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News - Kapilow’s Golden Gate Opus: a sound celebration of America’s favorite bridge

Monday, May 07, 2012

Kapilow’s Golden Gate Opus: a sound celebration of America’s favorite bridge

Over the past 15 years, Rob Kapilow has encapsulated elements of community, history, and place with his extraordinary Citypiece series, of which the Golden Gate Bridge piece, Chrysopylae (Kris·sop΄·i·lee), is the latest example. Engaging with residents, absorbing the essence of place, and immersing himself in the historical aspects of locale and object, Kapilow produces scores that he considers to be collaborations between himself and the community.

For his “Golden Gate Opus,” Kapilow traveled to the Bay Area for two extended stays, meeting with numerous groups of people to gather personal reflections on the bridge and brainstorm about its aural impact. These conversations continued through a Golden Gate Opus Facebook page, where followers contributed thoughts and kept up to date on the work’s progress. Kapilow also spent significant time at the bridge itself sampling ambient sounds, and at the San Francisco Library researching archives.

After many months of this preliminary legwork and extensive collaborations with sound artist Fred Newman (best known for his work on “A Prairie Home Companion,”) Kapilow spent the next year writing the piece for chorus, orchestra, and electronics. The result is an epic choral and symphonic masterpiece that incorporates the broad spectrum of emotion and sound associated with this major American landmark. The Marin Symphony premieres Chrysopylae on May 6 and 8, almost exactly 75 years after the Golden Gate Bridge first opened on May 27, 1937.

Watch this riveting trailer about Chrysopylae which includes conversations with Rob Kapilow and Fred Newman.

Golden Gate Opus: Passages (RT: 11:00)

For tickets, visit the Marin Symphony website.

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