Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 19 - Blossoming Art

Ah spring, when men and women's fantasies turn, as usual, to matters creative, the flowers the flowers blooming unexpectedly, where they will (in this literal case, the corner of Nut Tree Parkway / Orange Drive and Nut Tree Boulevard, against the distant Vaca Mountains / Coast Ranges).

And some of us go on pilgrimage (after beginning the orchestration of Saul! Saul!: VI. Eldest Born of Hell), even if it's only to Diablo Valley College to bestow upon grateful Music Theoreticians Quiz 5 (an explosion of root position triads, with examples of Renaissance and early Baroque Music from Josquin des Pres's El Grillo to Claudio Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610), followed by lab work, as we say, recording S!S!: V. O Lord, how Merciless numb, and a quick wander on the Lafayette-Moraga Trail adjacent to Olympic Boulevard ("O-liva! O-sirus! What has happened to your nose?").

The sunny walk, through an old orchard toward the Las Trampas Ridge terminus

is a short one, from east O.B. trailhead to west, past oaks, sycamores,

and houses perched precariously over L.T. Creek near a lone redwood,

to backward views of both Mt. Diablo peaks.

Back in the car, on Route 24, thrusting through Orinda Canyon,

adjacent to Shakespeare Hill (nicely positioned for the "sidezoomers," acknowledged and appelated by the NYT a while back).

and soon we are over the Bay Bridge, looking north to San Rafael / Richmond span and

south to the San Francisco Peninsula.

The first rehearsal of our San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra's Free-for-All (But for You, $15) concert (8pm Saturday, February 28, Old First Church, San Francisco, CA info at and soon at is tonight at Lick-Wilmerding School (courtesy of Marty Stoddard),

itself a work of art and a refection of its surroundings:

the artistry of an SF interface of natural and urbane, including Daly City / San Bruno Mountain to the south,

the distant Oakland Hills and Mt. Diablo to the east beyond 280 and the hubbub hub of Muni,

and the Davidson Cross / Sutro Tower area to the north, beyond chaos of City College.

The evening's rehearsal, in a prehistorically facaded music building, is a full one,

including Davide Verotta's Yanitl (at right, with Erling Wold)

Phil Freihoffner's What Are You Going to Dream Tonight (featuring Clare Twohy, Rachel Condry, the composer, and engaging, evocative electronics),

John Beeman's Adagio and Dance,

Gary Friedman's Romance for Wind Sextet (utilizing several players above, with Marty Stoddard conducting, for the below)

Lisa Scola Prosek's Serenade for Trumpet and Orchestra (with soloist Eduoard Prosek, here with cellist Ariella Hyman),

David Sprung's Serendipities (conducted by the composer)

Erling Wold's Two Orchestral Waltzes for Lynne (ditto)

Mark Alburger's Sex and the Orchestra,

Michael Cooke's String Theory (,

the David Graves / Clare Twohy Fireproof Winds,

and Loren Jones's February's Children.

Amazing creativity and diversity upon which to hallucinate while zooming through the Kubrikesque Yerba Buena Tunnel homeward...