By Meredith Tromble
Watching Mandelbrot sets in Jim's studio. Counterclockwise from Jim, in foreground: Meredith, Henry, Anwyl, and Dawn. Photo: Ari FrankelDjerassi fellows cook for each other on Saturdays. Dawn and I planned Ethiopian food for the first Saturday, when guitarist Henry Kaiser, artist Brandy Gale, and musician/engineer Anwyl McDonald were scheduled to be our guests. Serendipitously, Pireeni offered a Sri Lankan fish curry, pointing out that Ethiopian and Sri Lankan foods share many spices, and Devavani joined our kitchen crew. After dinner, Henry brought out his guitar and gave us a living room concert (or porch concert, in Brandy and Ari’s case. They sat just outside and told us coyotes howled with the music). Henry has been living the art/science life for decades as a musician, videographer, and research diver. First he improvised in response to the place and the evening, then he played us compositions based on places he’d been in Antarctica. Anwyl joined him on bass for the finale, while Sasha dished up two flavors of her homemade ice cream (peach and chocolate chip). The best word I can find for the feeling of the evening is “generous.” It wasn’t work at all, but it was, somehow, a primer for the art/science work we might find together.