Music: Symphony in AC

Stacks of loudspeakers framed the stage like the barricades of a medieval fortress. On the floor lay a magnificent tangle of wires and cables. On the stage apron, like Buddha contemplating his navel, sat a giant electronic console glorying in its own inputs, modules and mixers. Visitors to the 2,006-seat Zellerbach Auditorium at the Berkeley campus of the University of California last week could be forgiven for thinking that they were about to hear the rock concert to end all rock concerts.

Instead, the auditorium was the site of an experimental classical program...

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