The Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS) presents a free concert by international experimental duo MURAL at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook on Sunday (May 5) at 5 pm. The unusual venue is a park that sits atop a 511-foot peak with a 360-degree view of the Los Angeles basin.
Accompanying MURAL (saxophonist Jim Denley of Australia and guitarist Kim Myhr of Norway) on a new composition are nine Los Angeles area musicians, including CalArts alumni: trombonist Matt Barbier (Music MFA 10), percussionist Ted Byrnes, bassoonist Archie Carey (Music MFA 11), oboist Claire Chenette (Music MFA 12), accordionist Daniel Corral (Music MFA 07), trumpeter Jonah Levy (Music 11), violist Heather Lockie (Music MFA 12), bassist Jake Rosenzweig (Music MFA 11) and percussionist Greg Stuart.
SASSAS explains the significance of the overlook, the surrounding area and its sometimes troubled history:
A historically complex site, the Overlook offers 360 degree views of the Los Angeles Basin as it resides at the juncture of industry and parkland / preserve. Adjacent to the location of the 1963 Baldwin Hills Dam break and just north of an active oil field, the park was the site of a decade-long development battle which was successful in fending off a 230-home development, but failed to stop the flat topping of the hill. Parts of the park have been regraded and “in certain ways the land still looks as though it’s recovering from the earlier violence” [as described by Los Angeles Times reporter Cristopher Hawthorne in an article from 2009.]
MURAL is described by SASSAS as “a transparent, improvising orchestra with a large sound spectrum” that has “found various ways of interacting with the spaces they play in.” The group formed in 2007 and has since released a critically acclaimed album, Nectars of Emergance, on SOFA in January 2010.
SASSAS also invites the public to an open rehearsal of the piece on Thursday (May 2) from 12-2 pm at Kings Road Park Pavilion at 1000 N. Kings Road in West Hollywood.