Happy New Year 2001!

Happy new year and welcome to the 21st century and a new millennium! I’ve been on a news-posting sabbatical since the middle of November and now I’m back. After a year and a half of posting almost daily news updates, I needed to take some time off to avoid total burn-out. I’m pleased to report getting a few emails over the last month from people who actually read these news postings either here or on Advogato, wondering what had happened to me. Just a little time off – and don’t worry, you didn’t miss out on much.

Let’s see, the only interesting thing I remember from November is getting to hear a live performance of Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet in Austin. December was a bit busier. Work sucked up a lot of my time as things at NCC continue to pick up dramatically. I did manage to take some time off for Christmas shopping and various traditional Christmas-time activities.

Texas weather was as unpredicatable as ever. I mowed the lawn for the last time of the year in mid-Decemeber and a week later it was below freezing. We’ve been alternating between high temperatures near 70F and sub-freezing for a couple of weeks. (We actually got a tiny amount of snow yesterday.)

Susan and I ended up with quite a pile of new CDs this Christmas. Some were gifts and some we got with gift certificates. So we’ve survived the miserable cold weather by staying indoors and listending to the Philip Glass 5th Symphony, The Complete Works of Edgar VarΓ©se, several Dvorak symphonies, as well as some Honegger, Holst, Liebermann, and Shostakovich among others. One interesting work that we haven’t listened to yet is “Uses of Music in Uttermost Parts”, a collaboration between Ursula K. Le Guin and Elinor Armer. This appears to be out of print – I ran across it in a used book store. I’ll report back after we have a chance to listen to it.

There’s a lot more to write about but I’ll try to spread it out over a few days.

DSO

Okay, things got better as the day progressed. After working most of the day, Susan and I went to the Dallas Symphony. The program tonight consisted of Haydn’s Symphony No. 102 in B-flat Major, the Concerto for Flute and Orchestra by the Dallas Symphony’s composer-in-residence, Lowell Liebermann, and one of my favorites, DvoΕ™Γ‘k’s Symphony No. 9 in E Minor. If you’ve ever seen Andrew Litton conduct, you’ll know that he is a particularly animated conductor. At the end of the third movement of Symphony No. 9, he finished with a violent movement of his arm that accidentally sent his baton flying into the audience. It was caught by a man in the second row who walked to the front and returned it to Mr. Litton just in time for the fourth movement. Definitely not something you see every day. Upon returning home, I checked my SETI@home stats to discover that I’ve moved from 7th to 6th place on Team Slashdot and have now exceeded one year of CPU time.