I wrote an appreciation of Paul Taylor for the online edition of today’s Wall Street Journal. Here’s an excerpt. * * * Paul Taylor, who died on Wednesday at the age of 88, was…
Archives for August 2018
So the headline isn’t mine, it came as a demand from my longtime eating partner Shelley, who heard me complain yet again about one of her beloveds — this particular paragon presenting as fat, limp,
LAST week I took a wild guess and approached singer/songwriter Aimee Mann for my musicians-on-writing column, All the Poets. As a longtime fan I had a vague sense that she was literary.
While freelance websites may have raised wages and broadened the number of potential employers for some people, they’ve forced every new worker who signs up into entering a global marketplace with endless competition, low wages, and little stability. Decades ago, the only companies that outsourced work overseas were multinational corporations with the resources to set up manufacturing shops elsewhere. Now, independent businesses and individuals are using the power of the internet to find the cheapest services in the world too, and it’s not just manufacturing workers who are seeing the downsides to globalization. All over the country, people like graphic designers and voice-over artists and writers and marketers have to keep lowering their rates to compete.
“People get hung up on how eccentric some of his ideas were, but the core of his claims remains relevant and important. That is to say: our aesthetic experience, our experience of beauty in ordinary life, must be central to thinking about any good life and society. It’s not just decoration or luxury for the few. If you are taught how to see the world properly through an understanding of aesthetics, then you’ll see society properly.”
The gallery’s exhibition figures for last year and the first part of 2018—which are not in dispute, because they are ticketed and thus use a different system—will no doubt give the gallery pause for thought, because its contemporary exhibitions have been poorly attended.
For months, the Central Library has not publicly addressed the artists’ deportations or disclosed their case to patrons or press who have covered the “Visualizing Language” exhibit at the Central Library.
The Los Angeles literary landscape shifted significantly this week with the departure of Louise Steinman from ALOUD, the reading series based at the downtown Central Library that she founded and ran for 25 years. A representative of the Library Foundation confirmed the departure of Steinman and ALOUD associate director Maureen Moore, who was the driving force behind the rotunda exhibit “Visualizing Language” by Oaxacan artists that gained international attention.
The US company or its subsidiaries control some of the country’s biggest outdoor live music events including Latitude, Isle of Wight festival, Reading and Leeds, Parklife and Lovebox. The AIF said Live Nation had a 26% share of the market for events with a capacity of more than 5,000 people, compared to its nearest competitor, Global, with 8%.
“Rows of pigments in tubes, jars, and bowls are visible through the doors of floor-to-ceiling cabinets. … There are the products of nineteenth-century chemical innovation — viridian green, cadmium orange, and the chrome yellow with which van Gogh was infatuated but which, over time, has begun to darken his sunflowers. But at the heart of the Forbes Collection are the natural pigments that were the staples of painters’ inventories before chemically synthesized paints replaced the impossibly esoteric, the dangerously toxic, the prohibitively expensive, and the perilously fugitive.”
“If I don’t like the cover, I won’t photograph it and put it on my feed,” says Femke Brull, a “bookstagramer” who runs @booksfemme. While she won’t avoid promoting a loved, if less-attractive book, she opts for a snap of the title page instead – even if it is less memorable than a beautifully covered counterpart. And she will “pay extra” for what she considers a better-looking edition.
Bill Hayes: “He delighted in etymology, synonyms and antonyms, slang, swear words, palindromes, anatomical terms, neologisms (but objected, in principle, to contractions). … Oliver loved words so much, he often dreamed of them, and sometimes dreamed them up. One morning, six years ago, I found a phrase he’d written on the white board in the kitchen. All it said was ‘5 a.m. Nepholopsia.'”
I suspect we may be at the end of the age of the canon, for now at least. For all those mixed bills at festivals, and playlists that place Beyoncé next to Black Midi, I suspect best-ever lists, from here on, will be specialised. They are more likely to go by genre, in specialist titles: the best hip-hop album ever, the best metal album ever, the best electronic album ever. It’s simply easier to do it that way than to attempt to evaluate the relative worth of Lemonade against Led Zeppelin IV.
“[Sergei Rachmaninoff] refused to allow his live performances to be recorded or broadcast; the recordings we have of him were all made under tightly controlled studio conditions. So the discovery of a recording of the great composer and pianist playing through his recently composed Symphonic Dances – almost certainly recorded covertly, literally behind the pianist’s back – is a major landmark.”
When Glenstone opens its new facility to the public next month in Potomac, Md., the art museum will do so at a moment when something new is stirring in the art world: a powerful sense that too many museums have become a victim of their own success, and a new paradigm for experiencing art is desperately needed.
The question seems even more unlikely when one finds out that the play in question is titled The Nap. But the playwright is Richard Bean, who gave us One Man, Two Guvnors. As he tells Roslyn Sulcas, “[Snooker] is sociologically quite interesting, because it’s a working-class game. You read the autobiographies of the top players, the tropes are exactly the same: alcohol, gambling, fast cars, women trouble, dystopian families. That’s your raw material really. At the same time it’s unbelievably difficult, and it’s like playing first violin in the Philharmonic.”
Black and Latino musicians make up less than 5 percent of orchestra members. A group made up of 700 orchestras and several nonprofits wants to change that — so the National Alliance for Audition Support launched an effort this year. It provides training and financial assistance to get more black and Latino classical musicians into auditions.
“The dancers themselves meticulously organize these tours. They are in charge of fielding requests aligning schedules and flight itineraries, securing their own costumes and music, and then rehearsing for their guest roles — sometimes with an entirely new partner.” Meryl Cates talks to several of them, including such stars as Sara Mearns, about everything that goes into planning the tours and what makes them rewarding.
The question has become an active issue in the University of California system: employees at UCal’s 100 libraries are pushing to have a clause guaranteeing academic freedom included in the new contract they’re negotiating. The librarians thought the idea was “a no-brainer” and including it in the contract a mere formality, but UCal administrators maintain that the doctrine of academic freedom doesn’t apply to non-teaching staff.
When the new program, which offers a pair of free tickets per year for each of 33 museums and institutions to any city resident with a library card, launched last month, thousands of people applied — and a number of venues quickly ran out of available tickets.
Christian Tetzlaff’s Bartók Violin Concertos won the Concerto category, with Arcadi Volodos taking the Instrumental prize for his recent Brahms solo disc. Among other honorees are a period-instrument Ravel Daphnis et Chloé (Orchestral), mezzo Marianne Crebassa accompanied by Fazil Say (Solo Vocal), the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir singing Pärt and Schnittke (Choral), and the choir Blue Heron for the last of a five-disc set of never-before-recorded early Tudor sacred music.
John Earl Jelks: “If you live in L.A. or New York or Chicago or one of these major cities, you don’t really think about these people, but 100 miles outside of any of these places, life is so different … How did we end up forgetting about these people? Because that’s what happened.”
At the very end of last year, Cerny abruptly terminated his successful eight-year run at the helm of The Dallas Opera to head Calgary Opera — and eight months after that, at the start of this week, he announced that he was turning right back around to North Texas, taking the CEO position at the Fort Worth Symphony. In a Q&A, he explains it all to Gregory Sullivan Isaacs.
“We have to acknowledge that culture does change. It will affect how we present the Taylor canon. How do we take Paul’s work and curate it in a way that will serve its audience? Look at New York City Ballet and how they present Balanchine’s legacy. Balanchine created a range of works that need to be coached differently, and I see a lot of analogies to Paul’s work.”
With interest in what is now the world’s most expensive artwork continuing as it goes on view in Abu Dhabi, a recently spotted reference in historical documents may change the story of how the painting came into the collection of King Charles I of England. It seems as if His Majesty may have confiscated Salvator Mundi from one of his subjects.
“Woody Allen’s latest film, A Rainy Day in New York, has been left in limbo after Amazon Studios appeared to shelve it indefinitely. The production company, which was contractually obliged to distribute the film, said on Thursday: ‘No release date has ever been set.'”
“Managing a tourist destination is something like managing a natural resource, like a mine or a fishery; a sustainable level of tourists brings widespread gains to the local economy, but too many ruin it for everyone. … That so many different forces” — especially technological developments — “play into overtourism highlights the difficulties of doing much about it.”
“The numbers begin to paint the picture: Over 5,000 people attended concerts in Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Soweto and Johannesburg. Hundreds of students, ranging from elementary school to college age, joined performances, rehearsals and master classes with Minnesota Orchestra musicians. For many audience members, it was the first time with a live orchestra. For some it was the first time even hearing classical music. The reception ranged from amazement to rapturous applause.”
The BBC is being accused of ableism after casting Stranger Things star Charlie Heaton to play Joseph Merrick in its upcoming adaptation of The Elephant Man. Merrick — who had severe facial and body disfigurements thought to be a result of Proteus syndrome — died in 1890 at age 27. Though the Londoner has previously been portrayed by able-bodied actors like John Hurt and Bradley Cooper, Heaton’s casting has been [criticized by disability advocates and actors].”