Showing posts with label Garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Garden. Show all posts

Occupy Orchestra 無量園 Infinity Garden

inspired by classical Chinese gardens, John Cage and the occupy movement

Audio Excerpt

available at Bandcamp

Duration c. 9-15 minutes
Instrumentation variable (winds, brass, percussion, strings, other)
Site-responsive work written for the Chicago Composers Orchestra and audience
Performed at Garfield Park Conservatory (Chicago IL) January 2013

Program Notes
“The emotions—love, mirth, the heroic, wonder, tranquility, fear, anger, sorrow, disgust—are in the audience.” John Cage

Walk the zigzag path into a Chinese garden where jagged rocks, misty lakes and meandering walls welcome you. Walk the crowded pavement into a general assembly of the occupy movement where idealistic students, homeless parents and concerned citizens welcome you. We gather here/hear now in the Chinese garden and general assembly of our imaginations.

You can listen. You can watch. You can rustle your papers, walk around the garden, record the event and chant your phrase. This is y/our space. This is y/our time. We shall gather all around, finding power in our sound.

Welcome to Occupy Orchestra 無量園 Infinity Garden
  • Sarah van Gelder, This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street & the 99% movement, 2011.
  • John Cage, Silence: Lectures & Writings, 1961.
  • Ji Cheng (计成), The Craft of Gardens (园冶), 1631.
Press Quote
“As I wandered among the musicians and plants, I noticed how many people were capturing the moment. Photographers, mostly. Professional, a lot of them, with sacks and bags and oversized equipment sometimes with the labels of whatever storeroom or newspaper, magazine checkout space they borrowed the damn thing from.

There were a lot of the individual cell phone camera types who can’t look at the world without recording it. Even me, with my little dictaphone, the little Olympus that’s lasted five years and sixty dollars.

Maybe that’s what music is now. Performance has turned from an arrow to a circle.”

Paul Dailing, 1,001 Chicago Afternoons, January 2013

available at Bandcamp

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Chives

My mind wanders as I take a break in the vegetable patch. I am stuck trying to finish music for 3Seasons.

The herb box contains flowering chives and thick sage leaves bring me outside where waving neighbors bicycle along saying that they love the garden. I feel the hesitant Seattle sun mixed with rain sprinkle an encouraging nod towards me tending the vegetable patch. My mind works through sound bytes and starts to weave sonic textures as I weed and prune, transplant and mulch, water and taste.

Tending edibles finds a parallel with composing music. Both take time, patience and the willingness to let go and be surprised.

Plants have their own ways of growing. By paying attention to the parsley, sage, rosemary and chives, my time as a composer is renewed where I can return to composing music refreshed and confident.

Holidays on the Farm

Scrappy chicken wishes everyone a Merry Christmas with the reminder to care for folks in need. Scrappy chicken is thankful for the other hens in her flock who keep her warm at night with their full coat of feathers.

Farm Hack

If you work on a small farm, garden in a p-patch, tinker in your yard or want to be inspired by people who grow food and refashion junk into treasure, check out Farm Hack. This is a new resource started by the National Young Farmer's Coalition.

Farm Hack is set-up as a blog where inventors can contribute ideas on how to make useful tools for farming out of seemingly useless items. Posts include how to mulch with found materials such as carpet squares as well as how to use the free 3D modeling tool Google SketchUp. Perhaps one day Farm Hack will be as popular as Ikea Hacker.

What?! You don't know about Ikea Hacker? This ingenious blog was started in 2006. Folks contribute ideas on alternate uses for Ikea items such as using the blue bag as a raincoat for their dog or turning a table on it's side to become a weaving loom.

I praise both of these blogs for their practical creativity. Food and shelter are basic but don't need to be boring.

Happy Autumn

Finally, a sunny October day in Seattle.

Here are photographs of Red and Black thankful that the rain is not pelting their coop. Time to scratch about the chicken run and discover what treasures can be found in the wet earth under fallen leaves.

First Egg

First egg of the new year, but which pullet is officially now a hen: Red, Black or Star?

Dedicated to intercultural collaboration, Byron Au Yong composes songs of dislocation, music for a changing world. He teaches in Performing Arts & Social Justice at the University of San Francisco.

Byron Au Yong & Christopher Yohmei Blasdel: BreathPlay

Byron Au Yong: Kidnapping Water: Bottled Operas
Kidnapping Water:
Bottled Operas
Byron Au Yong: Yiju