To some ears, the gamut of avant garde music may be little more than undifferentiated noise. To the musicians at UC San Diego, however, the ranks of new music are more clearly defined. Tonight at UCSD's Mandeville Auditorium, the department's crack contemporary performance team SONOR will perform works by four established contemporary composers as it polishes its repertory for this summer's modern music festival in Darmstadt, West Germany. The fare will include works by Roger Reynolds, Will Ogden and UC Berkeley's Richard Felciano.
To present the up-and-coming generation of aspiring composers, UCSD long ago devised a performance showcase called Atomicafe. The series' new director, New York City emigre composer Frank Cox, decided that a new name was in order. "Atomicafe is now New Music Forum, which we think sounds a bit more mature," Cox said.
Three programs of new works, starting with Thursday evening's opener in Mandeville Recital Hall, should demonstrate whether Cox's new name is more than a cosmetic change. Notable contributions on these programs include two flute works by Brian Ferneyhough, the British composer who joined the UCSD music faculty last quarter. The series continues Saturday and Tuesday.