Sunday, April 07, 2013

Why Did The Cellist Use Pillows To Hold Up Her Cello?

When I'm Outside, people often ask me, "So, what's there to do in Anchorage?"  Well, here's some of what I've done the last two days.  And because this is Anchorage, I actually know some of these people.  

Friday night we went to an exquisite baroque cello concert.  Tanya Tomkins (you can hear snippets at the link) was accompanied by University of Alaska Anchorage music professor John Lutterman.  The picture was during a pause when they were answering questions from the audience.

Tanya preempted the question about the pillows.  These are baroque cellos so they don't have endpins like modern cellos.  Normally they are held between the legs as John is doing in the picture, but Tanya had a back problem last year and started using the pillows and she likes it.  And I thought the music was sublime.  So did others in the audience including some who actually know something about music. 

John also raised the question of whether his modern copy of a baroque cello might be more authentic than Tanya's 300 year old cello.  After all, he said, they didn't use 300 year old cellos in Bach's day. 

We heard two Bach suites (1 and 2)  for cello, a Vivaldi sonata, a Geminiani sonata, and a canon by Gabrielli.   The music flowed from the stage and caressed my music receptors. 

Saturday morning I went to a Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) meeting.  This group is so incredibly well organized and informed.  We meet monthly and teleconference into an international (includes Canada) phone call and each month there are more chapters (92 Saturday.)  The mission is minimize the damage caused the planet by carbon based fuels.  The specific focus now is to get a carbon tax passed.  Local chapters all over the country educate their Congress members and Senators on how a carbon tax uses market principles to correct a market failure - the negative externalities caused by oil and gas.

Anchorage Climate Change Chapter Participating In National Teleconference
The speaker was Sam Daley-Harris on his updated book Reclaiming Our Democracy which will come out this summer.  He's added a chapter about CCL.  In addition to helping members get expertise on the various climate change issues, the group also talks about political strategy, and personal issues like how to get outside one's comfort zone to do what needs to be done.  For those who feel there's nothing they can do to overcome the numerous problems facing humans today, I'd strongly recommend listening to the audio of Saturday's conference call  which you can hear here.  (I couldn't get it using Firefox but I could in Safari.)  The intro to Sam starts about 8 minutes in. 

And Saturday night we walked through the new snow to the UAA concert featuring Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Dan Bern, and Alaskan musician, Doug Geeting.  Here are all three together on stage at the end of the concert.  I've been listening a lot to Dan's 2 Foot Tall album, but he didn't play anything from that.  This was a Woody Guthrie tribute concert. 

Geeting (l), Elliot (c), Bern (r)

It was good to have Dan back in Anchorage again after last October's songwriters' workshop.  

There was an opera and two different small venue plays that we had to skip cause you just can't do everything.  I did manage to bake a couple of loaves of bread. 

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