New Music Box
In the Garden of Memory at the Chapel of the Chimes
by Sidney Chen
July 5, 2012
The Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland bills itself as a “Columbarium, Crematorium, Mausoleum and Funeral Home,” but on the summer solstice each year it comes alive as a concert venue as well, with a four-hour celebration of experimental sound and music-making called Garden of Memory.
Expectations are continually confounded: walking down the stairs from the room where Beth Custer is playing a slow groove on clarinet with Stephen Kent, who’s playing a didjeridu with a cello strung over his shoulder like a guitar, you happen upon Albert Behar introducing through a megaphone the premiere of his Book of Five Waltzes on accordion. It’s a joyful evening, celebrating the multifarious ways that people can play with sound.