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Organ Meets

Rosary Mantra, Jacaranda, April 21, 2012 – The programing masters at Jacaranda were at it again Saturday night. I could not pass up any opportunity to hear Messiaen, Dutilleux and Gubaidulina together and knowing the strategic pairing acumen of artistic director Patrick Scott, along with music director Mark Alan Hilt there was surely going to be some mighty music-appreciation in store. The extra layer of resonance was provided by the complex renderings of which only an organ can produce. I can confess to little familiarity with this instrument having had very few ecclesiastical excuses to pilgrimage to the great cathedrals where normally one experiences the pipes. But Jacaranda has the double blessing, being housed at First Press in … [Read more...]

Passionate Pastimes

Rachel Comey, Proenza Schouler and Dolce Gabbana, Spring RTW 2012 – I have to confess that the annual Spring Fashion unavailing escaped my attention this year in favor of another passionate pastime, the Major League Baseball Postseason. The excitement that lead up to the World Series and the subsequent Saint Louis batsmen last minute win, surprisingly overpowered my usual unquenchable sartorial desires. I couldn't get enough of those Cardinals delicately balanced on the bat and felt compelled not to give Rick Perry anything more to look all gloaty about. My rooting was resolute and all consuming. Then emptied, and drained of all baseball input I reached out for more, downloaded Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding and gobbled that … [Read more...]

Protest

On the Ground with Occupy Oakland – Photography by Naomi Pitcairn Naomi Pitcairn, activist, photographer and contributor to Times Quotidian, has a choice—and she chooses Oakland. When my husband and I were contemplating a move to the Bay Area she was begging us to please be open to the East Bay with it's diversity in art and culture. When the community calls she left the comfort zone of her sequestered studio work and took her camera to the streets to be a part of Occupy Oakland. Naomi is also a long time member of the Fresh Juice Party , "a politically prejudiced media group who produces custom media packets for causes we believe in." FJP sponsored two free vegetarian lunch programs for the protestors via the sympathetic Fountain … [Read more...]

Cameron

Pacific Standard Time Arrives – Initiated by the Getty Museum along with the Getty Research Institute, Pacific Standard Time has blossomed into a comprehensive collaboration of 60 cultural institutes whose focus will be the art and artists of Southern California from the years 1945 to 1980. While the official kickoff date is October 1st, the festival has already taken on wings with gallery exhibitions of works by such L.A. original as Beatrice Wood, Maria Nordman and John Outterbridge. I was thrilled when Scott Hobbs, brought to my attention that the work of Marjorie Cameron was to be included as part PST's inaugural Getty exhibition "Crosscurrents" and featured as part of the Getty's "Explore the Era" web archive. Scott along … [Read more...]

Double Indemnity

Another Earth, Directed by Mike Cahill; written by Mr. Cahill and Brit Marling –  Couched in a comfy sci-fi genre, Another Earth takes off to explore, not the regions of outer space, but instead turns inward, to examine the intimate nature of redemption. It questions what are the actual possibilites for the reparation of unyielding guilt—explores the avenues, the processes of atonement. Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling), a gifted college student with pure potential, takes one intoxicant too many and becomes distracted by the discovery of an alternate Earth, causing her to crash into an unwitting family who too are on their way to a beautiful future. And there the future ends. Wife, pregnant with the second child, and son die and leaving the … [Read more...]

Move Along

Many a conversation takes place on the walk that circumscribes the Lake Hollywood Reservoir. There things get sorted out, affairs get settled, decisions are made and plans are put into play. My favorite lakeside conversation is the one that I indulge in with myself. The distances I have traveled on foot pale in comparison to the distances I have traveled inside my mind. Not a meditation, more of a circumspect rumination. Here at the reservoir I surf the vortex of mind matter that rents space in my brain. My mind matter often takes on a density, behaving more like an event horizon than the lithe notes of a Mozart score. But then, there is the walking. And as vigilant as is my predisposition to codify, to conserve, the walking let's you … [Read more...]

The Six Realms, A Requiem for Lieberson

The Six Realms, Peter Lieberson (25 October 1946 – 23 April 2011) In an interview last March with David Weininger, American composer Peter Leiberson stated “What makes the human life so poignant is the recognition of its profound impermanence.’’ As I casually turned the pages of the paper and read of Lieberson’s passing I was stunned. He died last Saturday in Tel Aviv where he was undergoing medical treatment for lymphoma, a diagnosis he received shortly after his beloved second wife mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson succumbed to breast cancer in 2006. He was 64. The Composer and Impermanence had not been strangers. Lieberson drew great inspiration from his Tibetan Buddhist beliefs and his connection with … [Read more...]

I Will Be Very Keen to Watch

The Interview Project Germany, Directed by Austin Lynch and Jason S, Porduced by Stephan Balzer/ Sabrina S. Sutherland/ Jon Nguyen/ Christopher Trela –  Apparently I was not the only one glued to last year's David Lynch presentation The Interview Project. This is the documentary series, directed by Austin Lynch and Jason S, that roamed from coast to coast of the United states, not seeking, but always finding people whose stories needed to be told. These short portraits, no matter how unremarkable, became compelling tales by the sheer cumulative affect of the human condition and as Lynch so aptly put it "It's Something So Human and You Can't Stay Away From It." The Interview Project won both the 2010 Webby … [Read more...]

Armenian Suite

Radiant Summit, Jacaranda, March 12-13th, 2011 – On the occasion of the Alan Hovhaness’ centenary, Patrick Scott, Artistic Director of Jacaranda, wanted to include another great Armenian American composer Richard Yardumian (1917-1985) in all-Armenian program. After much Googling, and efforts just short of the Library of Congress, Patrick, who had recently been introduced to me and the writings of Times Quotidian asked for an introduction to Aram Yardumian, whose musical musings, insights and historical research can be found regularly on TQ. Upon finally discovering a living link to the Yardumian family, a fruitful collaboration began with the composer’s daughter Miryam. Jacaranda needed permission to  commission a chamber … [Read more...]

Hit Hard

Yamamoto, Watanabe and Mikaye, Fall RTW 2011 – Magnitude. I cannot fathom the sheer force unleashed on the Northeast coast of Japan by the largest earthquake ever recorded. I am no stranger to the shakes. The Northridge earthquake of 1994 lasted 20 seconds and the fear of imminent death undermined my core sense of self. Five minutes of a 9.0 is unimaginable. There is no material preparation for the enormity of that kind of impact. There is compassion. There is today. I urge people to put aside their crisis fatigue and continue to donate to the worldwide effort to help the people of Japan sustain, recuperate and rebuild. The Red Cross operates 92 hospitals in Japan, has deployed 700 medical relief volunteers across … [Read more...]