(the) co-incidence festival

an experimental music gathering in Somerville, MA

the co-incidence festival is a gathering of experimental composer-performers hosted by Non-Event at Washington Street Gallery in Somerville, MA.

This project is based on an expanded view of what constitutes art, music, and the traditional concert. Following the example of the revolutionary arts community Black Mountain College, it will bring together a group of radical artists operating in the boundary-zones of their practice to take part in a festival curated as ‘social sculpture.’ Reflecting the values of experimental music, co-incidence will be allowed to grow organically, strongly influenced by the artists who attend: the directors simply provide a time, space, and loose framework. There will be encouraged but not required peer-to-peer meetings between artists in lieu of official lessons, the people attending will not be labeled as student or faculty.

If you have any questions, please email us at: coincidence.festival@gmail.com.

Check out some media from our 2017 or 2018 season.


The third season of the `co-incidence festival` will take place from January 11—20, 2019, at Washington Street Art Center. Performances will take place throughout the week in Union Square, Somerville, as part of the Somerville Arts Council's ArtsUnion program. As with last year, the overarching goal of the festival is to bring together experimental composer/performers/artists to focus on collaboration, critical discussion, workshopping, and performance. In 2019, this will last 8 full days (not including arrival and departure days). The festival is directed by experimental composer/performers aaron foster breilyn and luke martin.

Though we have general conceptual areas that we would like to explore during the festival, we are open (and eager) to expand from there and allow the attending artists' constellations of concepts to influence the direction of the festival.

We are extremely pleased to announce that Sarah Ayotomiwa Pitan will be our Resident Artist for 2019. This position was held by Michael Pisaro in 2017, Joachim Eckl in 2018, and we could not be more excited to bring yet another important perspective and artistic focus to the festival.


Hosted by


Washington St. is home to 20 artists who work in a broad range of media. From sculpture to paper cutting, painting to book binding and everything in between - the collaborative houses a cornucopia of creatives from many different backgrounds. With its own photo lab, Washington St. also hosts photography members who share the darkroom and photo studio.​ Additionally, Washington St. has served for many years as an experimental music venue, directed by composer/performers Michael Rosenstein, Jesse Collins, and Morgan Evans-Weiler.​


Pictures of the space.

In Partnership with

Non event

Non-Event is a Boston-based concert series devoted to the presentation of the finest in experimental, abstract, improvised, and new music from New England and around the world. Founded in 2001, Non-Event has presented over 260 concerts in and around Boston in a wide variety of venues from coffee shops, galleries, and loft spaces to former movie palaces, university lecture halls, museums, night clubs, 19th-century ballrooms, a Victorian-era pumping station, and inside Boston's iconic City Hall. In addition to working with numerous venues and organizations over the past 15 years, Non-Event organizes a longstanding series of informal monthly coffee house concerts featuring local musicians and sound artists, held at Café Fixe in Brookline and made possible in part by the Brookline Commission for the Arts.

Resident Artist

Sarah pic

Sarah Pitan is a young American artist. She is a first-generation Nigerian-American who was born in raised in Boston. She has backgrounds in sports, dance, and visual arts, all of which indirectly inform her current artistic work. Her education in piano performance and music composition at the Rivers School Conservatory and the Boston Conservatory directly inform her work. However, her current practice involves an intensive conceptual abstraction from the aforementioned disciplines, which are under attack. She refers to her work as manipulative, improvisational, accelerative, or abductive writing. In this way, Pitan experiments with concepts originating in post-Kantian ontology. Along with this, concepts developed in formal logic, set theory, and minimalism influence her work. The bulk of Pitan’s work exists in writing : notes, transcriptions, and scores. Her work attempts to deterritorialize the stage and reappropriate a critical method of performance. She currently resides in Brooklyn.


Over coffee in Maine in the Summer of 2015, Luke and Aaron had a far too grandiose idea: "let's do our own music festival!" (Un)fortunately, they don't know when to stop. And here we are, with the co-incidence festival which kicked off its first season in January 2017. We wanted to fill a perceived gap in support for experimental composer/performers in the U.S. with a music festival focused on experimental music and built as an experimental composer might build a piece.

You can check out our article in the Boston Globe here .

If you would like to support co-incidence please donate to Non-Event and include a note that you'd like your funds to help with the festival.

Please feel free to reach out: coincidence.festival@gmail.com

With generous support from: