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Nov 28th
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Santa Cruz Guitar Orchestra

music LYLBguitarI got a fever! And the only prescription is … more guitar! That's how Mesut özgen might complete Christopher Walken’s iconic line from the Saturday Night Live sketch spoofing Blue Oyster Cult's cowbell-heavy "Don't Fear the Reaper." After all, özgen is the conductor of the one-of-a-kind Santa Cruz Guitar Orchestra. While classical guitar is most often performed by a solo player or a quartet, according to özgen, the growing trend of the guitar orchestra—a 20-musician ensemble composed almost entirely of guitars—has taken up roots in Santa Cruz.

Over the last 30 years, the Turkish-born UCSC professor says he has also seen guitar orchestras sprout up in both Japan and Europe, to varying degrees of success. People often don't know what to expect when they come to see a guitar orchestra, he says. But they just as often leave pleasantly surprised by the tones, sounds, rhythms and textures that can be conjured by a large collection of guitarists performing in unison. "It's more varied than a string orchestra, because there are so many different options for guitars," özgen says. "You can create so many sound effects on the guitar that you can't get on other instruments." Simply sliding up and down the strings, for instance, can produce squeaks and screeches like that of a seagull's cry or a whale's song. "The whole body of the instrument, including the strings, is very appropriate for producing percussion." The Santa Cruz Guitar Orchestra will put those skills to the test at its season finale on May 21 at the UCSC Music Center Recital Hall, when they will perform classical, world, jazz, and contemporary compositions from some of the world’s most renowned musicians from the past and present.
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 21. UCSC Music Center Recital Hall, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz. $23/general, $20/seniors, $16/students. For tickets, visit santacruztickets.com, or call 459-2159.

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We are in the time and under the influence of Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer, good food, good music, and the joy (Jupiter as ruler) that occurs from giving to others while simultaneously giving thanks from our hearts. Having the Thanksgiving holiday during the month of Sag is not a mistake. No other sign understands joy (an aspect of the Soul) as Sag (except Pisces when not in despair). “Sag is a beam of directed and focused light. The beam reveals a greater light ahead, illuminating the Way to the center of the Light,” emitting the Ray of Joyfulness. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude; in the form of prayers, thoughts, feelings, wishes, hopes and greetings. Gratitude is something we still need to learn. Gratitude creates goodwill. Together, gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution” for humanity and our world’s problems. Gratitude and goodwill are the prerequisites for the reappearance of the Christ, the Aquarian World Teacher. In Ancient Wisdom texts it is written, “being grateful is the hallmark of one who is enlightened.” Gratitude comes from the Soul—the characteristics of which are love and wisdom (Ray 2). Gratitude is scientifically and occultly (mental, not emotional) a releasing agent. Gratitude liberates us and everything around us. Also a service to others, gratitude is deeply scientific in nature, releasing us from the past and laying open our future path leading to the new culture and civilization, the new laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarian, the Age of Friendship and Equality. The Hierarchy lays much emphasis upon gratitude. Let us be grateful this year and this season together. And so now the days of light illuminating the darkness begin (December’s festivals and feast days). Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am grateful for all of you, my readers.

 

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