The Soria Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Orlando Cela, will perform alumnus Josï¿½ Elizondo's Estampas Mexicanas ("Mexican Postcards") in a concert at Brookline's St. Paul Episcopal Church on Wednesday Dec. 6 at 8pm. Mr. Elizondo (SB 1995, electrical engineering and music) wrote the work at MIT for a composition class with Professor Peter Child. The piece, inspired by the rhythms and melodies of traditional Mexican folk music, was premiered by the MIT Symphony in December 1995. For more information and tickets, call 328-4227 or see the Soria Chamber Players web site.
Cymbal and Spice, a composition written by music and theater arts lecturer Elena Ruehr for live performance on a Kurzweil 2500 keyboard, will provide accompaniment for the Nicola Hawkins Dance Company on Friday-Sunday, Dec. 8-10 at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center at 51 Second St. Nicola Hawkins and her troupe of female dancers will perform with Boston area composers and musicians throughout the weekend, including MIT's Balinese music and dance troupe Gamelan Galak Tika (GGT) on Friday, Dec. 8 at 8pm. GGT will present the Boston premiere of Professor Evan Ziporyn's Aneh Tapi Nyata, a composition for a unique combination of Western and Balinese instruments. Tickets are $15 or $12 for CMAC members, seniors and students. For more information, call 577-1400.
Gamelan Galak Tika's busy and peripatetic performance schedule continues on Sunday, Dec. 10, when the group travels to New York for the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and Bang on a Can's "Bang on a Can Millennium Marathon," an eight-hour festival featuring 103 vocalists and instrumentalists from 12 countries performing a potpourri of music: minimalism, Balinese gamelan, classical, Indian raga, jazz, bottle-neck blues, Eastern European folk, and rock-and-roll. They will again perform Aneh Tapi Nyata along with A Dangerous Thing, a Balinese-American polyrhythmic exploration by gamelan member Dan Schmidt, at approximately 9:40pm at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House (30 Lafayette Ave., New York). Tickets are $25. For more information, call (718) 636-4100.
John Maeda -- the Sony Career Development Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and head of the Media Lab's Aesthetics and Computation group -- has new bicoastal exhibitions on view in New York City and San Francisco. The New York show at the Christinerose Gallery (529 W. 20th St.) through Saturday, Dec. 23 -- John Maeda: Post Digital -- inaugurates a new direction for Dr. Maeda, as he explores an interface between made objects and computer graphics. Coded Blue -- at the California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC) at 1111 East 8th St. in San Francisco through Saturday, Dec. 16 -- challenges common assumptions about designing on the computer and features a new work he's developing as Capp Street Project artist in residence at the CCAC this fall.
Also, his new book Maeda@ Media, just published by Rizzoli, offers the first complete overview of his work and philosophy. Dr. Maeda is recognized worldwide for bridging traditional graphic design with interactive computation, as an artist and a computer scientist who views the computer as an artistic medium in its own right. "Maeda has spent his his career struggling to understand what happens when computers take over," wrote the London Financial Times. "Until digital designers have grasped that, he says, they will be limited by their inability to control the design process... He does not pretend to produce neat solutions to the questions he raises, but lets us see them through the eyes of an exceptionally intelligent observer."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 6, 2000.