The ongoing dispute over where and how the gospels should be kept, and who may see them, is intensely local yet symbolic. It revolves around the age-old traditions of an isolated monastery, but it exemplifies the scepticism sometimes aroused by Western heritage programmes. It encapsulates the rival claims of sacred rites and secular scholarship, raising questions about the aim of preservation and the ultimate ownership of a nation’s culture.
For these creators, a trade isn’t just about paying the bills; it’s something that grounds them in reality. In 2017, a day job might perform the same replenishing ministries as sleep or a long run: relieving creative angst, restoring the artist to her body and to the texture of immediate experience. But this break is also fieldwork. For those who want to mine daily life for their art, a second job becomes an umbilical cord fastened to something vast and breathing. The alternate gig that lifts you out of your process also supplies fodder for when that process resumes. Lost time is regained as range and perspective, the artist acquiring yet one more mode of inhabiting the world.
What if composers, instead of translating into music what they see in dance and dancers, could build scores directly from their own bodies? Dancers master the art of embodying existing music in such a way as to reach and affect their audience. How much more of an impact could work be when dancers can literally craft the score to their movements?
“Arts organisations will need to focus more on older audiences over the next 10 years to cater for England’s ageing population, new research has claimed. Engagement with audiences by theatres and other cultural organisations, along with their workforces, business models and use of technology, is set to change over the next decade, according to a report by development agency Nesta commissioned by [funder] Arts Council England.”
The world’s optimum population is less than two billion people – 5.6 billion fewer than on the planet today, he argues, and there is an increasing toxification of the entire planet by synthetic chemicals that may be more dangerous to people and wildlife than climate change. Ehrlich also says an unprecedented redistribution of wealth is needed to end the over-consumption of resources, but “the rich who now run the global system – that hold the annual ‘world destroyer’ meetings in Davos – are unlikely to let it happen”.
All of the brain’s place cells together represent the entirety of an animal’s environment, and whichever place cell is active indicates its current location. In other words, the hippocampus is like a GPS. It tells you where you are on a map and that map remains the same whether you are hungry and looking for food or sleepy and looking for a bed.
OK: “The piece is performed on Technics turntables, recreating the first ever pressed LP, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor by Nathan Milstein. Utilising groove screeching turntablist techniques, the group create a truly unique piece of music.”
No, really: “Michael Ellis, the arts minister, has put a temporary export bar on the artwork, Lobster Telephone (White Aphrodisiac), by Dalí and Edward James, to give buyers a chance to keep it in the UK.” (By the way, if you have £850,000, you can save it for the UK.)
A video of this building, with a lot of show notes after the video. If you love Broadway, you’ll probably want to watch it a few times. Like, a lot of times, just to enjoy the building: “More than 800 Broadway musicals and plays have begun here. The building, run by a nonprofit established in 1990 to redevelop 42nd Street, has 14 rehearsal studios that are rented on a sliding scale — commercial producers pay more, and nonprofits pay less.”
“I was by no means always an opera fan, and it was the singing that got me in the end. My grandmother and parents had taken me to see a couple of productions when I was younger in the hope of firing some latent interest, but it didn’t really grab me. Then, one day in my 20s, I heard a CD of my wife’s of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. I had no story to go on, no costumes, no set, no visuals at all, just a series of the most extraordinary voices singing insanely beautiful music. Hooked, I was. So hooked that all these years later I practically begged Glyndebourne to let me help present this weekend’s inaugural Glyndebourne Opera Cup competition for young singers.”
“The result of BA courses in curating will be a bunch of 21 year olds who will be theoretically savvy, but have little idea why particular works of art have a particular resonance at a particular time. They will be around £30,000 poorer after paying tuition fees – probably more, given their living costs – and they will realistically have few immediate employment prospects in the field of curating. Still, they can probably always go on to teach on a curating course.”
“Pat Martino had brain surgery in 1980 to remove a tangle of malformed veins and arteries. At the time he was one of the most celebrated guitarists in jazz. Yet few people knew that Martino suffered epileptic seizures, crushing headaches, and depression. Locked in psychiatric wards, he withstood debilitating electroshock therapy. It wasn’t until 2007 that Martino had an MRI and not until recently that neuroscientists published their analyses of the images. Galarza’s astonishment, like that of medical scientists and music fans, arises from the fact that Martino recovered from surgery with a significant portion of his brain and memory gone, but his guitar skills intact.”
“He rightly identifies one of the reasons behind the decline as being economic liberalism, which has led to the opening up of the Italian cultural sphere to private enterprise. He sees that it has encouraged a naive selling-out to the profit motive —as with the huge advertisements that for years defiled Venice—but he could, perhaps, have added that this has happened because the reasons for the symbiosis between the public and private sectors that exists in the UK and USA have not been understood by successive Italian governments.”
The civil rights leader and educator Mary McLeod Bethune will be the first African American figure to be honored with a monument in the National Statuary Hall in the US Capitol. Fittingly, Bethune will replace a Confederate general.
“Such groups are expanding their structures and missions, but for the successful artists who built them decades ago, doing so means making major changes to the way they’ve always operated. For some, it means passing the baton. The best-case scenarios emerge with input from the one person—the founder—who usually (and understandably) doesn’t want to talk about her own mortality. Still, avoiding the problem only increases the risk that one’s work will no longer be performed and philanthropic supporters will walk away.”
“Asian travellers are flocking to museums in the West to admire his artistic creations. Multi-million dollar paintings by the prolific artist have become the most sought after objects of desire among affluent Asian collectors in recent years. The reputations of other Western artists are no match to that of Picasso’s in this part of the world. Picasso is simply a synonym for Western art.” Vivienne Chow explores the reasons – which are much more than just the stratospheric prices his work commands.
“The final version of the federal budget was rolled out on Wednesday, and not only does it maintain funding levels for federal arts programs, it actually increases them. The NEA and NEH will receive $355 million in 2018 — an increase in five million from the year before. Meanwhile, $445 million has been allocated to CPB — the same total as last year.”
“How can you be a dictator without your sacred text, without a document to show your word is law?” From Lenin’s dense treatises and Hitler’s notorious memoir, through Mao’s “little red book” of aphorisms and Kim Jong-Il’s critical treatises on cinema and opera, to Türkmenbashi’s faux-folklore and Saddam Hussein’s romance novels, they just can’t stop themselves from churning out books. Colin Dickey examines the what and why.
“Amid the manifold campaigns to make classical music more accessible, less patriarchal, to take itself less absolutely seriously and to crack a smile – if not a joke – the outdated term is getting slightly grating to read. … [And] ‘maestro’ doesn’t fool anybody. If anything, it reveals a kind of uniquely fragile masculinity that sips time and again from the elixir of self-proclaiming ‘greatness’ in order to reaffirm its own status. The musicians, at least, don’t fall for it.”
“Often, the changes being made are nearly imperceptible from the outside. … By altering funding policies, swapping artistic directors or terminating contracts, [the ruling Law and Justice party is] taking an opportunist approach that doesn’t swap out the engines of Poland’s culture industry, but changes them slowly, piece by piece, cog by cog. … The government would rather have no cultural production than anything that might not fit its values.”
As Israel lives under the most openly right-wing nationalist government in its history and as tensions rise with the Palestinians in the territories (and with many countries overseas because of the issue), both the culture ministry and many combatively conservative citizens are attacking (sometimes physically) artists, dancers, filmmakers, theater companies, and so on that breach taboos ranging from nudity onstage to the treatment of Arabs and African refugees.
Paul Taylor and His Cohort
Paul Taylor American Modern Dance at Lincoln Center through March 25th.
I think I finally got it straight: Paul Taylor American Modern Dance is … read more
AJBlog: Dancebeat Published 2018-03-22
Catching Up (Well … Giving It A Good Try)
The John Coltrane project described in this post is completed and awaiting release by Concord Jazz. However,… in the next few posts we’ll call your attention to recent listening that may interest you. Some of the albums have been out a while. Others are quite new. … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2018-03-22
Why are galleries that incubate emerging talent finding it so difficult to survive? Is it simply the pressure of rising rents in expensive cities like London and New York? Or is there a wider problem? “The collectors aren’t going to galleries any more, they’re going to art fairs,” said John Martin, a dealer in contemporary art who has a gallery in the Mayfair district of London. “They’re less intimidating, more social, more convenient, and they’re open in the evenings and at the weekend,” he added. “People are time-poor.”
After debuting at age 19 with the Philadelphia Orchestra and later conducting under three different titles (including acting music director for one season) at the Chicago Symphony, he became the first music director of what was then called the Florida Gulf Coast Symphony (formed from the merger of ensembles in Tampa and St. Petersburg). He then molded it – sometimes with harsh criticism of musicians – into an accomplished professional orchestra.