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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Performers of "Partch" Performers of "Partch"

NWEAMO Explores Avant-Garde Music Feb. 28 - March 3

The annual music festival features the music of Michael Daugherty and Frank Zappa, among others.
By Lizbeth Price

San Diego State University School of Music and Dance continues its 75th Anniversary season by hosting the NWEAMO Electronic Arts and Music Festival 2012 running Feb. 28 to March 3 at Smith Recital Hall.  

Avant-garde music

NWEAMO, New West Electronic Arts & Music Organization, seeks to forge connections between composers, performers and lovers of avant-garde classical music, with DJs, guitar-gods, troubadours and fans of experimental popular music.  

The five-day, five-concert NWEAMO Festival 2012 is a musical escape featuring concerts spotlighting works that celebrate whimsy and the iconoclast, and investigate the American cultural subtext.  

“The purpose of NWEAMO is to get people to not take themselves so seriously, to have fun, to be creative and a bit rebellious,” explained NWAEMO Artistic Director Joe Waters.  

“We are experimenting with breaking down the walls between audience and musicians,” Waters said. “This year we want to create a ritual that draws from the Carnival of Venice where everyone from all walks of life conceals their identity.”

The festival opens at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 28, with “SWARMIUS & Friends Perform the Music of Daughterty and Waters.”  Grammy Award winner Michael Daugherty, creator of iconic American works such as “Metropolis Symphony” based on Superman, will be on hand to direct performances of three chamber works:

  • “Lounge Lizards”
  • “Walk the Walk”
  • “Fire & Blood — Mvt. 3”  

Works will be performed by NWEAMO resident ensemble SWARMIUS, aided by pianists Geoffrey Burleson and Karen Follingstad.  Also included in the program are new arrangements of works by Joe Waters incorporating SWARMIUS’ percussionist Justin Dehart.  

Tickets for “SWARMIUS & Friends Perform the Music of Daugherty” are $15, $10 for students and seniors and can be purchased at

Other NWEAMO Festival 2012 performances include:

  • Noon, Wednesday, Feb. 29, “Eternal Cutting Edges: From Saint-Saëns to Zappa,” featuring New York City pianist Geoffrey Burleson A master class with Burleson will be offered at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 30.  Admission to “Eternal Cutting Edges: From Saint-Saëns to Zappa” is free.
  • 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 29, “Welcome to Chapel Perilous,” featuring Swedish composer Lars Brondum on the theremin, Korean composer Young Shin Choi on the Korean zither, Bob Kostlan with Live Electronics premiering “Escape” and Stanford composer Mark Applebaum performing his work for pantomime and electronics. Tickets to “Welcome to Chapel Perilous” are $15, $10 for students and seniors and can be purchased at  
  • 8 p.m., Friday, March 2, Joe Waters’ “Rafael’s Saga,” featuring New York City-based chamber ensemble Real Quiet. Tickets to “Real Quiet” are $15, $10 for students and seniors and can be purchased at   
  • 8 p.m., Saturday, March 3, “Partch,”  featuring the music of iconoclast composer Harry Partch performed in full concert on the instruments he designed, and under the direction of Los Angeles-based guitarist and conductor John Schneider. Tickets to “Partch” are $20, $15 for students and seniors and can be purchased at

All NWEAMO Festival concerts are performed at Smith Recital Hall. For more information visit the SDSU School of Music and Dance Website at or the NWAEMO website.