“Part of me wonders whether musical theater featuring a call-to-action eliminates nuance — generally scarce in musicals as it is. Indeed, don’t theater makers fear our work being reduced to a message? Perhaps so, but I also don’t think that attempting to convince audiences that we should raise the age of criminal responsibility simplifies the audience’s journey. It’s the opposite — the audience experiences something like what our composers experienced: listening to a story, confronting and bypassing their own judgments about it, walking around with it, letting it spur them to make something from it. For our composers, that ‘something’ is a song. For the audience, collectively, it could be change.”
“It seems to me to misunderstand the fundamental appeal of television; that it is bedtime stories for grownups. You plonk yourself in front of the screen to be entertained. That doesn’t mean being fed pap; contemporary television is increasingly a feast for the upper reaches of the mind as well as the primitive bits that would be just as happy banging a stick on a stone. But it does mean being presented with a finished product: a complete, satisfying entity with a beginning, a middle and an end (however many seasons it takes to get there). We want to cede control to someone else.”
And that mission is to correct, as much as he can, the whitewash of art history in museums across the country. ““At a certain point, you have to decide whether you’d be satisfied always acknowledging the beauty and the greatness of what other people create or if you want to be in the same arena.”
Ulrich Boser reminds us of one of those factors that’s so obvious that people forget about it.
Lucy Mangan: “It seems to me to misunderstand the fundamental appeal of television; that it is bedtime stories for grownups.”
Angela Thirlwell: “Rosalind is a grand paradox. Man and woman, authentically alive yet forever a fiction, ageless and modern … When she sprints into the forest of Arden as the boy Ganymede, she expands our ideas about gender, and epitomizes what love feels like for both sexes, through the whole gamut of human emotions, in every time and place.”
The California company, founded in 1998, had faced cash shortfalls, unpaid musicians, allegations of financial mismanagement, the firing of its music director, and a defamation lawsuit.
Ronald Eichman and Thi Nguyen, who were general director and associate director until the end of 2014, allege that the company and Matthew Buckman (Eichman’s successor) falsely accused Eichman and Nguyen of financial malfeasance and conflicts of interest in several stories published in The Fresno Bee last year. (The company itself promptly closed down.)
The man wrote constantly, and he would do it on anything: notebooks, hotel pads, envelopes, menus, sheet music … Bill Hayes, Sacks’s widower, showed a bunch of his notes to Maria Popova, who transcribed some of the best ones.
In response to the well-known quip that “Using Comic Sans is like turning up to a black-tie event in a clown costume,” Lauren Hudgins argues that “hating Comic Sans is ableist.” Drake Baer explains why.
When filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, one of the stars of the Iranian New Wave, finished The Nights of Zayandeh-rood in 1990, the country’s censors cut about a third of it (some of that at the direct request of supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei) and then locked it away after a screening at a Tehran festival. Makhmalbaf, now living in London, somehow (he won’t say) got the footage out of the archive and into release in Britain.
Housed in a 15th-century manor on the Rhine, the museum “showcases 350 mechanical instruments dating back three centuries. Think delicate music boxes, one with a chirping bird on top, or massive pipe organs, and pretty much everything in between. The extensive collection also includes tools and machines used to produce the instruments, and cardboard sheet music.” (includes videos)
“The neural nets that we trained here are the beginning of counting oil tanks, or buildings, or windmills. Imagine we wanted to look at sustainable energy infrastructure—solar farms, solar panels on roof—you could start to think about counting their growth through time. You start to get really interesting data streams.”
“It’s said that literature helps us to explore ways of being human, grants glimpses of lives beyond our own, aids empathy with others, alleviates distress, and widens our circle of awareness. The same could be said of clinical practice in all of its manifestations: nursing to surgery, psychotherapy to physiotherapy. An awareness of literature can aid the practice of medicine, just as clinical experience certainly helps me in the writing of my books. I’ve come to see the two disciplines as having more parallels than differences, and I’d like to argue they share a kind of synergy.”
“Here, climate change is a government-sponsored hoax, fluoridated water is poisonous, cannabis can cure cancer, and airplanes are constantly spraying pesticides and biological waste into the air. Genetically modified food is destroying humanity and the planet. Vaccines are experimental, autism-causing injections forced on innocent babies. We can’t trust anything that we eat, drink, breathe, or medicate with, nor rely on physicians and public health agencies to act in our best interests.”
“These pointillist creations of early modern humans were recently discovered when scientists revisited Abri Cellier, a cave site in France’s Vézère Valley. There, they found 16 limestone tablets left behind by a previous excavation. Images of what appear to be animals, including a woolly mammoth, were formed by a series of punctured dots and, in some cases, carved connecting lines. Combined with previous images from nearby caves in France and Spain, the tablets suggest an early form of pointillism, and a very early point on art history’s timeline.”
“Brian Lauritzen, a broadcaster with the Los Angeles classical radio station KUSC, has been tracking the gender breakdown of the composers represented on the upcoming season schedules of American orchestras and opera companies. The picture his numbers paint isn’t a pretty one. There are organizations, including major orchestras in St. Louis, Houston and Dallas, that are contentedly planning all-male seasons for the coming year. The New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra join San Francisco in the one-woman-is-plenty club.”
“The black press flourished in the United States during these years, providing rich, varied reporting on political and cultural happenings that mainstream press outlets distorted or ignored. Critics and reporters on the arts beat not only brought to light the creative output of black artists, but also investigated the role the arts played in the long struggle against oppression, as well as the economic and cultural impact of the arts on black communities and the United States as a whole.”
“After brushes with extinction in the 1980s and 1990s, along with a three-decade wait to be launched after the McCarthy-era’s relentless attacks on artists, police are describing the NEA’s demise as ‘totally preventable, but oddly, both a homicide and a suicide.'”
“Though the Pennsylvania Ballet has long been considered a Balanchine company, it will perform fewer of his works than usual. [Artistic director Ángel] Corella has maintained that he is not a choreographer, but he is creating three new [story] ballets.”
An occasionally expressed concern about community engagement is that current stakeholders will be driven away by imagined precipitous changes to the organization and/or its offerings. There are a couple of responses to this that … read more
AJBlog: Engaging Matters Published 2017-03-07
Ten Suggestions for Tom Campbell’s Successor at the Met
In December 2008, anticipating the imminent eminence of Thomas Campbell as new head of the country’s premier art museum, I presumptuously posted a to-do list for the director-designate. … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-03-07
Other Matters: Losing Robert Osborne
The news of Robert Osborne’s passing was a bad way to start the day. We were friends from the day that our Delta Upsilon fraternity at the University of Washington assigned him … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-03-07
Cello and Kora Epiphany: Sissoko and Segal
The West African kora is iconic all over the continent, so much so that Africa’s international equivalent of the Grammys, held annually in South Africa, is called the Kora Awards. It has taken a while for this remarkable harp to find a way to an appreciative audience in the west, but … read more
AJBlog: OtherWorldly Published 2017-03-07
Starting today, the poetry bot, available on Twitter and Facebook Messenger, will send out a poetry excerpt at random every day for the next ninety-two days.