Even after the 20th century’s compositional style wars killed (forever, I hope) the notion that there should be one hegemonic musical style, one prevailing lingua franca, one way forward, there’s still only one local concert series where there’s really no way of guessing what you’ll hear from one performance to the next, and that’s the Seattle Composers Salon. Founded in 1994, emceed since then by Tom Baker, these excitingly eclectic open-mike nights have moved from a Capitol Hill basement to a Lake City Way church to Benaroya Hall’s Soundbridge learning center to, inevitably, the Chapel Performance Space, Seattle’s red-hot center for contemporary music. They’re an opportunity for composers to get their work—acoustic or electronic, improvised or written, and representative of every imaginable “ism”—in front of an audience, with minimum hoop-jumping and lively feedback in post-performance Q&As.
With Friday’s Salon, though, Baker’s handing the reins to bassist/composer John Teske, who says he intends to “keep the Salon as the informal and inclusive event it is, while increasing our reach to new composers and audiences. There are a few regulars that contribute a great deal to the community and have helped shape the series into what it is today. I’m also hoping to provide opportunities to composers that are new to the scene, whether they are improvisers that are writing more composed works, have recently moved, or are just not yet aware of the Salon. I’m also excited to have more of a presence online and through social media... [and] hope to promote events by local composers and to make new connections, to be somewhat of a resource for the community.” Chapel Performance Space, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., composersalon.com. $5–$15. 8 p.m. Fri., Sept. 5.