Advance tickets are available each year, usually starting in May, from Brown Paper Tickets. We recommend purchasing in advance, if at all possible, to avoid long lines at the door. We do not have a set limit on attendance – we’ve never turned anyone away – but know the venue does get very crowded, particularly in the middle few hours.
If interested in performing, please email your proposal, with a short bio, description of your intended performance, and sound and/or video clips to newmusicbayarea @ gmail.com. This will be reviewed by a committee. There are usually openings for 10-15 new performers/ensembles each year. Every March we start reviewing proposals for the upcoming Garden of Memory on June 21st. The full list of performers is usually decided upon by the end of April.
If you’ve never attended the event, we are looking for music which pushes boundaries – electroacoustic, new classical, unusual jazz, new approaches to World Music, or anything unique. The music also must be respectful to the space itself, which is a Columbarium, and cannot be so loud that it intrudes on the spaces of the other performers.
We ask for a minimum performance of two hours, if sharing a room, or the full four hours if solely occupying a room (with short breaks.) There is only one piano in the building and it’s in the Main Chapel which is highly scheduled for short sets. If you’re interested in performing in the chapel, know it’s a long shot.
The annual Garden of Memory summer solstice concert began in 1995 when Sarah Cahill was writing a cover story for the East Bay Express about public bathrooms of the East Bay.
In search of interesting bathrooms, she wandered into the Chapel of the Chimes and heard some distant organ music as she got lost in the maze of the building. Inspired by that combination of sensory stimuli, she pitched the idea of a concert to other board members of New Music Bay Area. They said yes, and were pleasantly surprised when The Chapel of the Chimes also said yes to a big wild concert of avant garde and experimental music.