Chorus: A Melodrama in Oakland and Tacos Hello Michael Mersereau and The Ridge

A perfect food and music Saturday in downtown Oakland, 9 August 2014


I started my afternoon with Kimchee fried rice at Hopscotch, a fusion 50's style diner. The soft boiled shoyu eggs were perfection. I'd like to try every item on their menu. 


I wandered downtown and stopped off in some very creative artisanal shops in the old part of downtown, so much space but the streets were empty. 


Late afternoon I met artist and musician Michael Mersereau in his new art and performance space in The Claridge Hotel.


Michael has created a site specific sound installation 'Chorus: a melodrama', whose form is based loosely on Mexican telenovelas. There is real emotional intensity here and the sound of tears exudes a melancholic drama, far from the commercial melodramatic telenovela.

This is a soaring space in the communal dining and assembly room, in a building whose original purpose was to house 'fallen' women. The sounds of women and men crying and reverberant sounds coming almost from within the walls and the columns is mysterious and unsettling.


Michael and I went around the corner to have fish tacos. I had my first ever Mexican rice cinnamon milk, cool and refreshing. 


We drove to the MindGaze Hut concert to hear the William Winant Ensemble play Cage's Fads and Fancies in the Academy, 1940 and Steve Reich's Drumming Mvt.1, 1970.


This is William Winant and Daniel Steffey playing the Steve Reich below, an intense and mesmerising performance.


 I couldn't stay for the Luna Ensemble but I heard their atmospheric "Decoding Phonography" performance a few weeks before. I caught the Bart home as the sun was setting.

Farewell Oakland, until the next time.

Michael Mersereau's sound installation: * Chorus: a melodrama * will be open to the public at the new art and performance venue:  The Ridge, 634 15th St, Oakland, in the first half of October, date to be confirmed. 



Michael Mersereau will be touring with Nava Dunkelman and Jeanie-Aprille Tang in his band IMA / Atto Plain in Toronto, Montreal, Canada and New York from September 9th - 19th

Tour and album details here:


Tania Chen