Home » Events » Garden of Memory – Chapel of the Chimes | New Music Bay Area

Garden of Memory – Chapel of the Chimes | New Music Bay Area

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Date(s) - 06/21/2016
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Chapel of the Chimes


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At this popular solstice concert, the program features simultaneous performances in different parts of the building by Bay Area composers, musicians, and other performers presenting a variety of acoustic and electronic music, installations, and interactive events; the audience is free to move throughout the building during the performances.

The artists, many of whom are well-known to Bay Area audiences, to be featured at this event include Kitka, Henry Kaiser, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, Paul Dresher and Joel Davel, Amy X Neuburg, Maggi Payne, the Living Earth Show, the Lightbulb Ensemble, William Winant, Sharmi Basu, pianist Sarah Cahill, Dan Plonsey, Beth Custer, Stephen Kent, Dylan Mattingly, the Cardew Choir, Hannah Addario-Berry, Larry Polansky and Giacomo Fiore, and many others. A sunset bell-ringing ceremony is led by Brenda Hutchinson.

Event goers are invited to wander the multilevel building which is built onto a hillside between Piedmont Avenue and Howe Street as the performers play simultaneously. Getting lost is part of the experience as guests climb up and down the three floors through a maze of gardens, cloisters, alcoves, stairwells, fountains and other architectural elements, which rise into vaulted ceilings. Seamless in feel there are three separate design sections created by four architects; Cunningham & Politeo 1909, Julia Morgan 1926-1951 (consulting until her retirement 1951), Aaron Green 1956-1986 and JST Architects 1986-1998. In the older section the complexity of chapels, columbaria, and mausoleum areas are adorned with murals, paintings, sculpture, mosaics, California tile and 16th century antiquities. All architectural and garden areas have excellent acoustics and are illuminated by gentle natural light, often through beautiful arrangements of stained glass.

Garden of Memory offers a unique and personal musical experience to every listener as he or she roves freely through this Oakland Historic Landmark building. Drawing crowds of over two thousand people each year (including a large number of children), Garden of Memory has become a favorite summer solstice celebration for Bay Area audiences.

Our Co-sponsor, Chapel of the Chimes, is the largest above-ground cemetery (mausoleum which is an inside cemetery) west of the Mississippi. Chimes started out as a street car station that was transformed into the California Memorial Crematorium and Columbarium in 1909. The property was expanded and transformed initially by Julia Morgan and later by Aaron Green, a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Oakland Historical Landmark today continues to provide complete end-of-life services, part of a family of four premier Bay Area cemeteries, columbariums, crematories, mausoleums and funeral homes. From traditional to personalized, Chapel of the Chimes assists the diverse families of Northern California to fully memorialize and celebrate a life lived.

Parking is limited. Please carpool, use public transportation, or bike, if at all possible. The nearby cemetery has requested that people do not park there during the event. AC Transit Line 12 runs every half hour and has a stop two blocks away at the corner of Pleasant Valley Rd & Piedmont Ave. Line 12 goes to both Ashby BART and 12th St. BART. There is also usually parking available on Pleasant Valley Rd.

The Chapel of the Chimes is only partially handicap accessible. There is access to the bottom, and to the top floor (where there will be performers), but not in between, and there is no elevator from the top to the bottom – one must exit and go up the street.

There will be a food truck at the Piedmont Avenue entry, and the Pacific Plaza at the Howe Street entrance has space for picnics. But no food or drink is allowed inside, except for water bottles – which are recommended, as it can get very hot inside and water fountains are few and far between.

A map with the performers will be available at GardenOfMemory.com

Volunteers are always needed. If interested in helping out for 1.5 hours, in exchange for two free tickets – please email.

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