Wednesday, July 28, 2021

ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

MUSIC

Spotify Now Has 165 Million Subscribers – More Than Apple And Amazon Combined

As for the rest of Spotify’s Q2 2021, the company reported 365 million monthly active users—a growth of 22% YOY. Total revenue was €2.33 billion, or about $2.75 billion. That’s an increase of 23% YOY. - Fast Company

West African Talking Drums Really Can Imitate Speech, Say Researchers

Yorùbá speech, that is. The West African language is tonal, using three different pitches, and dùndún drummers can adjust the tension on their drum heads to change pitch, stroke by stroke, to match Yorùbá syllables and words. - Smithsonian Magazine

12th-Century Organ, By Far The World’s Oldest, To Be Reconstructed

The pipes and carillon bells of the instrument were discovered a century ago at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Scholar-performer David Catalunya says the pipes are near-perfectly intact and that, over the next five years, he'll make them playable again. - Aleteia

Simon Rattle: We’ve Lost Many Musicians in the Pandemic

“Many of the first-choice people said, ‘Look I’m sorry, I’m not doing this any more. I have a family. I had to take another profession. Six months ago, I’d have welcomed it’,” he said. - The Guardian

The Difference Between Music Education and Not

"I felt so small. A half Navajo and half Apache girl writing 'fancy' music for a quartet — something I had never dreamed of or even crossed my mind." - Blavity

New Opera Company Debuts In Chicago

The Opera Festival of Chicago focuses on Italian works which may be somewhat familiar from recordings and broadcasts but rarely get professional productions in the US. They're starting small (two one-acts and a concert), but plan to work up to four operas per year. - Chicago Tribune

How Cincinnati Opera Is Reinventing Itself… Outdoors

“When we made the decision that we couldn’t perform indoors in Music Hall, the hunt was on. Of course, the first obvious choice would be the Zoo,” said artistic director Evans Mirageas. - Cincinnati Business Journal

Mockingbirds Create Songs Pretty Much The Way Humans Do

Timbre morphing, pitch morphing, stretch morphing and squeeze morphing: "Mockingbirds compose their songs much like human composers do, drawing phrases from other birds' melodies that follow these four basic morphing modes." - Wired

The Largest Wind Instrument In The World

Hint: It's in San Francisco. (And a musician just made an album with its tourist-pleasing self.) - The Guardian (UK)

Trying To Put On A Festival Amid Floods, A Plague, And Brexit

It's not easy for the Salzburg Festival, but performers and audience alike feel the reality that "peace doesn’t exist without its antithesis." - The New York Times

Musician And MacArthur Genius Rhiannon Giddens On Failure – And Success

Giddens, a singer, taught herself banjo after graduating from Oberlin. She says, "To suck at something is actually painful and we don’t really like that sensation. ... if you just throw yourself into it and are not afraid to fail, then that’s when you can learn things." - Washington Post

Asian Composers Only Make Up Two Percent Of America’s Upcoming Concert Seasons

Asian and Asian America composers explain the ways they've had an impact on - and been affected by - the sometimes exoticizing world of classical music. - The New York Times

The Porch Concerts Of The Pandemic Are Here To Stay

They began as a safe way to unite (and maybe pay) artists - and now Brooklyn's Ditmas Park is a music hub. - The New York Times

A Critic Confesses: I’ve Rarely Given Enough Credit To A Terrific Opera House Chorus

Joshua Kosman: "My reviews over the years have not always reflected the splendor of the Opera Chorus's artistry. … In my defense, most of the time my task is simply to find new words for an old truth... - San Francisco Chronicle

Many Musicians Quit During The Pandemic. Many Won’t Be Going Back

Dozens of musicians in the Pittsburgh area and around the country are either adjusting their careers to include more stable side hustles in the aftermath of the pandemic or hanging up their instruments for good. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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