When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
In the past 30 years, light artists have reimagined an art form that has always had the ability to turn the night sky, or a simple window, into luminescence. Last fall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts turned its southern glass wall into a parade of sound-sensing lights, Lightswarm, that changes with the movements of nearby people and things. Future Cities Lab, the San Francisco design company behind Lightswarm, has originated another notable light sculpture. Located by the YBCA's steps at 701 Mission, Murmur Wall will light up in arresting ways as it incorporates local trending search engine results and social media postings. Onlookers can offer their own contributions, which will feed into the Murmur Wall's data stream and light up the sculpture. What's trending in San Francisco? If you're walking by the YBCA, you can see firsthand — at least through light patterns that reflect the city's volatile internet habits.
Murmur Wall debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. and continues through May 31, 2017, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Free; 415-978-2700 or ybca.org. More
Using a form he calls a "secular oratorio," jazz musician Marcus Shelby wrote what we call a modern opera. Quilting together bebop, blues, gospel, and more, Harriet Tubman: Bound for the Promised Land is jazz on a grand scale. Written for a 14-piece jazz orchestra and four booming voices, Tubman tells a soaring philosophical and political story a familiar part of U.S. history, to be sure, but one whose details, textures, and heroism benefit from a skillfully crafted, sleekly beautiful frame like this. Today, the Marcus Shelby Quartet strips the project down a bit: "Harriet Tubman and Jazz" features vocalist Faye Carol, whom audiences will remember from the orchestra's only full presentation this spring at the Yerba Buena Gardens. One of the great pleasures of a Shelby performance is hearing him speak about his inspirations, about the research he's done, and sometimes, about the bits of ideas he had to leave out. So jump at the chance to see the Tubman story in a smaller version; when it gets its full treatment next month, you'll hear even more than the people sitting around you.
Sun., Sept. 23, 2 p.m., 2007