“Never in human history have people had easier access to music. As studies such as the 2016 Music Consumer Insider Report and Nielsen Music 360 Study of 2015 have revealed, a large portion (over 90%) of the U.S. population listens to music beyond 20 hours each week, and young people are especially engaged with music. While there is broad engagement with music, there are two musical genres which have increasingly moved to the periphery of ordinary life; the very two genres that I would argue have become unusually comfortable ignoring emotional connection between music performer and the general-public listener.”
“Capoeira developed in Brazil, derived from traditions brought across the Atlantic Ocean by enslaved Africans … During this time, the art was considered a social infirmity and officially prohibited by the Brazilian Penal Code. The identification of ‘the outlaw’ with capoeira was so widespread that the word became a synonym for ‘bum,’ ‘bandit,’ and ‘thief.’ However, that did not stop the capoeiristas from practicing. They moved to marginal places and camouflaged the martial art as a form of dance.”
“Whatever arrogance you have – is the past lesser or greater? It’s all the same. And loss is loss is loss. And so wars are united, because they are big loss machines. They drive families apart and then some people don’t come home. … And that’s why they’re so instructive, because they remind us again and again of the worst of us. And we hope in some ways that by studying it you might mitigate it, but it won’t. There will always be wars and everybody feels it the same.” (podcast plus transcript)
As the eponymous physician in the TV series House said, “You talk to God, you’re religious. God talks to you, you’re psychotic.” Neuroscientist Dean Burnett explains that it’s all about the way the brain sets up its model of how the world works.
“The seating arrangement for the musicians in an orchestra is designed, naturally, to make the music sound best to the audience sitting out in the hall. … But [it] is definitely not optimized for the listening pleasure of the musicians, who hear a different cacophony depending on where they sit. ‘The stage has 101 acoustical micro-climates. Every seat on that stage is different,’ says section percussionist Perry Dreiman.” (audio)
“That selfie audience has brought a virtual community activated via Instagram. Surely that entry point has been apart of our success. … There is some resistance to the selfies, but we’re stuck with it. … Isn’t every painting a selfie in some effect?”
“Choreographers Javier De Frutos, Craig Revel Horwood, Ivan Perez and Christopher Wheeldon have teamed up with all-male dance company BalletBoyz for its new show, Fourteen Days. The choreographers will each work with different composers and given just 14 days to work with the BalletBoyz ensemble to create a new piece.”
“The era’s psychiatrists were fighting the psychic fallout produced by the frenetic pace of urban existence. The profession faced an epidemic of so-called “nervous” diseases, such as hysteria and neurasthenia, which were thought to be caused or exacerbated by overstimulation. Modernity brought speed, stress, and constant sensory bombardment—a perfect recipe for rattled nerves. To repair a shaken nervous system, doctors often prescribed a change of scene, sometimes coupled with baths, special diets, or exercise regimens.”
“Burns has long worked with multiple teams; these different squads of writers and producers mean that he can sometimes release as many as two ambitious films in a single year. Among these collaborators, Novick stands out. She is one of the few people who have shared directing credit with Burns more than once, collaborating with him on Frank Lloyd Wright, Prohibition, The Tenth Inning (an update to Baseball), The War, and now The Vietnam War. Novick, not Burns, now conducts most of the interviews for the films they make together. And the movies that result are a product of a unique alchemy: Novick’s penchant for obsessive research blended with Burns’s eye for narrative arc.”
“The truth of mathematics holds independently of what facts might obtain in the world. The laws of physics could change but the maths wouldn’t. That’s why Hume distinguished between the truths of mathematics, which he said involved the “relations of ideas”, with “matters of fact”, truths about the world.”
“When the Kimmel programs the plaza and streetscape, as it does with festivals and summer solstice parties, the vibe is superb. … But when there’s nothing going on there, as is the case many daylight hours during the week, it’s just you, a security guard or two, and the psychic tumbleweeds. To have Center City charged with workers, shoppers, and students as the Kimmel sleeps is an oddly squandered opportunity at a time when the arts are looking for all the friends they can get.”
In awarding her its Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, “the National Book Foundation praised the author of The Shipping News, ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and other fiction for her ‘impressive lyricism and wit that captivates readers of all ages.'”
While “virtual multichannel video programming distributors” like Hulu, YouTube TV and Sling TV are poised to grow, they’ll significantly cannibalize the existing base of traditional pay-TV customers, according to RBC’s analysis. About 15% of the addressable market for “vMVPDs” will come from legacy cable and satellite subs, with 10% from “cord-never” broadband-only households.
“Creatively, VR felt like a natural progression for us, and I believe it’s a fantastic medium for orchestral music. 2D video and stereo audio can struggle to convey the complex dynamics and visceral energy of a live symphony orchestra. This could be why livestreaming orchestral performances to cinemas has not had the widespread success enjoyed by theatre and opera companies. An orchestra just comes across as too flat, with the players at risk of looking detached and remote from the viewer.”
We need a cultural plan matching the scale of the crisis, proposing bold, courageous action — but Mayor de Blasio’s “CreateNYC” Cultural Plan disappoints, with its cosmetic and feel-good narrative. Where’s the activist mayor who pledged to fight Albany so that New York City could collect higher income taxes? Where are the City Council members who faced arrest protesting the 2015 expiration of the rent laws?
Art Berlin, featured 112 galleries, almost 80 percent of which were based in Germany. The event, owned and co-organized by the owners of the Art Cologne, replaced the gallery-run Art Berlin Contemporary (ABC), which for the previous nine years had struggled to market large-scale artists’ projects within the commercial context of a fair.
“For Goethe, world literature represented the bold ideal of a world in which no single language or nation dominated. World literature was the cultural expression of a political order, one in which the world had moved beyond the nationalism and colonialism that were dominating the 19th century. Goethe knew he would have to convert his contemporaries to the ideal of world literature.”
“Here in the ‘City of Arts and Innovation,’ I’d like to see UNCSA lead the branding and development of a vibrant ‘Arts Quarter’ to complement what Wake Forest University has done so brilliantly and beautifully in the city’s Innovation Quarter,” he said.
“MoDo: You love embroidering rude cushions with bawdy language and giving them to your famous friends.
JuDe: I used to do that a lot, but my eyesight doesn’t let me anymore. I found someone to make the cushions for me.”
“The genial architect in wire-rimmed glasses planned and designed soccer stadiums in Qatar, sweeping roadways in China and entire cities in Algeria, and in a five-decade career was described as one of the finest urban planners in Germany. For all the acclaim, he received few commissions in the German capital. Clients, he said, probably feared the inevitable headline: that Albert Speer – ‘the devil’s architect,’ Hitler’s master builder – was again building in Berlin. Never mind that the builder was in this case his son.”
“The provocative image of dancer Vanesa Garcia-Ribala Montoya striking a pose, covered in blood with a nail through her foot, was chosen to advertise [Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal’s] performance of Stabat Mater, set to a score by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi.”
“The former McKinsey management consultant [Cressida Pollock] took over running of the crisis-hit company in September 2015 after Arts Council England placed it in special measures and demanded the recruitment of a leader who would turn the business around.
“He and his wife called a taxi to get him to his orchestra engagement. But when the taxi pulled up to deliver him to the theater, he couldn’t get out of the car. He had to be taken away by ambulance. ‘You have to be operated on within 72 hours,’ the doctor told him.” Anne Midgette writes about how Gianandrea Noseda coped with an enforced 50-day break due to a herniated disc.
As it does every year, American Theatre magazine omits the Bard’s plays and A Christmas Carol adaptations (because they’d lead year in, year out). Yet the most-produced play of the coming season is … Shakespeare in Love. (Most of the rest of the list is higher-brow.)
Editor Diep Tran: “This year, when I finished calculating the … list for 2017-18, and saw who was at the top, I let out a laugh. ‘Of course!’ I exclaimed. I was not surprised by the name at the top; she had been on it last year, at No. 2, just under August Wilson. It was almost poetic.”
The mayor of the German city of Kassel, which hosts and helps fund Documenta, acknowledged that this year’s unprecedented €7 million deficit was the result of extending the show to Athens. (This was the first time Documenta had taken place in any other city.) Even so, the organizers argued that, with total attendance of more than 1 million, this year’s Documenta was the most visited contemporary art exhibition of all time.
“He liked to say, with the false modesty that is permitted to great successes, that his career was a series of disasters. As well as his failure to enter art school, he failed to make the grade in his first choice of career, as a game warden in Africa. His second choice was to work on the buses. Before he embarked on this, however, he put his artistic ambition and love of African wildlife together, to create the singular success by which he is known.”
Guest Columnist: Ken Burns’ Vietnam
Much of the nation has been debating the latest Ken Burns documentary, which I – the son of a Marine officer nearly killed in 1967 – have not yet had the stomach to watch. … read more
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2017-09-21
Upstairs & Downstairs at the Royal National Theatre
It’s said … that the auditorium of the 1,100-seat Olivier Theatre (upstairs at the Royal National Theatre) is modelled on the amphitheatre at Epidaurus. … read more
>AJBlog: Plain English Published 2017-09-21
Pete Turner, Eminent Jazz Photographer, Dies
Pete Turner, the photographer whose work became cover art for dozens of memorable jazz albums, has died at 83. … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-09-21
“The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts has started work on a 277-seat hall that, in addition to being a venue for PAFA’s own activities, will host concerts, lectures, and other events by PAFA’s partner arts groups … and will be offered as a rental space to others seeking a small state-of-the-art venue.” Peter Dobrin talks to people with several organizations who believe that there’s an empty niche for a hall that size.