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Showing posts from December, 2009

Classical Music Picks on Youtube

The Classics on Youtube There are about a zillion and a half music videos on youtube, sooo much to sample, but here are some of my favourites, the ones I listen to and watch over and over. Modest Mussorgsky/orch. Ravel - Pictures at an Exhibition Most of the time I'd not say that I'd chosen these videos for their visuals - it's the music, the performance that's really paramount - but here, it's also filmed in a way that's much more interesting than the usual fare: Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra at the BBC Proms in August 2006 Part 1 of 4 Part 2 of 4 Part 3 of 4 Part 4 of 4 The painting of Mussorgsky is by Ilya Repin. An excerpt from Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor , the "Unfinished" - the best parts! - Fabio Bernoni conducting the Praga Sinfonietta in France, 2004. Wagner vs Wagner - and even though I grew up in a classical music loving household, I still learned more of it from Warner Bros. than my p

After Waking - A Literary Night Out

After Waking Literary Event Sunday, December 27 6pm* The Social Bar 1100 Queen Street West, Toronto (downstairs from the Spin Gallery) *Please note the time change - I'd originally put 7pm, but it starts at 6pm! If you're in the Toronto area and looking for something to do during that weekend between Christmas and New Year's , I'll be Emceeing and reading at a literary event with a difference. If you've ever been ever so slightly bored (or perhaps more) at a literary reading by an author's earnest but dull delivery, fear not. The readers at this event have been hired as actors to bring life to the work in a way that the author really can't. I can speak to this as a writer myself. I know when I'm reading my own pieces, it becomes at least partly about ego, you're concerned with how you're coming off as a writer as well as how the piece itself is received. In this case, as an actor/reader only, I know I'm concentrating solely on breat

Tommy Wiseau's The Room is a Blast

The Room Written & directed by Tommy Wiseau (2003) Producer & Executive Producer: Tommy Wiseau Starring Tommy Wiseau, Juliette Daniel, Greg Sestero, Phillip Haldiman Monthly screenings now at The Royal Toronto People throw plastic spoons and have impromptu games of football - and that's the audience! They yell at Lisa's unfaithful ways, and shout corrections when the characters in the film claim to be together for seven years at the end after mentioning five years at the beginning, or remind Claudette of her breast cancer diagnosis... Screenings of The Room, a film by one Tommy Wiseau, are definitely an audience participation event. "Can you ever really trust anyone?" So asks The Room , the indie film to end all indie films, during the course of its tortured 90 minute plot. Wiseau plays Johnny, a "successful banker" who lives with Lisa (Daniel) . He thinks they're about to get married, but Lisa's bored, and starts sleeping

TrueAfricanArt.com

TrueAfricanArt.com Gathinja Yamokoski came to the United States seven years ago. A painter since childhood in her native Kenya , she knew the long tradition of African painting and its evolution into an active contemporary art scene. It was a world she found largely ignored in her new home, to her surprise. She began TrueAfricanArt.com as a business minded way of beginning to redress that balance. Based in Westchester County , TrueAfricanArt.com isn't a gallery in the conventional sense, (although, if you are in the NYC area, they will gladly arrange a viewing). It's an online portal to the work of artists who live and work in Africa. In Kenya, artists network to find opportunities, (the off-line version,) and word soon spread that she was looking for pieces to sell. While sales initially began with the work of artists culled from art galleries, in March of 2009, her husband returned to Africa on a buying trip. They now sell the work of over 40 artists, and maintain a smal

Nicholas Roerich - Man and Museum

Nicholas Roerich Museum 319 West 107th Street (at Riverside) I stumbled across the Nicholas Roerich Museum on my very first visit to NYC. It's tucked into a lovely three storey townhouse in the Upper West Side on what looks like a mostly residential street - you don't know it's there until you actually walk by it. Full of paintings (he was prolific, producing about 7,000!) and antiques, it's definitely worth a visit, and they run a series of poetry readings and classical music concerts on Sundays too. Above and beyond his work and collections, however, you'll be amazed at the incredible life led by a man who was actually a key figure in the arts and beyond in the first half of the 20th century, someone who's been virtually forgotten on this side of the Atlantic. And - just a note before I get into his story and work, you might wonder about the plethora of images I'm using with this post. Much of his work falls under the copyright laws of India and Russia,

Choclo y la Orgía Cósmica - Africa Meets Ecuador

Africa Meets First Nations Concert December 6, 2009 at Lula Lounge After interviewing a few people about the concert for my post earlier this week, I was intrigued enough to check out the music myself, and I'm so glad I did. Choclo y la Orgía Cósmica under band leader Dave West mix Ecuador and various parts of Africa (I believe three members of the six member band hail from the continent) to come up with a compelling style I'd have to call experimental. (Sorry about my lousy pics - they look so much better in the little view finder! - West is on the left in the first one.) But to back up a bit, the evening started with the poem Four In One, about the four elements, written and performed by poet/playwright Kwame Stephens . He's a thoughtful writer and the piece, commissioned for the event, was well received. I'll have to look out for more of his work and performances. Then out came West, first by himself, to start a dance with his guitar(s) - at times he played two

Edward Burtynsky , Canadian photographer

Edward Burtynsky Photographer Loving many arts means I sometimes get so busy I do inexplicable things like completely missing the new Edward Burtynsky show, not just in Toronto at the Nicholas Metivier Gallery , (where it showed in October,) but also at Hasted Hunt Kraeutler in New York , (where it was also on view till November 21). If you've never seen or heard of his work, Ed Burtynsky is an internationally known and respected Canadian photographic artist , who's made it his life's project to document in photographs the ways in which human processes change the landscape. (Image by Jon Lebkowsky 2005.) That's just the nutshell version. Oil , his brand new show, is the result of a decade spent traveling the world photographing the ways in which we extract and process oil from the earth. If you've never checked him out before, you'll be drawn by the haunting imagery that he captures. His prints are large scale, and rendered in meticulous detail, and a ga

Africa Meets First Nations - in Toronto..

Africa Meets First Nations Concert December 6, 2009 at Lula Lounge Presented by Batuki Music Society It didn't surprise me to find out that Nadine McNulty, Artistic Director of Batuki Music S ociety , was a musicologist. "The concept was created by our organization to establish the link between African and Aboriginal music," she enthuses. "There are similarities of chants, drumming, and other forms that are found in both cultures." Africa Meets First Nations is actually a series of events. The first one was in May, and featured Canadian First Nations musician like Marc Nadjiwan and Jani Lauzon , playing with Malagasy musician Donné Roberts and his group . The next concert, coming up December 6 at Lula Lounge, features Ecuadorian and African musicians under the name Choclo y la Orgía Cósmica . While the concert series is Nadine's brainchild, the idea of mixing cultures was nothing new to band leader Dave West . "I've been doing this fusing of m