Church was a very good venue, an interesting homey place, but the
actual hall was a bit lively, so audience sounds, such as chair
creaking was a little distracting. OTOH, a lot of the lighting came
from candles, and the smell of them and the open fire in the back of
the hall added to the experience. In fact, my first impression as I
walked from the bus to the hall was from the smell of the candles and
fire, which was very welcoming. Sarah Cahill performed well, to my
ear, at least, and the music was well chosen. Several of the
composers were in attendance, too, which made for one unusual
One piece was performed by Disklavier (a state of the art player
piano, using a CDROM to drive the keys of a grand piano), which got
applause. I thought that was a little strange until the composer
rose, when I added to the applause. He was handed the disk by Charles
Amirkhanian, who organized the event and had started the piece.
It was strange to see the piano playing itself, even though I'd seen
one of these in action before (and, in fact, helped buy the one at
KPFA). It was a bit like a ghost pianist. I could see the keyboard,
and it was pretty clear that the piece would have been impossible for
a single human to play, though.
Another piece was for a speaking pianist, with the following text from
Ralph Waldo Emersons essay The Poet:
It is a secret which every intellectual man quickly learns, that,
beyond the energy of his possessed and conscious intellect, he is
capable of a new energy (as of an intellect doubled on itself), by
abandonment to the nature of things; that, beside his privacy of power
as an individual man, there is a great public power, on which he can
draw, by unlocking, at all risks, his human doors, and suffering the
ethereal tides to roll and circulate through him: then he is caught up
into the life of the Universe, his speech is thunder, his thought is
law, and his words are universally intelligible as the plants and
animals. The poet knows that he speaks adequately, then, only when he
speaks somewhat wildly, or, "with the flower of the mind;" not with
the intellect, used as an organ, but with the intellect released from
all service, and suffered to take its direction from its celestial
life; or, as the ancients were wont to express themselves, not with
intellect alone, but with the intellect inebriated by nectar. As the
traveller who has lost his way, throws his reins on his horse's neck,
and trusts to the instinct of the animal to find his road, so must we
do with the divine animal who carries us through this world.
I liked this very much, especially the last line. I tend to try to
control my life too much, and need to let go of some of that. CoDA is
helping with that.
I also enjoyed the "Peace Through Song" concert by the Oakland Opera
Theater at the Metro in downtown Oakland Sunday afternoon. I had
waffles and chicken before, but I'd cut the time a bit short so didn't
have time to really enjoy the meal, and then was a little logy.
I think all of it was anti-war songs from post-WWI. It was good, but
I was too tired after to go on to the Freight for Si
Kahn, so I went home, made some soup, using some suggestions from a friend,
watched Battlestar Galactica, and listened to the radio. KALW has new
music and "space" music on Sunday evenings, which worked well for me,
with a book in hand, Christmas lights in the window, and a few
I dragged the down comforter out (I may get a cover and use it as a
duvet later), and found a feather bed that I'd forgotten about. IIRC,
I'd decided that it was much too warm to use. I may try it again for
the comfort, though.
So that was my weekend.