The Bull Og

Onine since 1994. Offline since 1976.

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A concert I attended last week stirred something deep within.

My wife performed as part of a final project for her class entitled, "Compositional Algorithms, Psychoacoustics, and Spatial Processing." The video is (unfortunately) not ready but had you been there, you would have been fascinated by the blend of music (acoustic and electronic) performance and computer science. Oh, to have the skills of a keyboardist, a network admin, a drummer, a software engineer, *AND* a DJ.

Last night, I had the pleasure of dining with a friend who's in town from Austria; someone I met years ago there in my very first programming class. He's visiting the area for a conference (one of the best things about living in the bay area - since it's the center of the tech universe and such a fantastic place to visit/live - all of your contacts come to visit sooner or later.) One of the many topics that came up was the role of theory and practice in education, particularly for computer science. His argument was that a CS education should consist of a bit of theory, then a bit of practice, then deeper theory, then deeper practice, etc.; an argument I agree with for the most part.

After we talked, I had to reflect: if my education had been like that, would I have been able to enjoy the interconnections I experienced at my wife's concert? If I only would have known how useful B-trees, relational algebra, and IPC would be, I would have studied more and probably harder! But then, if I would have followed a strict diet of CS schooling and working, I wouldn't have the appreciation I do for aural skills, polyrhythm, form, and counterpoint, the sum of all of which - computer science and music - made it possible to appreciate the art my wife was/is creating.

Speaking of polyrhythm, this morning, I had some Groove Armada playing when there was some polyrhythmic action (6 over 4, nothing crazy) going on when I thought of Peter Magadini, a master of polyrhythm, from whom I bought a video at the 1995 PASIC. I looked him up and guess where he teaches? Haight Ashbury! Reason enough to take up drumming again?