A daylong communal performance that tracks the movement of the sun across the sky through an immersive musical experience.

Musicians and listeners alike participate together in a beautiful meditation on the passage of time and our place beneath the sun. With music by Brian Petuch, the piece begins at sunrise in primordial hush, intensifies to a brilliant climax at midday, and fades away with a "green flash" summation of the day just after sunset.

Contemporaneous presented the premiere of the daylong version of SUNRISE / SUNSET on the 2018 Summer Solstice in Liberty Park at New York’s World Trade Center. Musicians from Contemporaneous joined volunteer players and singers as well as a few passers-by to perform in shifts for 16 hours. Over 40 musicians and 10,000 audience members came together for the premiere.

SUNRISE / SUNSET is at its best when performed in a place where the course of the sun can be seen clearly throughout the performance and where audience members can easily happen upon the music. The impact of the piece is broader still when professional and avocational musicians perform side-by-side on a wide variety of instruments and voices. The piece has a flexible structure that can be adapted for any number of musicians and a variety of durations.

In short:

  • Duration: one full day from sunrise until sunset, or a somewhat shorter duration if required by the production

  • Instrumentation: open instrumentation with electronics

  • Full day premiere: June 21, 2018 at World Trade Center, New York, NY

  • Available for booking


Brian Petuch, composer



For booking inquiries, contact Contemporaneous Executive and Co-Artistic Director Dylan Mattingly at or (510) 333.2543.