The Hollywood Bowl, still glowing from Simon Trpčeski's rendition of Prokofiev's 3d piano concerto.
Last night we wrapped up our season at the Hollywood Bowl by watching what I hope is a career-making performance.
Simon Trpčeski is a 33-year old Macedonian pianist who played the extremely difficult Prokofiev 3d piano concerto (with the LA Phil under Jakub Hrůša) like he was playing “Piano Man” at home for a bunch of friends.
(With the Russian National Orchestra in a photo from Trpčeski's website.)
The first thing you notice about Trpčeski is his charisma. He’s smiling, totally at ease. Then, when he starts playing, you notice how effortless it seems to him. Then, you notice how engaged he is with the orchestra, watching the soloists, waiting for his cues, almost – you feel – leading the piece from the piano. (One might also notice, since we’re noticing things, that it’s time for Trpčeski to give up the battle for the hair on the top of his head. Shave it off, Simon. You’re a handsome man with a nicely shaped head.)
Edward Lightner's "Diana Miat Mandrel," (15” x 15” framed acrylic and ink on paper with frame, 2012)
The pockmarks that sprinkle the desert at the Nevada Test Site serve as reminders of violent explosions, the scars of underground nuclear tests carried out by the US Military. But look close enough and you might find some beauty in these craters and the patterns that ripple in the sand.
In his new exploration of nuclear explosion imagery, "The Underworld is My Oyster," artist Edward Lightner presents acrylic, ink and mixed media works that uncover the beauty hidden in the underground test craters left behind in the Nevada desert. In the process of creating these works, Lightner uses satellite imagery, a kaleidoscope computer program and contour readings. Lightner looks at what colors naturally surround the test site to determine his palate -- whether it's bright wildflowers or stark snow. He ends up with polychromatic, sometimes psychedelic works that depict the intricate patterns left behind in the dirt.
Bugsy Siegel opened this place on July 4, 1929. It was called "Club Arrowhead of the Pines." The casino/speakeasy was connected by an underground tunnel to the building across the street which was a soda fountain/butcher on the first floor. The upper floor of that building had been a brothel.
Mike Sheehan: "When I went to Bugsy Siegel's old Lake Arrowhead casino, which is being renovated, I walked over the new stage into the original kitchen from the 1920s. I happened to be there just as a new chef was trying out for the head chef position for the soon-to-be-opened restaurant. While I was sketching him, I noticed the 1905 pot belly stove. A lot of little artifacts are still there."
I spent a couple of Saturdays hanging around Bugsy Siegel's old speakeasy/casino/brothel up in the mountains of Lake Arrowhead.
(The gangster Bugsy Siegel in 1940. LAPL/Herald-Examiner collection)
I've passed by the building for years (it's in my neighborhood), and always wanted to peek inside. If I didn't know better I would have mistaken it for a failed restaurant. But it has quite a history and I'd heard a lot of stories about it.
Recently, I noticed a lot of activity going on. It turns out that someone bought it and is moving the Lake Arrowhead Repertory Theatre Company in.
I expected it to have been turned into an office building long ago. Thankfully, that didn't happen and it still had vibe. Even with all the renovation, for the most part the inside still looks the same as it did in days gone by.
The Queen Mary (Flickr Creative Commons)
The Queen Mary gets even more Art Deco this weekend, with the start of the 9th Annual Art Deco Festival. The ship will host Art Deco-themed events all weekend, from lectures to an outdoor movie accompanied by a martini bar. If you're really into it, there will be plenty of chances to wear your best Art Deco duds too.
August 30 - September 2, at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. Tickets for various events range in price. More info here.
Julian Voss-Andreae’s Light-Harvesting Complex (top view), 2003: Wood, particle board and casting resin, 22” x 25” x 25” (56 x 64 x 64 cm) Photo courtesy the artist.
Researchers at Caltech and NYU recently received a $2 million grant to develop biomemetic self-replicating materials. According to Caltech's Si-Ping Han, if 'self-replicating' sounds sci-fi, it is.
Along with Caltech professor William A. Goddard, III, Han will research how to make structures that can make copies of themselves. The applications are many, but Han says one example where a self-replicating material might come in handy is with building smaller electronic devices. With current construction methods, scientists can make transistors on the nanoscale. But how do you make a transistor that's smaller than seven nanometers? According to Goddard and Han, you synthesize a material that can assemble itself into the desired structure.
And how do you get a material to assemble itself into a more complex structure? You use DNA of course. The hope is that, guided by DNA base pairing, these materials will fold themselves into the desired shapes in the same way an origami artist takes a two dimensional piece of paper and folds it into something three dimensional.