The Day is a collaborative work, not just between a composer, choreographer, dancer, and cellist… It also includes the contribution of countless unnamed people from the internet who provided the text for the piece. Composer David Lang wrote the piece for cellist Maya Beiser, and San Francisco Performances is presenting the work, with Wendy Whelan dancing the choreography of Lucinda Childs, this Thursday and Friday night at Herbst Theatre.

There’s more information at the San Francisco Performances website.

“I have a long running friendship with the cellist Maya Beiser,” David Lang explains,”And so I wrote her a giant solo a long time ago, called World to Come, which was for cello, and many cellos on tape, and voice. And that piece was half a program, and it was so powerful and important for our friendship, and we talked forever about making another piece. And so, I wrote a companion piece to this piece, World to Come called The Day.” As he’s done several times before, for the text of the piece, he let a search engine ‘discover’ the words with its auto-complete function. “I just typed in ‘I remember the day that I…’ and I got a long list of things that people all around the world felt were so important that they would not want to forget them.” The responses in the piece are in alphabetical order, but as they’re read, it sounds like a story, made up of only the most memorable things. “This was the most important day of their lives. I remember the day that I got married. I remember the day that I found out I had cancer. The day my children were born.” Maya Beiser played the pieces for choreographer Lucinda Childs, and that led to the collaboration with former principle dancer with the New York City Ballet, Wendy Whelan. This marks The Day‘s Bay Area premiere.