Inquiring Into Other Minds: The Cultivation of Experimental Music in the Bay Area and Beyond

Inquiring into Other Minds

Founded in 1993, Other Minds has been a leading institution in supporting contemporary music in the Bay Area and beyond. The mission of the organization is centered around the propagation of new and experimental music by living composers around the world. Chronicling the evolution of the Other Minds (OM) organization from the early activities of co-founders Charles Amirkhanian and Jim Newman to establishment of the OM Festivals, this exhibit displays archival materials representing this organization's many activities. In addition to creating high-profile productions, OM embarked on a number of interrelated activities in the promotion of new and experimental music including efforts at audio recording preservation, maintaining the legacy of 20th century composers, and documenting Amirkhanian’s work as a broadcaster at Pacifica Radio’s KPFA 94.1 FM. This exhibit highlights the history of Other Minds and its various activities as documented in the organization’s records, now held in the University Library's Special Collections & Archives at UC Santa Cruz.

This digital exhibit is organized chronologically, beginning with early documentation of experimental music at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and the California College of the Performing Arts (CCPA), the precursor to Other Minds, during the 1970s and 1980s. Later recordings, photographs, scores, and documents created by Other Minds reflect the growth, expansion, and reach of the organization through its festivals and events, tape preservation activities, and the OM record label. Together, they provide a snapshot of the organization’s history, its newest initiatives, and the contents of the collection at UC Santa Cruz.

Click through the pages below to explore the exhibit cases, and learn more about the materials through the annotated images. Each case covers a part of the Other Minds organization and history.

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