(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 season.


The second season of the `co-incidence festival` will take place from January 19—28, 2018, 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 2018, 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 begin with an interest in the 'bridge', the 'swarm', and 'social sculpture'. These concepts can be found within one another as well as growing into one another (bridge to swarm to sculpture). The bridge becomes the swarm becomes social sculpture; yet the swarm is always implied by the bridge just as social sculpture is implied by both.

Common to all of these processes is the act of listening. The 'bridge', 'swarm', and 'social sculpture' all arise from different modes of listening; namely: 1) listening to things, hearing their minute, ordinary, explosive sounds, building a relationship with their sounds, yours, and those of the environment; 2) listening into things, hearing potential meanings, listening past the sounds, balancing this listening with that of the first (prior) order; 3) listening to an inner voice(s), a moral listening/judgement, energy flowing between inside and outside.

We are extremely pleased to announce that interdisciplinary artist / ‘social engineer’ Joachim Eckl will be our Resident Artist for 2018. This position was held by Michael Pisaro in 2017 and we expect Joachim to bring yet another important perspective and artistic focus to the festival.


There will be three performances at, or around, Washington Street Gallery:
321 Washington St, Somerville

People are welcome to join us at any point during the week for discussions, rehearsals, performances, etc. Keep an eye out for last-minute announcements of events happening at WSAC throughout the week. Hope to see you there!

For the most updated calendar please click here.

Welcome Concert

Friday, January 19th, 7PM - 9PM
This outdoor concert will feature Boston-based composers and span from the square and lead up to and inside of Washington Street. There will be overlapping performances and pieces by: Marilyn Arsem, Sarah Pitan, Jennie Gottschalk, and Joachim Eckl. Bring warm clothes!

Facebook Event

  • (Arrive at ~7 PM, at Union Square, Somerville)

715 - 815

"sound bridges", by Joachim Eckl (performed by Luke Martin & Aaron Foster Breilyn).

[Union Sq at the big intersection of Webster, Somerville, and Washington St., near India Palace].

730 - 830

new work, by Marilyn Arsem

[Along Washington Street, toward Washington Street Art Center. Past Juliet and nearer to Hawkins St.]

745 - 845

new work, by Sarah Pitan

[Further along Washington Street and toward the parking lot of Washington Street Art Center]

8 - 9

new work, by Jennie Gottschalk

[INSIDE Washington Street Art Center]

Sound Bridges (Joachim Eckl)

January 19-25, 2018
One hour per day || Union Square, directly outside of The Independent by WWI memorial
The Co-Incidence Festival will present a new public installation/performance work, composed by Austrian artist Joachim Eckl, in Union Square. Entitled “Sound Bridges,” this work will occur for one hour each day, for seven consecutive days in Union Square. A mixture of Co-Incidence and local artists will perform the piece.

“Sound Bridges” is based on interdependence, warmth, and consciousness. Personal inner spaces function as bridge-building locations and these inner connections are offered in a living process reaching out to others through space and time. There will be a central point or 'listening circle' established in a central location in Union Square. Performers will pair up in duos and spread out throughout the square. These duos will establish 'sound bridges' across the square and intersecting the central point by making (i.e., drones, singing, percussive sounds; anything one can imagine). The sounds are to be ‘as quiet as possible and as loud as necessary’. Performers must stay in connection with one another and build a strong sound-bridge; this relationship is then woven in with the other duos (increasing by one each day) making sound-bridges across the square. Thus it is an open-source sound-textile, woven together through social connection, into the sounds of the Square itself, and ever-changing.

This event is supported in part by the Somerville Arts Council.

Facebook Event || Score

Friday, January 19th,
715PM - 815PM
Saturday, January 20st,
615PM - 715PM
Sunday, January 21st,
815PM - 915PM
Monday, January 22st,
515PM - 615PM
Tuesday, January 23st,
915PM - 1015PM
Wednesday, January 24th,
415PM - 515PM
Thursday, January 25st,
1015PM - 1115PM


Saturday, January 27th, 6PM
To celebrate the conclusion of the Festival, we will have a potluck dinner at Washington Street Art Center. feel free to bring food/drink; we will have some as well.
Performances of pieces that have been composed or worked on during the week may or may not be happening during this event.

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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


Based in Austria, Joachim Eckl was brought up in Haslach on the Große Mühl river. Joachim Eckl’s work is based on an extended understanding of art which is substantially inspired by Joseph Beuys’ term ‘social sculpture’. Eckl generates impulses for social sculptures through the creation of joint experiences. He regards himself as a ‘social engineer’. Water also plays a central role in this work: he understands and uses it as basic element of human interaction. Eckl currently works as a freelance artist under the label HEIM.ART® and runs “Die Station—Neufelden”, a former warehouse on the Große Mühl, as an art space.


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Amy golden

Amy Golden is a composer, vocalist, sound artist, and sculptor from Springdale, Arkansas living and working in Los Angeles, California. She creates works for instruments, voice, and objects, as well as sound and sculptural installations and performance art with a special focus on the relationship between sound and object, texture, magical realism, translation across mediums, collections, and the female experience.

Arg photo

Bees swarm to produce new colonies. Sound swarms to produce new attentions.

Annelyse Gelman makes things with text and sound. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, the PEN Poetry Series, The Awl, Indiana Review, and elsewhere, and she is the author of the collection Everyone I Love Is a Stranger to Someone (2014), a finalist for the Believer Poetry Award. She was poet-in-residence at UCSD’s Brain Observatory in 2012, the Lavinia Winter Fellow at New Pacific Studio in 2013, and a 2016 Fulbright grantee in Berlin for her work at the intersection of poetry, film, and music. She’s interested in intimacy, tactility, language-as-technology, and memory pathology, and is currently a Michener Fellow in Austin, TX.


Caleb Chase is a 22 year old interdisciplinary artist living in Boston who recently graduated from Studio for Interrelated Media at MassArt. He makes music for recordings and performances in bands, alone, and scores for other performers. Additionally, he makes sound work that exists outside the scope of traditional sonic experiences, often combining an auditory element with other traditional art media such as, paintings, installations, or sculptures. Through this he hopes to examine the structures that surround music and how it exists in relationship to technology, culture and ideology beyond its existence as a vibration on the ear drum.


From Sea Cliff New York, studying studio art/music at Bard College.

Has been working towards ways of asserting art as a deep socially productive container and sound as a medium for communication. Working towards a collaborative practice that involves interactive sculpture, testimonies, and new contexts for listening. Having performed for years in Brooklyn and around the eastern half of the U.S. work has become informed by d.i.y. art and activist communities and ways of making spaces for participation. Various projects with radio transmission, tape loops, analog video, and body-as-circuit situations have led to sounding buckets, and electromagnetic fields as a new variable architecture for simultaneous listening and movement.

Kirsten carey promo pic

Kirsten Carey is a guitarist, composer, and performer living in Detroit, MI. Carey's work seeks to unite ideas across genres and disciplines, as seen in her much-lauded Ulysses Project, a performative song cycle about James Joyce's Ulysses praised as "ten tracks of avant-garde eclecticism perfectly in the mood of the novel" (Alterego Magazine). She also leads Throwaway, an art punk duo dominated by a strange woman in a paper bag mask, with all the "aerodynamic-rock-grit flavors of the likes of Primus or Deerhoof" (Current Magazine). Carey was asked by Elliott Sharp to contribute her piece "Sasquatch / Happening" to Clean Feed Record's I Never Meta Guitar III in 2015. She has been featured on the blog Prepared Guitar and shared the stage with the likes of Elliott Sharp, Weasel Walter, Andrew Bishop, and Thollem McDonas.

With cocoa

Born in Buffalo in 1961, Michael Pisaro is a composer and guitarist, a member of the Wandelweiser Composers Ensemble and founder and director of the Experimental Music Workshop, Calarts.

His work is frequently performed in the U.S. and in Europe, in music festivals and in many smaller venues.

It has been selected twice by the ISCM jury for performance at World Music Days festivals (Copenhagen,1996; Manchester, 1998) and has also been part of festivals in Hong Kong (ICMC, 1998), Vienna (Wien Modern,1997), Aspen (1991), London (Cutting Edge, 2007), Glasgow (INSTAL 2009), Huddersfield (2009), Chicago (New Music Chicago, 1990, 1991) and elsewhere.

He has had extended composer residencies in Germany (Künstlerhof Schreyahn, Dortmund University), Switzerland (Forumclaque/Baden), Israel (Miskenot Sha'ananmim), Greece (EarTalk) and in the U.S. (Birch Creek Music Festival, Wisconsin).

Concert length portraits of his music have been given in Munich, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, Vienna, Merano (Italy), Brussels, New York, Curitiba (Brazil), Amsterdam, London, Tokyo, Austin, Berlin, Chicago, Düsseldorf, Zürich, Cologne, Aarau (Switzerland), and elsewhere.

He is a Foundation for Contemporary Arts, 2005 and 2006 Grant Recipient.

Most of his music of the last several years is published by Edition Wandelweiser (Germany).


Ryoko Akama is a sound artist/composer/performer, who approaches listening situations that magnify silence, time and space and offer quiet temporal/spatial experiences. Her sound works employ small and fragile objects such as paper balloons and glass bottles, creating tiny occurrences that embody ‘almost nothing’ aesthetics. She composes text events and performs a diversity of alternative scores in collaboration with international artists. She runs melange edition label, amespace and co-edits mumei publishing.


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: