Commission Music

Commission Music
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Monday, 9 June 2003

My Weekend

We went out Saturday to see the spot where Ellen's friend was hit by a car. It was in Emeryville on the part of Powell street that gets really narrow, I think by Vallejo street. People have attached flowers, notes and a poster to a posted speed limit sign - 30 mph, which is clearly being exceeded by quite a bit. It was worrisome crossing the street to get there. Around the base of the sign were candles, a stuffed animal and other memorial items. A flautist was there, sitting on the ground, playing a lamentation. It was very moving. Some other people came. It seemed to make them feel better.

Later, we went to two concerts at the Berkeley Edge Fest. Two concerts in one day is too many. However, George Lewis is an amazing virtuossic trombone player, so I was glad we went to the second concert. Some very hyper composer cornered Sarah Cahill ater the first concert and started on a well-rehersed arts rant. He began by asking her if she was indepenently wealthy. He thinks artists in the Bay Area play too many gigs for free or for low wages. Sarah tried to pass him off to Christi, Ellen and I, bu we escaped. However, on Sunday, he got us again and continued exactly where he left off. He thinks artists should be well paid for theit work, but they should give their work away for free. I think I heard this argument before, as part of the New Economy or something. I'm still not sure how it's supossed to work.

The Sunday concert was a Lou Harrison tribute. His work is so beautiful. The second half was all gamelan. It was performed on his personal gamelan that Bill Colvig built for him. It's the first time that it's been played without him. the last piece they played was the last piece he wrote. I think the gamelan lead may have been crying when the last gong sounded. Krys Bobrowski played in the ensemble. After the concert, she showed us her instrument and explained the notation. She told me to play in the Wesleyan Gamelan Ensemble, so I will.

We went out for Thai food with Krys, her girlfriend, her other friend who just made some MIDI controlled strobe thing for crystals (I hope to see this thing soon and better be able to describe it), Brenda Hutchinson and her partner, who I can't remember the name of because I never remeber anyone's name. Brenda was urging Ellen to move down here and work for the next four years at the Exploratorium.

Then some of us went to Srah Cahill's after concert party. I sat down next to a guy who introduced himself and then added, "You're of a generation where that name probably doesn't mean anything." okay. He talked about early digital synthesizers and samplers tho, and it was interesting. He gave me advice about school which included working hard and getting mad. Then he left and I saw Steed there, who conducted the Mills Contemporary Performance Ensemble, when I played in it and also conducted two of the Lou pieces in the first half of the concert. I told him that I enjoyed the concert and was surprised that he remembered me from the CPE and asked if I was still playing the tuba. I introduced him to Ellen and he knew he she was, but didn't know her.

So the big question remains: will Ellen move down here? She clearly digs the social scene at least. And the economy is porbably better here than in Seattle (it's certainly not worse). christi has offered to construct a shack in the back yard. (Ian says that the homeowners association will have a field day with the CCNRs. Maybe we could call it a gazebo.) The shack would lengthen our space to make it long enough for the Long String Instrument and would provide adequate protection against weather, rodents, theives, etc, while being able to be easily knocked down after two years. uhuh. Clearly, Christi's dad needs to be involved in this project, or we're doomed to have rats, water damage and burglary. and lawsuits from our neigbors.

Or we could move the whole operation to Jerry Brown's warehouse. Krys was just part of a collective of people looking to purchase a shared space, but they couldn't find anything. Some of those people have bought their own homes, but some have not. Krys is still looking. This space would not require a shack.

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