This page will be updated as it comes in with information on both the performers, and their plans for the performance itself at Garden of Memory.
Amanda Chaudhary and Serena Toxicat
This project combines ambient experimental music featuring Amanda Chaudhary (SF) on multiple synthesizers with words by Serena Toxicat (Oakland). There is an amorphous, ethereal and haunting quality to our sound, but also playful and rhythmic moments as well. Noise and harder elements provide punctuation and structure between clouds of harmonic and inharmonic sounds. Acoustic percussion is used as well, including a garrahand drum. Most of the music pays tribute to cats, both wild and domestic, including Invocation (Miaou Bast), our sample track.
Andrew Jamieson will be improvising on solo piano in the Chimes Chapel.
Anne Hege will “expand and extend what I offered last year by performing composed works that weave together my analog live-looper, the tape machine with electronic soundtracks, voice, megaphone, and smartphone instruments designed specifically for these pieces. I want to share some new works including “The Universe is Pulling Apart” and “Blessing the boats” as well as some of my old favorites “I See Spirits” and “Let Us Have Songs.” These pieces will be woven together with live improvisation and fixed tape track elements.
The Tape Machine is an instrument I constructed out of one retrofitted tape cassette recorder and two retrofitted tape cassette players. Since 2008, I have composed and improvised with this instrument honing my ability to use the unique attributes of this instrument, including haptic sensitivity, rate of playback change, live manipulation of sound by distorting both recording and playback, as well as compositional choice in vocal and sonic material and finally, interplay between recorded material (fidelity changing over time as the tape becomes used) and live sounds. Much of my work on The Tape Machine is an incantation. Using extended vocal technique, live rhythmic augmentation in conjunction with manipulated playback rhythmic augmentation, playback distortion, volume playback as well as record speed manipulation, I create a sonic world where the present and past mingle together on magnetic tape, and the speaking of spirits seems possible.”
Pianist Anne Rainwater and mezzo soprano Melinda Becker are New Moon Duo. They will perform in the Chimes Chapel “Quatro Canciones Andinas” (1999) by composer Gabriela Lena Frank.The cycle consists of four songs totaling 12 minutes in length.
“We were lucky enough to work with Ms. Frank on her Cuatro Canciones Andinas in October 2018. Influenced by the music of South America, she set music to texts drawn from the poetry of Quechua Indians, the descendants of the ancient Incas. Her pieces reflect her studies of Latin American folklore, incorporating poetry, mythology, and native musical styles into a unique classical framework. It is this approach to music-making that interests us, one that is driven by a very personal expression of heritage and culture.”
The Baker-Barganier Duo formed in September 2016 when multi-instrumentalist Erich Barganier joined forces with New Renaissance artist Elizabeth A. Baker to create a duo that combines spectral sonic landscapes, motion and visual art. Fusing toy piano, mandolin, experimental electronics, kinetic motion and more together, the ensemble explores original sonic landscapes and blurs the boundaries of experimental, classical and progressive music to create a unique experience.
Brenda Hutchinson will lead the annual sunset bellringing.
2008 was the inaugural year of this ongoing public interactive project dedicated to the observation of the sun every time it crossed the horizon and to sharing the awareness of that moment with others. As such the performance at the Garden of Memory in 2008 was also the first sunset observance of the Summer Solstice for the dailybell project. It has been celebrated every year at the Chapel of the Chimes since then.
“I am convinced that something as inarguable as the movement of the earth can be used as a point of unity and awareness among large groups of people who might find it otherwise impossible to agree. While this performance on the Summer Solstice is only one of 730 such observations each year, it by far the most spectacular and is celebrated by the largest group of people on a single occasion.”
The bell ringing begins at 8:24. There will be bells distributed, and you can bring your own bells. If you don’t have a bell, keys do wonders!
The Cardew Choir will be performing Pauline Oliveros’ audience participatory “Heart Chant throughout the entire event.”
Chris Olson: “I was drawn to the idea of making the birch flags after finding some large sections of bark in the woods while living in Massachusetts. The durability, pliancy, and waterproof nature of this naturally occurring, formerly living material is inspiring. Its history of use in various northern cultures is a testament to that same fact. Due in part to the electronic, and often acousmatic nature of the music I produce I decided to use birch for an installation piece. A set of minimal speakers where the birch acts as resonator for sounds to be played in concert. I wanted the feel of something sci-fi, but in order to temper the sometimes cold image, familiar from research science, of visible wires and circuits connected in a coarse, probing way, I opted for the look of something more stately, with a feeling of tradition. The result was these hanging banners, giving the impression of a future where bio-technology intersects traditional craft. The supports are handmade, and stained. The birch, found, cleaned and separated, flattened, cut, and painted on the reverse. Set inside each hanging cross-bar is a hand-wired 1W amplifier circuit connected to a small piezo disc, which is then affixed to the bark. The piezo’s alone have a tinny, scratchy, and scarcely audible sound, due to their inability to properly transmit vibrations through air. But when brought in contact with a larger, and solid object, there exists the potential (depending on the object) to amplify, and color the sound. The sounds to be played can come from a range of sources, but for the purposes of this performance, will come from a homemade modular synthesizer housed in an old suitcase, and my guitar.”
Danny Clay and Amy Foote will have a music-ritual piece for three voices and movement.
duo B., the San Francisco Bay Area improvising and composing ensemble of percussionist Jason Levis and bassist Lisa Mezzacappa, is a musical think tank of grand schemes and impossible scenarios.duo B will play 4 hours straight of Anthony Braxton’s compositions, arranged for their duo. “We are in touch with Braxton’s Tricentric Foundation, which is curating a set of scores for us especially for this performance. Also, our set will be recognized as an official “Braxton75″ event in celebration of his birthday this year.” Over a dozen years, the ensemble has developed and refined its singular approach to improvisation and composition, through cross-disciplinary projects with film, collaborations with improvising instrumentalists at home and abroad, and immersion in the improvised-composed musical worlds of masters Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor and Henry Threadgill. Most recently, duo B. embarked on a journey in long-form improvisation with its latest project and release, No Ins & Outs, an exploration of the musical vision of pianist Cecil Taylor, re-imagined for bass and drums.
Dutton/Nishi-Smith/Otte Trio: The trio explores the group dynamic through both traditional and extended techniques on acoustic string instruments, coupled with electronics and live processing.
Violinist/composer Kristina Dutton works in a wide range of musical settings, moving freely between improvisation, new music, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Conservatory trained, she has performed on more than 40 albums of various genres, and her most recent works include: a commission for Fury, a collaboration between the San Francisco Ballet and the Alonzo King Lines Ballet; Ice Hours, a multimedia performance at the Exploratorium in collaboration with National Geographic photographer Camille Seaman, and performances with her duo Hae Voces – most recently at The Stone in New York with Jeff Zeigler of Kronos Quartet.
Kanoko Nishi-Smith is an artist currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her primary training is in classical piano performance, with a focus in Contemporary/New Music performance. Kanoko’s most recent interest is improvisational music making, both in a solo context and in collaborations with other artists, on piano as well as on her second instrument, koto (13, or 17-string Japanese zither). She approaches her explorations through various extended techniques in addition to more traditional techniques, widening the range of vocabularies on each instrument and enabling them to adapt to both musical and interdisciplinary situations.
Adria Otte creates music inspired from a diverse musical background that includes classical violin studies, rock bands, traditional Korean drumming, free improvisation and experimental electronic music. As a multi-instrumentalist, she has performed improvised and composed works on violin, electric guitar in rock bands, and live electronic music in her duo OMMO. As a sound designer and composer she has collaborated with performance artist Dohee Lee, NAKA Dance Theater, as well as video and visual artists.
Dylan Mattingly and Eli Wirtschafter will be improvising on cello and violin. They first started playing together in 2009, Garden of Memory is their annual reunion.
Edward Schocker will perform on his glass instruments and the Japanese Sho (mouth organ).
Gautam Tejas Ganeshan New Carnatic improvised music.
Gino Robair and Tom Djll —aka Unpopular Electronics: analog electronics, interpreting graphic scores and using chance operations to determine their sounds.
Henry Kaiser and Scott Amendola will be performing together, while Brandy Gale paints to the music.
IMA: is Nava Dunkelman (percussion) and Amma Ateria aka Jeanie Aprille Tang (electronics). IMA is a sound project marching forth with fearless percussion, stark electronics, and Japanese poetry. Deconstructing and dissolving heavy music through restraint and release, IMA strives for a balance between meticulous detailed precision of instrumentation. Chaos of densities driven to brinks of breakage situated by beautification in between.
Violinist Irene Sazer will be improvising with violinist Kate Stenberg.
“a thin line between,” for solo tam-tam, is the result of an ongoing collaboration between composer Lydia Winsor Brindamour and percussionist James Beauton. The work explores the instrument’s varied timbral and sonic attributes, as the activation of the tam-tam’s fundamental is continually manipulated to create subtle variations in the resulting sound. The piece allows the resonance of the instrument to engulf the listener, yielding a perceptual experience that is both auditory and physical. The resonance, and acoustic characteristics, of a particular performance space dictate the performer’s choices. Due to this, the score allows for flexibility in the temporal manifestation of the work, allowing the piece to function as a reflection of the space it inhabits. James Beauton is a Southern California based percussionist and conductor who specializes in the experimental music of the last century. Presently, James is a member of the contemporary percussion ensemble, red fish blue fish, and conductor of the UC San Diego Wind Ensemble. He is concurrently working toward his DMA in Contemporary Music Performance at UC San Diego. Lydia Winsor Brindamour writes music that explores simplicity, absence and loss. Lydia completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard College and is currently pursuing a PhD in composition at the University of California, San Diego, studying with Rand Steiger.
Janam( My Soul ) blends Balkan, Near Eastern and American roots music, creating rapturous acoustic textures, whirling rhythms and stunning vocal harmonies. Led by Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble veteran Juliana Graffagna, Janam unites some of the Bay Area’s most imaginative and devoted players of Balkan and Near Eastern music, who weave together Eastern exoticism, Appalachian folk melodies and their own compositions.
Joe Colley will be performing in a meditative vein.
John Benson will be bringing back his drum dancing with milk again.
Karen Stackpole & Krys Bobrowski: Gongs and gliss glass. Using various bowing techniques to excite these instruments, we tend to create long, slowly evolving sounds. People can come and listen for awhile or just meander through a wash of shifting timbres. Additionally, they like having the opportunity to discuss their instruments and allow visitors to play them during breaks in an informal way.
Kevin Robinson is a saxophonist/composer and leader of the KREation Ensemble founded in 2003. He will be presenting a body of work steeped in compositional approach that investigates ideas of labyrinths, mazes and meditation. The work is entitled Through the Twisting Prisms” It is a collection of intervallic, rhythmic, harmonic labyrinths and mazes that explore ideas convergence, expansion, contraction and meditation. It highlights the compositional approach that Kevin Robinson has been crystallizing throughout his artistic and spiritual practice. His approach explores concepts of circular motion and elastic symmetry to reflect overlapping paths in life. He is a native of Baltimore, MD and is currently based in Oakland, CA. He is currently attending Mills College in the MA Composition Program where he is studying with Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins and others. He received his BFA in Jazz Reeds from California Institute of the Arts where he studied composition with Wadada Leo Smith and Vinny Golia.
Kitka will perform three sets in the Chimes Chapel.Kitka is an American women’s vocal arts ensemble inspired by traditional songs and vocal techniques from Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
For 40 years, Kitka’s mission has been devoted to cultivating global community through the practice of cross-cultural song sharing and collective harmony singing. “In today’s sociopolitical climate, Kitka’s work is more important than ever. Our performances, community choirs, vocal workshops with master artists from around the globe, multicultural/multidisciplinary collaborations, and song documentation and sharing activities all serve a vision of a world in which cultural diversity is celebrated—and human connection is rediscovered—through shared experiences of creativity and beauty.”
Laura Inserra will be playing the Hang. She is a multi-instrumentalist, sound and music therapist, teacher, composer, sound designer and event producer. Born and raised in Sicily, she is specialized in the transformative and healing power of sound, ethnomusicology, sympathetic resonance, ambisonic and binaural technologies.
The Lightbulb Ensemble: Brian Baumbusch says: “I’ve been working on a big project, “The Pressure” for the past year that is set to premiere on June 15 at YBCA as part of the Other Minds festival, and I thought that it would be fantastic if we could do a portion of the piece at the Chapel, since the timing of it would be so convenient. The piece is for The Lightbulb Ensemble, performing on a new set of instruments that I built last fall, as well as the Friction Quartet, a quartet of singers, electric organ, and me as narrator accompanied by a disklavier that is imitating my narration. I’m narrating a story written by my brother, which is in the style of early german expressionistic horror films, and there is a collection of illustrations which I project during the narration that portray the story, sort of like a performance of a graphic novel. The full ensemble is not playing through the duration of the piece, rather different subsets of the ensemble are featured at different times; the piece is split into two 45-minute halves.”
Maggi Payne will be back with her theremin for the audience to experiment with.
Majel Connery: “An electronic solo set. A keyboardist & vocalist; my instrumentation is vocals, TC-Helicon vocal processor, 88-key keyboard, 2-3 synths on smaller tables, a laptop & 2 speakers. (I do need electricity 🙂 I’ve been working toward the release of a new solo electronic album over the past year called Anything Chartreuse, and my performance at Chapel of the Chimes will involve primarily this material, which I would describe as dream pop.”
Nils Bultmann, violist.
Orchestra Nostalgico will be performing again on the Pacific Plaza
Pamela Z will be sharing a room with Donald Swearingen this year – and, in addition to solo sets, will be collaborating with him. Pamela Z is a composer/performer who makes solo works combining a wide range of vocal techniques with electronic processing, samples, and gesture activated MIDI controllers. She has also composed scores for dance, film, and new music chamber ensembles. She has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. Her performances and sound installation works have been presented at venues and exhibitions including Bang on a Can (NY), the Japan Interlink Festival, Other Minds (SF), the Venice Biennale, and the Dakar Biennale. Her numerous awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rome Prize, the Creative Capital Fund, the CalArts Alpert Award, the ASCAP Award, an Ars Electronica honorable mention and the NEA/JUSFC Fellowship.
Donald Swearingen is an Oakland, California-based composer, performer, multimedia artist, and designer of interactive performance systems and installations. Classically trained, but with an ear to the radio, he gravitated to popular music in his teens and early twenties, working for 10 years in the Memphis music industry, both as a traveling performer, and recording artist at such legendary studios as Stax and Hi. Eventually, his work with studio electronics and synthesizers reoriented his focus, and he turned to the academic world where he pursued undergraduate studies in computer music, mathematics, electronics and physics, followed by advanced degrees in mathematics and computer science.
For the past 20 years, his work has revolved around the use of movement and gesture as the source of media control in an expanded, computer-assisted performance environment, leading to the design custom instruments and software for both himself and other artists, including Pamela Z, Miya Masaoka, Guillermo Galindo, Todd Shalom, and Thea Farhadian
Performing in the Julia Morgan Chapel on a pair of huge invented musical instruments, the Duo of acclaimed composer, performer & instrument inventor Paul Dresher and percussionist-extraordinaire Joel Davel consistently generates excitement and wonder.
Playing the 15-foot Quadrachord or the 10-foot Hurdy Grande, both controlled by Don Buchla’s magical Marimba Lumina, Dresher and Davel create lush textures and rhythmically propulsive grooves that fascinate the ear and the eye. Exploring unique sound-colors amplified by live digital looping, this electro-acoustic duo creates complex sonic layers as rich as a full orchestra.
Sahba Sizdahkhani “I am an Iranian-American who grew up in Washington DC and then Costa Rica and back to East Coast. I grew up as a percussionist and studied Jazz at Berklee. Some years ago I began playing the ancient Persian dulcimer called santur. It has 140 strings. I relocated to nature and have been living in Los Padres National Forest on border with Santa Paula California and Upper Ojai Valley, in a Quonset hut cabin, exploring new ways to explore this instrument as well as record”
Pianist Sarah Cahill will perform two sets in the Chimes Chapel. She will play Percy Grainger’s arrangement of John Dowland’s “Now, O Now I Needs Must Part,” Terry Riley’s The Walrus in Memoriam, and Theresa Wong’s She Dances Naked Under Palm Trees. With bassist Richard Mix, she will also perform works by Roscoe Mitchell and Ann Callaway. Cahill will be performing in memory of Joe Botz, an avid audience member at new music concerts who died in March.
SCLork ensemble plays live electronic music (8 players) with dedicated loudspeakers per player. Created in the Spring of 2012 by Bruno Ruviaro and his students at Santa Clara University, this interdisciplinary group explores the intersection of music composition, live performance, human/computer interaction, programming, and sound design, with an emphasis on musical creativity based on cutting-edge technologies. Chamber SCLOrk members are Edmund Howser, David Kerr, Tanya Sonker, Miles Elliott, Kevin Roth, Luke Nihlen, Bruno Ruviaro, and Kaitlin McSweeney. They will be performing ambient, textural and atmospheric pieces based on soft synthetic waveforms and amplified small objects using contact mics and live processing.
Theresa Wong will perform solo, with cello and voice.
http://www.gardenofmemory.com/performers-notes-programs-for-june-21-2019/ Pieces for Contrabass flute and electronics. Also some very sonorous pieces for the large low clarinets which have not been performed before. A piece or two with woodwinds, gongs and possibly electronics which is both soothing and adventuresome at the same time. “I have been working with woodwind instruments for almost close to 50 years and about 8 or 9 years ago started a journey using Gongs and Singing Bowls along with my woodwinds. Through the manipulation of the Gongs with various mallets, bowing techniques and specialized rubbing with modified objects, overtones are produced that have other worldly qualities and create a bed for my woodwinds and aerophones. Many people find the sounds quite serene and inspirational.”
Wendy Reid and Friends “My group will be performing a small ensemble version of ‘Ambient Bird 433’ an hour+ long tree piece, as well as a new bird haiku collection. These pieces will take up the entire time. The ensemble includes Brenda Hutchinson, Aurora Josephson, Ron Heglin, Lulu (my parrot), and me, with possibly a few others.”
Watkins / Peacock is a psychedelic improvising trance and new dance music duo formed in 2017. Featuring members of acclaimed musical outfits Mwahaha (Plug Research) and Black Spirituals (Sige). Watkins / Peacock perform live with vintage and new hardware. They mix live borrowing from kraut and dub traditions.