Composers in Performance: David Samas with Pet the Tiger and Right Brain Performancelab

  • Meridian Gallery

Composers in Performance presents:
David Samas with Pet the Tiger
Featuring Ian Saxton, Bryan Day and Tom Nunn
With the Right Brain Performancelab conceptual dance company

First set, ground floor: Metallic Sonatas with Bryan Day and Tom Nunn.
These sonatas feature the Grand Metalliphone- a sort of single material orchestra built by David Samas and Tom Nunn made entirely of solid metals. These sonatas are collaborative improvisational sketches for “Peaks of the White Mountain: Concerto for Grand Metalliphone” to be premiered spring of 2015.

Second set will be selections from the Ballet “Gravity and other large things” with Right Brain Performancelab, accompanied live on an all invented orchestra played by Ian Saxton and David Samas.


David Samas is a composer, cosmologist, poet, painter, performer, philosopher, farmer and father of 4; he is a practitioner and professor of arcane healing technologies and traditional magics- a field which includes massage, herbalism, hypnotherapy, psychoacoustics and shamanism. He has a BFA from the SF Art Institute in conceptual art and studied poetics at the New College of California, Vassar, Bennington and S.F. State. As a young man he performed with the SF Boys Chorus, the SF Opera and the SF Symphony with which he won a GRAMMY for the “best classical recording” of 1994. He also makes sacred geometry amulets and talismans, is an excellent cook, and self publishes small editions of hand bound art books.
Lately, he focuses on inventing instruments and extended vocal techniques. He is the creator of the Superb Metaliphone, the Gamelan Piano, the Crystalithaphone, Glassilalia and a number of musical paintings which serve as sets, orchestras and characters for his inventive operas and shadow plays. He uses Tuvan overtone singing and Tibetan deep chanting along with a host of birdsongs, whale songs, howling and polyphonic split tones to weave a dense tapestry of unusual sounds.

Pet the Tiger is an improvised acoustic collective for invented instruments with David Samas (composer/inventor/extended technique vocalist), Ian Saxton (programer/percussionist), Peter Bonos (horns and explosives), Bryan Day (inventor/label) and Tom Nunn (inventor, guru). We explore new concepts in friction bowing and split pics, with a special interest in unusual multiphonics and interference patterns. We play a wide assortment of invented, found and re-purposed instruments in order to create landscapes and tell stories in sound.

Founded in 1998 by Jennifer Gwirtz and John Baumann, Right Brain Performancelab is a collaborative troupe that works with dense ideas and layers of meaning, expressing the fears and loves that are the result of being human and existing in the world. They use the languages of dance, theater, vocal and musical experimentation, object manipulation, clowning and mime. Their process includes a method of movement that honors the individuality of each body at all ages using deep mind-body connectivity and game-based improvisation. The performances are deeply experimental, richly human and bring to life the place where metaphors live.
From 1998 to 2006 Right Brain Performancelab gathered collaborative performers from a broad array of backgrounds including classical voice, performance art, Butoh, music composition, contemporary dance, writing, musical and experimental theater. From 2007 to 2009 Gwirtz and Baumann took a hiatus after the birth of their daughter. In 2010 they returned with a critically acclaimed season with seven collaborators. They completed their tenth anniversary season with the 2013 home-theater tour, “What Stays.”