© Legion of Honor

Sep 30

The End of the Beginning at the Legion of Honor

Soundwave ((5)) Humanities Finale Event featuring Volti, Oakland Active Orchestra, and Sqwonk

“It has never been my object to record my dreams, just the determination to realize them.” – Man Ray

Soundwave ((5)) Humanities 3-month biennial festival comes to an end with a stunning finale event held in the grand outdoor courtyard at the Legion of Honor. 35 musicians and vocalists honor Soundwave through a (sur)realization of a dream, coming together to celebrate our human triumphs, acknowledge our tragedies and signal the beginning of a new collective future amongst the Beaux Arts columned courtyard and Rodin’s The Thinker while overlooking the beginning of the world where the land meets the seas.

Sqwonk, a bass clarinet duo, signals The End of The Beginning of our brave new world, as the 12-member experimental Oakland Active Orchestra assembles to deliver a cinematic score of our lives, while the 20-member choral ensemble Volti marches in to evoke an explosion of voices, a glimpse into our future in a breathtaking climatic new beginning.

Embodying the ideals of surrealist artist/photographer Man Ray, the event will unfold dreamlike, with choruses and orchestras calling on us all to examine human notions of unity and division, rebellion and conformity, and love and war. In celebration of the Legion’s Man Ray | Lee Miller: Partners in Surrealism exhibition.

Please note: This event is free. Admission is first come, first seated, with very limited seating and no reservations. Restrooms are available behind the museum. Museum admission is required to access museum amenities.

Volti is a 20-member professional vocal ensemble specializing in commissioning, discovering, performing and recording new works for the voice.  Founded in 1979 by Robert Geary, Volti has a 32-year track record of some of the most innovative and sophisticated vocal performances in the country, and boasts six awards from ASCAP for adventurous programming of contemporary music. Volti regularly commissions new music and performs rarely-heard vocal works from the most interesting composers in the American and international communities.  Artistic Director Robert Geary and his team of repertoire consultants search high and low for best work, rigorously vetting proposals and new scores, evaluating craftsmanship, musical construction, and the overall message and meaning of the music. Composers seek opportunities to partner with these stellar musicians, who are known for their sheer technical brilliance as well as their vibrant, passionate sound. Artist Website

The Oakland Active Orchestra (OAO) is a collective of Bay Area musicians that allows for the cultivation, exploration and propagation of new music in the local community. Following a rich tradition of large ensembles that have existed over the past 30 years in the Bay Area creative music scene, the Oakland Active Orchestra explores various innovative and traditional techniques in composition and free improvisation. OAO achieves its objectives through performances to share music with the community, and interactive seminars to discuss the concepts and approaches to music with students. OAO augments these practices by hosting leading musicians from the larger landscape of international creative music. Currently the OAO holds a monthly residency at the Uptown in Oakland, CA. Artist Website

Sqwonk is a San Francisco-based clarinet duo devoted to exploring the full expressive range of the bass clarinet, from deep resonances to raucous wails. While grounded in the classical tradition, Sqwonk’s music draws on a wide range of influences, from klezmer to heavy metal to blues to minimalism to free improvisation, creating a repertoire that is strikingly contemporary, yet broadly accessible to a wide audience. Sqwonk has given performances at a wide range of venues and events, ranging from CalPerformances at Zellerbach Hall, to the Switchboard Music Festival, to Café du Nord. They have also performed around the country at venues such as The Stone in New York, Sushi’s Outsound Series in San Diego, the Bang on a Can Summer Institute in North Adams, MA, and the 2010 ClarinetFest in Austin, TX. Passionate about education and outreach, Sqwonk has led numerous workshops and master-classes at schools, conservatories, and universities around the country and received grants from the Northern California Composers Commissioning Program, the American Composers’ Forum’s Subito program, the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Artist Website