I was excited knowing that behind the beautiful lakefront of the Palace of Fine Arts, homeplace of wedding photoshoots and B-roll from the hit 2005 TV show Bones, I would be greeted by something other than mist and rush hour traffic. Awaiting me was the 2019 San Francisco International Tea Festival, a gathering of over 42 vendors from around the world (October 19-20). As I shuttled in, I was immediately greeted with my own child-size complimentary tea cup, embossed with tea leaves and ready to sample all the tea the world had to offer.
“Go to heaven for the climate, hell for the company,” declares Mark Twain, played by Dan Hiatt. TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s opening night of Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman’s Mark Twain’s River of Song was far from hellish; the company was indeed spectacular.
To “pass by catastrophe,” according to urban legend, you must experience a major earthquake or other catastrophic event during your final exam warranting the university registrars to give everyone passing grades. But in the case of the Stanford band, “Pass By Catastrophe,” the phrase means exploring making music together and dropping your first extended play (EP) on Oct. 4, amidst the Stanford grind.
My dear reader, this is a public service announcement. Yes, let it be heard (or read) by everyone. I shall dispel the illusion once and for all that pickles are anything better than the absolute worst.
On Sept. 29, Jordan Casteel’s ‘Returning the Gaze,’ an exhibition that portrayed “often overlooked members of society,” opened at the Cantor Arts Center. Casteel’s portraits featured people of color with the aim of increasing the visibility of these groups. I had the privilege of attending the press preview on the Friday before the exhibition opened.
A row of succulent fresh fish sits atop accompanying mounds of rice, sprinkled with orange tobiko and eel sauce and garnished with a dab of wasabi and thinly-sliced ginger. A nearby mug of hot tea wafts steam over your plate.
The midnight purple walls were a stark contrast to the white marble hall leading up to “The Melancholy Museum: Love, Death, and Mourning at Stanford,” creating an immediate and immersive change in mood. I was struck by the sheer scale of the black Victorian mourning cabinet before me, packed with hundreds of weathered artifacts from the Stanford Family Collections. This exhibition of over 700 objects was curated by Mark Dion to tell the story of the Stanford family and their museum.
That music and revolution go hand in hand shouldn’t surprise us. The rousing spirit of protest songs like “¡El Pueblo Unido” in Chile, or “Go down Moses” of the American Underground Railroad can be among the most powerful vehicles for expressing the pathos and impetus behind an uprising of the people. In today’s installment of Music + X: classical music’s perspectives on revolution.