Abundant Sound Gardens—Art Exhibit and Performance at Meridian Gallery, on May 13th

Stuart Dempster

Photo of Stuart Dempster, composer and musician

Meridian Gallery and Meridian Music: Composers in Performance present Abundant Sound Gardens, a joint commemorative concert and exhibition, presented by Stuart Dempster and Suiren, a.k.a. Renko Ishida Dempster, in memory of musician/composer Toyoji Tomita, whose generous volunteering of his time and knowledge made Meridian’s move into 535 Powell Street in 2007 possible.

I’ll be performing as a member of the new music/sound art vocal ensemble, the Cornelius Cardew Choir, which will be improvising along with Stuart Dempster and Suiren. Please join us for this exciting event! Stop by and say hello after the concert!

Photo of Toyoji Tomita

In memory of Toyoji Tomita, composer, musician and gardener

Here’s more information:

Abundant Sound Gardens: In Memory of Toyoji Tomita
A celebratory event by composer/performer Stuart Dempster
and artist Suiren, a.k.a. Renko Ishida Dempster, with the Cornelius Cardew Choir

and Musicians Andy Strain, Jen Baker, and Ron Heglin

Concert on May 13, 2009, at 7:30 PM
$10 general; $5 students/seniors (no one turned away for lack of funds)
Meridian Gallery, 535 Powell Street, San Francisco

Art Exhibition from May 14 – 30, 2009

Abundant Sound Gardens is a joint commemorative event that celebrates the life of Bay Area composer/trombonist/gardener Toyoji P. Tomita (1951 – 2008). On May 13th, as part of Meridian’s monthly concert series of New Music, Meridian Music: Composers in Performance, Stuart Dempster, a self-described Sound Gatherer, will be composing and performing various new pieces in real time, along with earlier pieces, with the assistance of “Toyoji Trombones,” Dempster Didjeridus, and the Cornelius Cardew Choir, directed by Tom Bickley. Toyoji Tomita’s widow, the accomplished multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Marianne Tomita McDonald, will be performing as a member of the Cardew Choir, and improvising with the other musicians.

In addition to trombone and didjeridu, Dempster will be performing on conches, garden hoses, and “sundries,” and will utilize all three floors of Meridian Gallery, including the backyard garden, for the performance. Musicians Andy Strain, Jen Baker, and Ron Heglin will also perform. Visual artist Suiren, a.k.a. Renko Ishida Dempster, will be creating visuals to some of the music performed as well as engaging in real time drawing with her Circles of Peace, which will serve as a score for performers to interact.

Suiren’s work created from the concert will hang in the gallery in an exhibition from May 14 – 30, which includes a recent series of “visual improvisations,” also done in collaboration with musicians.

“Visual/Sound improvisations in real time are used as a process for entry into one’s innermost nature, a meditation into the present moment. It draws upon the unconscious and opens up awareness transforming and healing life trauma. The essential elements of the universe: chi (earth), sui (water), ka (fire), fu (air), and ku (space) give life to all living beings here on earth, co-existing in the garden at Meridian Gallery.

“In memory of Toyoji, who tended and nurtured the garden with loving care, we celebrate his spirit that lives in the soil, water, sun, air, and space. We appreciate the ephemeral beauty of not only the outside garden but also the sound garden upstairs and the various other implied gardens, most of them greatly infl uenced by Toyoji Tomita, that are evident throughout the Meridian Gallery spaces.”
—Stuart Dempster and Suiren

Members of the Cornelius Cardew Choir who will perform at this event includes Bay Area musicians, composers and vocalists:

Rachel Wood-Rome
Tony Williams
Eric Theise
Sarah Rose Stiles
Katherine Setar
Jaime Robles
Bob Marsh, co-founder
Marianne Tomita McDonald
Cathryn Hrudicka
Brad Fischer
Tom Bickley, co-founder and director
Nancy Beckman

The program was funded in part by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and Meet the Composer’s MetLife Creative Connections program.

Society for Art Publications of the Americas

535 Powell Street San Francisco CA 94108
Email for information
Phone: 415-398-7229

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