main: June 2009 Archives

paulin.4.07.jpgIn my recent Village Voice piece on New Orleans, I made reference to a battle in the Louisiana State Legislature over arts funding, and the deep and cynical cuts proposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal. My friend Ned Sublette, as erudite a political commentator as he is a historian, suspects a national effort to "zero-out" arts budgets in states with Republicans in power -- to "shock-doctrine" it away, Ned put it -- under the guise of economic prudence. In Louisiana at least, the attempt is on the table in the legislature as we speak: The effects would be deep, far-reaching, and perhaps irreversible. 

Michael Sartisky, the executive director of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities offers clarity and passion on the subject in "Dirge for Culture," his latest editor's note for the LEH's Cultural Vistas magazine:

A Dirge for Culture 
Editor's Column from LCV Summer 2009

Mosquitoes and high water. It does not take a capacious intellectual leap to imagine what Louisiana amounts to without culture. It's the equivalent of boiling crawfish in plain water, eating rice without red beans, burying the dead without music. Imagine shelves without books, houses without porches, porches without gingerbread, balconies without wrought iron. We may as well be New Jersey or North Dakota. We may as well be dead.

Yet, as I write these words, our state government has placed the knife at our collective throats, setting the state appropriation for the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities not at a cut proportionate to the budget crisis, but at absolute zero, threatening to accomplish what the savage forces of nature could not.

June 6, 2009 1:59 PM | | Comments (1)
youssou-ndour.jpg

"Why is music called the divine art, while all other arts are not so called? We may certainly see God in all arts and in all sciences, but in music alone we see God free from all forms and thoughts. In every other art there is idolatry. Every thought, every word has its form. Sound alone is free of form. Every word of poetry forms a picture in our mind. Sound alone does not make any object appear before us."

So wrote Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan in The Mysticism of Sound and Music (Shambala Publications). I was hipped to that book by pianist Randy Weston, who claimed that he found it lying on a curb, a chance encounter with formative wisdom.  And the book has turned up again and again in my conversations with musicians from many cultures and traditions, especially in jazz circles. Sufi musicians have been among my wisest teachers during the course of my career. Not least among them Senegalese superstar singer and bandleader Youssou N'Dour, whose 2004 CD, Egypt (Nonesuch), a declaration of Sufi identity, was devastating for both its beauty and its political punch at a deeply troubled time. 

N'Dour opens "Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas" an innovative multi-disciplinary festival at several sites in New York, June 5-14. His Super étoile band plays BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House on the 5th. A fine and searching film chronicling his Egypt album and tour, "I Bring What I Love," screens there the following night, with a brief performance by N'Dour. It's a tough call though...

June 1, 2009 5:08 PM | | Comments (0)

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This page is a archive of entries in the main category from June 2009.

main: May 2009 is the previous archive.

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culture
About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Dewey21C
Richard Kessler on arts education
diacritical
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Flyover
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

dance
Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

jazz
Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
ListenGood
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Rifftides
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

media
Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Overflow
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
PianoMorphosis
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
PostClassic
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Sandow
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

publishing
book/daddy
Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

theatre
Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

visual
Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
Artopia
John Perreault's art diary
CultureGrrl
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
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