Bringing Senses To Life

By Andrew Gilhooley / 411

As the sun sets behind the trees in the garden of Big Sur’s Henry Miller Library this Saturday night, a unique spectacle will begin to unfold.  Combining music, spoken word and film, the Summer Solstice Cinemusical promises to be quite unlike any concert you have ever seen.

Library director Magnus Toren is excited at the prospect of the show. “It’s going to be an incredible evening,” he says, “This will be one to remember, I’m sure.”  With food and drinks provided by Big Sur Coast Foods and a roaring campfire, all concert-goers will need to do is bring a blanket or lawn chair, sit back and enjoy the show.

Music for the evening will be provided by San Francisco based band Mobius Operandi. This five-piece band is unique in that its members perform their music not on traditional instruments such as guitars and keyboards but on the one-of-a-kind sculptural instruments created by band leader Oliver DiCicco. Large, exotic structures of polished wood, steel and aluminum, the instruments are as beautiful to look at as they are to listen to.  The members of the band, DiCicco, Avi Rose, Pamela Winfrey, Christie Winn and Jason Reinier, all play the various instruments including the Trylon, a triangular zither/harp, and Abdul, a six-foot tall cylindrical stringed instrument.  Vocal harmonies are provided by Winfrey and Winn.  The band will be performing songs from their two CDs, “What Were We Thinking” and “The End Of The Dial,” as well as premiering some new material.

Mobius Operandi will also be providing the background music for two other performances.  Firstly, Roxi Hamilton, who teaches Poetry and Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will be presenting a reading from “Kochlage,” a tribute to poet, playwright and author Kenneth Koch.  Koch, who died last year, was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and won countless awards for his work.  Hamilton recently took part in a live transcontinental reading of Koch’s work that was streamed live over the internet from poets on college campuses across America.

The final event of the evening, when the sun has gone down, will be a film presentation by Liz Keim of San Francisco’s Exploratorium.  She will be showing a selection of short experimental films made between 1963 and 2002.  These include Chuck Hudia’s “Ikarus,” a slow-motion dive filmed at 3,000 frames per second, Larry Cuba’s animated “Two Space” and Stan Brakhage’s “Moth Light,” made without a camera by pasting moth wings and flowers on to a clear strip of film.  Again, Mobius Operandi will play the background music for several of the films.

The Summer Solstice Cinemusical is going to be a true multimedia event to astound and delight the senses.  If you have never taken the hour or so drive down to Big Sur, then this Saturday evening’s show might be all the motivation you need to spend the day in one of the most beautiful places in California.

First published in “411”, The Salinas Californian, June 19, 2003

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