The Collision of the World Cup, the Ojai Music Festival, AE, and the LA LAKERS

18 Jun

flags of WORLD CUP SOCCER teams 2010

by Veronika Krausas

I’m not usually a sports watcher but something interesting happens every four years when it’s the world cup.  For the last 10 years I can remember where I’ve been for the the final games, what city , and who won …  an interesting feat for someone who only watches soccer every four years!

Ensemble Moderne


There’s an energy of community and celebration that happens. It’s like being at a music festival.  In fact, I was just at the Ojai Music Festival and the air of camaraderie is contagious. Ensemble Moderne performed and hearing them play, whatever, was so inspiring.  Their precision and level of musicianship was outstanding.  One of my favorite concerts was the young pianist Eric Huebner performing Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus. It was sublime.  At the final concert, the final piece was again Messiaen, L’Oiseaux Exotique, and the birds chirped, as if on cue.

Even though I attended all the concerts and really enjoyed everything from George Benjamin to Frank Zappa to Purcell to Messiaen, I have to  admit that I snuck out during one concert to watch the  second half of the Australia/Germany  soccer game.  There was another Canadian and a bunch of German composers in the pub.  Yes, an English pub and everyone was drinking stout beer … except me, because I’m one of those weirdos who unfortunately doesn’t like beer, so, I drank the next-best-most-English-thing, tea with a little milk.  Australia lost badly 4-0.  Everyone was quite happy if not a little lethargic, probably because it was Sunday and we had all been at the same after party the night before with lots of free wine. I was a little sad, because I was born in Australia and although I’m quite Canadian (being raised in Canada) my patriotism towards all things Aussie (like vegemite) is still in my bones and I was sad for the Australians.  They had lost one of their players for a red card (this happened before I got to the pub).  But in the spirit of sportsmanship, I celebrated with my fellows soccer game watchers.

Music and sport had another interesting meeting back in LA.  This afternoon while I was working in my music studio I heard a huge uproar coming from my neighbors.  I quickly checked online  for the status of the world cup and Mexico had scored a goal against France.  In fact, what seemed like 30 seconds later a second cheer went up and it was the 2nd goal.  The  final score was 2-0.  It’s wonderful when joy is contagious.  I got excited and happy that their shouts had spilled over to my house.  I think when you have nothing really vested in the actual game you can celebrate with whoever wins.

Æ (Aurelia Shrenker and Eva Salina Primack)

This evening I went to a fabulous concert at the The Velaslavasay Panorama Theatre with Æ (Aurelia Shrenker and Eva Salina Primack) performing with video by the LA-based Georgian filmmaker and artist NANUKA (aka Nana Tchitchuoa, who also runs the Tula Tea Room at the Museum of Jurassic Technology).

Nana & Wade

The concert was sublime and then about 2/3rds through the concert there was a blasting horn outside and I glanced at my friend Matt.  His eyebrows when up and he smiled – the LA Lakers had won the 7th game against the Celtics. As the concert wrapped up there was more and more noise outside – everyone was driving by and beeping and screaming. After the final applause he checked his iPhone.  The final score was 83 to 79.We celebrate concerts and the performances we hear and the artists share with us, and I guess it’s the same for sports – we need to express ourselves and the happiness is the sharing and both are the same – they’re each a spectator sport.  The only thing with sports is there’s a looser versus a music concert, there are no loosers. (Unless of course it’s a horrible concert and you’ve paid a lot of money, that’s an irksome situation.)

I’ve quite enjoyed the collision of art and music and soccer and basketball in the last few days.  Here’s to the round things in life:  soccer balls, basketballs, and music notes!

the happy concert goers (Robin, V & Matt)

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