I am not yet certain how 0.999… equals 1. But I do know how this concert film came about: friendship.
Recently, I noticed that two friends of mine, Jerry Fiddler and David Fuchs, were animatedly discussing something in the corner of a room. Turns out they were hatching a plan for me to perform my show The Mathematics of Change at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley, and for my brother to film it. As I had wanted to make a concert film of this show since … well, almost infinity, I was shocked and delighted at this idea. Jerry and David are really, really good at math — they do things, especially, with zeros and ones that make the world much more lovely — and I’ve always been amazed that they let a calculus drop-out like me hang out with them. So you can imagine how intimidated I was to be performing at MSRI, where mathematical brainiacs strolled the halls, sipping coffee and thinking rarefied thoughts! Fortunately, I had friends there as well — including my relatively new friend Robert Bryant, MSRI’s director and a man who has done his best to try to help me explain to my son why zero to the zero power is so wonky (I paraphrase!).
Two more friends were integral to the production: John Bellucci, who collaborated with me on the theater piece and directed the original performances (at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco, back in — wow! — 1994), and David Dower, my incredible theatrical collaborator of many years now, who directed my performance at MSRI.
And then there was a dear friend who happened also to be my brother: Jacob Kornbluth, whose diapers I once changed, and who now — as a brilliant filmmaker — doesn’t hesitate to correct my performances (and those of many others), as he directs movie after movie with infallible intelligence and taste.
With these friends and several more (including my neighbor Kristin Leimkuhler, who supervised the physical production), we were finally able to commit my neurotic mathematical adventures to DVD — with cinematography by the legendary Hiro Narita, dazzling opening graphics by the guys at Idle Hands, and beautiful music and sound design from Marco and Terri d’Ambrosio.
If you watch our movie, I hope you enjoy it! And in any event, may you approach your limits, and then exceed them!
— Josh Kornbluth
FILMED LIVE AT THE MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH INSTITUTE, BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA
Coordinating Producer & Stage Manager
Josh Kornbluth’s Shirt By
SARA L. SATO
Jib Arm Operator
Live Show Crew
Music & Audio Post Facility
Music Written & Performed By
Audio Post Producer/Sound Editor
Title Sequence Design
IDLE HANDS STUDIO
LINDSAY GUNN SPILLER, ESQ.
Special Thanks To
ROBERT L. BRYANT
ERIC GANTOS AT STUF, INC.
LANCE HUGHSTON SR. OF HUGHSTON ENGINEERING
JULIE & PATRICK KENNEDY
KETURAH ASHFIELD KORNBLUTH
THE MSRI STAFF & DIRECTORATE
KATY & DAVID ORR
HILLARY & JONNY REINIS
JIM SCHELSTRATE AT HOLZMUELLER PRODUCTIONS