Sound Garden coming to Caponi Art Park Sept. 14
It’s part concert, part art installation, and park nature hike.
Caponi Art Park will be home to a Sound Garden from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 14.
It’s a self-guided hike through an organic display of musical notes and nature. It could take 10 minutes. It could take hours.
“The longer you stay in the Sound Garden, the more you’ll start to hear and the more it will affect you,” composer/director JG Everest said. “I encourage people to pause to listen, and tune into all the different layers. When you rush through things, you miss a lot of what’s happening.”
Each one of the 35-plus sites within the Sound Garden will feature a small, remote speaker hidden in little bird houses, sculptures and baskets.
“It’s meant to be mixed at the same sound level as the birds and the trees,” Everest said.
Each speaker will be playing a different part of a larger piece of music, so the audience experiences unique and specific moments with each step.
“This wasn’t meant to be heard on a stereo or live in a concert,” Everest said.
The Sound Garden will weave through the looped path at Caponi Art Park with the newly installed labyrinth at the center of the experience.
Benches will be set up along the way, but Everest encourages participant to bring a blanket to stay a while.
He also encourages people to remain silent during the experience.
“It’s designed to wake us up to the details we’re not noticing,” Everest said. “Nature is such a great place for this. You may hear a bird call mixed in with the music. It’s an opportunity to connect and reflect.”
Everest has been developing the Sound Garden model over several years as an artist and musician.
Last year he completed his “Water Suite: Four Seasonal Sound Gardens.”
Everest installed Sound Gardens on Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis during winter; Harbor Park in Grand Marais in spring; Silverwood Park in St. Anthony in summer; and Manomin Park in Fridley for fall as part of the series.
“We really get four distinct seasons here in Minnesota,” Everest said. “The contrast and the emotional flavor of these seasons is really fertile material.”
With the fall piece, Everest created several different musical scenes from 20-30 minutes long that blend together.
He said he’s “remounting” the music he used for Manomin Park last fall for the Caponi Art Park show, which is perhaps his most emotional piece.
“You’re getting ready to go into this long hibernation in fall,’ Everest said. “On a certain level, things are passing away. Flowers and plants are dying. It’s a time to reflect. You’re really connected to the passing of time. Maybe it’s from growing up and going back to school. You’re a year older. It’s a time to reflect.”
He said when he was writing the piece, some of his collaborators had recently lost some close friends.
“It’s was very much in our emotional make up,” Everest said. “That reminder of the passing of time - of friends and loved ones.”
The installation will also include site-specific nature photos taken by Sarah Musgrave.
Along with the music coming over the speakers, members of the Free Range Orchestra & Choir will also be roaming through the park adding to the experience.
“I’ll be free range myself,” Everest said. “There’s no set time or location for where it’s happening. The same way a bird might be singing, there might be a percussionist or choir or guitar accompaniment. It’s left open to allow for surprises. Each movement will be unique.”
Everest is a 2019 McKnight Artist Composer Fellow, He regularly collaborates with poets Rosie Peters and Jeffrey Skemp, among others. He is a founding member of bands Lateduster, Roma di Luna, The Sensational Joint Chiefs, BLACKFISH, and Sans Le Systeme, as well as releasing multiple albums as a solo artist.
He’s collaborated with several Minnesota artists including Prince, Slug (Atmosphere), Eyedea, Dosh, Kitundu, Chastity Brown, Andrew Broder, Dave King, and Babes In Toyland.
For more information about the Sound Garden and to watch a video, visit https://jgeverest.com/sound-gardens.
CAP Super Saturday
The final CAP Super Saturday is also scheduled for Sept. 14. The Christian Adeti and Titambe West African Dance performance will be at 10 a.m.
Adeti, the director of Titambe West African Dance Ensemble, will bring an interactive performance that combines dance, music, games, wordplay and instruments.
The event is free with a $5 suggested donation. Audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or a blanket to spread on the grass to enjoy the performance
It’s all part of the greater Eagan Art Block. For more information on the city-wide event, visit. https://www.cityofeagan.com/artblock.