Wednesday, November 30, 2016

sundry item - ASvO

The Arts Desk has an interview with ASvO on her new album So Many Things with the string quartet Brooklyn Rider,* what she likes about contemporary composers, and future plans for The Exterminating Angel.

*see previous post but one for a live Kate Bush cover from BBC 3's In Tune

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

carpe scaenam

The Met premieres its new production of Kaija Saariaho's L'Amour de loin on Thursday, 12/1, and you can listen to it here for free or via SiriusXM at 7:30pm ET. As has probably already been pointed out everywhere, this will be the first opera of a woman composer done at the Met since 1903. (That was Dame Ethel Smyth's Der Wald , which was evidently responsible for certain amount of breathless cognitive dissonance among critics of the day.) The NYT's Zachary Woolfe has a thumbnail here.

Eric Owens, Susanna Phillips Photo: Kristian Schuller

Friday, November 25, 2016

Inez Milholland 1886 - 1916

Lawyers on Horseback

It's the centenary of the death of Inez Milholland, who died on this day in 1916, age 30. She packed a lot into a very short amount of time.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

We thought we might have an audience still celebrating a victory. We had some vague plan for going up to Lewis after and pouring a libation of decent Scotch on the stone up there -- I imagine this would have been her drink, but that's an only semi-educated guess. Anyway I don't think anybody here got stickers to plaster a headstone with the way they did in Rochester.

Best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft into the deepest of the weeds.

But if there was anything we made sure to put in the narrative, it was the long haul nature of the task. No doubt these women never imagined, in a world claiming to be ruled by reason, that it would take more years than they had to give. No doubt every minor victory seemed like it would put the last hill in sight. But when it turned out otherwise, they went on.

That seems to have been the message of the show, as people came up to us after, not a draining of the cup in victory at the finish, but a little bit to brace us on the road ahead.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

When I was a kid, I had dreams of tornadoes. It's the standard nightmare of every kid who watched The Wizard of Oz religiously on its (then) single yearly tv appearance. The object of the dream was to get everyone into the basement -- people, cats, hamsters, everyone. The thing that made it a nightmare was not the storm itself, but the possibility you might bolt the door on someone, the dread of Auntie Em when a funnel starts to form and Dorothy is nowhere to be found.

The place where I lived had blizzards in winter and hurricanes in summer. Winds would pick up and the tops of the trees would start to sway. The power would go out. We had a fireplace, loads of candles, an emergency water supply in the bathtub, and we knew how to bucket flush with rainwater. In regular weather I developed a game: pile all my stuffed animals onto the bed and keep everybody under the shelter of the blanket until the danger passed. It was a large population, this took some doing.

The weather patterns changed (they've since changed back), and you can now watch The Wizard of Oz every minute of every day if you feel like it. I no longer have nightmares. Knock on wood.

Today,  yesterday, the day before.  I am not afraid of the man, though I know people who are, and reasonably so. I am afraid of the whispering.

I work in a fairly large office. Some people there voted for the man and other people didn't. Political discussion is conducted in sidebars, sotto voce, between people and the people who agree with them. For days you couldn't be entirely sure who had voted for whom, you could only surmise. When I found a person who thought the way I did, I made a point to have an overly-loud discussion with them. At least that way the other side might overhear what we were saying and understand, perhaps, why we were saying it -- without the mediation of single-source news outlets to interpret us for each other, or the threats, implicit or imagined, in our facing each other outright.

Well, if you can't have any kind of real discussion, graffiti is sometimes the only way to register your presence. Juvenile, but here we are, a juvenile dystopia with spray cans.

Not all my friends think the same.

I have a black friend. I have more than one black friend. But he's a libertarian. I do not, at this time, have other libertarian friends. We spar. We laugh a lot. Neither of our lives is as we would wish or as we intended, and that's a large piece of common for us to graze on. He's a good guy, though he will be the first to deny it, but never believe him. I've seen what his heart does when his rhetoric isn't looking.

He's not worried. He is skeptical of my concern. But I am looking at reports from everywhere and he is not.

D: The idiots will settle down,
and that includes the false flag operations
of angry liberals.

Me: ok well,
over dinner sometime
you can explain to me
how we haven't been here before.

Meantime take care.

Not everyone will care that you are not a liberal.

D: It's not exactly Kristallnacht.
At least
I hope not.

Friday, November 11, 2016