Thursday, August 17, 2006

Brief Break for Reminiscing

Back in the early '70s I worked at a place called the National Center for Experiments in Television in a warehouse down at 7th and Folsom in San Francisco. NCET was at the cutting edge of the new medium of video art. The Ford and Rockefeller grant money that funded this artistic endeavor was admistered by KQED, one of the three most respected stations in the PBS network (with WNET in New York and WGBH in Boston) -- back when public television really was public television and not the wimpy corporate toady it's become now. Now so much of the programming is motivational speakers and music concerts appealing to boomers. Nothing to upset the current administration, that's for sure.

Anyway, the PR person at NCET and I grew to be good friends. Her name was Ann Turner, later called herself Anna Mystic when she and Stephen Hill broadcast Music from the Hearts of Space from the KPFA studio very late at night.

Ann had asked me to let her know when I went in to labor. That night, June 10, 1976, I phoned her just as she was about to go on the air. She played music to welcome Deirdre. It was the Full Moon in Sagittarius. We had the radio on in the room but I wasn’t paying attention, obviously.

The following Full Moon in July, I had the show on and I heard this lovely mysterious music. It sounded so familiar. So I phoned Ann and asked her what it was. She told me it was Alan Stivell playing Breton harp music, and checked her playlist from the previous month for the time Deirdre was born in the wee hours of the morning of June 11th. Sure enough, that was the exact thing she’d been broadcasting when Deirdre came into the world.

After Ann left NCET and Hearts of Space, she collaborated with musician Constance Demby. Ann and I had lost touch for some years, until one day some years ago when I was reading "the Irish Sporting Green," i.e., the obituary pages of the paper, I saw that she'd passed away. From the award-winning little Point Reyes Light:

Stinson resident dies at age 53. A Stinson Beach resident for more than 10 years, Anna Turner died of cancer Aug. 27 at her home. She was 53. A music producer and a writer, Ms. Turner was one of the first writers for KQED's Focus magazine. "She was a very talented craftsman of words," said her mother, Rosalind McRoskey of San Mateo this week. Born in San Mateo, Ms. Turner attended Northwestern University before transferring to UC Berkeley and earning a degree in Journalism. She joined the then-emerging KQED radio and television stations as a writer, McRoskey said, noting that one assignment involved traveling to Mexico to teach people there about American television. Ms. Turner also co-founded "Music from the Hearts of Space" radio program of ambient electronic, multi-cultural music...
"In love may she return again."

1 comment:

Reya Mellicker said...

It's a beautiful tribute, Macha. May she rest in peace.