Ghost Ship Victims Live On in ‘Requiem Without Words’

 - Creo Noveno and Chloe Veltman, 2017

Last December’s Ghost Ship warehouse fire covered the Bay Area with grief. But the fierce unity that grew in its wake forged a sense of community, and inspired composer and Pittsburg resident Arturo Rodriguez to create a requiem mass to honor the 36 victims who died in the blaze and reflect on the resilience of Oakland’s creative life. “I thought of it more as a noble statement to them than a sad one,” Rodriguez says.

A section of Rodriguez’s new Requiem Sinfonica (Requiem Without Words) premiered at Awesome Orchestra Collective’s open session outside the Oakland Public Library Tuesday evening. While traditional requiems — masses for the dead — are usually composed with giant choirs, Rodriguez says the voiceless, instrument-only tribute serves as a poignant reminder of the lives lost seven months ago.

The Orchestral Jam Sessions - East Bay Express

- Sam Levin, 2014

On a recent Saturday afternoon, a group of about 65 musicians had just finished playing an original orchestral arrangement of Björk's "New World." After the final chord reverberated throughout the rehearsal space, a hush fell over the musicians and the several dozen audience members in attendance.

Finally, conductor David Möschler broke the silence. "All music has only one test," he said softly. "Do you want to hear it again? That's the only test...Do you just want to listen to that again? And I hope you agree with me—I want to hear that again."

Not Your Grandma's Orchestra - KALW

- Mary Rees, 2017

Once or twice a month in the East Bay, violinists and bass-players, flautists and trumpeters – gather to play orchestra music. But instead of a concert hall, they meet in warehouses or museums. No one’s wearing a tie or gown, and the group hasn’t rehearsed. They play a few pieces together and swill free beer between sets.

It all started about two years ago, when founder David Möschler learned that a friend’s very ill father had the dream of conducting Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro Overture” with an orchestra.

From ‘The Simpsons’ to Stravinsky: Creating Community With Oakland’s Awesome Orchestra - The California Report

- Suzie Racho, 2015

Awesöme Orchestra Collective to perform ‘Carmina Burana - SFGATE

- Jesse Hamlin, 2016

An Open, Free, Reading Orchestra? That’s Awesöme! - SF Classical voice 

- Jeff Kaliss, 2016

Awesome 50th birthday celebration for Intersection for the Arts - SF Chronicle

- Jesse Hamlin, 2015


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