David Stark: Paper, Insects and Mushrooms

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Bergdorf Goodman is celebrating the latest book by David StarkThe Art of The Party. To celebrate they had David Stark Design Studio create these wonderful paper sculptures exclusively for the store.

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View some of the book here and see info about the book below.

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The Arts Division owns the book click on the cover for more info.

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Why Amy Beach Matters

Musicologist and Resident Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandies University, Liane Curtis will present a talk with recorded music examples entitled, “Why Amy Beach Matters” at The Central Library on Wednesday, November 14 from 1 to 2 PM. in the Rundel Auditorium, 3rd Floor, Rundel Memorial Building located at 115 South Avenue in Rochester.

Amy Beach, ca. 1885 Photo courtesy the Boston Public Library

Amy Beach (1867-1944) was praised by many as an important American composer, but after her death, her music fell into obscurity. Her music, and in particular, her Piano Concerto (1900) are considered by way of evaluating her place in music history. In the Concerto, Beach draws upon four of her own songs to provide thematic material.

Following Beach’s biographer, A.F. Block, Curtis examines whether meanings from those songs were infused into the concerto. This practice of reuse is also considered in light of Beach’s borrowing in a range of her compositions. Finally, consideration of Beach’s gender was so much a part of the critical response to her music that the role of gender politics must be considered when evaluating her legacy.

This presentation is in anticipation of The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance of Beach’s Concerto on November 15 and 17, with Saet-Byeol Kim, piano and Arild Remmereit, conductor. Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch to this event. Free of charge and open to all. For more information call the Arts & Music Division at 585-428-8140.

John Cage: Composer, Artist, Zen Buddhist

Kay Larson’s Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism and the Inner Life of Artists explores the composer’s spiritual journey and philosophical transformation that effected his life, music, art, and writing. Caught in a society that rejected his music, his politics, and his sexual orientation, composer John Cage was transformed by Zen from an overlooked and somewhat marginal musician into the absolute epicenter of the avant garde. “Where the Heart Beats” highlights one of America’s most enduringly important artists.

To examine Cage’s earlier spiritual and philosophical influences try Begin Again by Kenneth Silverman which draws on interviews with John Cage’s contemporaries and friends and on the entire archive of his letters and writings, and including photographs and facsimiles of musical scores, Silverman gives a revelatory portrait of one of the most important cultural figures of the 20th century.

4’33”is one of Cage’s most famous, or some might say infamous, works. The piece, written for piano, consists of four minutes and 33 seconds of “assumed” silence. Cage’s controversial piece became the iconic statement of the meaning of silence in art and is a landmark work of American music.

In No such thing as silence :John Cage’s 4’33”, Kyle Gann, one of the nation’s leading music critics, explains4’33”as a unique moment in American culture and musical composition. Finding resemblances and resonances of4’33”in artworks as wide-ranging as the paintings of the Hudson River School and the music of John Lennon and Yoko Ono,he provides much-needed cultural context for this fundamentally challenging and often misunderstood piece. Gann also explores Cage’s craft, describing in illuminating detail the musical, philosophical, and even environmental influences that informed this groundbreaking piece of music. Having performed4’33”himself and as a composer in his own right, Gann offers the reader both an expert’s analysis and a highly personal interpretation of Cage’s most divisive work.

Carolyn Brown, ,a major dancer in the Cunningham Dance company, explores Cunningham’s technique, choreography, and experimentation with compositional procedures influenced by Cage. And she probes the personalities of these two men: the reticent, moody, often secretive Cunningham, and the effusive, fun-loving, enthusiastic Cage. Chance and Circumstance is an intimate chronicle of a crucial era in modern dance, and a revelation of the intersection of the worlds of art, music, dance, and theater that is Merce Cunningham’s extraordinary hallmark.

The Arts Division and the Monroe County Library System also have several of John Cage’s recordings.

An Afternoon of Musical Creativity at the Central Library

On Saturday, October 27, 2012, Alice Kay Kanack, inventor of the Creative Ability Development method of teaching children musical improvisation, author of several music books, and director of the Kanack School of Music, will bring a group of her students for two programs filled with the joy of music.

Ms. Kanack is a frequent lecturer at conferences and festivals across the U.S. and Canada, and has presented her methods to audiences in Australia, France and Japan.  The concerts given by her students are powerful, inspiring, beautiful, and completely improvised.

“Musical Improvisation for Children” starts at 11:30 in the children’s room with a musical performance of the story “The Three Little Pigs” and a chance for children to try some hands-on musical improvisation.

From 1:00 -2:00 in the Kate Gleason Auditorium, Alice Kanack and her tour group will present “Improvisation without Inhibition” a lecture and performance that demonstrates the importance of developing the creative part of the brain.Ms. kanack will demonstrate methods for developing comfort with improvisation, and talk about current brain research that supports these methods.

A book signing will follow the performance with copies of Alice Kay Kanack’s books available for purchase.

To register for “Improvisation without Inhibition,”  call the Arts Division at 428-8140, or register online at http://tinyurl.com/cm45s73

The Masked Ball: Jocelyn Pook

The hypnotic piece in the movie Eyes Wide Shut that played during the masked ceremony was written by Brtitsh Composer Jocelyn Pook. It was first released on her album Flood (CD info is below) and then used for the Kubrick film. The piece Masked Ball, which incorporates a fragment of an Orthodox Liturgy played backwards and lyrics chanted in Romanian.

Lyrics from the film:

Auov uad auon acnurop ias iicinecu ertac iulunmod asiz. Aiutseca iulusacal iulutnafs ia irotacafenib is irotiulim irotanihcni. Uezenmud iul rolibor roletacap aeratrei is aerasal aeratecrec aer.

But if you reverse it, you can listen a cite of Bible, (Jn 13, 34) in romanian language:

Zisa Domnului catre ucenicii sai, porunca noua dau voua. Domnului sa ne rugam pentru mila, viata, pacea, sanatatea, mantuirea, cercetarea, lasarea si iertarea pacatelor robilor lui Dumnezeu. Inchinatori, miluitori si binefacatori ai sfantului lacasului acestuia.

And translated says:

And God told to his apprentices…I gave you a command…to pray to the Lord for the mercy, life, peace, health, salvation, the search, the leave and the forgiveness of the sins of God’s children. The ones that pray, they have mercy and they take good care of this holy place.

Click for CD…