Call for trumpet, trombone / baritone, percussion and piccolo for unique community band.

Would you like to be part of a unique musical performance?  Do you like the standing above/between the banks of the Mississippi?  Do you play a brass instrument or percussion? Do you like bridges? Are you free the evening of June 4th?   Do you like sparklers?  Do you want to be part of something you will talk about for years? Do you have friends that fit the above description too?  If so…we have something you are going to love.

Los Angeles based composer Chris Kallmyer has been invited curator Scott Stulen and  the Northern Spark Festival to create a gigantic brass and percussion piece for the Stone Arch Bridge.  Chris is also the music curator for Machine Project, a LA based collective who will be in residence on the Walker Open Field this July.  The performance for Northern Spark will serve as an opening “fanfare” to the nightlong festival and is sure to be a highlight of the event.

The piece itself is conceived specifically for the site of the Stone Arch Bridge, taking advantage of the space and its perch above the Mississippi. The instrumentation is for brass section, percussion battery and a small choir of piccolos.  Below is further information on the piece, and the potential time commitment. Click here for Northern Spark’s page on the project. The piece has the potential to be a cultural event for the local music community, and if this fits you,  we hope you consider participating.

1. Time Commitment:

– Friday, June 3. 6:00 – 8:00 pm //  rehearsal at the Stone Arch Bridge.

– Saturday, June 4. 8:55 – 9:15 pm // Call time at 6pm // Performance at the Stone Arch Bridge.

2. Open to musicians of all levels and abilities

3. We are looking for candidates who have an interest in working with their community, pedagogy, new music, and a sense of humor.

Full Description

Stone Arch Bridge

for dawn or dusk // homeward is a 10-15 minute sound work for 100+ local musicians playing brass, percussion, woodwinds and tiny whistles.  The site specific performance will take place on the Stone Arch Bridge, stretching across the Mississippi playing overlapping melodies derived from the route of the river.  The piece follows the route of the river south past St. Louis, Memphis, New Orleans and into the Gulf of Mexico.  Community involvement is integral in this piece. I am interested in how we can create a forum of equal participation and creative input, much like the brass bands in Europe and community bands that used to populate the United States.  In this spirit, local amateurs will work side by side with professional musicians, and local community leaders.


Please RSVP to curator Scott Stulen at to sign-up and for full details or pass this information along to anyone you know.

For context, here is a short video of one of Chris past projects.

Re-arranging chairs in the LA River

“[Outpost for Contemporary Art] mounted a project titled “This Here and That There,” in which artist Vlatka Horvat continuously rearranged a series of 50 chairs in the [Los Angeles River] over the course of eight hours. The performance took place near Silver Lake, below the Fletcher Bridge in Elysian Valley.”
via Culture Monster

“In some arrangements, the stage seems to be set for many different scenarios: meetings, presentations, discussions, exams, interrogations, concerts, riots… Other chair configurations tends to defy altogether the everyday codes of chair-arrangement in public spaces, suggesting instead more intimate, abstract, or enigmatic encounters.”–Outpost for Contemporary Art

Is your emotional weather report from cloud 9?

Art(ists) On the Verge, Northern Lights’ Jerome-funded commissioning program, will be exhibiting at the Weisman Art Museum July 5 – August 23, 2009. More about this soon. In the meantime, one of the commissions, The Weather Vein Project led by Pramila Vasudevan, and driven by Mark Fox, Jennifer Jurgens, and Mike Westerlund has launched a blog and website, which will feed into the performance of “Cloud Turn” at the Pillsbury House Theater June 5-7.

an interactive dance performance, which is a reflection of humans playing God with regard to weather. Renowned for their originality, Aniccha Arts bring detailed, sinuous, and percussive Indian based dance movement integrated with their rich, colorful and highly manipulated media style. This performance is constructed with content from workshops conducted at various facilities throughout the Twin Cities as well as from the We Can Change the Weather blog.

“Cloud Turn” will be previewed at Northern Lights’ installation with Forecast Public Art at Art-a-Whirl and an exceprt performed at the Weisman exhibition reception on July 9.

Continuous City

Since 2002, world-renowned Builders Association has presented a series of remarkable theatrical experiences that tell the story of our increasingly urban and globalized world: Aladeen (2002-2005), Super Vision (2005-2006), and now Continuous City, which is showing at the Walker Art Center this Thursday through Saturday, October 23-25. The Walker is offering special discounted tickets to Friday’s performance. Get them while you can.

From Philip Bither, William and Nadine McGuire Senior Curator, Performing Arts, Walker Art Center:

Dear friend,

The Walker is proud to present the Builders Association’s Continuous City this Thursday-Saturday, October 23-25 at 8 pm. I hope you can join us to see this Walker-commissioned new work. As a friend of the Walker and the arts community, we would like to extend you and your staff $15 tickets to the Friday, October 24 performance. To redeem this offer, please contact the Walker box office at 612.375.7600 and mention “friend”. This a show that I think you will like very much, fascinating both as a very strong piece of theater and as a commentary on how technology is altering our lives.

Like past Builders Association productions, Continuous City is stunningly beautifully and technically advanced. However, with this piece they have achieved a series of interweaving stories and a narrative arc that, in power, humor and humanity, match the company’s conceptual and technical prowess. The company has been in residence with the Walker for the past week continuing to work on the show and it is looking fantastic. After the Walker, it will go on to BAM’s Next Wave Festival in New York, as well as touring stops across Europe and in Asia.

Below is more information on the show and a link to a major feature on the piece that appeared in the Star Tribune this past weekend.

The Builders Association
Continuous City
Thursday-Saturday, October 23-25, 8 pm
McGuire Theater, Walker Art Center

“The Builders Association is itself an innovator in multimedia theater, using video, animation, sampled sounds, and god-knows-what sorts of computerized gizmos to produce gorgeous illusions.”—Village Voice

See the future of theater today. New York City–based wizards the Builders Association (Aladeen, Super Vision), with fingers firmly pressed to the pulse of today’s changing world, weave an engrossing fable about ways that constant connectivity alters our sense of distance and intimacy. A globe-hopping father and his homebound daughter, whose lives are transformed by digital speed and failing cell phones, and the other intriguing characters who populate this story are propelled by leading-edge computer animation, electronic music, and live performance.

A participatory Web site ( and local filming of key scenes further conflate the global and the local, the mediated and the real.

Commissioned by the Walker Art Center.

Read last Sunday’s Star Tribune article on Continuous City here.

Warm Regards,
Philip Bither
William and Nadine McGuire Senior Curator, Performing Arts
Walker Art Center

Site Specific Public Art?

Merce Cunningham’s Ocean @ the Rainbow Quarry in St. Cloud, MN

We heard about it for months – the biggest performance piece of the year to take place on the grandest scale. Merce Cunningham’s epic choreography set to the music of Andrew Culver and electronic score by David Tudor with the Rainbow Quarry as the backdrop.

The backdrop?

While it’s true that no one claimed the piece was site specific, the two hour drive from the cities, the mysterious bus ride down into the quarry, and the PR image of a dancer standing amongst the rocks heightened my expectations. To discover a giant sound stage set up in the middle of the quarry somewhat dulled my curiosity. It became clear that the quarry was the environment for the piece not the inspiration.

Does it matter? Not really. It was still an amazing presentation by one of the granddaddies of dance. The company was polished and the 150 members of St. Cloud’s Symphony orchestra must have had a blast. The Quarry while not completely integrated into the piece became quiet an interesting audience member. A foreboding sci-fi landscape complete with the full moon ducking in and out of the clouds. An extra special treat was the abrupt stop of the performance due to rain twenty minuets before the completion of the piece. John Cage (project co-producer) would have been tickled.

But most importantly it lead me to question, what is site-specific public art? In a culture where we are inundated with experiences made to be accessed at our leisure via TVO and You Tube, the importance of place becomes relevant. What kind of expectations do we have for things that decide to utilize untraditional spaces? Are those expectations justified? Is it really the artists job to live up to what we might imagine could be done in that space? And what about the implications of private entities mimicking the form of site specific practices in public spaces?

Other inspirations…
Eiko & Koma – River
Improve Everywhere – Food Court Musical
Body Cartography – ROOM