Monday, August 4, 2008

More music please!

This weekend I took a little vacation down to Santa Cruz for the Cabrillo festival of contemporary music, just like I did last year. I had wanted to stay for the whole weekend and go to 3 concerts, but my lack of planning led me to only get to see one.

Oh well, it was a fun concert and it was nice to get away from home for a bit. You can read my review over on

One of the really neat things about these concerts is that I can get so up-close with the composers and performers. When I was younger, composers were like some mythical beings that existed in another realm. The idea that I could see them standing 5 feet from me, and in a few cases actualy meet them, wouldn't have seemed likely. But the world really does seem smaller now. I've been in spitting distance of some of my favorites, like Philip Glass, Terry Riley, and Steven Stapelton, several times. I've met and talked to the members of my favorite rock group multiple times. I've e-mailed with composer Douwe Eisenga, and we are online "friends". Even just subscribing to the blogs of Nico Muhly and David Byrne is exciting. It makes me feel connected to them in some small way.

If I had stayed for Monday, as I'd planned, I would have met-up for lunch with a friend and former co-worker who now works at UCSC and she was going to show me her lab. She works with people on the UCSC Genome Browser, which I reference quite a bit in my own work. I had also previously visited her lab in France. But I didn't stay until Monday, so I sadly didn't see her. Even worse, someone exploded a bomb in her bosses car on Saturday, so it would have been an awkward visit! It was probably an animal rights activist, which is odd because her boss, whose name has not been published, doesn't do animal research.

Unfortunately, I've had my own run-ins with animal activists when I worked at UCSF. I also never experimented on animals, but I worked around and with people who did. I'll have to make a separate post about that....


Anonymous said...

Was the festival held at Cabrillo College? I'll be teaching there in the Fall semester.

Did I tell you about the time I followed David Byrne around the Honolulu Academy of Arts? He and I (and my mother) were inspecting the Taisho modern exhibit. But I take great pride in not bothering famous people, so there's really nothing more to say about that.

Ed said...

There are lots of things in Santa Cruz called Cabrillo. I don't know why. I suppose I could look it up.

I generally don't bother famous people either. I see John Adams around Berkeley from time to time, and I'd love to meet him, but I never have.

But when Steven Stapleton walked by me at his concert in SF, I couldn't resist touching the hem of his garment to steal some of his magic.