June 23, 2009


Some people go to the beach for the summer solstice. Mrguy and I went to a columbarium to see new music. It was awesome.

One acquaintance performed a Phillip Glass piece in the chapel. One coworker performed the title character in an opera about Emperor Norton. We didn't get to see that. One group stretched out spools of twine taut in a vestibule and bowed and plucked the twine. A woman sang atonal melodies while accompanying herself on cello. Only mrguy understood some of this, but I enjoyed it all. The audience just wandered from crypt to vestibule, pausing to listen to what they'd find there.

Upstairs in a space with vaulted ceilings, a group performed Pauline Oliveros' "Heart Chant". The singers each choose and sing a tone on the syllable "ah", taking breaths when they need to. People join and leave the circle as they wish, and the sound continues as long as the singers continue. It was completely mesmerizing.

Downstairs, a solo electric guitarist played single, ringing notes in another vestibule that was in listening distance of the Oliveros piece. I sat in a chair, closed my eyes and practiced slowing down my heart.

It was so incredibly peaceful.

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