The Long Now Foundation hosted the launch event for Anathem on Tuesday evening in San Francisco, and as part of that event, I had the good fortune to present some of the Anathem math-music, live. All of the singers enjoyed having the opportunity to act as avout ambassadors to the event, and we appreciated the good will of the audience, which seemed to enjoy our performances despite having to endure some long delays and some pretty drastic problems with the sound system. I was impressed, in particular, with the spirited participation in our experiments at creating Turing machines and cellular automata directly out of the attendees themselves. Thanks to all who participated!
In Pursuit of Mysteries has a very nice write-up of the musical side of the event, complete with tasteful pictures of our stylish bolts (whose wrapping techniques were developed by Domini). The martial arts demonstration was also pretty fun, as shown in Kenneth Lu’s Flickr set, which captures some of the dangerous moves. Oh, and did I mention that Neal Stephenson, Danny Hillis, and Stewart Brand were in dialogue? They said some pretty interesting things as well!
I’ve received several inquiries about availability of the Anathem CD in the wake of this event. The copies that were available for purchase at the performing hall had just arrived from manufacturing on Tuesday, and copies from that batch are now available at the store at the Fort Mason pier. As soon as CD Baby has processed the CDs, they will also be available there and for electronic distribution. Meanwhile, you can also listen to most of the tracks as MP3 files, which are posted at the Anathem book site.
Despite the availability of the MP3 files, I still encourage you to buy the CD, since all of the profits from their sale go to the Long Now and also because the sound quality is better! The CD also contains a long and beautiful additional track for women’s voices, which is similar to the meditative duet that was performed Tuesday night.
Thanks to everyone at the Long Now Foundation who worked so hard to make this event possible.