Welcoming spring, bidding farewell to winter

CSULB Japanese Garden organizers host event that showcases immersive art, live demonstrations

Pictured+is+the+beginning+performance+of+the+March+20+event+at+Cal+State+Long+Beach%E2%80%99s+Earl+Burns+Miller+Japanese+Garden.
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Welcoming spring, bidding farewell to winter

Pictured is the beginning performance of the March 20 event at Cal State Long Beach’s Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden.

Pictured is the beginning performance of the March 20 event at Cal State Long Beach’s Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden.

Photos by Kristen Naeem | Signal Tribune

Pictured is the beginning performance of the March 20 event at Cal State Long Beach’s Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden.

Photos by Kristen Naeem | Signal Tribune

Photos by Kristen Naeem | Signal Tribune

Pictured is the beginning performance of the March 20 event at Cal State Long Beach’s Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden.

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On the evening of March 20, Cal State Long Beach’s Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden once again celebrated the first day of spring with GArdonMe, an immersive artistic showcase that includes creative works from many different mediums– including music, sculpture and videography– that has been hosted since 2017. Many of the works of art were interactive and centered on the theme of the “vernal equinox.” Staff at the garden encouraged guests to participate.

One interactive art installation consisted of large blocks of ice that had tubes filled with flowers frozen within them. Buckets of warm water and ladels were provided, and guests were encouraged to pour the water over the blocks of ice, slowly melting them. Staff told participating guests that this melting of the ice was in order to “welcome spring and say goodbye to winter.”

In keeping with the theme of saying “goodbye,” a special live demonstration of Tibetan singing bowls was presented in memory of the late Dr. Carolyn Bremer, a friend and colleague of staff at the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden. The many different bowls had been a part of her personal collection, and guests were able to experience the varying tones the bowls made depending on their size.

At dusk, a live performance began that centered on new life and transformation, continuing the event’s focus on elements of spring. Staff member Maureen Munoz described the performance as one “that goes around the garden and has been inspired by the music of composer Vit Zouhar since 2017.”

The short performance continued GArdonMe’s efforts to include and immerse guests by having different scenes take place at different locations in the garden– rather than performing on a traditional stage– so that all patrons present would have a chance to be close to the performers. The plot of the performance follows the creation by a Japanese goddess of a young woman who emerges from a chrysalis and later meets a young man who is on the path to becoming a Bushido warrior. As the performers circled the koi pond during the different scenes, their actions were accompanied by live narration and a mixture of electric and traditional Japanese instruments.

Performers demonstrated Tibetan singing bowls Wednesday, March 20

When asked if the performers had any trouble incorporating computerized noises and classical instruments into the same musical score, musician and composer Shih-Wei Wu answered that when it comes to music “both traditional and technological are able to create a world. Even though these types of music come from different perspectives, they have the same goal of creating a world through deep listening and understanding.”