Because we cannot present our annual Garden of Memory summer solstice concert this June 21st at the Chapel of the Chimes, we have put together some previously unseen video footage from Garden of Memory 2006 and 2008, which will premiere from 5 to 9 pm this Sunday, June 21st, to mark the four hours of our solstice celebration. This is video that was shot for a documentary which was never finished. We will miss seeing you, hugging friends, hearing our favorite musicians, and being together in the magical Chapel of the Chimes. It is unfortunate that this video footage leaves out so many of our treasured performers, but we felt it was the best (and easiest) way right now to mark the occasion.
This year we received over seventy proposals, many of them from artists who are new to us. During this critical time, we are re-examining each aspect of this annual event: our selection process, the composition of our board, ways to reach out to musicians and composers of color, and strategies to build future audiences to better reflect the diverse population of Oakland and the communities we aim to serve.
Please join us for the premiere of “Garden of Memory Sheltering in Place” on the New Music Bay Area You Tube channel, from 5 to 9 pm on Sunday, June 21st. At sunset (8:34 Pacific time), Brenda Hutchinson will lead us through the bell ringing ceremony, and we can imagine that we are all together celebrating in the Chapel of the Chimes. Brenda’s instructions are below, and you can also tune in to KALW (91.7 FM or KALW.org) to hear Brenda on Sarah’s radio show; she will lead us through these instructions starting at 8:20 pm Pacific time.
From Brenda Hutchinson:
dailybell is an aspirational project begun in 2008, dedicated to the observation of the sun every time it crosses the horizon and to sharing the awareness of that moment with others, affirming our connection to each other and the natural world: every day.
This year it is my hope that this pause at the beginning and end of every day and whatever we do in this moment—reflect, mourn, pray – can suspend us momentarily from our personal challenges and perspectives. That it can allow us to rest in a moment of grace to sense the presence of our inalienable connection to everyone.
Surround the sunset with a 10 minute observance.
Stop whatever you are doing and step outside
Orient yourself towards the sunset, even if you can’t see it
Ring a bell. If you like, hum gently with each out breath.
8:39 – 8:40
Observe a moment of silence.
This works for the Bay Area where the sun sets around 8:34/8:35.
Look up the sunset time where you live: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/
To join or share with the dailybell community: https://www.facebook.com/dailybell.sunwatch/
If you need bells, this is a good source: https://www.bellsonline.net/
other related summer solstice events by our esteemed colleagues:
Michael Zelner releases more than two hours of an audio recording from Garden of Memory 1997, on the Internet Archive (in the Community Audio collection, at
One of the most beloved and meaningful traditions at Garden of Memory is the annual Heart Chant. For four hours, the Cardew Choir invites listeners to join them in Pauline Oliveros’ Heart Chant. This summer solstice, the performance will be a virtual one. Tom Bickley of the Cardew Choir writes: “I invite you to participate in a worldwide gathering this Sunday 21 June online to sing Pauline Oliveros’ score, The Heart Chant. For about a decade, each Summer Solstice, the Cardew Choir (that I helped co-found and direct) has led a participatory four-hour performance of this piece at the Garden of Memory event here in the Bay Area of California. We’ve had more than 60 people gather with us in a circle to sound together for the healing of all that needs healing. I’m honored to help with this online event, and am very grateful for your participation. This online performance will last under 30 minutes! Here’s the information from our colleagues at the International Contemporary Ensemble (which is directed by Claire Chase):
The Heart Chant is a participatory Deep Listening meditation. Written in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, the Heart Chant is an offering of sonic healing for all beings through listening and vocalization.
Deep Listening is the life’s work of seminal composer Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016), which she describes as “listening all the time in every possible way to everything possible to hear.” Heart Chant‘s simple instructions invite anyone and everyone to participate, no musical training is required!
Last Make Music Day, nearly a dozen Heart Chants took place on three continents. This year, people anywhere in the world are invited to join in a virtual Heart Chant, hosted by Pauline’s widow IONE, Music on the Rebound, Claire Chase, the International Contemporary Ensemble and the Cornelius Cardew Choir. Tune in LIVE from your phone or computer to be a part of a uniquely powerful collective healing, that we need more than ever in this time of social distance.”
To participate, register (free of charge) using this link: https://www.musicrebound.com/heart-chant
6 to 8 pm- Dan Plonsey and friends perform a socially distanced concert at Upper Canyon Trail Park, 6757 Gatto Ave, El Cerrito, CA
8 to 10 pm- Revolutions Per Minute on KALW, hosted by Sarah Cahill, features recordings by several Garden of Memory participants and a phone interview with Brenda Hutchinson guiding us through the sunset dailybell ringing, starting at 8:20 pm.
Happy summer solstice! We will all be together again next June 21st, 2021!