UC San Diego's Department of Music

July 18, 2008

  UC San Diego Department of Music
This Week in Music

Fabio Oliveira and Ross Karre of RED FISH BLUE FISH perform at Carlsbad's Dove Library (1775 Dove Lane, next to Ultrastar La Costa cinemas, off El Camino Real) this Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. The event is part of the library's Family Open Studios program. Fabio and Ross will improvise with found objects and percussion instruments, then invite children to step up and make their own music.

News from Serbia, where a little-known (at least outside Serbia) composer claims to be the first minimalist, and another composer is pictured on the 50-dinar note.

"Good" audiences for classical and new music are often idealized like Victorian children: they should seen and not heard. But when music is provocative, audiences should react, according to one critic.

It'll be a Davis Family tour de force September 19 at Disney Hall's Redcat in Los Angeles. UCSD composer/pianist Anthony Davis will perform with wife Cynthia Aaronson-Davis (soprano) and son Jonah Davis, 11 (voice). Aaronson-Davis sang with the New York City opera and has appeared in Anthony's operas including "Tania". Jonah starred in dad's "Amistad" earlier this summer; one reviewer called Jonah's performance "flawless and moving". Anthony recently returned from Martha's Vineyard where he hung with his longtime friend and Yale classmate Henry Louis Gates Jr.---author, literary critic, Harvard professor and director of the W.E.B. Dubois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard. This fall, Anthony delivers three lectures at W.E.B./Harvard that explore his operas. The lectures will be expanded into a book to be published by Penguin. Anthony will be at L.A. Opera in September, workshopping his new Cuban Revolution opera, to be directed by Robert Wilson. The opening scene has Fidel Castro and Che Guevara playing golf (in real life Che beat Fidel on the links in 1962). Next week Anthony will be in Washington D.C. as a member of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, helping to coordinate events for next year's Bicentennial. And here is where it all began for the Davises.

UCSD composer Lei Liang has returned from Ischia, a volcanic island in the Gulf of Naples (Italy) where he completed a new saxophone quartet. Thirty saxophone groups have signed on to premiere the piece simultaneously in thirty locations on December 7. The new work and Ischia retreat were supported by the Fromm Commission. While on the island, Lei witnessed a rare and spectacular phenomenon. A gigantic water lily known as Victoria amazonica bloomed white and female one night, before changing identities to crimson and male the following night. This natural display of gender magic inspired Lei to imagine a section for the new harp concerto he's composing for Manhattan Sinfonietta. Meanwhile, PBS has been airing the series "Shall We Sing" with music by Mr. Liang. And, he will visit Beijing during the Summer Olympics next month (and may attend an Olympic event or two--we wonder what that music will sound like).

Tom Nee, UCSD emeritus music faculty who passed away last week, penned this poem in 2007:

The great clock has a tick unheard in this universe.
Its silent tick measures all in some mighty scheme.
It brings us together and at other times seems to forget we are here.
Somewhere in these many universes a slight quiver responds to some slight pressure
and we continue to exist.

In these universes, does anything wait for the tick of our response to that huge face?
The mute face of that clock is what we think of as the new year approaches.
We feel the slight quiver that tells us our time is limited.

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