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Avant-punk composer Rhys Chatham and 100 electric guitarists perform the West Coast premiere of "A Secret Rose."
178 backers pledged $20,560 to help bring this project to life.
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$20,560

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Nov. 20—We are absolutely elated to have made our Kickstarter goal!

And what an amazing experience it was to be united with so many wonderful musicians and music lovers this past Sunday at Rhys Chatham's A Secret Rose performance. The air shivered with excitement at the spectacular Craneway Pavilion as 100 electric guitarists, under the leadership of section leaders David Daniell, Toby Summerfield, Seth Olinksy and composer Rhys Chatham, unleashed one of the most singular sound experiences in decades! Our eternal thanks to all who participated to make this concert event a success.

Meanwhile check out this fantastic review of Sunday's performance by the San Francisco Chronicle's chief classical music critic, and rather adroit rock 'n' roll chronicler (who knew!), Joshua Kosman. 

Chronicle Article

Award-winning presenter, Other Minds is proud to bring you the West Coast premiere of avant-punk composer Rhys Chatham’s A Secret Rose for 100 electric guitars on November 17, 2013 at 7 PM.A Secret Rose features an orchestra of 100 electric guitarists from the San Francisco Bay Area and abroad in the performance of a five-movement orchestral scale piece at the beautifully renovated, historic Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, California. 

Update #1: Laurie Anderson on Rhys Chatham

Update #2: The Genesis of Punk-Minimalism

Update#3: Recording Hommage à Rhys Chatham

Other Minds director Charles Amirkhanian with Rhys Chatham in a breathtaking space:

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A Secret Rose will be a one-of-a-kind experience, matching the overwhelming beauty of the music with the eye-popping spectacle of 100 guitarists playing together in breathtaking space. But beyond this, A Secret Rose will benefit a talented, dedicated community of amateur and professional musicians, for many of whom A Secret Rose will serve as their first experience with avant-garde music. Your contribution will help unite musicians and music-lovers from a multitude of backgrounds in an ultra-rare performance that is destined to leave an indelible mark in their lives.

We’ve managed to lift the project off the ground with a generous lead grant from the James Irvine Foundation but still have a long way to go. As intrepid as our small team is, we need your help pulling off the most inspiring concert event in years.

Stay tuned to our Kickstarter page as we update you with exclusive interviews and sneak peeks on rehearsals and backstage events. Be sure to visit our Chatham Channel on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/omchathamchannel

Chatham's Guitar Trio (1977)
Chatham's Guitar Trio (1977)

ABOUT RHYS CHATHAM

Rhys Chatham is widely known for his creation of a new type of urban music fusing the extended drone work of minimalist music with the raw and elemental fury of punk rock.

Steeped in the American minimalist tradition of the Sixties and Seventies, Chatham studied composition under Morton Subotnick and LaMonte Young, was the go-to piano and harpsichord tuner for Young and Glenn Gould, the initiator of the music program at Manhattan’s famous avant-garde art space The Kitchen, and played in the immensely influential minimalist collectives The Theatre of Eternal Music and The Dream Syndicate.

HIS WORK

Chatham performing his Guitar Trio in San Francisco, presented by Other Minds in June 2013

Upon hearing The Ramones at the infamous New York punk club CBGB’s in 1977, the already-accomplished Chatham experienced a musical reawakening. Becoming enamored of the electric guitar and its possibilities, Chatham took to exploring the potential of his new tool.

He integrated his work in just-intonation and overtone composition with the energy and power he encountered in the explosion of punk music in the Seventies. “I couldn’t help but wonder as I was working with it,” reflects Chatham, “what would happen if I had a great number of guitars all massed together–perhaps a hundred of them.” Thus began the genesis of one the most singularly unifying and rousing explorations of rock and roll to date.

OUR 100 GUITARISTS

The Richmond performance of A Secret Rose will feature a cast of notable musicians from bands such as Guided By Voices, Akron/Family, Tristeza, Hrsta, Sutekh Hexen, and Girls Against Boys as well as a large number of participants coming from San Francisco’s East Bay. Rehearsals for the performance will be held at the newly renovated East Bay Performing Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond.

The Craneway Pavilion in RIchmond, CA
The Craneway Pavilion in RIchmond, CA

THE CRANEWAY PAVILION

The scope of Chatham’s awe-inspiring guitar work is superbly matched by the architectural beauty of Richmond’s Craneway Pavilion. The Craneway offers an unsurpassed 180-degree waterfront view of San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, Oakland, Berkeley and the Bay with breathtaking western sunsets over Angel Island and Mt. Tamalpais as well as stunning views of the San Francisco night skyline. And to think all this will happen under the light of a full moon, visible from the theatre!

Designed by Albert Kahn in 1931, the site was originally used as a Ford assembly plant up until WWII at when it was retooled to manufacture tanks and jeeps. After briefly returning to auto manufacturing and a stint as a film set and book depository the 45,000 sq. foot structure was partially destroyed in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. In 2004 the building was purchased and underwent renovations resulting in its distinction as an official landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.

Risks and challenges

This will be Other Minds' first large-scale production (aside from a symphony orchestra!) While we are thankful to have the support from the James Irvine Foundation and others, a successful Kickstarter campaign will ensure that our small non-profit organization does not lose money on this one-of-a-kind performance.

Other Minds is an award-winning presenter and is fully committed to producing this very important event. We have negotiated contracts with all the performers, venues, and other personnel needed to make this event a success. Tickets to the events are on sale at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/435644

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Unending gratitude from Other Minds and your name in our annual Other Minds New Music Festival 2014 program booklet.

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    Backstage interviews and photos of rehearsals of Other Minds' production of A Secret Rose, for download, PLUS all of the above.

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    A ringtone of "Hommage à Rhys Chatham" composed by Charles Amirkhanian performed by Other Minds staff/guitarists Andrew Weathers and Blaine Todd, PLUS all of the above.

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    A signed copy of Chatham's forthcoming November CD release, "Harmonie du soir," featuring his first major piece written for the configuration of six electric guitars,
    electric bass and drums since Die Donnergötter (1986), PLUS all of the above.

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    An exclusive Other Minds "A Secret Rose" T-shirt. 100% cotton, American Apparel, women's sizes available. PLUS, all of the above.

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    Autographed LP of Chatham's Rêve Parisien.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Signed, large-sized poster of the "Long Arms Festival" in Moscow in 2008, where Chatham performed and where he met Other Minds' director Charles Amirkhanian.

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    A spanking new mint-condition Squire Stratocaster, Chatham's favorite guitar.

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Funding period

- (37 days)