Friday, February 04, 2005


We are newly arrived home from the pleasurable experience of taking my son Rene to a concert. The California Guitar trio ( performed a perfect set of progressive instrumental music, accompanied by Tony Levin (of Peter Gabriel and King Crimson) on bass, and Pat Mastelotto (of King Crimson) on drums. Their masterful chops, obvious enjoyment of their craft, and clear sense of humor all combined to create a feeling of watching a group of magnificantly talented musicians truly enjoy the art of making music for us. It was an intimate show, with a palpable mutual positive regard between performers and audience. To paraphrase Robert Fripp, recorded music is a love letter, but a live performance can truly be a hot date when the energy is right! The energy certainly was right last night, and we bathed in the music as heavy snow floated down on the fair city.

Warming up for the band was a slight, energetic young woman who played the theramin, an electronic instrument invented in the 1920's, I believe. It's the only instrument played without actually touching it, the hands actually waving gently in the air to alter the electrical current flowing between the antennae. The "wavy" sound on The Beach Boys' famous "Good Vibrations" was made by a theramin, as were many spooky sound effects on early television shows like Lost in Space. As I remarked to Rene during her set, it was as if she was playing an energy field, which in fact she was. (My extreme talent for stating the obvious shining through, as usual.)

The CGT plays in a vast array of styles without being obviously derivative, their chops giving them an ability to satirically perform exact note-for-note covers of songs like Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", the quality of playing highlighting the fact that, for a person not familiar with the original song, it would justifiably come across as a technically perfect and entertaining musical composition. While their original music conveys little in the way of detectable angst, it has a subtlety and controlled power that keeps it from ever seeming trite, although it's often lighthearted, but never without heart. I highly recommend checking them out live or on their recordings. They're truly talented and kind individuals who love what they do and seem to go out of their way to express their appreciation to their audiences.

Seeing Rene was a true pleasure, and Mary had the opportunity to spend time with her cousin while Rene and I had our father and son date. The city treated us well, and we arrive home at the end of a Friday taken off from work in pursuit of pleasure. We now enter the weekend with our individual loads of homework to tackle, Mary for her current entrepreneurial training, and me for my community college teaching post, a fifty question exam waiting to be created for my anxious students.

I have more to share in this venue, but will keep it close to my chest until the next inspiration for writing sparks my mind.

May this day bring you peace.
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