“To my colleagues who work in classical music, I have a request. Let’s stop with the rules. If there is in fact something wrong with classical music, consider that it has everything to do with how we talk about it and nothing to do with anything else. And, if you are hearing music by Bach in a church performed by an internationally-known soloist who has been performing this music for nearly seven decades, being reverential is OK, not snobby or elitist. Likewise, some guidelines in the program may be entirely appropriate for a roomful of teenagers new to classical music-going.”
“As the dean of libraries at a state school, I contend that the economic model for academic journal publications is broken. As scholars are handicapped by limited access to the corpus of research in their fields, scientific progress is restricted and slows, and society ultimately loses.” Patrick Burns of Colorado State University explains how things have gone wrong.
“The sarcophagus of the pharaoh Seti I, carved from a single vast block of translucent alabaster, cost [Sir John] Soane £2,000 after the British Museum turned it down … Almost 900 people trooped through his rooms and into the basement renamed ‘the Sepulchral Chamber’, where the sarcophagus glowed eerily, lit by candles placed inside. [His] museum recently recreated the experiment.”
“The great Polish composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin had a morbid fear of premature burial. ‘The earth is suffocating,’ he told one of his sisters as he lay on his death bed in 1849. ‘Swear to make them cut me open, so that I won’t be buried alive.’ … His heart was removed and later stored in a jar of cognac, then interred in a church pillar in Poland. Now scientists have taken advantage of Chopin’s morbid desire.”
As the movie Call Me By Your Name gets rapturous reviews, two London theatre chains are in hot water for raising the lights during the credits – which actually scroll over the final scene in the movie. That could be because of automation or health and safety laws, but how can it be fixed?
Style, handwriting, and documentary evidence all played a part. Details help: “The gnarled torso, the lightly sketched peripheral elements and the corrections made with parallel hatching are all hallmarks of Michelangelo.”
Pfeiffer told the BBC, “I know I’m having conversations with women I’ve known my whole life and we have never discussed this and it is coming out.”
Though let’s be honest here, Hollywood probably knows who SHOULD be next. “This is, after all, Hollywood in the age of President Trump, a reality show host who crystallized the marriage of celebrity and politics, and a candidate who admitted to groping women only to land in the White House. The entertainment industry railed at Trump but the allegations against Weinstein, Ratner and others suggest a long pattern of abuse perpetrated by men who considered themselves artists and liberals.”
Physicists are using statistical mechanics to study origami folds – and defects in the folds. Why? “Crease patterns are also networks—not of particles, but of folds. Using these conceptual tools normally reserved for gases and crystals, Assis is gaining some intriguing insights.”
The Red Shoes Redux
Matthew Bourne/New Adventures brings the 1948 movie, The Red Shoes, to the stage. Victoria Page (Sara Mearns) “auditions” for Boris Lermontov (Sam Archer on settee) at a party given by her aunt, Lady Nestor (Daisy May … read more
AJBlog: DancebeatPublished 2017-11-04
Unions, Journalism, and the Creative Class
IF we needed another reason to disdain the billionaires who increasingly dominate our political and cultural life: The Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts shut down several news sites, including Gothamist and LAist because the … read more
AJBlog: CultureCrashPublished 2017-11-03
Replay: Herman Wouk appears on What’s My Line?
Herman Wouk, the author of The Caine Mutiny and Marjorie Morningstar, appears as the mystery guest on What’s My Line? John Daly is the host and the panelists are Fred Allen, Bennett Cerf, Arlene Francis, … read more
AJBlog: About Last NightPublished 2017-11-03
Almanac: Thomas Beecham on the purpose of music
“The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought.” Thomas Beecham (quoted in Harold Atkins and Archie Newman, Beecham Stories: Anecdotes, Sayings and Impressions of Sir Thomas Beecham) … read more
AJBlog: About Last NightPublished 2017-11-03