Past performances by Sound Circle include the following. Please contact us for more information.
Certain Drops of Salt (2018) A colorful, tender, and surprisingly fun concert about tears, premised on the idea that in this time where the concept of truth is under assault, we might find that attending to the truths contained in tears could help us find our way, as a society and as individuals. Music by Gwen Avery, Ayla Nereo, Beth Quist, Carol Maillard, Wailin' Jennys, Jan Garrett, and more; excerpts from David MacIntyre's' a cappella opera, Communion.
Sound Circle Solstice 2017 with Anthony Salvo, violin, and Nelson Walker, cello, premiered vocal transcriptions of Anthony's multi-layered solo violin compositions. U.S. premiere of The Silent Landscape, by Linda Alexandersson, with Janet Harriman, harp, based on journals and letters of sailors on the HMS Challenger in its historic 1876 travels around the world, a journey considered to be the beginning of oceanographic science. Music by the Wailin’ Jennys, Coco’s Lunch, Moira Smiley, and the Swedish a cappella quartet Kraja.
In Widening Circles, Sound Circle offered a compassionate wondering, in song, about the tribal nature of humans and the roots of the seeming intractability of the political and moral divisions in this country. With songs drawn from a richly varied range of sources and styles, Widening Circles is our best offering to our community in a political climate that continues to be crazy-making and deeply disturbing to so many of us. The concert was performed at Boulder's StarHouse, Lafayette's Arts Hub, and on a Western Slope tour in Rangely and in Steamboat Springs.
A Concert About Now, performed one week after the 2017 inauguration, was about the project of finding solid ground within ourselves at this time. We sang Audre Lorde's words in Joan Szymko's piece, She Who Makes Her Meaning Clear: "When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid," and music by Enya, Melanie deMore, Holly Near, James Taylor, Ysaye Barnwell, and Cris Williamson; words by Rumi and Wendell Berry; songs of the civil rights movement; works of song-collage and improvisation created by the singers. "What matters is now: how we live, work, and create together in this very moment, relying on and cultivating our best human qualities, creating meaning by how we are together in the present moment.”--Margaret Wheatley in So Far From Home
Again (2016) was a concert about the pleasures and profundities of repetition. We played with repetition in music and explored its roles and meanings in our lives. A concert about the human condition, expressed through a variety of awarenesses about repetition. A fun, intriguing, entertaining, and thought-provoking program of song and improvisation.
The 2015 Solstice Concert included a new Solstice-infused version of Jennifer Berezan's Praises for the World, with dancer Mary Wohl Haan and magician Erica Sodos. Also: Sally Lamb McCune's Questions about Angels and Steven Sametz's Voices of Broken Hearts.
Sound Circle’s 20th Anniversary concert (2015), was offered in celebration of the richness of musical community and in gratitude for lives filled with singing. Repertoire included commissioned works from early years, music by Sound Circle singers, and a collage of "song lines we have lived with."
Appetite (2014) was an exploration of the profoundly simple—but not easy—question: “What do I want?” To be human, it seems, is not only to have appetite, but also to have a conflicted relationship with appetite. Audre Lorde wrote: “We have been raised to fear the yes within ourselves.” Lao Tzu wrote in the Tao te Ching: “To know enough’s enough/Is enough to know.” A sympathetic exploration of the challenges and pleasures presented by appetite, including the intricate and compelling Seeking Enough, a new four-part commissioned work by composer Carol Matthews. The piece is textless, but is inspired by passages from Ursula LeGuin’s rendition of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. Also: original songs, arrangements and improvisations by Sound Circle singers; music by Lucinda Williams, Sara Bareilles, Donovan, Moira Smiley, Tracy Chapman, and Enya; and spoken word.
Solstice concert Woke Up This Morning (2013), was a program about sleep and dreaming, about the beauty and strength offered by darkness, and about the many ways of waking up. Repertoire included R. Murray Schafer's Snowforms and music by Randall Thompson, Bill Douglas, Coco's Lunch, Copper Wimmin, Moira Smiley, and the Washington Sisters.
Walk Me Through This One (2013). a concert intended to nourish caregivers, included Jane Siberry’s Calling All Angels, Beth Quist’s Everywhere, and music by Becky Reardon, Elise Witt, Meredith Monk, and Nina Wise.
Path of Beauty: Singing the Grand Canyon (multiple performances, 2010-2012). A collaboration with Grand Canyon photographer Chris Brown, along with René Marie, Becky Reardon, Tree Andrew, Christine Tulis, Kem Stralka, and Bonnie Carol. Music of Malcolm Dalglish, Kimmerjae Johnson, Jan Garrett, Mary Ellen Childs, Joan Szymko. A continuous flow of song, soundscape, and visual imagery, offering the audience a contemplative journey through the Grand Canyon.
Take Me to the Moon, (2011). Sound Circle explored moon themes in musical theatre in this collaboration with pianist/composer Deborah Schmit-Lobis.
Requiem for Roadkill: a concert about being human (2011). The title work, Requiem for Roadkill, is a multi-movement soundscape created by Sound Circle. The entire concert was a meditation on personhood and collateral damage, in the context of the increasingly fast and technology-based pace at which we move through our days. The program included Boulder composer Gary Grundei’s setting of Diane diPrima’s classic Beat poem, Rant, commissioned by Sound Circle; Stephen Smith's setting of Walt Whitman’s poetry titled The Human Body (“If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred…”); Jonathan Dove's setting of the Navajo poem, “In beauty may I walk…”; and an eclectic group of songs by artists including Ysaye Barnwell, Natasha Bedingfield, Mavis Staples, Alanis Morrissette.
Praises for the World, by Jennifer Berezan (many performances, beginning in 2006): Jennifer's vision is for this work to be a celebration that will “deeply inspire all people to join in the vital work of social activism... and to find a renewed reverence for our world.” She says, “we need to find ways to keep our hearts open... People throughout time have understood the power of ritual to focus our intentions, create community and healing, and empower us to act in awakened compassionate ways.” The piece is a very flexible form: a long chant with vocal and instrumental improvisation, spoken word, and dance. Sound Circle has performed it with many guest artists and in numerous settings.
Sound Circle: On Bodies.... was a performance piece about bodies and body image, with original music and monologues by the singers. We performed it many times, 2002-2004, and the show evolved continually throughout that time.
Sound Circle has performed collaborative concerts following the last four presidential elections:
2016: The Quiet Work of Centuries
A collaboration with Resonance Women's Chorus
In a surreal time where many were feeling shock, grief, anger, fear, and despair, we attempted to offer affirmation, beauty, and community: to affirm truths we hold to be self-evident. Affiliated with One Action: Arts + Immigration 2016.
2012: Sweet Land: Choices of Dignity
Boulder musicians and activists came together in November, 2012, for a performance inspired by the challenges of the presidential election, reflecting on our lives, our history, and our shared future. Co-hosts were Sound Circle, Resonance Women’s Chorus, and One Action - One Boulder, directed by Kirsten Wilson. Additional performers included African singing teacher Nii Armah Sowah and the 1,000 Voices Project, playwright/ songwriter Carlos Heredia with singers Ariel Haan and Angela Hunt, and singer Elisa Garcia with guitarist Daniel Ondaro, with spoken word by members of the community.
2008: How Can I Keep From Singing: A Concert Celebrating New Leadership for a Country
A musical celebration of the election of Barack Obama as the next President of the United States in November, 2008, hosted by Sound Circle and Resonance, with women’s marimba ensemble The Low Flying Knobs, singer-storyteller Eve Ilsen, the Boulder trio Somethin' About Lulu, and African singing teacher Nii Armah Sowah. The concert was offered not as a partisan political gathering but rather as an expression of a particular vision of human society based on inclusivity, celebration of diversity, respect, and compassion.
2004: Nobody is an Island: Music for a Purple Country
A collaboration with Resonance Women's Chorus and the Denver Gay Men's Chorus. People in our community were depressed. One of the singers said: "Let's sing!"
All graphic design by Jeanne Mitchell.