“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, with collisions in nature, or with something else that we can’t comprehend, even at our most spiritual and vulnerable. The work 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 music 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.” –Raven Chacon, composer
Movement I. Estuary
Movement II. Tributary
Movement III. Delta (featuring guitarists Theo Moss, Izzy Spanswick, Nathan Marks, and Marcus D’Avignon)
Movement IV: Channel
Movement V: Distributary (featuring percussionists Willie Winant, David Lechuga, Pétur Eggertsson, Lula Asplund, Samuel Regan, Philip Agbayani, Colton Ransom, Elizabeth Hall, Jack Van Geem, Doug CHin, Ayden Bradley, Jimmy Chan, and Caleb Smit)
Movement VI: Sound
Composer: Raven Chacon
The Living Earth Show: Travis Andrews (guitars), Andy Meyerson (percussion)
Narrator and Text: Ashley Smiley
Costumes and Regalia: Rashad Pridgen
Production Manager: Cath Brittan
A 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. It is also important that Tremble Staves include the participation of students and teachers; in two of the movements (Delta and Distributary), the act of teaching and relaying information in real time is an audible and visual element of the composition. The work is presented in collaboration with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the Art in the Parks Program in the ruins of Sutro Baths.
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.
Art in the Parks
The mission of Art in the Parks is to provide programs that introduce visitors to creative experiences that are transformative, unexpected, and inspirational. Recent programming such as @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Big Blue Whale at Crissy Field, and PianFrancisco at Fort Point helps visitors connect with the history and stories of national parks. Learn more: parksconservancy.org/art
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, situated in and around San Francisco, is the most visited park site in the National Park Service, hosting more than 15 million visitors in 2018. A diverse park with abundant recreational opportunities, as well as natural, cultural, and scenic resources, it encompasses more than 82,000 acres across three counties. The park also administers two other NPS areas, Fort Point National Historic Site, a Civil War era fortress built on the northernmost point of land in San Francisco, and Muir Woods National Monument, which comprises an impressive stand of old growth coastal redwoods in Marin County. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/goga or call (415) 561-4700.
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is the nonprofit membership organization that supports the Golden Gate National Parks. Since 1981, the Parks Conservancy has provided over $550 million in aid for transformations, habitat restorations, research and conservation, volunteer and youth engagement, and interpretive and educational programs. Learn more at parksconservancy.org or call (415) 561-3000.