Announcing OC in Unison!
Pacific Symphony invites the people of Orange County to share their stories and contribute to a new composition for “OC in Unison,” a project created in an effort to engage the community in music creation. Guided by the vision of Music Director Carl St.Clair, the Symphony has chosen Composer-in-Residence Narong Prangcharoen to write this new anthem for the county, which is scheduled to premiere on the opening night concerts of the 2015-16 season, with a culminating community event on Oct. 4.
To inspire the composer, submit answers to the questions, “What Makes Orange County home? and “What unites the people of Orange County?” through any form of expression—story, song, dance, photography, artwork and social media—to the Symphony by emailing OCinUnison@pacificsymphony.org or using the hashtag #OCinUnison on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“How many times in your life do you have the chance to inspire artists to do their work?” asks Prangcharoen to the people of Orange County. “Probably not many. So, this is a great opportunity where you can inspire a composer to write a specific piece of music about the place where you live. I think the most fun and interesting part will be coming to see the concert, where you can hear how your submission inspired the music.
January 14, 2015
OC in Unison Submission Highlight:
Family Musical Mornings Artwork
At Pacific Symphony’s Sherlock Holmes Family Musical Mornings concert back in October, concert attendees were invited to help inspire composer-in-residence, Narong Prangcharoen, as he writes this brand new piece of music about and for Orange County. They were given the opportunity to create and submit artwork to answer the questions What makes Orange County home? and What unites the people of Orange County?
Families gathered as children used colored paper, markers, colored pencils, scissors and other art supplies to draw, write, and otherwise portray what makes Orange County home to them. Many kids drew symbols like sunshine and water to paint the picture of what unifies the people of Orange County. Other themes like family, love, recycling and diversity were communicated through these pieces of artwork.
After participants were finished with their creations, they attached them to the wall of submissions to contribute to what was a lovely mural of community inspiration for our composer-in-residence.
January 21, 2015
OC in Unison: Submission Highlight #2
Time and time again, Orange County residents express how this county is a melting pot. There are so many different types of people here, and they all bring with them their unique cultural traditions and beliefs. After hearing about OC in Unison, Haiying Chenz, from Irvine, submitted a few sticks of bamboo. She presented them to Composer-in-Residence, Narong Prangcharoen, and told him of the saying they often utter in Chinese culture: “You can live without meat to eat, but you cannot live without bamboo.” This plant takes on many different forms, and is at the center of life for many Asian cultures. She wanted Prangcharoen to be aware of this as a huge part of her life as she hears the wind blow through the bamboo in her backyard each and every day, reminding her that she is safe and at home here.
January 25, 2015
OC in Unison: Submission Highlight #3
“Painting Music” class at the Irvine Chinese School
Back in November, composer-in-residence, Narong Prangcharoen visited the “Painting Music” class held at the Irvine Chinese School. This was a series of four classes held onsite as a partnership between Pacific Symphony and the Bowers Museum where participants were encouraged to explore the link between music and visual art and how inspiration can pour out on paper.
Bower teaching artist, Trinh Mai partnered with Prangcharoen, and they each discussed their artistic processes and how they are similar in being stimulated by life’s events. They each also talked about how their emotions and experiences are manifested through their art. The class was then encouraged to paint about their own story of Orange County in order to inspire Prangcharoen’s new composition to be premiered by the Symphony in the fall.
A variety of stories were told in all of these artistic submissions. Prangcharoen learned of one participant’s journey as she came here for grad school as a lonely student, which she represented as being a dark time in her life with dark colors with little room for light. She painted through the progression to her now retired life where she feels “free as a bird.” Many described Orange County being their home because it’s where they feel safe and accepted in a melting pot community that is full of vibrancy and opportunity.
February 5, 2015
OC in Unison: Submission Highlight #4
Red Button Conversation
On a night out in Sunset Beach, Narong got into a great conversation with Jim. Jim works in finance, and when asked about his experience of Orange County he discussed the pressure that exists within Orange County that stems from the need to be wealthy and stable. Jim introduced the concept of what he called “The Red Button.” He mentioned residents of Orange County being afraid to press this red button, for fear of losing security.
Narong asked what exactly Jim was referring to with this red button, and he said that it is a metaphor for the fact that people tend to be afraid to press the red button that would interrupt daily routine and stable environments in order to take the risk of pursuing who they really are and what they really might love. Narong was inspired by this conversation and to learn of this tension that Jim has observed throughout the years he has lived in Orange County.
February 10, 2015
OC in Unison: Submission Highlight #5
“Orange County is a blend of Arts and Culture” featuring V&T Dance Studio
For Orange County resident, Lilybell Calderon, OC is home to some of the best ballet studios in the state and possibly in the country. One of them is Victor & Tatiana Kasatsky’s Classical Ballet Dance Studio (V&T Dance). For the past few years, their dancers have won awards and competitions in the US and in the world. Their students also excel in academics in their respective schools and go on to prestigious universities and colleges. Lilybell states, “Ballet is an art and a discipline and Orange County offers the best blend of arts and culture for our youth to thrive in. From it’s safe cities, excellent private and public schools, various after-school programs, plus an abundance of local theaters, symphony orchestras, to fine arts festivals as well as performing arts studios, Orange County represents one of the best environments in which to raise families and, of course, young children who can be provided with all the opportunities in all aspects of their growth. It is the perfect example of a wonderful little “village” and proof that it takes a village to raise a child!
February 18, 2015
OC in Unison: Submission Highlight #6
Jana, of Fullerton, considers Orange County be home for a variety of reasons. She was transplanted here starting in her upper-division college years after growing up in the same town where she never saw herself leaving. Orange County started as the unknown but turned into a place of refuge, redemption and community in beautiful beautiful ways. Jana submitted this monologue, a few photos and a couple of songs that sum up her Orange County story and what it means to be home.
February 25, 2015
OC in Unison: Submission Highlight #7
“Orange County is all about access!”
Pacific Symphony violist, Cheryl Gates, calls the city of Santa Ana home. She absolutely loves being an Orange County resident, and makes sure to take advantage of its close proximity to so many outdoor activities. When asked what unites the people of Orange County and what makes it home, Gates mentioned that Orange County is all about access. She’s able to head up to the mountains for a good day of skiing and then hit the sand for some beach volleyball all within the same week. Orange County embraces an incredibly active lifestyle, and this is very important to Gates. When she’s not busy rehearsing or performing with the orchestra, she can be found outside enjoying the various athletic opportunities that are all so very accessible to all Orange County residents.
March 5, 2015
OC in Unison Submission Highlight #8
Larry, who lives in Corona del Mar, grew up in Orange County and fell in love with its surfing culture and its “never give up, never surrender” approach to life. He sees OC as a place of endless opportunity and a wonderful place to have raised his family. He began painting as an adult and started by capturing his love for the ocean and the OC shoreline. This specific painting he submitted is titled “The Arena,” and it encompasses what Larry feels Orange County truly emits with its “physicality, weather, the light and sky, and the can-do attitude that permeates so many of its inhabitants.” Larry says that surfing brings about a real sense of freedom, and the only thing that could stop him is a broken surfboard, and that’s the attitude this painting communicates about Orange County.
March 5, 2015
OC in Unison Submission Highlight #9
Shalimar Learning Center
March 18, 2015
OC in Unison Submission Highlight #10
Bardene, who grew up in Laguna Beach and now resides in Dana Point, sent in some of her paintings that were inspired by Orange County, especially the beaches along the beautiful coast!
I have seen great changes in the town and surrounding areas. The vacant land that once was the scene of the yearly, “Ben Franklin Kite Contests” is now the Dana Hills High School campus; the store that once was owned by Hobie Alter and where he sold his surf boards on a wind blown hill in Dana Point, is now a Mexican Restaurant surrounded by a busy town full of many small businesses. There is a harbor now, a State Park and many stores along the Dana Point shoreline where in the early days of the California Missions sailing vessels would stop to trade their cargo for Spanish cow hides and provisions.
Laguna Beach used to have a bowling alley and shops along the downtown water front where a wooden board walk once curled around the sand, a lumberyard did a good business right on Forest Avenue and where an ice cream store still stands.
The Segerstrom family were farmers and had miles of now forgotten bean fields all turned into South Coast Plaza and a wonderful Performing Arts Center where great music and musicians come to perform for thousands of residents.
There is much to remember and a lot to be thankful for!
March 25, 2015
OC in Unison Submission Highlight #11
Kicking off our final week of community submissions, we wanted to highlight Gretchen, of Laguna Beach, who called out to her community for artwork inspired by their lives and experiences living in Laguna Beach. She then put them all together in collage onto these gorgeous panels that adorn the entrance into the community center. She says she associates Orange County with light because of the joy that exudes from those who live here.
April 1, 2015
OC in Unison Submission Highlight #12
Archivist for the Diocese of Orange, Father Bill Krekelberg, gave composer-in-residence, Narong Prangcharoen, a tour of all of the records at Mission San Juan Capistrano. He was then certain to make sure to have Narong seated at noon where he could hear the ringing of the mission bells through his office window at the bottom of the bell tower. Narong lit up when he heard their sounds! Father Bill explained how these were the unifying bells for the community during the time of the mission, so he wanted to be sure to have them heard to help inspire this piece of music as they were very important to Orange County’s beginnings.
This concludes our community submission process! To check them all out, head over to the Submission Page. Stay tuned for biweekly Composer Updates as Narong gets to work on this brand new piece of music!
April 22, 2015
This is OC in Unison Composer Update #1
After a great couple of months, we received over 300 submissions from Orange County residents, which answered the questions: What makes Orange County home? And what unites the people of Orange County? Composer-in-residence, Narong Prangcharoen is thrilled to be able to go through everything to really get a good idea of the spirit of the people who live here and what it is that brings them all together. He’s ready to get to work on writing this brand new piece of music about Orange County and will be keeping everyone updated here on his Composer Blog throughout the process about what is inspiring him and how he is turning that inspiration into music!
May 22, 2015
OC in Unison Composer Update #2
Composer-in-Residence, Narong Prangcharoen has now taken some time to mull over all of the various stories, conversations, sight-seeing trips and other Orange County adventures and has now begun to translate it into music. Here is an update from his studio where he is hard at work creating a symphonic work out of what Orange County means to its residence and what unites its people!
July 31, 2015
OC in Unison Composer Update #3
As the summer is dwindling away, Composer-in-Residence, Narong Prangacharoen is hard at work on this brand new symphonic work about Orange County. He is letting us in on his composition process and it is so exciting to see it coming together! Take a look as he plays a few notes and explains where he is going with it!
September 16, 2015
OC in Unison Composer Update #4
Composer-in-Residence, Narong Prangcharoen, has finished his OC-inspired musical composition! After months of touring the county and hearing stories from the community, he uncovered some themes that really bring light to the spirit of Orange County and its people. He talks a bit about these here in his final Composer Update. Be sure to attend the premiere of this work during the opening concerts of the 2015-16 season!
Composer-in-Residence, Narong Prangcharoen, is going to let us in on his composition process! From going through all of the submissions, to discussing how he is being inspired and what he is going to do with that inspiration when writing a brand new piece of music, stay updated on how a composer works and how he will be putting together this musical representation of Orange County and its people. This process will begin in April 2014 once all of the submissions are in.
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