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Admit That the Waters Around You Have Grown

Pick up the oars and put your backs into it, folks, because we're now heading into the heart and soul of deepest Santa Cruz

By Mimi Hill

Grab your hat and boots campers because Virtual Paradise is going to take you on a cyberspace ride through county. We'll visit world famous David Cope's homepage, see how fungi fair in Watsonville and learn about some great stuff that's going on at Bonny Doon's elementary school. And remember: Tips on sites to be considered for our weekly itinerary can be submitted via email and must either be produced by someone living in Santa Cruz or be in some way about our diverse county.

Bach up the Slippery Slope

UCSC Professor of Music David Cope is considered one of this generation's most ambitious, prolific, multifarious composers. He invented a computer program--he calls it EMI (Experiments in Musical Intelligence)--which understands a composer's work and then composes new music in his or her style. All works are performed by the program via a Yamaha Disklavier. For more information on how Cope creates new compositions, you can download example EMI works from his homepage, which is full of interesting material including information on his 25-minute color video Bach Lives! ... At David Cope's House. The video concerns Cope's venture into artificial intelligence and his great success at getting his trusty Disklavier to write original music that sounds amazingly like Mozart, Bach, Joplin, etc., a feat that has yet to be equaled by any other computer system. The video explicates the technology of EMI in a non-technical manner, explores its potential as a compositional aid, as a freestanding composer and as an aid for studying the structure of music, and includes critical takes on Cope's breakthrough by sundry musicians, concert goers, computer scientists and educators. For more information on how Cope creates new compositions you can download example EMI works from his homepage.

Fun and Hope with the Fungus Folks

Watsonville's Monterey Mushroom has been growing since 1971. The company's mission statement states that "success is dependent upon people and how well they work together." Through out its history, Monterey Mushrooms has remained committed not only to the growth of the company, but also of the people who are responsible for its future. Teamwork and shared leadership remain the cornerstone of the management philosophy. Over the last three years, Monterey Mushroom's scholarship program--aimed at helping the children of its 2,400 hourly and salaried employees achieve their educational dreams--has awarded over $139,500 in grants to its people. And the company adds a new scholarship every year to the program. Check Monterey Mushroom Web site for some new recipes on how to cook with mushrooms.

Premium Education

Located in a lush natural environment in the mountains above Santa Cruz, Bonny Doon School has a current enrollment of 250 students. Bucking a national trend, the public school this year reduced class sizes to 20 students each in the kindergarten through second grades and even added a teacher. In addition to the regular curriculum, students take advantage of art, music and computer programs. The whole Web site for Bonny Doon School is visually marvelous and outstanding in functionality. The students are very much involved in the production of their page. I especially enjoyed Kenny's story about Ice Cream Grade. Kenny reports that it turns out that a women in the neighborhood had ice cream socials where they made ice cream. She would sell the ice cream and send in the money to the county to get a road built there. In honor of the ice cream sales, the county named the road Ice Cream Grade. Anyone know this woman's name? Way to go to all the Bonny Doon students.


Mimi Hill is the UCSC Systems and Resource Analyst for the Arts and a computer consultant. For her rates or further information, she can be reached via email or letter at: 111 Union St., SC 95060. Check out the Web page for her upcoming book with Robert Anton Wilson.

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From the March 27-April 2, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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