(the) co-incidence festival

an experimental music gathering in Somerville, MA


january 2-8, 2022

Our meeting in January 2022 will carry over the basic question of our 2021 virtual festival; what does it mean to be a we? To locate a space of possibility in which the we, a group, a being together, presents itself without necessary unification as a ‘We’? Or under what conditions might we exist as a proper ‘We’? Can we (already a multiplicity) investigate what it means to be irreducible together, and to be together irreducibly? What would such a thing require? How does music, playing music with others, listening together, interweave with this question?

Our framework to explore these questions is the Ancient Greek symposium. This very question (posed as the dialectic between the one and multiple, the I and the we) was implicitly asked at these (when translated literally) ‘drink-gatherings’. To be together was and is an open question, punctuated by unpredictable conversations, musical performances, poetry readings, splitting off and re-forming, food, drink, laughter, and serious questions. The ‘we’ is not intentionally constructed but may-be.

The ‘drinking’ in these symposiums concerns more than imbibing liquids - it is the consumption of a shared experience -- perforated by food, drink, ideas, disagreements, music, care -- which grounds us in the material while creating an opening in which the multiple, or the We, might appear. In a sense this has been what the Festival has always been about. These ‘symposium’ experiences need, also, to be balanced, nurtured, and maintained for the duration of the symposium. In sharp contrast to regulation, this is a caring-for the mutable spirit of the event and those within it. To this end symposiums (including ours) have a master of ceremonies (MCs) who are tasked with ‘caring for’ the group.

Finally, symposiums have themes which orient them and act as an impulse to gather. These are simply starting points, guiding us without necessity. Each full day of the festival (3rd through the 8th) we will have a new theme, a la Plato’s dialogues (e.g., justice, music, life/death, friendship, love, etc.). Please see the schedule for where and when these take place. Generally, they will happen from noon until dinnertime.

We will have three concerts: a Welcome Concert, Co-Incidence Showcase, and a Final Concert. Details on those are below with the schedule. Should people want to join for any of the days, simply let us know beforehand as we will be limiting the number of people involved (for COVID reasons).

the co-incidence festival is a gathering of experimental composer-performers

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.

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

check out some media from our 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, or 2021 season.


Resident Artist

Nina Power is a writer and philosopher. She is the author of One-Dimensional Woman and of many articles. Her forthcoming book What Do Men Want? will be out with Penguin soon. Beyond writing and philosophy, Nina's interests include contemporary experimental music, psychoanalysis, paganism, honesty and groups.


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.

Boston Globe || Somerville Media Center Video || The Somerville Times || WBUR
In-Depth Interviews with Jennie Gottschalk (Sound Expanse) [Aaron, Luke, Jennie, Sarah]

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

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to make a tax deductible donation, please donate with paypal

or mail a check made out to CO-INCIDENCE, INC. to:

Co-Incidence, Inc.
c/o Susanna Bolle
16 Roberts Street
Apt 3
Brookline, MA 02445

with generous support from:

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, the Somerville Arts Council, and the City of Boston.