A Good Cause, Friday Night in Berkeley

Jay KorberTwo large improvising ensembles will play at Berkeley Arts Friday night, Jan. 11, in a benefit for musician Jay Korber, who’s been in a terrible accident.

Korber was hit by a street sweeping vehicle and dragged, suffering a shattered hip and other injuries. He’ll recover, but slowly, and any recompense from the city will probably take years.

I have to admit, I didn’t recognize Jay Korber’s name at first — but it turns out I’ve heard and appreciated his music. He’s the sax half of the sax/drums duo Ettrick.

So, a large gathering of friends will send Korber some good vibes Friday night.  Moe! Staiano will conduct a big ensemble of multiple guitars, multiple saxes, and multiple percussion players. I’m guessing it’ll be loud.

Gino Robair will then conduct a large ensemble of a more normal shape: Lots of woodwinds, lots of guitars, some electronics, etc.

It’s happening at the Berkeley Arts Festival on Friday, Jan. 11, starting 7:00 p.m.  The address is 2133 University Ave. near Shattuck.

Laptop Music Invades Santa Clara

ruviaro-newearLiving in San Jose, an hour’s drive from the music hubs of San Francisco and Oakland, I’ve often thought about looking into the music programs of San Jose State University and Santa Clara University, not as a student, but as a music fan. They’ve got to have some academic types who perform some interesting music, right? Even Stanford, home to CCRMA, doesn’t get only my radar often enough.

I’ve “thought about” it but never done much about it. Well, now’s my chance.

Bruno Ruviaro — who’s done work at CCRMA, it turns out — is now an assistant professor at Santa Clara and has organized a concert of laptop music (and more) this Friday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Titled “Happy New Ear,” it’s described as “an opera singer, three flutes of different sizes, seven laptops, several loudspeakers, and assorted sound objects.” Who could resist, right?

Ruviaro’s web site includes recordings of many of his works: www.brunoruviaro.com/music. It’s mostly electroacoustic stuff but includes some not-so-electroacoustic works, such as a piano sonata and a solo saxophone piece.

I streamed a trio for viola, cello, and percussion, and tried to follow along with the score provided on Ruviaro’s site. It was entertaining. (I can read music note by note, but when it comes to that modern classical stuff … to quote Keanu Reeves: “Whoa.”)