Music: piano in motion pictures
Music has a profound effect on how an audience perceives a film. A scene tracked with a lilting melody will feel far different than if it were backed by ominous ambient noise, or a somber, echoing piano.
Pianist Nicki Kerns, a faculty member at the Mountain View-based Community School of Music and Arts, knows this well. A professional musician and longtime fan of the movies, Kerns will honor the role music plays in film with her solo performance concert, Celebrating Piano in the Movies, May 1 at the CSMA.
"I wanted to do something that was different," Kerns said, recalling how she came up with the idea for her concert. She started to consider the movies, noticing that her personal album collection was filled with film soundtracks and scores.
"Music is a means of expression, just as speech is a means of expression," Kerns said, highlighting her point by referring to the 1993 film, "The Piano," in which the main character, who is mute, uses the piano to speak. "That idea intrigued me a great deal," Kerns continued, explaining that she wanted to explore how music is used in movies "to really bring home what a character is thinking, what they're feeling and what they're trying to express."
Between the songs she performs, Kerns said she will explain how the melody, chord changes and rhythm of a given piece create different moods and feelings. She hopes the audience leaves the performance with a better understanding of how music and films work together.
Kerns will perform pieces from "The Sting," "The Firm," "The Piano" and "The Legend of 1900" on May 1 at the Community School of Music and Arts' Tateuchi Hall, located at 230 San Antonio Circle, in Mountain View. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free. For more information go to arts4all.org or call 650-917-6800.
Art: Group show welcomes summer
A collective of Peninsula and South Bay artists, is celebrating the coming of summer with a seasonal group showing of art. The Viewpoints Gallery in Los Altos kicks off its "Hello Summer" group exhibit with a wine and snacks reception on May 2.
According to Nancy Calhoun, watercolor painter and publicist for the gallery, all of the pieces in the show are loosely organized around "things that make you think of summer."
The Viewpoints Gallery collective is composed of professional artists from Redwood City, down through Palo Alto and Mountain View and even on to Sunnyvale. Teresa Ruzzo, a pastelist with the gallery, said the group has been around since 1972, and prides itself on the diverse variety of artists in its community. The "Hello Summer" exhibit will feature oil, watercolor, pastel and acrylic paintings, mixed-media compositions, as well as pottery and jewelry.
Calhoun said she hopes people will enjoy the variety and bright summery theme of the work in the exhibit. "For a lot of people, it's been a long winter, and now there's this gorgeous spring and all of a sudden, summer is right around the corner."
The exhibit runs from April 29 through May 31 at the Viewpoints Gallery, located at 315 State St., Los Altos. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The wine and snacks reception will be held May 2 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit viewpointsgallery.com or call 650-941-5789.
Books: Eggers at Kepler's
"We're looking forward to it," said Pam Grange, events manager for Peninsula Arts and Letters, a non-profit organization, which frequently partners with Kepler's by holding lectures, panel discussions, book signings and other such events at the esteemed local book store. "We're just very excited that he's going to be here. We love his books ... as well as all he's given back to the community."
It seems the community is also looking forward to Eggers' appearance. Since announcing the signing on April 17, more than 100 have RSVP'd for the event, Grange said.
It is unusual for Kepler's to take reservations for a book signing, according to Grange. But considering Eggers stature in the literary world, she said Kepler's wanted to get a sense of how many people would show up.
An RSVP is not necessary to show up to the free event, which begins at 3 p.m., Grange added. However, she recommended that people show up promptly if they want to get a copy of their book signed by the author. Copies of "The Circle" will be available for purchase at the store.
The signing comes on the heels of the surprise announcement of Egger's forthcoming book, "Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?" -- which his publisher, Knopf, revealed is scheduled for a June 17 release in an announcement earlier this month.
The book signing is scheduled to run from 3-4 p.m., April 25, at Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Admission is free. For more information or to RSVP, visit the Kepler's website at keplers.com and scroll down to the listing for the event.