Joshua Michele Ross; Seance to Summon a Garden

Artist Joshua Michele Ross in foreground facing camera, behind him a desk with computer and sound equipment.


Seance to Summon a Garden


Research and development of a new, site-specific participatory event

Sound Artist Joshua Michele Ross continues to advance concepts begun in his GCAC artist-in-residence pandemic period project, The Adjacent Possible

In his new work, Seance to Summon a Garden, Ross has gathered extensive field recordings from Descanso Gardens in Southern California. These sounds, the pulse of a hummingbird’s wing, the calls of a yellow-headed blackbird, woodpeckers nesting, a plane flying overhead, and sprinklers at dawn, have been assembled into a series of independent, musical clips that participants can play in magical, unique combinations.  

Using wireless headphones for an immersive experience, Ross plays the role of a medium, guiding participants to channel their garden “instrument.” Together, they enter “the realm of sonorous being,” where participants rehearse and perform a piece of garden music. Each performance will be recorded and published, creating a collaged, sonic portrait of Southern California ecology. 

Seance to Summon a Garden explores the reparative power of sound, memory, and ecology. The experience is one part old-time radio drama,65e one part guided meditation, and one part high-tech improvisatory orchestra.


Joshua-Michele Ross is a performance and sound artist whose work centers on time, memory, and the restorative power of listening. He splits his time between Oakland, California and New York City.