This morning, “Epic Journeys, Modern Quests” ended spring quarter on an unusual note. The IHUM course’s two professors, Robert Harrison and Dan Edelstein, cut short a panel about the crises of modernity and launched into some ol’ fashioned blues…about Gilgamesh. Harrison put his rocker’s flow into motion with some gritty guitar licks as Edelstein soulfully crowed about the likes of Utnapishtim and Ishtar, ancient Babylonian gods. The concert ended in loud cheers from the packed auditorium, with many students on their feet.
The professors are founders of a band called Glass Wave, whose music combines classic works of Western literature with the fundamentals of classic rock. The resulting genre? “Cerebral rock,” in which lecture halls become venues and academics become artists. The band has already attracted the attention of local media, and its self-titled debut album, recorded on-campus at CCRMA, is available on iTunes. Although the album’s music somewhat lags behind its lyricism, the passion, knowledge, and creativity of its originators comes through in tracks like “Lolita,” “Nausicaa,” and “Helen.”
Harrison began his course in winter quarter by saying, “A classic is a book that never finishes saying what it has to say.” With projects like Glass Wave, the classics now have a little less work to do.