Gary Goldstein (70), Physicist, Father of Eli Goldstein (Soulclap)
Did you like the party yesterday?
Yes, a lot, we went to bed around midnight but I realized the party was going on quite late.
Oh, so you couldn’t sleep because it was too loud?
I don’t like to sleep a lot. That’s what Eli and I have in common. Actually I am used to loud music. Eli and Charlie had their studio in our basement for a couple of years.
How would you explain the music of soulclap?
I don’t know what to call it. Dance music – it is! They seem to put together what is more standard techno, with some 80ies, 90ies rhythm and blues, long ago popular music. They’re mixing, that’s what they are doing. And the tempo seems a little more mellow than most of what you hear. They mix many different styles. Sometimes I hear a little Jazz, sometimes hip-hop, sometimes rock’n’roll but it all fits together in a very interesting way that is quite original. From what I can tell. So I like what they do.
What is your kind of music?
I like Jazz. When I was young, I was actually torn between science and being a musician. I wanted to be a jazz musician and I was playing the bass in several bands from High school through college and after graduation. It wasn’t easy to get bookings in places all over the US, it was not easy to be in a band that ran from place to place. And it was a different world when I was young. It was a bit seedy, there were a lot of drugs around. A jazz musician’s life is what kept me from becoming one. I didn’t see it as a world I wanted to be in. My friends, who tried to make a living out of it, struggled. It wasn’t easy. Which is why I am so pleased that Eli is doing so well.
Do you remember the moment when you realized that Eli could become a musician?
When he was eight or nine years old, he wanted to play the saxophone. So we arranged to get him saxophone lessons. We took him to the first lessons, he could barely hold the saxophone. It was obviously the same size. And the teacher showed Eli how to blow a note, and Eli managed to do it! And there came this sound and he was just so happy, he was beamed with excitement, lighted up with delight having produced a sound.
You became a physicist and you work in nuclear science. Do you see any positive side of nuclear technology?
Many of my physics colleagues think that nuclear power is the answer to global warming. It does not produce carbon dioxide, it doesn’t contribute to environmental warming but the problem with nuclear power is that it always produces radioactive waste. That’s part of the process and it has to be disposed or contained for thousands of years. There is no solution to that waste disposal problem. There are temporary solutions but nothing permanent. That’s why I think nuclear power cannot be useful. On top of that in the real world reactor safety is very difficult because it is very expensive. The reactors are run by profit making companies that will do whatever they can to increase their profit, which means they are very lax about safety regulations.
What was your main reason to become a physicist?
Understanding how things work, how the universe behaves. And that’s a very hard thing to do. What has interested me is how the smallest things work because it seems like – at that level – you should be able to understand the bases of all more complicated phenomena. Like people! Very complicated. Well, there are still a lot unanswered questions. Look, I am cutting a sausage right here and this sausage contains all kinds of chemicals and minerals held together by electrical forces. At the molecular and the atomical level there are just these electric forces that repel different components. So at some very fundamental level I understand this sausage. But why it tastes the way it does is another problem.
What have you seen of Berlin so far?
Me and my wife went to the party of ‚Wilde Renate’ to see Eli perform. We went there early with the DJ’s in a big limousine. Actually we didn’t see so much of Berlin. We spent most of the time waiting for Eli to wake up.