I took my mother to her annual checkup at Kaiser. I always take the opportunity to photograph her. It took a half-dozen shots before I got her to smile even this much. It is not that she is sad. She’s not. She’s actually in pretty good spirits. But her relaxed face is not s smile.
Just two generations apart, my mother and my son are also 84 years apart. That’s what happens when the generations have children in their 40s. Of course, my father would have been 113 this year, so that would put him and Theo a mere 104 years apart.
Dean Santomieri and Thea Farhadian perform at the Berkeley Arts Festival space on University Ave, May 26th. This début performance for the duo included a set duets, followed by solo pieces in which Mr. Santomieri read a spoken word piece, while Ms. Farhadian played a suite of short pieces for violin and computer. They concluded with another set of duets. While rehearsed, the duets are largely improvised pieces ranging far and wide over jagged harmonic terrain, sometimes incorporating prepared instrument techniques. While perhaps not completely lacking a tonal center, the effect of the many of the pieces was that of unbounded tonal exploration. Challenging, yes. But thoroughly enjoyable.
It is pure coincidence that after a lengthy hiatus, this next post is again related to the Berkeley Arts Festival. Dean Santomieri reprised his spoken word presentation from the previous performance and he was followed by jazz quartet The Glasses. Mr. Santomieri’s set was one piece shorter and all around tighter than last time. The Glasses came together to perform songs penned by bassist Safa Shokrai. The rest of the quartet was: Chris Grady, trumpet; Larry Leight, trombone; Dave Mihaly, drums. I hear that the quartet usually includes a violin rather than trombone, but the arrangements and the chemistry for this performance were outstanding. Hopefully, we’ll get to hear more of them in whatever configuration they can muster. The light was low, but I managed to get a few decent shots.