Up to 80 musicians will perform “Sila: The Breath of the World” on September 27, 2015
La Jolla, Calif. (February 5, 2015) — San Diego’s nationally-recognized community orchestra and chorus announces its partnership with Balboa Park’s Japanese Friendship Garden for a free performance of “Sila: The Breath of the World,” as part of the Balboa Park Centennial Celebration. Composed by 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winner John Luther Adams and performed under the direction of Steven Schick, music director for the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C), “Sila” is a site-determined work that is influenced by the space it inhabits. Listeners are free to wander throughout the garden while up to 80 musicians, strategically placed across the terrain, create an exploratory and immersive experience for audience members. The 70-minute piece will be performed on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015.
“We are very pleased to be working with the Japanese Friendship Garden on this project,” said LJS&C Executive Director Diane Salisbury. “’Sila’ is a spiritual piece deeply connected to the environment. Our hope was to find a performance space that would complement that spirituality and connect audience members to our glorious park. The Japanese Friendship Garden is a great fit for that.” Salisbury noted that during the performance, entry fees to the garden will be temporarily suspended, enabling all park visitors to freely enjoy the performance.
“Sila” is an Inuit word meaning the spirit that animates all things—the wind, the weather, and all forces of nature. Adams, who developed a strong environmental consciousness while living in Alaska, encourages listeners to move throughout the performance space or to select a single point of listening, creating an individual experience with the music and the environment. Because the musicians are disbursed throughout the performance space, there is no conductor. Each musician is a “soloist” who performs a unique part, following the pace of his or her own breath within the measured spaces of the composition. The goal of the piece, according to Adams, is “to inspire the audience to more ecological listening and a deeper relationship with the world we inhabit.”
“Sila: The Breath of the World” is written for five ensembles with up to 16 members each of percussion, woodwinds, strings, brass and voice. It was originally commissioned by the Lincoln Center jointly for the Mostly Mozart Festival and the Out of Doors series and premiered in July 2014 in New York City. LJS&C is one of four co-commissioners that also includes the Washington Performing Arts Society and Ojai Music Festival. The September 27 performance of “Sila” as part of the Balboa Park Centennial Celebration was assisted by development funding from the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.
More information on this performance will be available in the coming months.
The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus San Diego’s oldest and largest community orchestra and chorus, is a non-profit musical performing group dedicated to inspiring San Diego with the joy of music. Its 110-person orchestra and 130-person chorus perform groundbreaking orchestral and choral music along with traditional favorites from the classical repertoire. During the 60th season, maestro Steven Schick shares the podium with David Chase, LJS&C choral director, performing works by Beethoven, Berlioz, Bernstein, Ives, Mahler, Nielsen, Ung, and more.