June 8, 2006
Here’s a movement from my string quintet, “Current Events” titled “Rip,” to accompany these sea-based friends.
Just came back from Santa Barbara again. It was the third time I’ve had the joy of being on the boat this week, due to the happy combination of a let-up in my writing deadlines, and a special visit to the city from my dear teacher and friend, Ursula Mamlok, who was composer-in-residence this past week at UC Santa Barbara. At 83, she remains a great inspiration to me.
Her music has nothing to do with pelicans, as far as I know. But a few nights ago Charles and I were entertained as we sat in the cockpit sipping a little wine, surrounded by the unusual sound of incoming artillery in the form of birds dive-bombing the waters around our transom at full speed. Pelicans and seagulls were apparently celebrating their version of Thanksgiving, as lots of unwitting fish had unexpectedly come in with the tide to the placid harbor. It was quite a show; every few seconds another splash and ensuing shake came from a different direction; 11pm is not the normal hour of operation for this natural fish market.
The next day we kayaked by the ever-present dredger stationed diagonally across from our slip, and enjoyed some face-to-beak time with these guys, sunning themselves and digesting against the oh-so-picturesque backdrop of Stearn’s Wharf and Santa Barbara’s mountains. Comical and gorgeous all at once, they make me grin every time I paddle by, and remind me just how great it is to just hang out with friends.