The longest day of the year is observed by the San Francisco Bay Area new music community with the annual Garden of Memory event at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland. With Sarah Cahill at the helm, an inimitable assortment of sound makers takes over this architecturally extraordinary columbarium/mausoleum for four hours, and invites audiences of all ages to wander among over three dozen simultaneous performances positioned throughout the complex.
I took some photos at last year’s event, but still images don’t convey the peculiar delight of a community of people happening upon the unimaginable and the improbable, room after room. This video is, of course, only a small sampling of the variety of musicians at this year’s Garden of Memory; the full list of performers can be found on the event’s website.
Here are links to the performers shown, in order of appearance: Keith Cary (on the bike at the entrance to the event) and Jaroba (with the plunger in the air)—Edward Schocker (playing a sho)—Laura Inserra (playing a Hang)—Sarah Cahill (performing Annea Lockwood’s RCSC)—The Living Earth Show (Andrew Meyerson, percussion, and Travis Andrews, guitar)—Brent Miller and Adam Fong who run the new Center for New Music in San Francisco) and John Kennedy—Jason Victor Serinus (whistling “Casta Diva” from Bellini’s Norma)—Theresa Wong (cello) and Luciano Chessa (musical saw)—Maggi Payne (“Theremin Morph: Step inside and play a suped up Theremin!”)—Lucky Dragons (Luke Fischbeck and Sarah Rara)—Amy X Neuburg (who tag teams with Paul Dresher in this space each year)—Larnie Fox and the Crank Ensemble (whose hand-cranked instruments are a mechanical version of a loop)—Beth Custer (Stephen Kent’s didgeridus are in the background)—Dylan Mattingly (cello) and Eli Wirtschafter (violin)—Cornelius Cardew Choir (performing Pauline Oliveros’s Heart Chant)—Orchestra Nostalgico (playing Ennio Morricone on the outdoor plaza).