Dozens upon dozens of people have materialized as the Noise Tour has proceeded triumphantly up and down the West Coast. The day after my book appeared in stores, I participated in a music discussion at City Arts & Lectures in San Francisco. Also present were the critic John Rockwell and the singer Linda Ronstadt; Steve Winn moderated. Above you can see John and Linda in the middle of an animated exchange; I'm evidently taking a little nap. The conversation ranged from "Louie Louie" to Pfitzner's Palestrina by way of Messiaen and The Who, but somehow it all made sense, at least to me. The Standing Room supplies an appropriately wry minute-by-minute account.
I then spoke at Wheeler Auditorium on the Berkeley campus, in the company of Cynthia Gorney. Richard Taruskin, the most formidable writer on music there is, was in the audience; fortunately, he didn't ask a question. (Taruskin has written an immense meditation on the state of classical music for The New Republic.) At the house of Berkeley friends I read aloud a little of the book. Just as I was getting ready to recount the diabolical performance of Salome in Graz in 1906, the power went out. The ubiquitous cameras of The Standing Room recorded the result:
Sunday night I read at Book Passage, an excellent independent bookstore in Corte Madera, Marin. (There's another store in SF.) Then I moved on to Portland, where I had the honor of appearing at Powell's, probably the biggest and possibly the best bookstore in America; and to Seattle, where I was convivially hosted by Dave Beck and University Book Store. I am extremely grateful to all those who turned out to listen. A couple of random shots from the northwest cities:
I am currently in Los Angeles, city of Schoenberg. Next week I'll be back in New York, appearing in the Blue Notebooks series at Columbia and also emceeing the Evening of Spooky Modern Music. Soon after that I will return to total obscurity.