Mary Lou Williams once said, “I’m the only living musician that was there when each era started.” Richard Brody writes that “she was more than just there – she was one of the key developers of the musical ideas of these eras, and she did more than just remain up-to-date; from era to era, she surpassed herself.”
The Desires Driving Human Behavior: Bertrand Russell’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
“Nothing in the world is more exciting than a moment of sudden discovery or invention, and many more people are capable of experiencing such moments than is sometimes thought.”
Oyster, The ‘Netflix For Books’, Shuts Down (And Its Staff Heads To Google Play Books)
“In a blog post on Monday, Oyster’s founders said they were ‘taking steps to sunset’ the company’s service, which launched in 2012. ‘We believe more than ever that the phone will be the primary reading device globally over the next decade,’ they wrote. ‘Looking forward, we feel this is best seized by taking on new opportunities to fully realize our vision for e-books.’ Those opportunities may happen at Google.”
An Annotated History Of Annotations
From Humpty Dumpty’s explication de texte of “Jabberwocky” to the endless loops of comment on everything from rap lyrics to campaign speeches at Genius.com, Evan Kindly leads us down the (annotated) rabbit hole.
The Architect Who Is Changing Manhattan’s Skyline
In Manhattan alone, Bjarke Ingels is simultaneously designing four major additions to the Hudson River skyline and a $335 million hybrid park and flood defense system known as the Dryline along the East River, offering a collective opportunity to leave an enormous personal imprint.
Versailles Ordered To Cover Over Vandalism On Anish Kapoor’s Sculpture
“A French court ordered the Palace of Versailles to cover anti-Semitic graffiti from the artist Anish Kapoor’s installation there this weekend, after a local politician, Fabien Bouglé, filed a complaint that Mr. Kapoor and the palace were inciting racial hatred by leaving the vandalism intact.” Kapoor is not happy: “I feel like a girl who was raped and who is told to go get dressed in a corner.”
BBC Fends Off Attacks On Digital Arts Project ‘The Space’ And Its ‘Syrian Muppet Videos’
Facing attacks in the tabloid press under headlines such as “BBC blows £8 million on weird art website” and “BBC bosses waste MILLIONS on bizarre art projects – including puppet videos”, “the Corporation defended its use of licence fee money to fund The Space website as it faces multi-million pound cuts to its finances.”
Career Transition For Dancers Merges With The Actors Fund
“The services of Career Transition For Dancers will be integrated into the ongoing programs of The Actors Fund, it was announced Sept. 21. … The Actors Fund’s full range of services are also available to the dance community and will serve to complement those of Career Transition For Dancers.”
TV Has Been Incredibly Resilient As A Medium. But Might That Be Changing?
The audience for live TV appears to be contracting to a smaller base of passive, older viewers. Most worrisome from a financial perspective is that television is reaching fewer fifteen-to-thirty-five-year-olds, who spend more time engaging with social media on smartphones than staring at freestanding screens.
Music Streaming Posts Its First $1Billion Year
Digital downloads of songs continued to fall out of favour in the first half of the year, while free and paid music-streaming revenue kept growing, even without much of a bump from the launch of Apple Music.
Lowest-Rated Emmys Ever?
“Nielsen says Sunday’s three-hour special on Fox averaged just 11.9 million viewers, making it the least-watched Emmycast in history. Last year, when it aired on a Monday in late August on NBC, it logged 15.6 million viewers. In 2013, 17.8 million viewers tuned in for CBS’ broadcast, teamed with an NFL game as a powerful lead-in.”
A Better Version Of Wikipedia?
The fact that there is a specific author and editor, and that the SEP has become so important to philosophy, helps make all of this easier. Any errors reflect poorly on the contributors, and someone who spots a slip-up can talk to a real person about it—neither of which is true with Wikipedia. And if an author is slow or unwilling to respond, the editorial board will transfer his or her responsibilities to a brisker philosopher.
A Rite Of Freakin’ Spring Grows In Brooklyn
As the asymmetrical groove of the “Ritual of the Rival Tribes” chugged into motion, men in their 20s and 30s began to bob their heads. Soon, movements grew more demonstrative (aided by a couple of professionals planted in the crowd). In the amorphous sections of “The Sacrifice” a few couples gamely tried to slow dance. The violent “Glorification of the Chosen One” briefly spawned a hardcore-style mosh pit in the increasingly steamy hall.
UK’s National Theatre To Cut Back Sunday Performances And Number Of Actors On Roster
“Rufus Norris is planning to scale back Sunday openings at the National Theatre and reduce the number of actors employed on its main stage as part of measures to make the organisation ‘leaner’. The NT director also spoke for the first time about the sudden departure of Tessa Ross from the theatre as executive director, claiming the theatre should be run by an ‘artist’.”
‘Yellowface’ Concerns Lead New York Gilbert And Sullivan Players To Cancel ‘Mikado’
“The Mikado poses special problems: it has some of the most beautiful music and wittiest lyrics of any Gilbert and Sullivan work, but its use of a fictional Japanese setting to satirize British culture presents staging challenges if it is not to come off as a jumble of ugly caricatures and stereotypes. A production last year in Seattle was criticized as ‘yellowface’ by a columnist in The Seattle Times, setting off a wide-ranging discussion of the work.”
The Rise Of The Bite-Sized Romantic Comedy
“In contrast to Hollywood’s rom-coms – whose pleasures often feel like ‘settling’ – their TV analogues have a romanticism that is at once earnest and earned. They’re unphony about sex. They’re legitimately funny. They provide a helpful blueprint for any American planning to sleep with a Brit. It doesn’t hurt that they have short seasons: you can binge-watch these shows without losing your week.”
Top Posts From AJBlogs 09.21.15
How Not to Save Money
The other day one of the excellent character artists in opera wrote me that he was going into another business: he likes to perform in the United States, but many companies, both large and small, have … read more
AJBlog: OperaSleuth Published 2015-09-21
American Festival of Microtonal Music
We have a very busy week here, with the American Festival of Microtonal Music coming to town. Curated by two of our alumni, the festival has three concerts in three different venues on consecutive nights … read more
AJBlog: Infinite Curves Published 2015-09-21
LARB Video Interview: Miles on William S. Burroughs
Dunno how my tireless staff of thousands missed this. It’s as striking a summary of Burroughs’s life and writing as I’ve seen. His best biographer gives a sense of the man and his work that … read more
AJBlog: Straight|Up Published 2015-09-21
Philadelphia Orchestra Contract Expires, But Musicians And Management Agree To Keep Talking
“Talks, which began in April, have yielded little progress, the sources said, and members of the full ensemble authorized a strike several weeks ago. Players had hoped to regain ground lost during the bankruptcy.”
Authors Ask Chinese President To Free Dissident Jailed Writers
“In an open letter to Xi, published just before the Chinese president’s first US state visit this week, more than 40 authors have come together to express their ‘deepest concern about the deteriorating state of free expression in China.’ The letter highlights four cases of writers who are currently imprisoned in China.”
95-Degree Heat And Long Lines Don’t Keep Thousands Of People From The Broad’s Opening Day
“The private parties have been great, but this is the real deal.”
Bear With Us Here: Facebook Ads Are Actually Designed With An Idealistic Goal In Mind
“In some ways, Facebook’s VCG auction is still a theoretical exercise. How much do advertisers really think about gaming the system? How much do they really understand about the way the auction prevents such gaming? How much do they understand the value of an ad in a particular situation? Such questions can’t necessarily be answered.”
NPR Snags The ‘First Listen’ To The Broadway Cast Recording Of ‘Hamilton’
And “Hamiltunes” is already trending on Twitter. Go ahead, listen to the hottest ticket in New York.
The Case For Bartok’s Greatness
In the end, one must ask why Béla Bartók’s Hungarian-oriented music has prevailed over that of Elgar, Sibelius, Nielsen, and other nationalists. One suspects that its universality stems not just from its folksong-inspired idiom, or its use of comprehensible forms, or its earthy, forceful rhythms. Its broad appeal seems rooted, rather, in Bartók’s belief that “every true art is produced through the influence of impressions we gather within ourselves from the outer world of ‘experiences’.”