“Back in the 16th century, the composer and lutenist John Dowland was similarly popular – pressing into a vein of moping soppiness that made him famous, and has served English musicians ever since.” (But the first? Perhaps the author forgot about the troubadours.)
“One in three [British] adults responding to an online poll highlighted ‘aloofness’ as a challenge for the artform, and a similar percentage said they thought major classical events only ever happened in [London]. 40% of respondents said concerts need to be performed in more everyday places – such as parks and clubs – for classical music to remain relevant.”
Dana Stevens: “Both Detroit and Whose Streets? move from a large-scale panoramic view of an urban community in crisis toward a more intimate portrait of a few of the individuals involved. But Whose Streets? is the more effective and emotionally powerful of the two, perhaps because it constructs its world from the ground up, not from the top down. This is another way of framing a fact that’s difficult to talk about (especially for a white critic) but important to note: The filmmaking team behind Whose Streets? is black, and the one behind Detroit is white. The question – a very live one at this moment in history – of whose story is whose to tell is raised in a stark fashion by the release of these two movies in successive weeks at a moment when the civil rights of people of color (including nonwhite immigrants) are as imperiled as they’ve been since the days of those Detroit riots.”
“Copious research, from my lab and others, shows that faces and bodies alone do not communicate any specific emotion in any consistent manner. In addition, we now know that the brain doesn’t have separate processes for emotion and cognition, and therefore one cannot control the other. If these statements defy your common sense, I’m right there with you. But our experiences of emotion, no matter how compelling, don’t reflect the biology of what’s happening inside us. Our traditional understanding and practice of emotional intelligence badly needs a tuneup.”
“Golden-age classics such as The Twilight Zone and Playhouse 90 … delivered a full-course narrative meal within as little as 30 minutes. It was one of the great TV genres, until it wasn’t.” (Yeah, there was also The Love Boat.) Now, with the likes of Netflix’s Black Mirror and the Duplass brothers’ Room 104 on HBO, “all of a sudden, short-form storytelling has found its way back onto the TV menu – and the reasons why have a lot to do with the ripple effects of Peak TV.”
Okay, almost no one argues that we should continue to permit trade in new ivory. Yet, argues John Frederick Walker, blocking all sales of older, already-sculpted ivory – and (as is happening now) burning or crushing existing pieces, even certified antiques – will simply increase scarcity and add glamor (and cash value) to the material. And we’ll lose some marvelous historic art as well.
“His players often sound as terrified as they must have been: it is worth going to YouTube and listening to a few of the maestro’s rehearsals, which still horrify in their sound and fury, the range of his imprecations, the breaking of his batons and hurling of his score. As Lotte Lehmann said, ‘If we weren’t good, this certainly wasn’t going to make us any better.’”
Last March, when a judge ordered the University of California–Berkeley to make 20,000 videos and podcasts accessible to people with disabilities, the university balked. The videos and audio files contained lectures by Berkeley professors that the university wanted to make available to anyone, as an act of public outreach, but disability rights groups had sued on the grounds that the materials lacked captions, were often incompatible with the screen readers that blind people use to access the Internet, and other related issues. So the judge ordered the university to make the materials accessible. Instead, Berkeley shut the program down, locking the formerly public materials behind a firewall. The university said it was just too expensive to retrofit accessibility into their public program.
“On its face, this approach to conscientious living may look like a rejection of the uninhibited greed associated with the ’80s. But the new aspirational class shares more with its predecessors than it wants to admit. As populist surges in the United States and Europe make clear, rising economic inequality has made it more critical than ever to rethink and uproot the status quo. Yet, as Cowen and Currid-Halkett both find, for all the new elite’s well-intentioned consumption and subsequent self-assurance, they have no intention whatsoever of letting go of their status.”
High in the Apuan Alps of Tuscany sits Monte Altissimo, a 5,213-foot (1,589-meter) mountain, climbed in 1517 by the Italian artist Michelangelo in pursuit of fine marble for his sculptures. There, according to Reuters, he “found the marble of his dreams. It was, the Renaissance master wrote, ‘of compact grain, homogeneous, crystalline, reminiscent of sugar.’”
And the divisions loom larger as well: “Though Austen lovers are outwardly polite about this particular issue, there is a clear divide between the sort of Janeites who like to exchange learned scholarly remarks, and the sort of Janeites who like to dress up in nonlearned period outfits.”
The biennale owes $200,000 to artists, installers and others who created the 2016 event, and now public funding has dried up for 2018 and possibly 2020 – “To accept a grant and not pay the artists is a cardinal sin in the eyes of every arts council that ever was.” How did it come to this after a grand, ambitious beginning?
“Everyone from pop-psych authors to business-school professors to astrologers has come up with her own system for sizing up people. If it were possible, wouldn’t one method have prevailed by now? In fact, two recent paradigm-breaking studies suggest that personality traits can shift slowly yet drastically over time, and quite quickly after therapeutic interventions. This is a legitimate question for theoretical mathematicians, but in the science of personality (unlike mathematics) perception trumps precision most of the time. This fluid state of affairs is often captured best by writers, who tend to have an agenda when delineating characters.”
“That’s where Artist Campaign School comes in: we’ll train you in everything you need to know to get your political campaign up and running. From fundraising to putting together policy statements, we are bringing together top-tier campaign veterans who will provide you with practical knowledge and set you up for a successful bid.”
“In the 1960s, an average hit song on the Billboard Top 10 had an average of 1.87 writers and 1.68 publishers each year. Songwriting duos were common, and creativity a simpler endeavor. Now, popular mainstream songs have (on average) at least four writers and six publishers each. And that, ladies and gentlemen, underscores the challenge that the music industry faces in licensing and rights administration.”
As much as the themes of the show resonate with professional performers and dancers, it takes on a new level of connection for amateur performers who connect with its sentiments: For them, “What I Did For Love” means something wholly different and unique. Am-dram relies on love from every side; the hunger to be involved should be enjoyed and appreciated.
“I flew to Toronto, and stayed for two days at the now-demolished Inn on the Park, on whose premises Gould kept a studio. He proffered a gentle, squeamish handshake when we met, and rarely looked at me thereafter; still, when we weren’t recording, we spent most of our time in hearty and contented laughter. That understanding, you see. Six weeks later, at the age of 50, Gould died from a stroke.”
“New research into the connections between the arts and ‘prosociality’ – whereby individuals are likely to donate their time or money to charitable causes – found … that [attendance at or participation in] the arts had a stronger connection to prosociality than other demographic variables.”
Theresa Ruth Howard: “How can you truly comment on what you are seeing when you have no technical knowledge of a specific genre like African or hip hop? Critics who stand on the outside of a culture cannot write about what they do not know. … The black body on stage is never neutral, and the effects of its inherent politicization as it relates to the subconscious cultural ignorance and biases held by critics is seldom addressed.”
Venice Glass Week will feature “more than 140 commercial and institutional exhibitions, talks and conferences, educational activities, open furnaces, film screenings and evening events. The aim is to show how traditional glassmaking techniques can be used to innovative effect in a contemporary context, while also educate visitors about Venice’s glassmaking history”
Ystad Jazz Festival: The Opener
The 2017 Ystad Sweden Jazz Festival launched with a tribute to Monica Zetterlund (1937-2005). The singer’s legacy in her homeland seems to steadily expand, and the attendance reflected her continued presence in … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-08-03
The 2017 roster of honorees continues to favor popular culture at the expense of theater and classic music. This year’s celebration will spotlight three pop musicians who have collectively sold hundreds of millions of recordings. Absent are big-name Hollywood actors and Broadway stars.