(the) co-incidence festival

an experimental music gathering in Somerville, MA

the co-incidence festival is a gathering of experimental composer-performers hosted by Non-Event at Washington Street Gallery in Somerville, MA.

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. There will be encouraged but not required peer-to-peer meetings between artists in lieu of official lessons, the people attending will not be labeled as student or faculty.

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

Check out some media from our 2017 season.


The second season of the `co-incidence festival` will take place from January 19—28, 2018, at Washington Street Art Center in Somerville, MA. As with last year, the overarching goal of the festival is to bring together experimental composer/performers/artists to focus on collaboration, critical discussion, workshopping, and performance. In 2018, this will last 8 full days (not including arrival and departure days). The festival is directed by experimental composer/performers aaron foster breilyn and luke martin.

Though we have general conceptual areas that we would like to explore during the festival, we are open (and eager) to expand from there and allow the attending artists' constellations of concepts to influence the direction of the festival. We begin with an interest in the 'bridge', the 'swarm', and 'social sculpture'. These concepts can be found within one another as well as growing into one another (bridge to swarm to sculpture). The bridge becomes the swarm becomes social sculpture; yet the swarm is always implied by the bridge just as social sculpture is implied by both.

Common to all of these processes is the act of listening. The 'bridge', 'swarm', and 'social sculpture' all arise from different modes of listening; namely: 1) listening to things, hearing their minute, ordinary, explosive sounds, building a relationship with their sounds, yours, and those of the environment; 2) listening into things, hearing potential meanings, listening past the sounds, balancing this listening with that of the first (prior) order; 3) listening to an inner voice(s), a moral listening/judgement, energy flowing between inside and outside.

We are extremely pleased to announce that interdisciplinary artist / ‘social engineer’ Joachim Eckl will be our Resident Artist for 2018. This position was held by Michael Pisaro in 2017 and we expect Joachim to bring yet another important perspective and artistic focus to the festival.


Hosted by


Washington St. is home to 20 artists who work in a broad range of media. From sculpture to paper cutting, painting to book binding and everything in between - the collaborative houses a cornucopia of creatives from many different backgrounds. With its own photo lab, Washington St. also hosts photography members who share the darkroom and photo studio.​ Additionally, Washington St. has served for many years as an experimental music venue, directed by composer/performers Michael Rosenstein, Jesse Collins, and Morgan Evans-Weiler.​


Pictures of the space.

In Partnership with

Non event

Non-Event is a Boston-based concert series devoted to the presentation of the finest in experimental, abstract, improvised, and new music from New England and around the world. Founded in 2001, Non-Event has presented over 260 concerts in and around Boston in a wide variety of venues from coffee shops, galleries, and loft spaces to former movie palaces, university lecture halls, museums, night clubs, 19th-century ballrooms, a Victorian-era pumping station, and inside Boston's iconic City Hall. In addition to working with numerous venues and organizations over the past 15 years, Non-Event organizes a longstanding series of informal monthly coffee house concerts featuring local musicians and sound artists, held at Café Fixe in Brookline and made possible in part by the Brookline Commission for the Arts.

Resident Artist


Based in Austria, Joachim Eckl was brought up in Haslach on the Große Mühl river. Joachim Eckl’s work is based on an extended understanding of art which is substantially inspired by Joseph Beuys’ term ‘social sculpture’. Eckl generates impulses for social sculptures through the creation of joint experiences. He regards himself as a ‘social engineer’. Water also plays a central role in this work: he understands and uses it as basic element of human interaction. Eckl currently works as a freelance artist under the label HEIM.ART® and runs “Die Station—Neufelden”, a former warehouse on the Große Mühl, as an art space.


Read More


Fill out your application here. We are most interested in your project proposal for the festival. Our main advice is: think big, think radical, and be idealistic. Your portfolio functions as supplementary material that will give us a better chance to get to know you as an artist.

  • Applications due on October 29th, 2017, by 11:59 PM (EST)

  • Results sent via e-mail November 6th, 2017

  • Confirmation of Attendance due November 15th, 2016

  • Arrive on January 19th, 2018 in the afternoon

  • Depart anytime on January 28th, 2018

* Please note: you cannot save your progress in this form. *
* There is a known issue submitting this form on Safari. If possible, please use Chrome. *

Personal Info (Required)

Please let us know who you are! Our main means of contact will be e-mail, so please check it (and your spam folder) regularly.



We'd like to get a sense of what you do and what you are interested in. We aren't interested in a CV/Résumé - just let us know what you think we should know about you and your past.

Please provide your website if you have it. If you do not, that is okay, it will not negatively affect your application. (Aaron doesn't even have one!)

You may provide 1 - 3 Work Samples, in whatever form/format best represents you. If you do not have any work samples that you feel are ready to be submitted, please send brief proposals of pieces that reflect your work interests (and make a note of this for us). Please note: we only require 1 Work Sample, and the number of Work Samples you submit will not negatively affect application.

*All documents should be linked to via resources like Dropbox and Google Drive. Make sure the documents are accessible to us to view.*


In lieu of any specific 'project proposal', we would like to ask for a short written response to the following prompt. This will, we hope, give you a clearer sense of the concepts we'll be working with (and expanding from) at co-incidence, while also allowing us to see how they may fit into your practice.

Please write a response to any the below concepts. Consider how they relate to your work and what you may bring / develop / discuss / perform at the Festival. Your response may take any form that you feel is appropriate: a score, a draft of a score, a poem, a short essay, a stream-of-consciousness response, a partial piece to-be-developed/realized, etc. It can be as long as you'd like, but please consider keeping it somewhat short (perhaps 1-2 pages, loosely). As a further means of contextualizing the prompt, we have prepared some brief remarks on each concept:

- the bridge :: a unit of basic linkage. two sides. a relationship formed, worked on, built together.
- the swarm :: a link between living entities forming something like a moving body. a flock. a certain awareness of and responsiveness to energy within the group.
- social sculpture :: the idea of consciousness creating a field in which linking, bridging, and swarming processes are possible. an ideal state of sorts. a vibrancy and absence of ego.


The majority of this festival is sound-based. Of course, you do not need an instrument to make (or observe/make) sound.


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.

You can check out our article in the Boston Globe here .

If you would like to support co-incidence please donate to Non-Event and include a note that you'd like your funds to help with the festival.

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

With generous support from: