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The San Juan Island Book Club

bookclub2.jpgA meeting of the San Juan Island Book Club, pictured here, convened immediately upon my return from Seattle, where Alex Ross and Kyle Gann had curated a truly remarkable new music festival for the Seattle Chamber Players Icebreaker series, with SCP’s artistic director Elena
Dubinets at the helm. An inspiring line-up of emerging and emerged composers were on hand this past weekend to discuss their music, Alex and Kyle presented their books, and the concerts each evening were wonderful. You can read about the terrific event here.

It was particularly fun to meet people I had until now known solely in their enpixelated states via this and other blogs. Nothing beats live interaction; there’s an endless supply of talent and joy to be found in these gatherings.

Several bloggers have shown us photos of their cats reading our colleagues’ books, so I thought I would tell folks that felines are not the only avid fans. Here we see my two guys, Smudge and Moses, waiting impatiently on my desk for the foxes to arrive (they’re often late but bring good wine so we forgive them). The birds always hang out chattering in the cedar birdhouse until the last minute and then fly in the door, while the deer have a smoke outside my studio prior to the opening discussion. A wild time was had by all as the fur flew during a
very lengthy and entertaining conversation. Next month’s book club reading includes Christopher Dingle’s new book, “Olivier Messiaen: Music, Art and Literature,” selected by acclamation by the woodpeckers and chickadees, plus a listening session for Pink Floyd’s  classic, Animals.


Comment from Sparky P.
Time: January 30, 2008, 4:00 am

Big congrats to seeing Alex Ross on the Colbert Report (until the writers come back, the T’s will be pronounced) last night.

Comment from Steve Layton
Time: January 30, 2008, 11:37 am

Nice to see you tromping my old neck of the woods, Alex (once upon a time I used to live about three blocks up the hill from where On The Boards is now). For those who don’t blog-surf much, Kyle Gann’s made a number of recent posts on the grand Seattle shebang over at his PostClassic blog:

With texts of the presentations he made, and lots of chummy photos of the composers & etc.

Comment from Steve Layton
Time: January 30, 2008, 1:57 pm

And On The Boards themselves have their own blog where the audience can review & ruminate on the performances they attend there:

(There’s the future. Imagine if every performance org or group were so brave…)

Comment from Elodie Lauten
Time: January 30, 2008, 4:04 pm

It was nice to meet Alex. Just coming back from Seattle, where I was immersed in the almost ritualistic gathering of two generations of composers at On the Boards in Seattle with the feel of a fest,for two days of fresh music performed by the Seattle Chamber Players; almost everything played was a premiere. Surprisingly, the younger composers did not make the most ‘modern’ music and the older composers did not make ‘old’ music. In fact, there were similarities in the music presented across the two programs. The exciting element for me was that the Seattle Chamber Players were open to improvisation and willing to work with pre-recorded music.The ensemble consists of violin, cello, clarinet and flute – a fairly unusual combination of instruments – and you really can’t tell what it is going to sound like until you have heard them play as they are quite exceptional.

Comment from Steve Layton
Time: January 30, 2008, 4:28 pm

The Seattle Weekly‘s newest issue just went online, and Gavin Borchert has a write-up of all three days: