An MBA thesis brought Katie Cooney to Rwanda and Uganda; she was working on a thesis called "Ecotourism Development." But the two 2012 trips also yielded a photography project. A widely traveled Bay Area photographer who says she specializes in "travel, cowboy and documentary" images, Cooney was drawn to documenting some of the economic struggles in the countries.
Her new exhibition, "Rwanda, Land of Reconciliation," opens today, Feb. 8, at the Community School of Music and Arts at 230 San Antonio Circle in Mountain View. Cooney wrote in an artist's statement that she found Rwanda in dire need of more tourism dollars; while many people come to see the silverback mountain gorillas, they don't stay long. Her work includes photos taken in an orphanage for abandoned street boys, and images of rural Rwanda. Some are mounted on wood, with branches woven around them for trim.
The show will run through March 24 in the school's Mohr Gallery. A reception is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 15, and the gallery is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 to 3. For more, go to arts4all.org or call 650-917-6800.
California Bach Society
Talk about relative rivalry: There were more than 75 musicians of note in J.S. Bach's family. This month, the California Bach Society explores the lesser-known branches of the family tree with a concert called "Die Familie Bach."
Eight composers in the Bach family are featured on the program, which is divided into sections on "Fear & Death" and "Joy & Life." Four generations are represented, including two of J.S. Bach's sons, Johann Christoph Friedrich and Carl Philipp Emanuel, and cousin Johann Christoph. Choral director Magen Solomon said she aimed to choose a wide variety of styles and moods.
J.S. makes an appearance as well, with his "Furchte dich nicht," a motet for double chorus.
The 30-voice California Bach Society will perform "Die Familie Bach" at 8 p.m. Feb. 23 at All Saints' Episcopal Church, 555 Waverley St., Palo Alto. Tickets are $30. For more information, go to calbach.org or call 650-485-1097.
CCRMA open house and concert
Modern-day music meets modern-day concert hall on Feb. 15 and 16, with an open house, winter concert and "tailgate party" for unusual DIY musical instruments, courtesy of CCRMA.
Also known as Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, CCRMA is a place for high-tech, uber-contemporary music study, including computer music, psychoacoustics and recording technology. People at CCRMA (pronounced "karma") invent their own musical instruments and create interactive sound art. There's even a laptop orchestra.
The center invites the public to learn about its people and projects during an open house from noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 15 in the lobby of Stanford's new Bing Concert Hall. During that time period on Feb. 16, CCRMA folks will bring some of their self-invented instruments for a "tailgate party" in the lobby.
At 8 p.m. Feb. 15, center students, faculty and staff will present a computer-music concert called "Sonic Bing" in the hall, using the center's multi-channel 3D sound system. Another concert follows at 8 p.m. Feb. 16, with CCRMA's Fernando Lopez-Lezcano curating live computer music and fixed media to create an evening of soundscapes and electronic music.
The events are free. For more information, go to music.stanford.edu.
'Lucia di Lammermoor'
It's been 30 years since opera's most notorious mad scene was presented at the Lucie Stern. This month, West Bay Opera brings back Gaetano Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor," a bloody, dagger-y opera about a woman forced to marry a man she doesn't love. Not to give away the plot, but murder and hallucinations ensue.
The plot is based on a story by Sir Walter Scott; the opera is sung in Italian with English subtitles. Soprano Rochelle Bard, who recently played the four-part role Olympia/Antonia/Giulietta/Stella in West Bay's production of "Les Contes d'Hoffmann," is back as Lucia. Michel Singher conducts, and David Ostwald directs.
Four performances are scheduled at the Lucie Stern Theatre at 1305 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto: at 8 p.m. Feb. 15 and Feb. 23, and at 2 p.m. Feb. 17 and 24. Tickets are $40-$75, with group discounts available. Go to wbopera.org or call 650-424-9999.