Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Zoo and Mozart and the Cosmos

Audie and Kevin's folks and friends might like this tour of their Sydney home that is listed in the video gallery.

I trundled down to Circular Quay and took the ferry to Taronga Zoo (which I misspelled as Toronga when labeling my photos). As with all zoos, it is changing its attitude toward caging the animals, so is in a state of construction confusion as old cages are revamped or abandoned in favor of open, more natural housing arrangements for the tenants. But oh my, the views from this place! I spent over 4 hours, sharing time with the animals and myself. View wombats, admire the view across the harbour, find a bench, and read a chapter of my book. Repeat process with a different critter and view. A lovely investment of my time. The wind was warm and invigorating.

I returned to the Quay and walked up to meet Audra and Kevin at an establishment that simply called itself "The Bar" on a discreet brass plack. Upholstered chairs and couches around wooden tables, with swishy Asian waiters who kept me supplied with Vodka and soda and lime is the perfect tonic to the warmth of the zoo afternoon.

We walked up the street to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and met up with Audra's friend Cheryl, who will prove to be a charming companion for the evening, and went in to "Music & the Cosmos" which was a very entertaining evening. Robyn Williams who Jon will recognize from NPR was the host. We started with Mozart's Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K551, "Jupiter" with the orchestra conducted by Imre Pallo, and then had three wonderful talks by Tim Bedding, Peter Tuthill, and Geraint Lewis, following the theme of the underlying music of the Cosmos. The coolest part was the sound produced by the universe since the Big Bang to now. Confused? You had to be there. Cliff Kerr, who is studying Brain Dynamics and composition and conducting, performed an original composition he calls "Quasars, Pulsars, and Black Holes." Audra and I were a little concerned about modern classical music especially one that would deal with the music of the universe, as our untrained ears hear noise, not understanding music theory. But this was lyrical and powerful and modern. We approved.

The lecture started at 6, so we had skipped dinner, which we remedied at a noodle shop. Way yummy! Gyoza, noodles, teriyaki beef, chicken salad and a bottle of Chardonnay ended a lovely evening with lovely company.

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