Pear Pressure 

Fruit you can listen to


It may be an unlikely place for an art installation, but the columbarium at Chapel of the Chimes currently houses a unique and arresting piece by artist Sonja Meller. Sonic Fruit is a set of music boxes in the shape of golden pears, hanging from a real tree that has been growing deep in the recesses of the mausoleum for years. Visitors can pull the strings hanging from the pears to play Brahms' famous "Lullaby," or "Wiegenlied." They all play at different speeds, so you and your friends can pull them all at once to produce a strange composition of your own. Meller, a native of Austria, says she is fascinated by both the use of sound -- particularly the nondigital -- and the exploration of cultural spaces. The building itself is so vast that visitors require a map to find the installation in the Garden of St. John, but the journey presents an architectural wonder itself. Designed in part by Julia Morgan, the chapel has a rare stillness and serenity. It's a fitting location for a haunting, deranged set of lullabies drifting among the urned remains of the dead that fill the surrounding walls. You can see and hear it for free, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through December 18, at Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Ave., Oakland. Info: 510-839-0088. -- Amrita Sidhu

Sat 12/4

Sink-ing In

Two years and counting

When the name is Kitchen Sink, you should expect a mixed bag, right? This Saturday at Oakland's LoBot Gallery, fans of "The Magazine for People Who Think Too Much" will find out how mixed that bag really is when Kitchen Sink throws itself a Second Anniversary Celebration. The entertainment lineup is as unpredictable as the pages of the waggish mag. On the walls are works by artists from the Liminal/LoBot coterie. On your head, "improvisational haircuts" by KS contributor Jenna Feldman. Care for a canine fashion show or a trading post? You've come to the right place. The musical portion is dominated by Rogue Wave, purveyor of pedal-steel-synth-bass enchantment, but let's not forget everybody's favorite all-male Leonard Cohen chorus, Conspiracy of Beards. The fun begins at 8-ish $7-$20. LoBot lies smack-dab in the middle of red-hot West Oakland at 1800 Campbell St. at West Grand Avenue. -- Kelly Vance

Sat 12/4

After the Craft

Say what you like about the items for sale at the California College of the Arts Holiday Art Fair; just don't say the word "crafts" too loudly, since some students are still smarting from the school's recent name change. Hopefully they've spun their pain into ceramics, textiles, blown glass, paintings, and more that CCA students, alumni, faculty, and staff will be offering. Proceeds from Saturday's sale on the Oakland campus' main walkway (5212 Broadway) go to the artists. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 510-594-3666. -- Stefanie Kalem

Sat 12/4

Frith Ventures Forth

Guitar guru goes solo at Berk Rep

Fred Frith is the human dynamo of avant-garde guitar. The Yorkshire, England, native, who has played with everyone from Brian Eno to John Zorn to Ikue Mori to Henry Kaiser to the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, and in the process collaborated on upward of four hundred recordings, is now ensconced at Mills College, where he's a guest composer. But he sometimes goes abroad in the night with his axe, on the prowl for strange sounds. This Saturday at Berkeley Rep's Thrust Stage (2025 Addison St., 8 p.m.) is such a time, a benefit for Oakland's Park Day School -- a rare solo performance. Tickets are a quite reasonable $20 (students $12), from -- Kelly Vance


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