmaker Alima Lee are collaborating on a new film score that will be informed by the conversation at this Compose LA event. 



Thursday, February 14

Hammer Museum x Compose LA

Location: Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Curated by: Hammer Director of Public Programs Claudia Bestor and Benjamin Mitchel, Founder and President of Kaleidoscope; Artist: Kaleidoscope Chamber Ensemble;  Speaker: Shana L. Redmond, PhD

Program: Love Notes

To celebrate the different forms that love can take, Kaleidoscope Chamber Ensemble performs an evening featuring some of LA’s most exciting composers in a special Compose LA program called Love Notes. 



Sunday, February 17

The World Stage x Compose LA

Location: The World Stage, Leimert Park, 4321 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90008

Curated by: The World Stage artistic director and jazz artist Dwight Trible; Artist: James H. Leary, featuring Dwight Trible and the James H. Leary Legacy Ensemble; Speaker: Robin D.G. Kelley, PhD

Program: So Far So Good

As part of a very special evening of rarely performed works, Grammy-awardee James H. Leary will use the James Leary Legacy Voices in a special program of original compositions. 



Tuesday, February 19

Spaceland Presents x Compose LA

Location: Tangier Room, Hotel Figueroa in DTLA, 939 S Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90015

Curated by Liz Garo, Talent Buyer Spaceland Presents; Artists: Heather McIntosh, George Sarah, Arthur King, Linafornia, and Astronautica; Speaker: Terence Keel, PhD

Program: Selected Works

Featuring a roster of LA-based musicians that are both composers and musicians, these artists will explore what it means to be human through their touch mixed with electronics.



Friday, February 22

the wulf. & Coaxial x Compose LA

Location: Coaxial Arts Foundation, 1915 South Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90016

Curated by the wulf. board member Casey Anderson; Artist: Liam Mooney; Speaker: Ackbar Abbas

Program: Liam Mooney’s Flatland

Liam Mooney’s Flatland (2019) is a work loosely patterned after Edwin Abbott’s novella, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. Abbott’s examination of humanity—and the natural and constructed categories contained therein—still seems to have the sting of relevance, and the listener might not find it at all difficult to connect Abbott’s observations to features of present-day societies.



Monday, February 25

American Composers Forum of Los Angeles x Kensington Presents x Salastina x Compose LA

Location: The York Manor, 4908 York Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90042

Curated by: Steven Homestead-Director of American Composer Forum of Los Angeles; Scott Bauer, Mathieu Young, Micah Greenberg-Artistic Directors of Kensington Presents, and Salastina Artistic Director, Maia Jasper White; Artists: Bridge to Everywhere, Salastina, Juan Pablo Contreras, Reena Esmail, and Derrick Spiva Jr; Speakers: Derrick Spiva Jr and Katherine In-Young Lee, PhD

Program: Derrick Spiva Jr’s Bridge to Everywhere performs the work of Juan Pablo Contrera, Reena Esmail, and Derrick Spiva Jr; Salastina performs the music of Derrick Spiva Jr.

The special evening is the work of several artistic collaborators. It features two of LA’s leading new music performance groups, Bridge to Everywhere and Salastina, focusing on the works of Derrick Spiva Jr.



Tuesday, February 26

KCRW x Compose LA

Location: The Annenberg Performance Studio Space at KCRW, KCRW Media Center, 1660 Stewart Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Artists and collaborators: Reena Esmail, Benjamin Shirley, Vijay Gupta, Host Madeleine Brand, Street Symphony Quartet; Speaker: Catherine Gudis, PhD

Program: Social Justice in Four Movements

KCRW will host a unique Compose LA that combines conversation and performance with Street Symphony. Street Symphony was founded by musician and MacArthur Genius Fellow Vijay Gupta as a place to create powerful engagements between professional and emerging artists and communities. Each work has a unique relationship to the Street Symphony and addresses the human condition.



Wednesday, February 27

Self Help Graphics & Art x Compose LA

Location: Self Help Graphics, 1300 East First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033

Curated by Betty Avila and Miranda Ynez, Artistic Directors; Artist: Quetzal Flores; Speaker: Gaye Theresa Johnson, PhD

Program: Selected works

Self Help Graphics & Art is proud to present this special Compose LA event that will be a multimedia, participatory experience that includes a collective songwriting exercise and an exhibition of SHG serigraphs curated by Quetzal and UCLA professor and author Gaye Theresa Johnson. Their dialogue will unpack the ways music and visual art address issues of race, space, and inequity in communities of color.