Rehearsing Philadelphia Logo

March 25 - April 10, 2022

Philadelphia, PA

About

Created by Ari Benjamin Meyers and jointly produced and presented by the Curtis Institute of Music and Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, this large-scale public project explores how we can come together as a city through musical rehearsal. The traditional musical preparation process focuses on rehearsing as a way to attain perfection, which is then repeated in performance. This is not how we live modern life in a rapidly changing world of social upheaval. The future will be rehearsed, not perfected. Rehearsing Philadelphia re-examines the rehearsal processes which allow people to act together and be empowered to create new realities.

The Modules

Rehearsing Philadelphia encompasses four overarching modules: Solo, Duet, Ensemble, Orchestra. Each structure, composed by Ari Benjamin Meyers, will involve a live in-person audience encounter, as well as experiences in the virtual space designed by digital creator Vanessa Newman. The modules also will feature local and international artists and institutional partners, including new commissions especially created for Rehearsing Philadelphia.

Solo

How are we alone, even among others? Who has the power to make decisions for us? Four commissioned artists create solos to be performed in places of power in Philadelphia. Each of these solos will be performed by an employee of the locations.

Solo will include commissions by Ei Arakawa, CA Conrad, Germaine Ingram and Fred Schmidt-Arenales.

Duet

How can we begin to engage with another person as we start to come together again? Trained performers engage passersby with the simple question “Would you like to sing with me?” If yes, a short rehearsal and then an impromptu performance take place. Facilitated by the Philadelphia Heritage Chorale, Singing City, and the Curtis Opera Theatre, singers will be stationed at monuments and locations of collective memory throughout Philadelphia.

The module Duet is a city-wide version of "Duet" (2014) by Ari Benjamin Meyers. Presented courtesy of the artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin.

Ensemble

Ensemble looks at society’s smaller groups, whether quarantine pods or family units. Who do we choose to let into our smaller groups? Who is included in the modern music ensemble? Students from Drexel University and the Curtis Institute collaborate through a year-long seminar, to form small mixed ensembles for a durational performance which examines small group dynamics.

Ensemble will include newly created and adapted works by Zoë Keating and Tyshawn Sorey, rehearsed and exhibited with the participation of the artists.

Orchestra

The culminating module is Orchestra, a group of people coming together to create art. Could this unusually composed group be a metaphor for society at large? Responding to an open call in the community, participating musicians will be a part of the first Public Orchestra. Orchestra will be inclusive of many varied musical practices in Philadelphia, not just the traditional Western musical practices normally associated with the term. Part of the open rehearsal process for this group will be a forum for discussion and exchange amongst the participating artists.

Read The Public Orchestra manifesto.

Orchestra will be rehearsed by Musical Director Anthony Tidd, and will include commissions by Ari Benjamin Meyers, Ursula Rucker, Xenia Rubinos, Sun Ra Arkestra and others.

The Artists

200+ artists, from Philadelphia and around the world, seek together to redefine the position of music and performance in terms of socially engaged public art and use this reframing as a way to think anew about existing institutions, hierarchies, monuments. Just as we may ask today who gets to write the stories and who gets to tell them, we ask who gets to compose, who gets to play, and who gets to conduct? These questions are engaged with through the creation of new works that will unfold as a grand rehearsal throughout Philadelphia. All artists to be announced January 2022.

Locations

Addressing the question “What can be the space today for coming together?” the four modules of the project intersect conceptually within the city-space of Philadelphia: Solo and Duet spanning across the entire city, each with a different focus on private and public spaces; Ensemble existing as both a seminar and durational exhibition in three discrete locations; and Orchestra culminating in one large, open gathering place. This use of space is designed to symbolically activate the city and then gather it together. Take a peek into some of the locations on the map below. All locations to be announced January 2022.

  • solo

    Solo

  • solo

    Duet

  • solo

    Ensemble

  • solo

    Orchestra

  • Solo

    School District of Philadelphia

    440 N. Broad Street

  • Solo

    Philadelphia Police Department

    400 N. Broad Street

  • Solo

    Penn Medicine

    3400 Civic Center Blvd

  • Solo

    City Hall

    Broad and Market

  • Duet

    University of The Sciences in Philadelphia

    Baltimore Ave Route: Stop 1 of 2

  • Duet

    52nd and Baltimore

    Baltimore Ave Route: Stop 2 of 2

  • Duet

    Washington Square

    Washington Sq Route: Stop 1 of 5

  • Duet

    Franklin Square

    Washington Sq Route: Stop 2 of 5

  • Duet

    Independence Hall

    Washington Sq Route: Stop 3 of 5

  • Duet

    The Olde Bar

    Washington Sq Route: Stop 4 of 5

  • Duet

    Christ Church

    Washington Sq Route: Stop 5 of 5

  • Duet

    Benjamin Franklin Parkway

    Love Park Route: Stop 1 of 2

  • Duet

    Philadelphia Museum of Art

    Love Park Route: Stop 2 of 2

  • Orchestra

    Cherry Street Pier

    121 N Christopher Columbus Blvd

REHEARSAL RADIO COMING SOON — MARCH 2022 — HOW CAN WE BE TOGETHER? — HOW ARE YOU REHEARSING EVERY DAY? —

REHEARSAL RADIO COMING SOON — MARCH 2022 — HOW CAN WE BE TOGETHER? — HOW ARE YOU REHEARSING EVERY DAY? —

REHEARSAL RADIO COMING SOON — MARCH 2022 — HOW CAN WE BE TOGETHER? — HOW ARE YOU REHEARSING EVERY DAY? —

REHEARSAL RADIO COMING SOON — MARCH 2022 — HOW CAN WE BE TOGETHER? — HOW ARE YOU REHEARSING EVERY DAY? —

REHEARSAL RADIO COMING SOON — MARCH 2022 — HOW CAN WE BE TOGETHER? — HOW ARE YOU REHEARSING EVERY DAY? —

REHEARSAL RADIO COMING SOON — MARCH 2022 — HOW CAN WE BE TOGETHER? — HOW ARE YOU REHEARSING EVERY DAY? —