Marin Symphony, Rob Kapilow, Chrysopylae, May 2012

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Chrysopylae, the Marin Symphony’s Golden Gate Opus World Premiere — One of the First 75 Tribute Events — Kicks Off May Celebrations

The Marin Symphony’s season finale, Beethoven and the Bridge, opens with Chrysopylae — Rob Kapilow’s original symphonic composition celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge on Sunday May 6, and Tuesday May 8, 2012. Experience this presentation to discover more about Rob's journey creating this original work.

The Marin Symphony’s 59th Season concludes on a high note with a once-in-a-lifetime event coinciding with the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. The concert opens with the debut of Chrysopylae (kris-sop΄-i-lee), the Marin Symphony’s Golden Gate Opus commission by Rob Kapilow with Fred Newman. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a magnificent musical icon celebrating a world united in brotherhood, concludes the concert program. The concerts feature the Marin Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Chrysopylae also includes recorded sounds inspired by the bridge.

Beethoven and the Bridge

Alasdair Neale, conductor
Featuring the Marin Symphony Chorus

Kapilow, Chrysopylae (kris-sop΄-i-lee), Golden Gate Opus
Beethoven, Symphony No. 9
Ronit Widmann-Levy, soprano
Julie Anne Miller, mezzo soprano
Brian Thorsett, tenor
Eugene Brancoveanu, bass

Sunday, May 6 at 3pm (pre-concert talk, 2pm)
Tuesday, May 8 at 7:30pm (pre-concert talk, 6:30pm)

Tickets: 415.499.6800
Location: Marin Center Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium, San Rafael

The Golden Gate Opus is presented in four distinctive movements. Movement I – Chrysopylae (kris-sop΄-i-lee), harkens back to the time before the Bridge was built. The central theme is derived from the roots of the Greek word that appeared on early maps, meaning golden gateway or passageway. It celebrates the meeting of earth, water and sky. Movement II – Belief: Suspended (Building), evokes the period of time when the bridge was built. Movement III – Here is Where I Go, acknowledges and honors the suicides that have shadowed the bridge’s history. Movement IV – How Long, represents the bridge today and facts about the bridge itself. It concludes with references to the timeless vision of Joseph Strauss, Chief Engineer of the Bridge when asked “How long will your bridge survive…?” His answer… “How long is forever?”

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Marin Symphony, Rob Kapilow, Chrysopylae, May 2012

  1. 1. Rob Kapilow Fresh. Local. Music.Photo: Peter Schaaf 59th Season | Maestro Alasdair Neale’s 10th Anniversary
  2. 2. FEATURED COMPOSER, ROB KAPILOWRob’s journey creating Chrysopylae(kris·sop´·i·lee) the Marin Symphony’sGolden Gate Opus commission,began in 2011 — inspired by history,sound and community. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  3. 3. The Bridge by John Van Der ZeeSF Chronicle, on the day following the pedestrian opening, Thursday May 27,1937“ At about two o’clock the wind that rises in the Gate almost every afternoon began blowing through the great harp of towers, suspenders and cables. In the absence of the usual steady burr of automobile traffic, another sound could be heard, and it brought the shuffling and larking of the crowd to a momentary halt. A man shouted for quiet and, holding up his hand, urges the people around him to listen. The hush spread. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  4. 4. The Bridge by John Van Der ZeeSF Chronicle, on the day following the pedestrian opening, Thursday May 27,1937 ‘Away down deep’ reported the Chronicle.’ there is a deep roar, like the bass notes of a piano. High up in the wires is a shrill sound that some gigantic violincello might produce. From the towers came ‘a deep organ-like note, a series of different tones, changing, deepening, rising.’ ‘They all blended into a splendid diapason, these different sounds, and those still crowds stood awe-stricken by one of ” the strangest symphonies the ear of man has ever heard.’ Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  5. 5. FEATURED COMPOSER, ROB KAPILOW In Spring 2011, Rob Kapilow was commissioned by The Marin Symphony to compose Golden Gate Opus, a piece for orchestra, chorus and recorded natural sound to celebrate the Bridge’s 75th anniversary in 2012. Golden Gate Opus collaborations have taken the form of community meetings, intimate conversations, radio call-in shows, Facebook feedback and site visits to take in the complete essence of the Bay Area, the Golden Passage and naturally, the Golden Gate Bridge itself.Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  6. 6. Photo: Stuart LiretteYouth from Marin City — 2011Rob began the year-long process of reaching out to people to create the original piece withus. His inspiration is drawn from experiences with people from all walks of life. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  7. 7. 2011 “ I met with generous specialists at several organizations including the California Historical Society, Prelinger Library, the San Francisco Bay Area Television Archives and the Marin County Library–California Collection to name a few.Photo: Stuart Lirette ” Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  8. 8. 2011 “ I’m coming there with a clean slate. I have no idea what it will eventually sound like. But a new piece of music should engage an entire community, so every meeting I have with every person is the symphony to me.Photo: Stuart Lirette ” Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  9. 9. ChrysopylaeRob Kapilow“ We have partnered with Native Tribal groups, have had intimate meetings with families whose loved ones have taken their life on the Golden Gate Bridge, we met with a Tugboat Captain, historians, youth of all ages, musicians and the retirement community. We heard from sailors as they took us on a magical journey under the bridge on the historic 1891 Alma and of course we engaged the force that keeps the Golden Gate Bridge in tip top shape…the bridge workers of all facets ” including painters, carpenters, welders and engineers! Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  10. 10. Photo: Stuart LiretteInternational High School, San Francisco — 2011The musical experience Rob created reflects the shape and sound of being here. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  11. 11. Photo: Stuart LiretteSmith Ranch — Retirement Community — 2011The input composer Rob Kapilow received is ultimately the inspiration for theGolden Gate Opus. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  12. 12. Photo: Stuart LiretteMarin School of the Arts, Novato — 2011First visit, before Chrysopylae was composed. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  13. 13. Photo: Peter RodgersMarin School of the Arts, Novato — March, 2012Return visit, after Chrysopylae was created. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  14. 14. Photo: Peter RodgersKDFC studio — Fred Newman, Rob Kapilow and Maestro Alasdair NealeMarch 2012, ‘State of the Arts’ interview with Jeff Freymann-Weyr. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  15. 15. Photo: Peter RodgersRob Kapilow and Alasdair NealeMarch 2012 — appearing at a special Yale outreach event at the San Francisco Conservatoryof Music. Rob Kapilow and Maestro Neale are connected to Yale and the SF Conservatory. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  16. 16. 2012 — RETURN VISI T “ A year ago, I was commissioned by the Marin Symphony to write a symphony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. Having no idea where to start, I began by meeting groups of people from all walks of life throughout the Bay Area and asking for their ideas.Photo: Peter Rodgers ” Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  17. 17. 2012 — RETURN VISI T “ We all know what the Golden Gate Bridge looks like, so I asked people what they thought it might sound like. And I have to say, I was stunned by the variety, imagination, and brilliance of people’s answers and began my work from those ” conversations. California Historical Society,Photo: Peter Rodgers San Francisco Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  18. 18. 2012 — RETURN VISI T “ Now the piece is done, getting ready to be premiered by the orchestra and chorus in May, I am returning to the Bay Area to share how I turned a community’s thoughts into music, presenting excerpts, and giving attendees a chance to tell me what they think ” about the whole process. SF Bay Model,Photo: Stuart Lirette Suasalito Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  19. 19. 2012 — RETURN VISI T “ Once I realized the sounds of the Golden Gate Bridge would be at the heart of the piece, I brought Fred Newman, the brilliant sound-effects guy from A Prairie Home Companion, into the project to collaborate with me and his contribution has been ” amazing. SF Bay Model,Photo: Stuart Lirette Suasalito Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  20. 20. 2012 — RETURN VISI T “ I welcome the opportunity to see and hear what an area-wide conversation helped create, talk about music, sound, composition, collaboration, and creativity, and learn from Fred how to bark like a dog! I look forward to a stimulating, free-wheeling conversation as our Golden ” Gate Bridge journey continues. Marin Center Auditorium,Photo: Peter Rodgers San Rafael Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  21. 21. PROGRA M NOT ESMovement I — CHRYSOPYLAE (kris·sop´·i·lee)“ U.S. Army officer John C. Fremont gave the name “Golden Gate” to the entrance of San Francisco Bay in his “Geographical Memoir” submitted to the U.S. Senate on June 5, 1848. Fremont wrote that the three mile strait that marked the entrance to the bay, was called “Chrysopylae (Golden Gate)” on his map, much like that of “the harbor of Byzantium (Constantinople) was called Chrysoceras (Golden Horn).” The Greek word, Chrysopylae, literally means a golden gateway or passageway, and the idea of celebrating this extraordinary meeting of earth, water and sky—this natural, golden passageway—as well as the bridge itself, was the central idea behind the movement. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  22. 22. PROGRA M NOT ESMovement I — CHRYSOPYLAE (kris·sop´·i·lee) It begins with a recorded voice of Joseph Strauss, Chief Engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge project, floating over an imaginary, nature-filled Garden of Eden that impressionistically suggests the pre-historic, pre-European contact period through use of the native Ohlone and Miwok words for earth, water, sky, salmon, abalone, live oak, tule grass, and redwood; the names of the principal Indian tribes of the area; and the sounds and music that might have been part of this world. The successive periods of contact are suggested as ” these same elements are translated into Spanish and then English. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  23. 23. PROGRA M NOT ESMovement II — Belief: Suspended (Building)“ “Belief: Suspended (Building)” refers to the bridge as a belief in possibility, suspended, as it were, over the waters of the bay. It evokes, in multiple ways, the period of the building of the bridge—over astonishingly strong protests and open disbelief in the era of The Great Depression. The movement begins with the sound of alarm bells, explosions, and pile drivers, reflecting what contemporary observers claimed was a staggering assault of violent noise that accompanied the bridge construction as it progressed from 1933-1937. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  24. 24. PROGRA M NOT ESMovement II — Belief: Suspended (Building) Fragments of the period waltz, “There’s a Silver Moon on the Golden Gate,” the official song of the opening of the bridge, waft in and out like a radio signal. The twelve-tone row of the first section represents the 12 workers who fell through the safety net when scaffolding broke on February 17, 1937. The noisy, rivet-by- rivet rise of the towers and spinning of cables bring an optimism and a triumph of the “spirit of yes over no,” culminating in the exuberance of the opening-day celebrations on May 28, 1937. At the end of the movement, we simply gaze in awe at the remarkable and improbable new bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the ” world—for the next quarter of a century. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  25. 25. PROGRA M NOT ESMovement III — Here is Where I Go“ Acknowledging the history of suicides that have shadowed the bridge, this movement uses words directly drawn from suicide notes and the words of surviving family members, concluding with a blessing for the victims using the ancient Latin words from the Requiem Mass, “Requiem aeternam, dona eis domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis’ (Grant them eternal rest, Lord, and let ” perpetual light shine on them.) Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  26. 26. PROGRA M NOT ESMovement IV — How Long“ The Finale brings us back to earth through the sounds of modern life on the bridge with the choral words “Earth and water and sky,” the English words for the original Ohlone and Miwok used in the opening. The recurring refrain, “a passageway, a Golden passageway, Chrysopylae” is interspersed with text drawn wholly from the actual physical facts of the bridge itself. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  27. 27. PROGRA M NOT ESMovement IV — How Long How long . . . is the Bridge? 4,200 feet . . . “How long . . . will your bridge survive?” asks an imagined recording of Michael O’ Shaughnessy, San Francisco’s Chief Engineer, of Joseph Strauss, Chief Engineer of the Bridge, in an exchange pulled, word-for-word, from newspaper archives . . . . Strauss answers, “Forever,” to which O’Shaughnessy replies, “How long is forever?” This piece was the end result of an enormous amount of research in newspaper, radio, ” television and film archives, and historical special collections. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  28. 28. Photo: Peter RodgersFEATURED COMPOSER, ROB KAPILOWMarch 2012 — Marin Symphony Chorus rehearsal. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  29. 29. Photo: Peter RodgersFEATURED COMPOSER, ROB KAPILOWMarch 2012 — Marin Symphony Chorus rehearsal. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  30. 30. Photo: Peter RodgersFEATURED COMPOSER, ROB KAPILOWMarch 2012 — Marin Symphony Chorus rehearsal. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  31. 31. Photo: Peter RodgersFEATURED COMPOSER, ROB KAPILOWMarch 2012 — Marin Symphony Chorus rehearsal. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  32. 32. Photo: Peter RodgersFEATURED COMPOSER, ROB KAPILOWMarch 2012 — technical session at the Marin Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium. Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  33. 33. HISTORY IN THE MAKINGCynthia Newport of Illume Productions is filming the creation of theGolden Gate Opus for a documentary film.Featured Composer | Rob Kapilow | Chrysopylae / Golden Gate Opus | Concert No. 5
  34. 34. Fresh. Local. Music. Beethoven and the Bridge PROGRAM 5 Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 3pm (world premiere) Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 7:30pm Alasdair Neale, conductor Featuring the Marin Symphony Chorus Kapilow Chrysopylae (kris-sop΄-i-lee), Golden Gate Opus Beethoven Symphony No. 9 Ronit Widmann-Levy, soprano Julie Anne Miller, mezzo soprano Brian Thorsett, tenor Eugene Brancoveanu, bass Tickets: 415.499.6800 www.marinsymphony.org Concerts made possible by LVP Marin Realtors, Bank of Marin, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. Guest artist sponsored by Steve & Christina Fox. Rob Kapilow Fred Alasdair Newman Neale Photo: Peter Schaaf Photo: Matthew Washburn

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