All I Know³
Information, transmission, modulation, and noise – 3rd Edition

A Brief Vacation

Sea Ranch - August 2010

 

Back from a week at Sea Ranch, about 120 miles north of San Francisco on the coast. Took a bevy of pictures, in spite of the fog and overcast. Check All I’ve Seen for more images, added daily.

 

 

Sarah Does New York City

Sarah Cahill - NY TimesBerkeley’s national treasure, pianist Sarah Cahill, wowed ‘em in New York City last week, together with Carl Stone.

Here’s the NY Times review:

August 4, 2010

Laptop and Piano, Dispelling Traditions

Tune in to any pop radio station today, and the ubiquity of electronic music is evident in the Auto-Tune vocals and programmed beats of even the most banal hit single. Listen closely, and you realize that gifted pop producers routinely turn out sophisticated orchestrations that surpass the reckonings of avant-garde prophets like Busoni, Varèse and Stockhausen.

But within the classical mainstream, where physical exertion and virtuoso skill have never lost their primacy, electronic music retains an alien quality. Could any computer jockey hunched over a laptop, peering intently but otherwise inscrutable, produce sounds as rich and relatable as those of a performer busily (and visibly) working on a piano?

Creating music of charm, quirk and sublimity with a computer is no more unlikely a notion than making it on a ponderous wooden coffin with ivory keys, felt hammers and taut metal wires. Both contraptions express the imaginations of their programmers and operators: a point made during related performances by the pianist Sarah Cahill and the electronic composer Carl Stone on Tuesday night at the Stone, an austere East Village new-music laboratory.

Ms. Cahill, an eloquent and indefatigable new-music advocate from the San Francisco area, offered an appealing range of concise works during her set. Some were part of “A Sweeter Music,” her continuing project created in response to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. All had an approachability that neatly sidestepped notions of avant-garde formidability.

The cascading arpeggios of Eve Beglarian’s “Night Psalm,” based on a 16th-century antiphon from Augsburg Cathedral in Germany, had a plain-spoken, hymnlike radiance and zeal. Annie Gosfield’s “Five Characters Walk Into a Bar,” inspired by the five-character codes used by the Danish Resistance during World War II, wrangled knotty five-note clusters with an improviser’s sense of spontaneity and propulsion.

Five-note cells also popped up in selections from Mamoru Fujieda’s placid “Begonia in My Life,” music derived from biofeedback signals provided by the plant of the title. Ms. Cahill handled the fearsome polyrhythms of Guy Klucevsek’s rollicking “Don’t Let the Boogie Man Get You” with impressive ease, and sang as she played in three gemlike miniatures from Larry Polansky’s “B’midbar.” Terry Riley’s “Fandango on the Heaven Ladder” was a buoyantly cheeky conclusion.

…Read the Whole Thing

About:


Richard Friedman lives in Oakland, CA, is a freelance tech writer/editor, web designer, photographer, is a Director of Other Minds, wrote his first computer program in 1962 for the IBM 650. It played dice. He is also a ham radio (AG6RF) operator, and he also takes a lot of photographs, composes music, and does a weekly radio program on KALW called Music From Other Minds.
He is not Kinky.

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