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

My 15 Minutes

Today I had my 15 minutes of fame. The Berkeley-based online news website Berkeleyside.com discovered some of my photos from the late 1960′s and 70′s and did a feature article on them, and me.

This was very nice. Tracey Taylor from Berkeleyside.com called me Monday and we talked about photography, Flickr as social-media, and nostalgia for the “good old days”, if there ever were good old days.

Tracey did a fine job of capturing my sentiments and included a small handful of my images in the text, with links to my Berkeley collection on Flickr.com.

Which got me thinking … I really should put down some thoughts here regarding photography in the digital age. I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to understand two things: what makes music appealing, and what makes a good photograph, and why. I have opinions about both, but no answers. It’s all still a mystery… as all art should be.

Anyway, here’s the article.  I hope to dig up some more images from the vault and post them soon. Stay tuned.

Zap

frank_zappa-gal-eccentrics.jpg

December 21, 1940
Happy Birthday, Frank
We miss you. We need you.

It’s Been Awhile

WinterClearly, it’s been awhile since I last posted here. We’ve been hibernating.

I’m not fond of this time of year. As a child, it was the time to be snowed in, confined. Getting out was a major effort. Shut in, we were easily bored, dreaming of summer.

Weather’s been rough too, altho we really can’t complain. No snow here. Just rain. And dark clouds. It’s cold, relatively speaking. Best stay home.

It’s also a time to ruminate, whether or not you want to. It seems to take over. End of the year: a time to account for it. I guess that’s the price you pay when the start of your own personal year coincides with the start of the calendar year. Each new year is a New Year.

As far as this blog goes, I’ve realized I really don’t have much to say. I’ve become much more private. I shun Facebook and Twitter. No, I don’t want people to know what I’m doing Now, and Now, and Now. Ultimately, who cares… really?  Just leave me alone.

Still, there’s lots going on.

The radio program is still a joy to produce every week. I’m constantly being exposed to new and wonderful sounds and composers from around the world, and am looking forward to the Other Minds 16 Festival in March.

And lots of new photographs on my website and on Flickr, including some new scans of pictures of Berkeley and Oakland in the 70′s.

I did read some really interesting books:

and a couple of others I can’t remember.

Maybe the rest will come to me after this hibernation period. Sometime in February, perhaps.

We’ll see.

Have a nice holiday, wherever it takes you.

Pat Cody

Pat Cody passed away last week:

Pat Cody, Bookstore Owner, Pioneering Feminist Health Activist

By Anthony Cody

Friday October 01, 2010

From the Berkeley Daily Planet

Longtime Berkeley resident, bookstore owner and health activist Pat Cody, age 87, passed away on Sep. 30. She was born in 1923, the fourth of what would be ten children borne to Rosalia and Jack Herbert (eight would survive). Her father worked for the railroad as a station agent, so the family scraped by through the depression.

Pat Cody 1923-2010

She enrolled at Willimantic Teachers’ College around 1940, and also worked at the Electric Boat Company helping to build submarines for the war effort. She became more politically aware, and eventually went to New York City, enrolling at Columbia University, where she got her Masters degree in economics. And there, following the war, she met a dashing West Virginian veteran, who shared her interest in politics. Their activism earned them a knock on the door from the FBI, so rather than “name names,” they packed up and drove to Mexico City. Fred enrolled in the Universidad de Mexico, and the two of them were part of a lively ex-patriot community. They attended social gatherings at the home of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and met luminaries like Pablo Neruda, who declared that Pat’s lemon meringue pie was the best he ever had!

Around 1955 the McCarthy era had cooled a bit, so the couple moved to California, first living in Palo Alto and then moving to Berkeley. Fred’s political past made an academic position out of reach, so he and Pat started a small bookstore on the north side of UC Berkeley. The first store was just a hole in the wall, about the size of a living room. After a few years it was clear that the action was on the south side of campus, so the store moved into an old grocery store on Telegraph Ave. A few years later the more modern store was built on the corner of Telegraph and Haste, which housed the business until about five years ago, when it closed.

Pat served as the business manager for the bookstore, making sure the bills and payroll got paid. The store was one of the largest independent bookstores on the west coast when they sold it in about 1977, to Andy Ross, who ran it for the next thirty years or so.

Pat had a great many other interests as well. She was a founder of Women for Peace, and marched weekly in the mid-1960’s to protest the gradually escalating war in Vietnam. She put her talents as a bookkeeper to work as the treasurer for the Berkeley Free Clinic, which she and Fred helped found in the late 1960s. If you visited Berkeley in the late 1960s, you would be greeted at every corner by a young person holding a little locked box that said Berkeley Free Clinic on it. Donations of change were divided between the collector and the Clinic, and the change wound up on our dining room table every Sunday night, where we kids would help count it and roll it up. (more…)

Nora @ Al-Jazeera

 Daughter Nora, on the ground in Palestine this week, has a piece in the current Al-Jazeera online.

Rudhyar Concert Booklet Online

The program booklet for next week’s Rudhyar Retrospective concerts in S.F. is now online, and it’s stunning!

Rudhyar Retrospective Concerts Booklet

>>here

Dane Rudhyar

The San Jose Mercury News has a great article on the upcoming Dane Rudhyar Retrospective concerts next week.

It includes a YouTube Video of Sarah Cahill performing  Rudhyar’s “Yearning” from Pentagram IV at an earlier Other Minds Seance:

It is the music that Other Minds is revisiting, compositions from his early and his late-in-life work. The retrospective begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. Monday in San Francisco’s Swedenborgian Church, 2107 Lyon St., with a panel discussion moderated by Other Minds artistic director Charles Amirkhanian and featuring the composer’s widow, Leyla Rudhyar Hill, and his biographer, Deniz Ertan of the University of Nottingham. In the concert that follows at 8 p.m., the Ives String Quartet will play Rudhyar’s “Crisis & Overcoming,” a string quartet written in 1979. Violinist David Abel and pianist Julie Steinberg will collaborate on “Poem for Violin and Piano” (1920), and Berkeley-based pianist and radio show host Sarah Cahill will play three solo works: “Transmutation,” a tone sequence in seven movements (1976); “Stars” from “Pentagram No. 3″ (1925) and “Granites” (1929).

Cahill, asked for her thoughts on Rudhyar’s musical language, spoke of the “atmospheric, layered sound world” he invented and said she was amazed that both the early and the late works seem to dip into the same pool of inspiration. She quoted his annotations from his “Transmutation” score: “The inspiration for the music stems from a sequence of psycho-spiritual states of consciousness, not from anything resembling physical movement. Music here is a nonverbal speech aiming at communicating or inciting inner experiences.”

Read the entire article here.

A New Bookstore For Berkeley!

Later this week a new bookstore will be opening in Berkeley.This is good news after so many stores are closed and gone.Here’s the press release:

William Stout Books will open for business at 1605 Solano Avenue (at the corner of Tacoma) in Berkeley on September 15th.

William Stout Architectural Books, a venerable San Francisco institution for 35 years, is opening a new branch in Berkeley. Expanding their scope, William Stout Books on Solano Avenue will specialize in new, used, and out-of-print architecture, photography, fine arts, landscape design books, and the decorative arts.

Matthew Swiezynski, longtime staff member at the San Francisco shop, will become the manager of the new location.William Stout is a recognized authority on rare architectural books and related ephemeral material. In addition to his two book shops in San Francisco, for past 15 years he has published architectural, design and landscape design books through his publishing company William Stout Publishers, located in Richmond, CA. William Stout Publishers, has co-published with The Environmental Design Archives at UC-Berkeley and other major universities.

Recognizing the vibrant book community in the East Bay, William Stout Books will add yet another dimension to the Berkeley book scene.

See also »Berkeleyside article 

London 1966

London 1966
I’ve been scanning some of my London photos from the sixties and seventies and putting them up on Flickr.

Seems there’s a lot of interest in pictures from earlier times, and there are Flickr groups for Sixties London and Seventies London.

Nostalgia? or curiosity?

After WWII, just about everyone had a camera, film and processing were widely available, and so beginning with the 50′s and certainly the 60′s daily life was easily recorded.

When we look back at these images we can see how much has changed. Clearly something the 19thC couldn’t do so easily.

It’s mostly curiousity, then. The people in this photo, for example, are now 44 years older, and may not even be still alive.

News From Other Minds

Two important items to take note:

Number 1: Rudhyar in Retrospect, September 27 & 29, 2010


RUDHYAR IN RETROSPECT

Monday, September 27, 2010
7pm Panel Discussion, 8pm Concert
Swedenborgian Church
2107 Lyon Street, San Francisco
reception at 6:30pm
$25 / $20 students & seniors

Wednesday, September 29, 2010
7:30pm Concert
Valley Presbyterian Church
945 Portola Road, Portola Valley
$20 / $15 students & seniors

PERFORMERS: David Abel & Julie Steinberg, Sarah Cahill, Ives String Quartet (more…)

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

Help KALW!

KALW.org

 KALW, the local NPR radio station in San Francisco that hosts our Music From Other Minds weekly new music program, really needs your financial support right now. This goes especially for those out-of-towners that listen to these programs over the internet. KALW is one of the finest local public radio stations around. And right now they need all the support they can muster. It’s been struggle for them for years. And unlike some of the big NPR stations in the area, the staff is extremely small, and mostly volunteer. But today’s economy makes maintaining alternative voices like KALW a continual struggle. They need your support. CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT KALW!  And mention Music From Other Minds in the comments field! THANKS!

Field Day 2010

ARRL FIELD DAYThis weekend is ham radio’s Field Day. It’s when radio amateurs set up their equipment outdoors and off the power grid and try to contact as many other hams as they can. It’s a contest. There are rules and points. No prizes, tho. Just bragging rights.

And, as usual, I’m not prepared. I’m a “casual” amateur radio operator, AG6RF.

I’ll probably put the mobile rig into the van  and head out somewhere later today or tomorrow. It can be fun, like fishing when the fish are biting. Or, depending on the electromagnetic weather and the ionosphere, a complete bust.

So we’ll see. Someday I hope to be more prepared, with a real location, maybe a tent, and a portable antenna tower I can put up and run a long wire antenna. And a portable car battery or maybe some solar panels. And lunch.

Anyway, Field Day runs from 11am PDT today, Saturday, to 2pm Sunday. I’d better get moving.

73

Update: I never did get it together. I didn’t have much time during the weekend, but I did manage to make 3 or 4 contacts, mostly north to WA and south to San Diego. Propagation was poor and the noise level was high. Well, maybe next year…

Garden Of Memory – New Music Circus

Monday (June 21, Summer Solstice) at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland , the 15th annual new music circus will happen.

Garden of Memory 2010 is always a lot of fun and has some amazing performers .. some of the best names in new music in the Bay Area.

Today’s NY Times had a piece about it, and one of its founders Sarah Cahill.

Sarah Cahill

Sarah Cahill, New Music’s Tireless Advocate

When she is at the keyboard, Sarah Cahill exudes self-confidence. At a recent recital at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with David Latulippe, a flutist, Ms. Cahill dashed off challenging works by Arvo Part and Terry Riley with an easy flamboyance that matched her bright orange dress.

But during the curtain call, another side of Ms. Cahill’s personality came through. With an awkward bow and a shy smile, she looked more like a student playing in public for the first time than a seasoned world-class performer.

Ms. Cahill has such a gentle demeanor that it can be hard to grasp the magnitude of her impact on the contemporary music scene — not only as a pianist but also as a champion of contemporary composers, a prolific events producer and an influential broadcaster of classical music.

Composers like Pauline Oliveros and Frederic Rzewski have dedicated works to her. John Adams wrote his 1977 piano piece “China Gates” for Ms. Cahill when she was just 17. (more…)

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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.

View Richard Friedman's profile on LinkedIn

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I started All I Know in June 2004 using Pivot, and
All I Know² Second Edition, in September 2006 using Movable Type.
This is All I Know³ Third Edition, started in March 2008 using WordPress. Read more.


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