Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cali & back

Jacob & I enjoyed a magical 11 days in California ((but aren't all 11 days magical?)), returning yesterday morn on a red-eye flight. We connected with old & new friends to very quickly & thoroughly assemble a Moondog Madrigal Puppet Show, which we performed last Friday at th Community Music Center in th Mission district of San Francisco.

Louis "Moondog" Hardin wrote over 100 quirky rounds that he called madrigals, & 22 of these became music in this three-act puppet opera written by our friends Marji & Dan, who played a young student artist named Kneena (who speaks in haiku), & a mysterious Vandal, respectively. Jacob played a pitiful Professor, & our friends Robin & Peter an Angel & an Earthworm. Th rest of us (Nathan, Lembit, Paul, & yr hairy narrator) took turns playing th Student Body, a puppet representing a conglomerate of clueless college students (who speak (sort of) in pantoums) & parody an ancient Greek chorus. All of us played instruments & sang tasty Moondog rounds.

We got a good-sized audience full of friendly people, who seemed to like it quite a bit. We hope to take a next step & do more performances somewhere.

I enjoyed hilly California, altho I don't know how much of sense of it I got. I didn't do a whole lot outside of rehearsals for this show (which we had plenty of), but I did get around a bit: to Chinatown for a tea tasting; to an artist space in th Mission to chat w/ a new friend Tyson & play w/ some piano innards; to some acoustically marvelous tunnels on a mountain across th Golden Gate Bridge (which overlooked a very Herzogian fog); to a street corner at 1 am to play madrigals for five or so people; to a private birthday party at a club, also to play madrigals; to th Maker's Faire, where we pulled up some grass & serenaded some passersby; to Berkley, where our friends Andrea & Qilo live, for an Indian dinner & a potluck which hosted a conversation about Cybernetics & Somatics; to th basement of an office building getting renovated, where we spent in sleeping bags for a few nights; to City Lights, a leftist bookstore; to a forest-suburb of Santa Cruz, where eight of us lived & rehearsed for a few days, house-sitting, cooking great food, palling around; to lots of nice little coffee shops; to th airport, naturally, which pointed us home.

So we got in yesterday, & I promptly napped. I find Urbana simply marvelous to come home to. I love traveling, & I love making this place my home. (You simply must visit!) Yesterday ended, much to my surprise w/ a very late night, shared w/ someone special. I woke up late today, walked to th libary w/ my friend Ronna, started reading a new book which I so far enjoy, & picked some garlic scapes.

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