Powering Up / Powering Down 1/30/04-2/1/04
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Ryoko and Joseph Goguen

“Zero, Connected, Empty”

A cantata by Ryoko A Goguen with words by Joseph Goguen

This piece is a critical history of the philosophy of mathematics, from classical to postmodern times. Its idiom transcends easy categorization as classical, jazz, or pop, and with its text, explores the transition from the theological, scientific and artistic certainties of Newton, Mozart, etc., through the romantic period of colonial, technological and artistic aggression of Napoleon, Mach, Beethoven, etc., into the massive uncertainties of today. Although there is a score for piano and voice, performances by Ryoko Goguen are partially improvised.


Ryoko Goguen is a composer, pianist, and vocalist who worked in Japan until 1999, composing music and Kubuki theater, and a prize winning Kobe earthquake theme. Now living in America, she writes and performs here and in Europe, and is a Special Visiting Lecturer at Keio University for 2003-04.

Joseph Goguen collaborates with his wife Ryoko as lyricist on musical projects. He studied poetry with Alan Ginsberg and prose with William Burroughs, and is Editor in Chief of Journal of Consciousness Studies. At UCSD, he teaches sociology of information and semiotics. He has edited two books on art and consciousness, and written on the philosophy and cognitive science of music.

“Powering Up/Powering Down” is sponsored in part by the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA), and the UC San Diego Department of Music in connection with the departments of Visual Arts, Music, and Literature at UCSD along with the UC Riverside and Los Angeles campuses.