UCSB’s Primavera Festival began Monday with the opening of “Activated Space,” an installation by Luke Thomas Taylor in the stairwell to the basement offices between Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall and the Music Department.

Jeremy Haladyna

Jeremy Haladyna will direct UCSB’s Ensemble for Contemporary Music on Wednesday.

The function of “Activated Space,” according to Taylor, is to explore “the sound world of everyday spaces.” Admission is free to the installation, which will — with difficulty — be held in place through Friday.

Unabashedly avant-garde — whoever heard of diffidence in such circles? — Primavera is officially described as a “Festival of Contemporary Arts and Digital Media,” and represents the collaborative effort of several subdivisions of the UCSB Humanities and Fine Arts Division, including the College of Creative Studies, the Music Department, the Department of Theater and Dance, the Media Arts and Technology Program, and CREATE (Center for Research in Electronic Arts Technology).

The first performance event of the festival will be a concert — at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall — by UCSB’s ever-lively Ensemble for Contemporary Music, under the direction of the genial maestro Jeremy Haladyna.

ECM members will perform works by Clarence Barlow (Corwin Endowed Chair of Composition), Leslie Hogan, Justin Weaver, Scott Perry, Eliot Burk and Joel Hunt. Admission will be charged, with tickets sold at the door.

At 8 p.m. Thursday, also in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, there will be a concert by the redoubtable CREATE (JoAnn Kuchera-Morin as director and Curtis Roads as associate director). The guest composer will be Martino Traversa, and the concert will feature the world premiere of Never by Roads. Also on the program are works by Traversa, Bebe Barron, Robert Morris and Ludger Brümmer. Admission will be charged, with tickets sold at the door.

On Friday, the closing day of the festival, there will be two performance events. The first, “Electric Catfish: A UCSB Composers’ Concert,” organized by Taylor, will start at 7 p.m. in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, and is free. The program will include works by Taylor, Katherine Saxon, Salman Bakht, Brian Hansen, Joel Hunt, Barak Perelman and Joann Cho.

The second, also free, is called “RedBlack,” and was organized by Ron Sedgwick. It will be held at 8:30 p.m. in the UCEN HUB. The sponsors describe “RedBlack” as “an avant-garde concert event highlighting emerging trends in crushed electronica music and new media art, blended with dance and ‘flash mob’ dance.” Be prepared, as the Boy Scouts say.

For more information, e-mail leslie.hogan@ccs.ucsb.edu or call 805.893.7001.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at gerald.carpenter@gmail.com.