In terms of time, human beings are very simple creatures. We work according to set rhythms and timings; even the speeds with which our hearts beat are familiar, regular. Working outside of what we consider to be a "comfortable" tempo, is something utterly unsettling.
I became a promising classical violinist by the age of 10. Two years later I joined the orchestra, and then I became leader of the orchestra. Glamorous, neat, classy, we toured everywhere playing classical music in opera houses. I loved it, but with every concert my "little dream" of becoming an astronaut was fading away without me even realizing.
It is interesting that while living in Paris, my parents resisted any French influence and continued their Russian way of life: eating Russian food, reading Russian newspapers and books, having Russian friends, and speaking Russian at home. My first tongue was Russian. In the U.S., they did the same thing --continued the Russian traditions they had grown up with.
Laurie Rubin, who has been blind since birth, has had her share of challenges, and is no stranger to discrimination. This week, the internationally acclaimed opera singer debuts an inspiring new musical, which she has co-written, on September 18, at the Japanese Cultural Arts Center, Los Angeles.
The fact that composer/vocalist Mike Kelleher just released "Mélange," an aptly named album of mixed genres, would be more newsworthy than saying he comes off as a genuinely decent person. But in these cynical times, it's actually relevant - especially given his line of work.
In 1785, Joseph Haydn was commissioned by a canon in Cádiz, the ancient port city in southwest Spain, to write sacred instrumental music for Holy Week illustrating the "seven last words of the Lord."
I just completed a week singing chamber music and song repertoire that was composed for men. It was a bit of a struggle because the vocal part, even though an octave higher, still did not sit quite right. It made me think of gender and what I do.
From the beginning of human existence, art and music were part of the group or tribe. The people, or the cult, worked together to survive, and observed certain ceremonies and rites of passage. The rituals practiced were religious, as this was the over-arching way of approaching the mysteries of the cosmos and the mystery of human existence: birth, life, and death.
"I'd just recorded everything as far as I was concerned. It wasn't a question of taking a break or anything like that. The recording industry is not what it used to be."
Anyone who can recall the ballistic fascination of their first pop-up reader would thrill at opening Steven Hancoff's newly released e-book "J. Sebastian Bach: Pablo Casals and the Six Suites for 'Cello Solo." As with other deeply inspired oeuvres, the artist had no thought of a mammoth multi-volume multimedia masterwork when he wandered into a love of performing Bach on acoustic guitar.
Art is seeing ourselves seeing each other seeing. It is a heightened state of consciousness -- an aesthetic experience as opposed to an anesthetic one -- in which we become fully aware of the mystery of our selfness and sameness.
The title of this post is distinctly ideological and, I believe, holds implications for a discussion of the medicalization of madness and mental illness.
One of the most common misconceptions about Africa, my continent, is that its culture and its arts are primitive. It suggests that African art is closest to the beginning of mankind, closer to a time when we were still half-beast/half-man! Why so much ignorance?
It's a great thing when major orchestras release new recordings of contemporary art music. It's an even better sign of the vibrancy of the classical music business for that to happen under the auspices of a new major international initiative that brings together commercial and non-profit entities.
Ideas and Answers- PART III of a 3-part series on the Black Classical Singer experience. "And in so many ways, that never-failing miracle -- the cons...
Often films and stories from Israel and Palestine concentrate on the conflict between these two cultures, rather than life as it is experienced on the ground; daily life amid stoning, shooting and bomb explosions.