Summer Musical Notes

Summer vacation is upon us and it’s time to update all our fans about Dr. Baird’s summer musical ‘notes.’

Since the very successful Darwin Day concerts in February, Steve started taking guitar lessons again, this time to learn more about music theory and composition as well as honing his skills at the guitar so he can play solo gigs. His teacher seems to be pleased about his progress in both cases. The teacher isn’t a Ron Jackson, but he has a great appreciation for Steve’s song writing skills. His music is becoming more complex with ‘real’ chord changes where they should be, unlike in the past, where Peter Sprague (our recording engineer) said, “he doesn’t use a lot of chord changes, but they come in strange places!” And speaking of Steve’s songs, he had been prolifically writing new material for the past six months, so you can expect lots of new songs at future concerts. It seems that the more Steve learns, the more he writes. He is on a non-ending search for knowledge.

Besides his music lessons and song writing, we also attended the April ASCAP Expo in Hollywood to learn and be a part of what’s happening in music today. We got lots of good tips, advice and even upgraded our knowledge of computer music composition.

Because of all Steve’s behind the scenes work to improve his songwriting, we have not scheduled any concerts this year until the Winter Solstice concert Because The Earth Is Tilted, in Vista, CA on December 19, 2001. The band will have to work extra hard because they will be performing a selection of astronomical songs and not their usual biologically-themed concerts. The reason for finally doing this long awaited cosmic-themed concert is that this year is “The Year of Astronomy” and the band likes to honor scientific disciplines in their specialized musical genre of Scientific Gospel.

In conjunction with the upcoming Darwin exhibit at the San Diego Natural History Museum beginning in November 2009 (the 150th anniversary of the publication of “The Origin Of Species”), Bette Pegas will be reading from her latest memoir, Chasing A Dream in the Galapagos: A Personal Evolution. Through the efforts of her publisher, Sunbelt Publications Inc., the San Diego Natural History Museum asked her to do a reading and slide presentation on January 12 at 6:30 to 8:00. Bette and the museum thought the talk would make a more ‘robust’ presentation if Steve sang some of his evolutionary songs in between readings. I don’t think they expected the band, but what is a talk about Darwin and evolution without the Galapagos Mountain Boys? Therefore, pay attention to this website and to the SDNHM webpage for more information as the date comes closer.

In February, we will again be performing our annual Darwin concerts. Perhaps we might even do another dinner/concert at the UCSD Faculty Club.