Pick your battles

Professional designers can do it all:Give slides a professional lookCome up with innovative visualisation concepts that make messages stand outUse advanced software features to craft technically complex slidesThe amateur designer is in a different position and needs to pick her battles. That amazing visual concept of the elephant riding a convertible car does not really work if it does not look picture perfect. That very clever consulting diagram does not really contribute when it actually does ...
Tags: Design, Speaking

Tick Tock Goes the Clock! 25 Years!

Since the pandemic has forced me to focus on only one of my two passions, writing about musicals, but not making them, at least for a while still, an interesting thought crossed my artsy brain last night. It was twenty-five years ago that I wrote my first book of musical theatre analysis!The spark that started it was the still very new Sondheim Review (1994-2016), a wonderful magazine all about Uncle Steve's shows! For one of the earliest issues, the editor Paul Salsini asked me to write a piec...
Tags: Texas, Theatre, Harvard, Performing Arts, Theater, Verona, Steve, Hamilton, Broadway Musicals, Rocky Horror, George, West Side, Sondheim, American Idiot, Sweeney Todd, Scott Miller

Why We Have Difficulty Trusting Science

Precisely the same methods, and precisely the same leaps of brilliance and faith that led in some cases to science that has withstood the test of centuries, led also to results that were rapidly cast into oblivion. Wish as we might, little more than the passage of time and thus hindsight tells us what was “good science” as opposed to a poor guess, based on faulty inferences and deep misunderstandings. – Los Angeles Review of Books
Tags: Art, Ideas, 02.12.21

Claim: The COVID Shutdown Has Revolutionized And Democratized Theatre

“The result is a worldwide swarm of approaches that have profoundly opened up the possibilities of the form, most likely for good. The word ‘theatre’ stands at the starting post, all but outgrown. It now applies as much to something happening in the palm of your hand as it does to an event beamed to you from a thousand miles away. It is hard to think of an art form at any time in history so radically reconsidered and swiftly reformed.” – The Stage
Tags: Art, Theatre, 02.15.21

Finally: More Money, Resources For Black Theatre?

In the last seven months, there has been a groundswell of support for Black-owned businesses and nonprofits that are focused on specifically and directly helping the Black community. People have recognized that to dismantle a flawed system, we need to invest in a new one. After decades of talk about funding theatres and artists of color, some are finally stepping up with the money. – American Theatre
Tags: Art, Theatre, Black, 02.15.21

Composer Gets No Play Until She Puts Her Music Out Under Male Pseudonym

A change of name it all started to click. After adopting the pseudonym Arthur Parker her pieces were getting the airplay she had struggled to achieve as a woman. – The Times (UK)
Tags: Art, Music, Times, 02.15.21, Arthur Parker

The Cultural Significance Of Magazines

“The best way to think about magazines is as the analog Internet—they’d foster communities of people, just like on social networks,” Steven Lomazow, a seventy-three-year-old New Jersey neurologist who created the exhibition from his personal collection of more than eighty-three thousand magazine issues, said the other day. – The New Yorker
Tags: Art, New Jersey, Words, 02.16.21, Steven Lomazow

COVID Has Shown Us That Theatre Is Too Dependent On Its Buildings

Lyn Gardner: “At their best, [theatre buildings] are creative powerhouses, community hubs, a place of inspiration, succour and sanctuary. But often they come with self-perpetuating, top-down hierarchies” — not to mention burdensome running costs — “and fuel a self-importance around that building that keeps it from connecting with local networks, unknown artists, and from practices that do not conform to the norm. … They are not the only show in town, and maybe their dominance needs to be recons...
Tags: Art, Theatre, Lyn Gardner, 02.15.21

Documentary: Could It Be Years Before Big Music Festivals Return?

“If, like me, you happened to watch the documentary mere hours after hearing that statement, the Glastonbury scene took on a whole different kind of emotional meaning. All of a sudden, it wasn’t so much, “I can’t wait to get back to that,” as, “is that now gone forever?” – Chicago Tribune
Tags: Art, Music, Glastonbury, 02.15.21

Reimagine Yourself

The failure to lift our eyes and see that our core work can and should be connecting people with art is the principal source of the problems we have experienced over the last 20-30 years. – Doug Borwick
Tags: Art, Ajblogs, 02.16.21

1,000-Year-Old Murals Identified In German Cathedral

“A series of frescoes showing the life and death of John the Baptist in the cathedral of the Bavarian city of Augsburg have been recently dated to the first decade of the 11th century, ranking them among the oldest wall paintings in a medieval church north of the Alps.” – The Art Newspaper
Tags: Art, Augsburg, Visual, John the Baptist, 02.15.21

Everyone’s Pivoting – Here’s What’s Relevant To Classical Music

According to Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, there are ten different kinds of pivots. At least six out of them are relevant to classical music. – Ludwig Van
Tags: Art, Music, Eric Ries, 02.15.21

'A critic said my stomach was a warning to us all!' Simon Callow meets Derek Jacobi

The theatre legends look back at working with Laurence Olivier and Peter O’Toole, the pain of biting reviews, the joy of a good run – and the agonies of being miscastDerek Jacobi and Simon Callow first met at the Old Vic in London. Jacobi was treading the boards with Laurence Olivier, Peter O’Toole and other greats in the fledgling National Theatre company; the younger Callow was working at the box office. Prolific as ever through this lockdown year, both are juggling an assortment of stage and ...
Tags: London, Theatre, Culture, Stage, National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare, Simon Callow, Simon, Laurence Olivier, Vic, Peter O'Toole, Jacobi, Derek Jacobi, Callow, Laurence Olivier Peter O'Toole

How A Bad Joke Ended Up In Canada’s Top Court

Comedian Mike Ward made a bad joke about a teenager with a disability back in 2010. The victim sued and the case is now in the Supreme Court. Many comedians are supporting Ward. “The support comes amid concern in stand-up comedy circles that it’s found itself pulled into the debate around political correctness, free speech, censorship, and cancel culture. There’s a fear of a chilling effect on comedy.” – BBC
Tags: Art, Theatre, Canada, Mike Ward, Supreme Court Many, 02.15.21

Jorge Morel, Classical Guitarist And Composer, Dead At 89

“[He] added a vast repertoire to his instrument and performed to packed concerts around the world. … In between classical concerts, Mr. Morel paid his bills by performing nightly at the New York jazz nightclub the Village Gate. At various times, he shared stages with pianist Erroll Garner, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and even country guitarist Chet Atkins.” – The Washington Post
Tags: Art, New York, People, Dizzy Gillespie, Morel, Erroll Garner, Chet Atkins, 02.14.21

‘A Thunderclap”, Says Publisher: Unknown Work By Proust Coming This Spring

“The texts in The Seventy-Five Pages [Les Soixante-quinze feuillets] were written in 1908, around the time Proust began working on In Search of Lost Time, which was published between 1913 and 1927. The papers were part of a collection of documents held by the late publisher Bernard de Fallois, who died in 2018.” Gallimard will release the book in France on March 18; there’s no date yet for an English translation. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, France, Words, Gallimard, Bernard de Fallois, 02.16.21

Music Critic Peter G. Davis, 84

He was longtime critic for New York Magazine. Peter was best known as an authority on opera — his 1997 book The American Opera Singer is an essential work — but he covered every form of music-making with expertise and panache. – The Rest is Noise
Tags: Art, Music, 02.15.21, Peter G Davis, New York Magazine Peter

Keeping Up Live Performance As The World Goes Virtual

“We have a total commitment to live performance. That’s what we do. We’re not a film company,” says the director of the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia. What’s more, “we really wanted to maintain work for artists as much as possible, as well as our staff, … at a time when they really didn’t have a lot of options.” And so, with safety measures in place, since this past fall the Annenberg has been streaming performances in real time from its stage. – The Philadelphia Inquirer
Tags: Art, Philadelphia, Issues, Audience, Annenberg, Annenberg Center, 02.14.21

Black Dancers And Dance Companies Worry They Won’t Be Able To Survive Pandemic

Broadway dancer NaTonia Monét says that, even when theaters finally start up again, “you have your few Black shows that come along, but other than that, you’re fighting for the one or two token roles in the cast.” And (with the sole exception of Ailey) Black dance troupes, from small regional companies right up to Dance Theater of Harlem, have been so underfunded for so long that some may, as it were, never recover from COVID. – The Washington Post
Tags: Art, Dance, Broadway, Harlem, 02.14.21, NaTonia Monét, Ailey Black

‘Drenching Richness’: Alex Ross Revisits The Films Of Andrei Tarkovsky

Ross fell under the director’s spell upon seeing Andrei Rublev in college. “The long pandemic months seemed a good time to burrow back into Tarkovsky’s world. Life was moving at a neo-medieval pace, and the aesthetic of slowness was all the more welcome in an age of frantic digital scissoring. I watched the films again … [and] I emerged with my admiration undiminished but my idolatry somewhat tempered.” – The New Yorker
Tags: Art, Media, Ross, Alex Ross, Tarkovsky, Andrei Tarkovsky, Andrei Rublev, 02.15.21

Johnny Pacheco, Giant Of Latin Jazz And Salsa, Dead At 85

“Pacheco, a Juilliard-trained multi-instrumentalist who’d found success recording with his band, Pacheco y Su Charanga, sparked a musical revolution when, in 1964, he met Jerry Masucci and together, they founded Fania Records. The two started the label with $5,000, selling albums in Spanish Harlem from the trunks of their cars. Fania soon became known as the Latin Motown, home to superstars like Celia Cruz, Cheo Feliciano and Héctor Lavoe, and the breeding ground for seminal artists in the genr...
Tags: Art, People, Harlem, Juilliard, Pacheco, Fania Records, Fania, Hector Lavoe, Johnny Pacheco, 02.15.21, Jerry Masucci, Celia Cruz Cheo Feliciano

Italy’s Art Museums Emerge From Lockdown, And They Have Lessons For The Rest Of Us

“‘We are now where you will be in a few days,’ wrote novelist Francesca Melandri in a piece for the Guardian newspaper in late March 2020. Her moving ‘letter from your future’ coincided with the beginning of the first pandemic wave in Italy. One year on, her words can be repeated – only this time with a more optimistic resonance. As of last week, Italian museums, foundations and galleries were finally permitted to start reopening their doors post-lockdown. So, what lessons can be learned from t...
Tags: Art, Italy, Visual, 02.12.21, Francesca Melandri

Here’s What A British Musician Now Has To Go Through To Work In Europe

While the UK was in the EU, a British musician could pretty much just accept a gig and go. Now she has to apply to each member country for a separate short-term work permit, with all the embassy visits, surrendering of passports, processing fees, and delays the process requires. Pianist Joseph Middleton, one of Britain’s top specialists in art song, shares some of the painful details. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Europe, Music, UK, Eu, Britain, Joseph Middleton, 02.12.21

Santa Fe Opera Hires New Boss With New Title

With the previous artistic director, Alexander Neef (who was shared with the Canadian Opera Co.), having left for the Paris Opera, Santa Fe decided to combine his position with that of director of artistic administration and call the resulting job “chief artistic officer.” The company has now filled that job with David Lomelí, a former tenor who also has degrees in computer science and international marketing and currently works as director of artistic administration for The Dallas Opera. (He w...
Tags: Art, Music, Dallas, Bavarian State Opera, Alexander Neef, Canadian Opera Co, 02.12.21, Santa Fe Opera Hires New Boss With New Title, Paris Opera Santa Fe, David Lomelí

How This Adidas Sneaker Designer Turned Her Creativity Into a Career

Victoria Adesanmi is not in the music business, but she can say she's worked with Kanye West and Beyonc?. As a multidisciplinary designer based in Los Angeles, Adesanmi is part of a global team responsible for iconic work at Adidas. The Maryland native works as a color and material designer for the brand's Statement division,...
Tags: Design, Maryland, Advertising, Diversity, Adidas, Kanye West, Equity and Inclusion, Victoria Adesanmi, Los Angeles Adesanmi

Archaeologists Find the Earliest Work of “Abstract Art,” Dating Back 73,000 Years

Image by C. Foster Art, as we understand the term, is an activity unique to homo sapiens and perhaps some of our early hominid cousins. This much we know. But the matter of when early humans began making art is less certain. Until recently, it was thought that the earliest prehistoric art dated back some 40,000 years, to cave drawings found in Indonesia and Spain. Not coincidentally, this is also when archaeologists believed early humans mastered symbolic thought. New finds, however, have shift...
Tags: Google, Art, Indonesia, College, Life, Africa, Spain, History, South Africa, New York Times, Johannesburg, Lascaux, Picasso, Haaretz, Facebook Twitter, University of Bergen

No logo, no likes: New York's offline DIY culture embraces lockdown limitations

From subversive newspapers to free gigs and galleries, a new kind of pandemic creativity is anti-consumerist and pro-communityCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageNew Yorkers who once thrived on chance encounters and interconnection with Manhattan’s pace and energy are beginning to find creative footholds in the abnormalities of pandemic life.Expressions are varied, but each point to the embrace of a profoundly altered state and a DIY punk ethos featuring a partial rejecti...
Tags: Art, Publishing, Music, New York, Media, Newspapers & magazines, US news, Culture, Art and design, Manhattan, Booksellers, Coronavirus

To Understand The Problems With Big Tech Platforms We Need To Understand What’s At Risk

Harvesting data at scale makes us collectively vulnerable in ways that go beyond breaches of individual privacy. This is a new and nasty problem: even when individual rights are formally considered (e.g., via privacy consent forms), the consequences for society may be very harmful. – 3 Quarks Daily
Tags: Art, Ideas, 02.15.21

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