Photo by Tom Holub

The annual concert presented by New Music Bay Area to commemorate the beginning of summer, called Garden of Memory, takes place this evening from five until nine at Oakland’s Chapel of the Chimes. Pianist Sarah Cahill, who began the tradition in 1996 says there are dozens of performers in a wide variety of styles and instrumentations, and it’s meant to be a concert of discovery.

There’s more information about the event at the Garden of Memory website.

“The original idea was to have no map and no guide, and no idea of who was performing. And that everyone in the audience would just get lost, and find music where it was, everywhere in the building,” Cahill says, “But then, people wanted to know who they were hearing, and what was where, and so, I resisted and resisted and resisted, but finally we came up with a map and a sort of code.” Now audience members have a little help in their musical exploration. “Everyone at the door gets a map, and you go around the building, and you find who you want to hear. And what I love also is that it’s very democratic, so computer music is the same as didgeridoo, and there’s an ensemble with a parrot singing with Wendy Reid… Some people sort of stay on the main floor, and you can hear Kitka, and the wonderful young pianist from New York, Adam Tendler, and on the same level is Amy X. Neuburg and Paul Dresher with Joel Davel, so that’s all happening on the same level. And some people just choose to hang out in one of the chapels, and sit down for the whole time, but other people wander around. Especially people with kids like to wander around and stay on their feet.”