Back in the USA

Friday August 7th I landed on the San Francisco airport and rode a shuttle bus to the house of Linda and Charlie, my old friends and colleagues, on the lovely UC Santa Cruz campus. The same evening we attended the opening of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. What striked me as especially positive about this festival was that the contemporary music, which by its unusualness and range of creative ideas vastly surpasses what my parents would be ready to listen to, seemed perfectly well accepted by the local community. There was no sense of strangeness, on the contrary – the Santa Cruz people adopted the festival as part of their local identity. I even heard that the musicians and composers were lodged in the local homes.

I thought about the analogy between the changes that were happening in music and art a century ago, and what seems possible for us now in the sciences.

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