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Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Online Items Available
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Information
  • Related Materials
  • Additional Collection Guides

  • Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
    Title: Other Minds records
    Creator: Other Minds (Organization)
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.414
    Physical Description: 399.75 Linear Feet (404 boxes, 15 framed and oversized items)
    Physical Description: 0.17 GB (3,565 digital files, approximately 550 unprocessed CDs, and approximately 10 unprocessed DVDs)
    Date (inclusive): 1918-2018
    Date (bulk): 1981-2015
    Language of Material: English


    Collection is open for research. Audiovisual media is unavailable until reformatted. Digital files are available in the UCSC Special Collections and Archives reading room. Some files may require reformatting before they can be accessed. Technical limitations may hinder the Library's ability to provide access to some digital files. Access to digital files on original carriers is prohibited; users must request to view access copies. Contact Special Collections and Archives in advance to request access to audiovisual media and digital files.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights for this collection reside with the University of California. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. The publication or use of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use for research or educational purposes requires written permission from the copyright owner. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user. For more information on copyright or to order a reproduction, please visit guides.library.ucsc.edu/speccoll/reproduction-publication.

    Preferred Citation

    Other Minds records. MS 414. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Charles Amirkhanian, 2016.

    Online Items Available

    Audio recordings of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music from 1964-1990 are available online via UC Santa Cruz University Library Digital Media Collections.   Audio recordings from 1991-2003 have been digitized and are available upon request.
    Many of the recordings that Other Minds digitized through History of New Music Preservation and Access Project are available online either on the Internet Archive ( archive.org/details/other_minds ) or on the Other Minds radiOM Archive website ( radiom.org ).

    Administrative History

    The San Francisco based Other Minds organization is a non-profit institution supporting new and contemporary music since it was founded in 1993. The mission of the organization centers around the propagation of new and experimental music, primarily by living composers around the world. As part of this goal, the organization concerns itself with four primary efforts: live events, particularly the annual Other Minds Festivals accompanied by the Djerassi Artist Residency program, featuring primarily new music by living composers; the creation of recordings of new compositions by up and coming composers as well as previously unrecorded music of the recent past; radio broadcasts of new music and interviews with composers; and the archiving of materials inherited from the Bay Area radio broadcasts of KPFA (1960-1992). Other Minds was co-founded by Charles Amirkhanian, who continues to serve as Executive and Artistic Director as of 2018, and Jim Newman. Both individuals came to Other Minds with extensive experience producing new and experimental art, film, music and television projects.
    Composer and radio broadcaster Charles Amirkhanian was born in Fresno, California in 1945 and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since the late 1960s. He served as the Music director for Pacifica Radio's KPFA-FM broadcasts in Berkeley, California from 1969 until 1992. During his tenure, Amirkhanian curated radio programs featuring contemporary music as well as interviews with noteworthy composers. From 1974–1990, Amirkhanian programmed experimental music concerts for the Cabrillo Music Festival in Santa Cruz, CA. Between 1988 and 1991 Amirkhanian co-directed the Telluride Institute's "Composer to Composer" festival in Telluride, Colorado. As a composer, Amirkhanian is known for his electroacoustic and text-sound/sound poetry compositions. In addition to supporting contemporary music, Amirkhanian has efforted to revive the music of older musicians of the recent past, such George Antheil, Johanna Beyer, and Alan Hovhannes, among others, through public performances, radio broadcasts, and recording projects. Other Minds co-founder, Jim Newman was born in Omaha, Nebraska and received his Bachelors of Music from Oberlin College in 1955. He moved to Los Angeles, California following his graduation where he produced performances of jazz by musicians like Count Basie and Dave Brubeck and also began working in the art world by founding the Syddal Gallery with Walter Hopps. In 1958, Newman moved to San Francisco where he founded the Dilexi Art Gallery in 1959. Following the closing of Dilexi in 1970, Newman reentered the music scene, taking up the study of flute and holding the baritone saxophone chair in the Junius Courtney Big Band from 1982 to 2013.
    In 1991 Amirkhanian left the Telluride festival to accept directorship of the Djerassi Artist Residency program. He also announced his resignation from his longtime position at KPFA as part of this pursuit. Newman, a longtime listener and supporter of KPFA's programming, contacted Amirkhanian to try and convince him to remain involved in the Bay Area music scene. Together Amirkhanian and Newman conceived of the Other Minds organization through the inspiration of the collaborative, inclusive model established by Telluride, New Music America, and other previous music festivals devoted to experimental music. The name Other Minds was suggested by Newman as a response to an obituary for the composer John Cage (1912–1992), which stated "His epitaph might read that he composed music in other peoples' minds." The significance of the name of the organization is reflected in its concert programming, featuring composers from diverse backgrounds and parts of the world who create works outside the usual parlance.
    The first concert presented by Other Minds featured pianist Volker Banfeld giving the North American Premier of Hungarian composer György Ligeti's Piano Etudes at Hertz Hall of UC Berkeley in January of 1993. Later that year the first Other Minds Festival (OM I) coincided with the opening of San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts (YBCA). In coordination with the Djerassi board of directors, the inaugural festival featured eleven guest composers, including Robert Ashley, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Conlon Nancarrow, Trimpin, and Julia Wolfe, among others. As of 2017, OM has produced twenty-two flagship festivals, each with a cohort of composers at various stages in their careers. The organization also produces concerts with specific themes, such as composer retrospectives, film festivals, and other special events pertaining to new music.
    The Other Minds record label launched in 1999 as a complementary endeavor to the public performances of the organization. The label produces select recordings by composers whose works remained unavailable to the general public despite their significance to experimental composition. Notable releases include the Complete Music of Carl Ruggles, the Complete Studies for Player Piano by Conlon Nancarrow, and collections of works by composers such as George Antheil, John Bischoff, Sheila Booth, John Cage, Kui Dong, Amy Neuburg, Ezra Pound, Sarah Cahill, and Carter Scholz. The label also hosts digital downloads of live performances presented at OM concerts.
    In 2005, Other Minds began a new series of radio broadcasts on KALW 91.7 San Francisco called "Music From Other Minds." This hour-long program continues the legacy of the KPFA broadcasts and furthers the aims of the Other Minds organization by broadcasting new music on a weekly basis in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains the organizational records of Other Minds, a San Francisco-based contemporary music non-profit organization. The records primarily include business records and correspondence related to the annual Other Minds New Music Festival, other events, artists, publications, fundraising and development, radio broadcasts, and the work of Other Minds staff and Board of Directors. Also included are Executive and Artistic Director Charles Amirkhanian's administrative and planning files, original scores, artwork, photographs, marketing and press materials, programming publications, and assorted realia, as well as CDs, VHS, DAT, and audiocassettes related to the Other Minds festival, events, associated artists, and the Other Minds record label. Events and activities of the California College of Performing Arts (CCPA) and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music are also documented, mostly through Other Minds' Director Amirkhanian's involvement. Included in the Other Minds History of New Music Preservation and Access Project series are planning materials and project documentation, as well as the original open-reel audio tapes and selected digitized recordings of the tapes which were created as part of the project.


    This collection is arranged in eight series:
    • Series 1: Events files
    • Series 2: Charles Amirkhanian files
    • Series 3: Administrative files
    • Series 4: Scores
    • Series 5: Other Minds Record Label files
    • Series 6: Subject files
    • Series 7: Other Minds History of New Music Preservation and Access Project
    • Series 8: Artwork and oversized materials
    Materials within each series are arranged chronologically unless otherwise specified. Digital materials were integrated into their corresponding series based on content.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Jay Arms, Madison Heying, and Jon Myers in the Center for Archival Research and Training (CART) with assistance from Alix Norton, 2017-2018.
    The digital portion of the collection was processed by Special Collections staff Alix Norton in 2018-2019. Digital files were transferred from carrier disks in 2018. Duplicate files, personnel records, and other out of scope files were not retained. Files were not reformatted, and file names are original to the creator. Original disks were retained and are included in the collection.

    Related Materials

    Related materials are cataloged separately in our holdings in Special Collections, and may be found by searching the keywords "Other Minds" in UCSC Library Search.

    Additional Collection Guides

    For a complete inventory of the processed digital files in Series 1 and Series 3, see the following guide: