Center for Conscious Living, Church of Religious Science, Santa Cruz

We were very excited to be invited to play the opening concert of the Music of the World's Peoples series at the Center for Conscious Living in Santa Cruz. For this performance we had the whole bill to ourselves, so we could stretch out and play a really good and varied set of traditional and new pieces, and also take some time to talk about the cultural and spiritual background behind the music.

It was a really good audience, very interested in the music and the cultural background, and with lots of great questions, so the performance was very interactive. The setting was also great, with good acoustics - we could actually hear each other!

Here we are in full swing, left to right Steve, Christopher, Ralf (in the back) and Asleif. We played two sets, with an intermission in between. The first set began with marching gamelan as we processed up the aisle to the stage, and then went on to some of our longer sitting pieces.

The second set included several more sitting pieces, and finished with a couple of reyong pieces. Here is Dan, piping up on his suling, with Asleif at left, and Cecile and Martin at right.

I have no idea how this one was taken, but somebody must have snuck behind the gongs in mid-performance! A rare shot of Gretchen's head in the gong "cockpit", with the jegogan players Ralf and Vera in front of the small kempur gong.

This is towards the end of the show, with Cecile and Justine rocking out on the jegogan, with Vera blissed out on jegogan in the background.

Kristin and Cecile on reyong, with Greg on timekeeping in the bacjground. We felt this was one of our best performances, with a great audience, which inspired some great playing. It was one of the fullest groups we'd played with ever, with a great repertoire. We were very pleased with the performance. And so was the audience, judging by the standing ovation!

The players at the Center for Conscious Living were Vera Lucia Diani, Asleif Willmer, Christopher Willmer, Greg Weber, Kristin Allen, Cecile Cruz, Justine Kragen, Steve McDonald, Chris Cohen, Gretchen McPherson, Martin Randall, Ralf Dietrich and Dan Philips.

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