“The ABC is dismantling its historic sound and reference libraries across the country and making 10 specialist librarians redundant to free up floor space and save on wages. Radio National, Classic FM, JJJ and all the other ABC programs rely on the Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Hobart libraries, which are packed full of CDs and vinyl as well as books and journals after 85 years of collecting.”
Philosophers have puzzled over the question of what enjoyment is, proposing competing accounts of pleasure, but we can take a straightforward view that enjoyment is a distinctive state of finding an experience pleasurable. The hallmark feature of pleasure, in turn, is its feel-good quality. An enjoyable experience feels good. And it can be distinguished thus from a painful one, which feels bad. Does then the transitory nature of enjoyment undermine its worth? Or might that very brevity of enjoyment be part of its importance in human life?
As with just about any cool city these days, real estate costs in the City of Roses have been rising faster than cash-strapped arts organizations can keep up with – especially for the clear-space buildings that theatres need. As several of Portland’s smaller companies lost their spaces at around the same time, they got creative.
The practical utility of Google Translate and similar technologies is undeniable, and probably it’s a good thing overall, but there is still something deeply lacking in the approach, which is conveyed by a single word: understanding. Machine translation has never focused on understanding language. Instead, the field has always tried to “decode”—to get away without worrying about what understanding and meaning are.
The multidimensional or layered character of complex problems undermines the principle of meritocracy: the idea that the ‘best person’ should be hired. There is no best person. When putting together an oncological research team, a biotech company such as Gilead or Genentech would not construct a multiple-choice test and hire the top scorers, or hire people whose resumes score highest according to some performance criteria. Instead, they would seek diversity. They would build a team of people who bring diverse knowledge bases, tools and analytic skills.”
“At $30, it costs more to enter the Barnes than any other art museum in the country, according to a list compiled by Art News since the decision by the Metropolitan Museum in New York to end pay-what-you-wish ticket prices for out-of-state visitors. The Met now charges $25. But wait. That $30 Barnes ticket is not the “official” admission price — even though you can’t get in without paying it.”
Traditionally, the Afro-Brazilian drum bands of Bahia state were strictly male affairs. Then, in 1993, Neguinho do Samba – considered the father of the current drumming style in Bahia and former head of the standard-bearer of the form, the group Olodum – founded Banda Didá specifically for females. Reporter Shannon Sims goes to Salvador do Bahia to see and hear them. (includes video)
“Chicago is secure [with Riccardo Muti] for the time being, but major orchestras in San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas and Detroit are all looking for new maestros.” So are the opera companies in San Francisco and D.C. And Seattle, St. Louis, D.C. (again) and New York (opera and orchestra both) have recently acquired new music directors. Michael Cooper presents “your cheat sheet on the comings and goings on some of the nation’s top podiums.”
“The work by Robert Indiana was first installed [near Philadelphia’s City Hall] on loan for the U.S. bicentennial celebrations in 1976 and was repainted twice using – in addition to its dominant red and green – a blue paint that turned out to be the wrong color.” When it returns from its yearlong renovation in two weeks, the right color will be there. (And that color is?)
The company is Evidence, choreographer Ronald K. Brown’s troupe, and the dancer is Bessie winner Arcell Cabuag, now the company’s associate artistic director. In honor of Cabuag’s 20th anniversary with Evidence, Brown is creating a new duet for the two of them – and Gia Kourlas went to their studio to talk with the two of them about it.
“The decision [by the Hungarian State Opera] to use white singers is contrary to the clear wishes of George and Ira Gershwin, whose estates stipulate that the opera be performed only by black casts,” and all publicity for the production now reflects that. At least they’re not using blackface (as the company did during the Communist period): the production concept sets the opera in a refugee camp, with the characters as migrants.
“Under-fire arts quango Creative Scotland has been forced to hold crisis talks to “review” controversial funding cuts. An emergency board meeting is to be held within days to ‘take stock’ of the fall-out from moves to strip 20 companies of long-term funding. The Scottish Government has revealed that the summit has been called to ‘review certain decisions,’ raising the prospect of an embarrassing climbdown for the quango.”
“[She] did her work behind the scenes, eschewing labels like ‘producer’ and ‘presenter’ while performing a wide array of functions – go-between, convincer, fund-raiser and more – that might in fact have fallen under those job descriptions. When pressed, she would use a humble term to characterize her role: ‘secrétaire d’artistes‘ – secretary of artists.” Among those artists were Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown, Meredith Monk, Richard Foreman, Philip Glass and Robert Wilson (she engineered the commissioning of Einstein on the Beach).
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This is part of a series, introduced in Baby Steps, about arts organizations’ initial efforts in community engagement. … The essence is that simple, inexpensive initial steps offer the best way to embark upon community engagement. … read more
AJBlog: Engaging Matters Published 2018-01-30
Correspondence, Illustrated: Shoemake On Nash
Vibraphonist Charlie Shoemake has instructed hundreds of aspiring jazz musicians in the techniques and mysteries of improvisation. Among his early students was Ted Nash, who as a young man … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2018-01-30
Joe Henry, Poetry, and The Blues
Like a lot of listeners, I’ve long considered Joe Henry to be a smart and vaguely literary songwriter – smart, more-or-less sensitive, good with words. But I was pleasantly surprised when Joe … read more
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2018-01-30
The Turkish air strike hit near the main doorway to the temple, causing severe damage to the central and southeastern parts of the building. The site appears to have no military significance and the fact that the bombs destroyed the temple entrance suggests that the archaeological site was directly targeted. If so, this would be a breach of the Hague Convention on the protection of cultural property during armed conflict.