10TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON PERFORMANCE: Sutro Baths, October 19, 2019
A ravishing and challenging site-specific work, Raven Chacon’s Tremble Staves connects narratives of the San Francisco Bay Area’s complicated relationship with water – usage, access, rights — to overlapping Navajo creation stories in which water figures prominently. Both a concert performance and an installation, Tremble Staves is performed from memory by The Living Earth Show outdoors, on public land, using water as a dynamic percussion instrument. The work is presented in collaboration with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in the ruins of Sutro Baths.
Raven Chacon explains: “On the surface, Tremble Staves is about water; the scarcity of it, especially in the desert where I am from, and of course its sacredness, we are water. But an artwork or music composition should not be what ultimately brings awareness to anyone at this point about the crisis we are facing. Perhaps we are doomed. The piece is the interactions and relationships that animals (people included) might have with each other, or with the land, or with nature, or with something else that we can’t comprehend, even at our most spiritual and vulnerable. The piece considers different moving and stationary bodies of water (tributaries, channels, sounds) as examples of these interactions; in how knowledge may be transferred, negotiated, shared, dispersed and even diluted. We wanted to bring this piece to the public, a site of water, of meditation. Of course anytime there is an opportunity to look at the ocean or the sky, one can attempt to peer toward infinity. We can be loud, and be seen from afar.”
This performance is made possible by The MAP Fund, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, The University of Michigan Center for World Studies, the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.
Originally from the Navajo Nation, Raven Chacon is a composer of chamber music, a performer of experimental noise music, and an installation artist. Chacon’s work explores sounds of acoustic handmade instruments overdriven through electric systems. As an educator, Chacon has served as composer-in-residence for the Native American Composer Apprentice Project, teaching string quartet composition to hundreds of American Indian high-school students living on reservations in the Southwest U.S. His work has been presented at the Whitney Biennial, documenta 14, REDCAT, the Kennedy Center, and the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival.
Cath Brittan is a music, theater and opera producer and production manager based in California. She has worked with, amongst others, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cal Performances, Kronos Quartet, San Francisco Symphony, Soundbox, and Peter Sellars.