The Instant Award for Improvised Music “is granted by a new organization called the Horse With No Name, formed specifically for that purpose by the funder of the prize (who insists on anonymity). [Chicago art gallery] Corbett vs. Dempsey functions as a conduit for administering the award. … The first two winners are Poughkeepsie multi-instrumentalist (and frequent Chicago visitor) Joe McPhee, who shows no sign of slowing down at age 78, and Baltimore pedal-steel virtuoso Susan Alcorn.”
“The common misconception is that this trick involves the performer somehow ‘throwing’ their voice through a clever trick of the voice box.” But that’s not it at all. “‘Imagine you hear a loud sound, and at exactly the same time, there is an abrupt appearance of something. Then, automatically — because of the coincidence in time — you would tend to associate these two events as originating from the same cause,’ says [researcher] Salvador Soto-Faraco … ‘That is the inference that happens in ventriloquist illusions.'”
“I’m not going to say that the tide has changed, no. But … I think people who have been in power, who have mostly been white men, and people who are white, they listen now. They not only listen and are open, they make the effort for change. I do feel that has changed. I can feel it now because of the way I can push: ‘Hey, what about this? Hey, what about that?’ Trust me, I’m relentless.
A new exhibition in Hamburg by curator Roger M. Buergel (still known for his provocative Documenta 12 in 2007) “delivers on its contention that European museums need to do much more than just restitute plundered objects in their collections, important as that is. A 21st-century universal museum has to unsettle the very labels that the age of imperialism bequeathed to us: nations and races, East and West, art and craft.”
Maria Konnikova: “It’s really physically and emotionally and mentally exhausting. I’m just sitting at a poker table inside a casino. I don’t actually see any of the places I visit a lot of the time. It can get really lonely. … People want to get into it because they think it’s easy money are absolutely insane. It’s some of the most difficult money in the world.”
“After more than a decade, the Oxford American, a nonprofit literary magazine that explores Southern culture, has finally paid off the entire $700,000 debt it owed the University of Central Arkansas. Since the debt began accumulating in 2004 and peaked in 2008, UCA has seen four presidents, and the nonprofit magazine has parted ways with its founding editor and has a new top editor and executive director.”
On last weekend’s UK broadcast of the popular TV series, one Jude Hooke showed the resident specialist a printed score of the “Enigma Variations” with annotations and pasted-in corrected passages of music in Elgar’s own hand. Imagine the surprise of the Elgar Foundation: that very score had gone missing in 1994 – at which time, it turns out, Ms. Hooke’s late husband was an attorney at the same firm as the Foundation’s former vice-chairman.
“Why Truthbrary? Well, as the website, which seems to have been set up last year explains, it’s a rejection of ‘THE MAINSTREME MEDIA + THE LIEbrary OF FALSE INFORMATION THEY TRY TO PUSH INTO THE PUBLICS MIND’S.'” The television project to which Truthbrary is a companion, Who Is America?, features Baron Cohen posing as an arch-conservative “citizen journalist” and includes interviews with, among others, Sarah Palin, Roy Moore, and Dick Cheney, all unsuspecting.
Not much has yet been publicly revealed about Who Is America?, which premieres next week in Britain and the US, except that Cohen posed as a right-wing “citizen journalist” named Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr, PhD, who convinced Palin and Moore to be interviewed on camera and even got Dick Cheney to autograph a “waterboard kit.” In fact, since Palin found out she’d been duped and called Baron Cohen “evil, exploitative and sick,” Baron Cohen has issued a response, in character as Ruddick, which has been reproduced here.
Mike Scutari interviews Kate D. Levin, who was also New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs commissioner for the 12 years Michael Bloomberg was mayor, about the “virtuous cycle that public art tends to trigger” and how government and non-governmental leaders in cities are coming to understand “the creative sector’s ability to address pressing civic issues.”
A pair of Belgian stage artists who are leaders of Europe’s institutional avant-garde, director Ivo van Hove and choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, will stage the first major American revival of the musical to make a complete departure from the model of Jerome Robbins’s original staging. (De Keersmaeker and her company have been regular visitors at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; van Hove has directed two Arthur Miller revivals on Broadway and won a Tony for one of them.)
“Sometime in 1978 a huge piece by Robert Motherwell, the modernist painter, went missing from a Manhattan warehouse, one of dozens that were lost and thought stolen when Motherwell hired a moving company to help him switch his works from one storage site to another. On Thursday, four decades after it had disappeared, the 1967 work, ‘Untitled,’ now valued at $1 million, was returned to the foundation dedicated to preserving Motherwell’s legacy. It was found in a garage in upstate New York by the son of a man who used to work for the movers.”
“The Art Institute campuses in Durham and Charlotte are among more than 30 campuses across the country run by [Dream Center Educational Holdings]. Art Institutes offer classes in animation, design, film and audio production and fashion, as well as a culinary school. … The Art Institute schools were all acquired earlier this year by Dream Center Education Holdings, a California-based nonprofit, for $60 million … [from] Pittsburgh-based Education Management Corp., a for-profit school operator.”
“Even at age 36, Lang Lang projects a boyish charisma that employs your protective instincts — all the more so if you saw him grow up before your eyes, emerging from his cramped Spruce Street apartment, speaking broken English, and yet becoming something as close to a rock star as any classical pianist can be.” David Patrick Stearns (who did see all that) reports on Lang Lang’s performance of a Mozart concerto with the Boston Symphony last week and checks in with Lang Lang’s primary teacher at Curtis, Gary Graffman.
“The New South Wales state government is pushing ahead with a controversial plan to relocate the Powerhouse Museum — part of the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences — from central Sydney to a western suburb, despite widespread criticism and an ongoing parliamentary inquiry. At a cost of A$1.2bn ($890m), … [the project] means demolishing the museum, which opened in 1988 in Ultimo, central Sydney, and seven historic buildings in Parramatta, 23km to the west, to make way for a new museum due to open in 2023.”
“The number of women directing plays at [the Gate Theatre in Dublin] is up from 8 per cent between 2006 and 2015 to 80 per cent in the last 18 months … The number of women writers increased from 6 per cent to 33 per cent over the same period, set designers 26 per cent to 44 per cent, lighting designers 13 per cent to 33 per cent, and sound designers 1 per cent to 44 per cent.”
“Most UK theatres are run by people with the title of ‘artistic director’. But many taking over a building for the first time, even if they are not doing the job of chief executive as well, very quickly understand that being artistic is only one part of the job. … Lyn Gardner talks to those in the know and finds they all agree the overall experience of an audience is as important as the plays they stage.”
“Television is dead. And television will not be reborn. It will not come back. What has surfaced instead is the digital platform of entertainment. Cinema will come back with different meaning.” The digital platform to which Refn seems to be referring in particular is his own byNWR.com, which he calls an unadulterated cultural expressway for the arts. It’s there to inspire the youth!”
Dance Magazine talks to Sergio Trujillo, Gabrielle Lamb, Joe Goode, Rosie Herrera, and Claudia Schreier, who says, “Often I am already thinking about the things they mentioned. Translating dance into words is the gift of the critic, so to hold that reflection back at you can be incredibly helpful.”
Just two years ago, Univision acquired what became the Gizmodo Media Network from the wreckage of Gawker Media. Now the Spanish-language broadcast network has “initiated a formal process to explore the sale” of the group, which includes, among other sites, The Onion, The A.V. Club, Deadspin, Gizmodo, Clickhole, Jezebel, and The Root.
Within a day of the emergence of the last of the boys and their adult coach from the flooded cave near Chiang Rai, faith-based studio Pure Flix Entertainment (the God’s Not Dead franchise) announced plans for a film adaptation of the story under its mainstream imprint Pinnacle Peaks (Little Women). The next day, beginning with a furious tweet saying “I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout the Thai Cave rescue story!,” director John Chu (Now You See Me 2, Crazy Rich Asians) and Ivanhoe Pictures revealed they had secured rights to the story from the Thai navy and government.
Rodent damage to a high-voltage electric line caused a power failure at the Adelaide Festival Centre in South Australia Wednesday, forcing evacuation of the audience by flashlight. The disrupted performances were The Australian Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty and Australian Dance Theatre’s production of Garry Stewart’s The Beginning of Nature (where the audience at first thought the blackout was part of the production).
“Kaiser advised the city/county task force formed earlier this year as it worked to come up with solutions to the symphony’s recurring financial issues. … Kaiser is a well-regarded consultant whose career includes stints leading the Kennedy Center and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Foundation. He founded the Kennedy Center Arts Management Institute, now known as the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, in 2001 to serve as a training ground for arts administrators.”
“In his first interview since the fire, [Tom] Inns said: ‘We’re going to rebuild the Mackintosh building. There’s been a huge amount of speculation about what should happen with the site and quite rightly so, but from our point of view and that of the city of Glasgow, it is critically important that the building comes back as the Mackintosh building.'”
“Stir, operated by Starr Catering Group, will be the only Gehry-designed restaurant offering fine dining to the public anywhere on the East Coast. It is scheduled to open Oct. 9 and will be the first sign of Gehry’s touch at the Art Museum. The Core Project, for which work started last year, is scheduled to be completed in 2020.”
By the time this most recent contract extension (three years) is fulfilled, Jansons will have been chief conductor of this orchestra (widely considered Germany’s only real peer of the Berlin Philharmonic) for 21 years. Considered crucial to Jansons’s agreement to extend was a government commitment to build a new concert hall for the orchestra, which performs at the acoustically poor Philharmonie am Gasteig. (in German)