Classical Uprising, which formed last year in a merger between the Oratorio Chorale and Portland Bach Experience, will host a series of open-air sound installations at Thompson’s Point South Garden over three weekends in April and May. The free, interactive sound experience, “Thanks in Variations,” is designed to give people a chance to engage with art and reflect on the past year.

Emily Isaacson Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

The installation features professional and amateur singers from Maine and consists of 32 separately recorded voices played back through 14 speakers placed throughout the garden. Audience members will walk along a path as the music plays. “Thanks in Variations” is based on Johannes Ockeghem’s 15th-century work, “Deo gratias (Give Thanks),” updated for a modern experience, Artistic Director Emily Isaacson said in a statement, “by engaging Mindfulness Meditation and contrasting natural versus created sound, individual versus communal voices, and order versus disorder.”

Admission free, and capacity will be monitored. Masks will be required, and social-distancing rules will be enforced. The garden will be open 3-6 p.m. Saturday and 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday; and 3-6 p.m. April 24 and May 1.

“When COVID hit and all performances were canceled, I started thinking about how to make art that engages, rather than ignores, the aesthetic imposed by the virus. How do you create a sense of personal connection and community when we are socially distanced? How can we return the breath and the voice to an object of beauty, rather than a vehicle for transmission?” Isaacson said in the press release.

Classical Uprising, Temple Beth El, Woodfords Congregational Church and the Episcopal Church of Saint Mary will host a Day of Gratitude and Mitzvot (good deeds) at the South Garden from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday. People are encouraged to bring non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, new toiletries and other goods to benefit Maine Needs, Project FEED and the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland. Activities will include guided meditation for all ages, writing thank-you postcards to essential workers, assembling donation kits, and adding to the community gratitude board. On Saturday and April 24, Patricia H. Dodd will lead mindfulness workshops for children, adult beginners and experienced meditators.

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