Four Seasonal Sound Gardens on West River Parkway

Reserve Your Spot HERE for the Winter Sound Garden on Saturday Jan 22, 12-3pm. (Capacity is limited, for both everyone’s safety, and for the intent of the work)

What is a Sound Garden? A short interview with composer JG Everest

The “POP-UP” Water Suite in 2021: Four Seasonal Sound Gardens in MPLS

Wavelets Creative presents composer JG Everest’s entire four-part Water Suite: Four Seasonal Sound Gardens in a series of free outdoor, self-guided “pop-up” events along West River Parkway in Minneapolis beginning with the “SPRING Sound Garden” on Saturday May 8, the Summer Sound Garden on July 10, the Fall Sound Garden on Oct 2, and the Winter Sound Garden on January 22, 2022.  Each Sound Garden event features a temporary sound installation of 50+ small, battery-powered remote speakers distributed throughout the park, each playing a different part of the larger piece of music, creating a multi-layered, immersive experience. The sound installation is then accompanied live by roving musicians and dancers, with site-specific poetry and visual art elements embedded throughout the installation. The site-specific movement scores are collaboratively designed by dancers Leslie O’Neill, Erika Hansen, Sarah Baumert, and Megan Mayer along with JG Everest, and are subtly layered into the experience both near and far.  In addition to the dancers, members of the Free Range Orchestra & Choir ensemble roam through the outdoor spaces accompanying the installation soundscore live, adding additional spatial and spontaneous elements to the experience.

These seasonal Sound Garden events are designed as durational, self-guided experiences intended for audience to connect more meaningfully to a particular place and the natural world.  The spatial sound score and live dance and musical elements are meant to accompany the sounds and physical elements that are already there – the birds, the trees, the wind, the leaves. Audiences are encouraged to both circulate and linger, at their own pace, following their own impulses for what to pay attention to.  The immersive, multi-layered experience is intentionally designed without any fixed focal points, instead inviting participants and audience alike to allow moments to unfold in their own personal way – noticing a particular bird call or a branch, a perspective or a memory – things that may have been previously overlooked or hidden, covered up or forgotten.  Attendees can stay for as little or as long as they like, but these sound scores and events are designed as a 2-3 hour experience. The more time spent in the sound garden, the more deeply its effects are felt, and the more its subtle elements come to light.

The FALL Sound Garden is one of the four parts that first premiered in 2018, at four different outdoor locations around Minnesota.  Each seasonal Sound Garden in the Water Suite was composed for one of the four seasons, and for a specific site that was on or adjacent to a significant body of water.  In response to the pandemic and limitations on live performance venues and gatherings in 2021, Wavelets Creative is re-mounting all four parts of the Water Suite along West River Parkway in Minneapolis as free, distanced, “pop-up” events that require advance reservations in order for audience to receive exact location and other important details about each event, in order to maintain capacity limits and the larger intentions of the work.

“Pop-up” SOUND GARDENS SCHEDULE on West River Parkway in 2021:

SPRING: Saturday May 8 12-4pm FREE, but RESERVATIONS REQUIRED (click to reserve your spot)
SUMMER: Saturday July 10 12-4pm FREE, but RESERVATIONS REQUIRED (click to reserve your spot)
FALL: Saturday Oct 2 12-4pm FREE, but RESERVATIONS REQUIRED (click to reserve your spot)
WINTER: Saturday January 22, 12-3pm FREE, but RESERVATIONS REQUIRED (click to reserve your spot)

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and  Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Some Comments from attendees at Sound Gardens on West River Parkway:

“I felt very consoled. The music was hauntingly lovely and encouraged me to be still and attentive:  look up into the trees; watch the dancers in the distance; connect with the remembrance of our mothers;  ponder the poetry. The live music was an unanticipated delight. I especially resonated with the quiet rhythmic drumming”

“Mesmerized by the variety of music and the joy of the dancing….so relaxing. My favorite part was the freedom and relaxed pace and the unfolding of care, appreciation of the trees, the beautiful bench. Even now it is difficult to describe but I would certainly recommend it to others.”

“It was magical. I didn’t know where the sound was coming from. I liked that there were created forest structural elements. It felt like a visceral experience. Really like I was enveloped within a different world. When you moved through the Sound Garden the sound changed- you would have different aural experiences. Even if you were sitting in one place, people would bring the sounds near or away from you and it was layered.“

“I came from burying a dear friend, saying goodbye was rough and walking into this not knowing it would be here, wow, what a gift.”

“I had no idea how much I needed this.”

“Thank you. I am exhausted from the past year. This helped.”

“Initially I felt a bit self conscious, but once I relaxed and embraced the experience, it was wonderful. After I left, a sense of peacefulness embraced me.”


Pop-Up SUMMER SOUND GARDEN event photo gallery (July 10, 2021)

POP-UP SPRING SOUND GARDEN event photo gallery (May 8, 2021)

Rehearsal Photo Galleries: Spring 2021

Rehearsal Photo Galleries: Fall 2020