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The Yoga Sutra of Patañjali | Sadhana Pada

A Conversation — When approached to make a contribution IYALA (Iyengar Yoga Association of Los Angeles), a sutra column, my first reaction was to run. A flat “no” would have sufficed, then as all things Iyengar yoga, the idea took seed and began to flourish. Working alone, however, was out of the question. I needed a co-conspirator to consider this text and give it it’s proper due. More importantly I didn’t know if I could stick to a commitment of isolation in study and feel comfortable as a singular voice of veracity. A conversation was needed and I remembered a great one that had taken place at a recent Christmas party with a young gentleman, but an old friend, Henry Wudl. He had become an Iyengar practitioner two years ago. His … [Read more...]

Collective Quad

A Vegetation Collective, iPhone, 2014 … [Read more...]

Aquatic Quads

Seattle Aquarium, 2010 Monterey Bay Aquarium, 2014 … [Read more...]

New Vision

The New Beacon Collection by Warby Parker — According to many loud voices in our culture being selfish in our choices is almost a duty or a sacred imperative. What are we to make, then, of the business strategy of companies like Warby Parker who, when you purchase a pair of their glasses, instantly sends an additional pair of glasses to someone in need? What are we to make of the ways this scandalous altruism actually adds to the allure of the product itself? Such questions are increasingly common in an era when the radical increase in interconnectedness delivered by communications technology and social media is giving rise to new and unexpected social and economic anomalies like Warby Parker. With the release of their new … [Read more...]

Memorial

For the many and the singular whose lives have been swept away through fear, anger and pride.   All Photography © Nancy Cantwell   … [Read more...]

Rocketing

The 4th of July is always a big fat party at our house. The streets are closed off, old fashioned pie baking contests take place and there is always a big bright shiny firetruck for all to climb aboard. Then the grilling begins, all pull their Webers out basking in the glow of the coals, anticipating the show. And the big bang never disappoints. BOOM! All Photography by Paul Cabanis   … [Read more...]

Emotional Landscapes

Le Salon de Musique: Recital, Gustav Mahler and Johannes Brahms, May 19th, 2013  — The program notes to the final concert of Le Salon de Musique's 2012-2013 season promised a review of Austro-German traditionalism and Modernism, but in many ways it was also a sturm und drang affair. Mahler's single movement Piano Quartet in A minor is a piece about which little is known, but its composition within the tradition of the conservatory is more remarkable when we consider Mahler composed it before his 17th birthday. Brahms' lieder, often used as palate cleansers between two works of great magnitude, did so leading up to the emotionally charged Piano Quartet No. 3 in C Minor Op. 60, a development of some of Brahms' more complex melodic … [Read more...]

The Memo

RTW Fall 2013, Marni, Stella McCartney & Alexander Wang – Not the most festive of fashion seasons, but certainly lush, focused and tactile. Fall RTW 2013 was filled with a sameness of concept and a heavy hand. The memo was sent and everyone got the message. There will be coats of sloped shoulder and volume. There will be fur and huggable handbags. There will be clunky shoes and a heavy boot (women's feet were given a glorious reprieve this year!). And androgyny will be, everywhere. All very serious stuff (with the great exception of Lavin whose sense of play was in full force; Elbaz ever the wit.) While the palette feels slightly constrained, when the viewer hones in on these three collections of incredible heft they will find a … [Read more...]

Influences

Impressions upon taking leave of  Balenciaga in Spain, at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, March 26-July 4, 2011. This major exhibition traces the deep influence of the Spanish masters—from Zubarán, Velázquez, and Goya to Picasso and Miró—on the protean Balenciaga's designs. It also investigates the legacy of his native Spain''s religious dress and ceremony, it's lavish royal court, the tradition of flamenco dance, the drama of the bullfight, and the distinctive costumes of the country's diverse regions. As one emerged from the show it was difficult not to want to participate in the romance of the culture and let the influence of this exceptional designer take hold.       … [Read more...]

Balenciaga’s Wake Up Call

Nicolas Ghesquière Takes His Exit — On Novemeber 5, 2012 Nicolas Ghesquière took leave of his 15 year reign as creative director for the house of Balenciaga. Founded in 1918 by the Basque designer Cristobal Balenciaga, Balenciaga emerged as one of the great design establishments in the early decades of the twentieth century, and under the auspices of Ghesquière re-emerged as one of the greats of the twenty-first. Last year in San Francisco the de Young Museum mounted an extraordinary exhibition "Balenciaga and Spain" where three decades of sartorial genius were on display, tracing the designer's career as it was inspired and cultivated by Spanish traditions. In his in his introduction to the catalogue Balenciaga and Spain, Vogue's … [Read more...]

The Loupe

Highway 46, Thanksgiving, 2009 On the way from Cambria to Paso Robles in search of Opolo Vineyards   … [Read more...]

Black, White, and Narciso

RTW 2013, New York Fashion Week – Marc Jacobs Marc Jacobs was clearly the master of the change-up at this year's New York Spring 2013 Ready To Wear. Just when I was getting used to all those funny hats and ample bustlines from fall, (which made no sense too me on the runway, but by the time they made their way into their print editions I was completely sold!) he throws us a total curve ball with lean and clean lines reminiscent of a trip to Warhol's Factory where Edie Sedgwick might be holding court. A complete palette cleanser of a show and with a long silhouette executed with the cool clear directive for simplicity. The finale was represented by a series gowns and jumpsuits with exceptional and lavish geometric beading that not … [Read more...]

JPG’s Tour De Force

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, De Young Museum, Herbst Exhibition Galleries – " template="/homepages/38/d268432783/htdocs/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/ngglegacy/view/gallery.php" order_by="sortorder" order_direction="ASC" returns="included" maximum_entity_count="500"]   In this first Jean Paul Gaultier retrospective, From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, one is thunderstruck by an ambiance of transgressive diversity. These collections embody a cacophony of couture beauty like none other. Sometimes dark outré matter prevails, then sometimes it's just a bit naughty, but any subject matter put to the test is always executed with artistic tour de … [Read more...]

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...]

A Larger Hunger

And God Created Great Whales, Rinde Eckert, REDCAT, January 2012 – Rinde Eckert takes to the stage, house lights on, sits at a piano-cum-surrogate-captain's-table strewn with post-its and and tinkers endlessly with what appears to be sheet music. The stage lights dim to black and then rise again, and Eckert appears now as Nathan, a hapless piano tuner, who, along with his imaginary muse Olivia, trace, tack and travail the last vestiges of Nathan’s memory in order to piece together his magna opera “Moby Dick”. Strapped around his waist and hung around his neck are color-coded tape recordings. These are Nathan's memory devices; they supply him with directives on how to complete his musical masterpiece, if only he could recall long enough … [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...]

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...]

Sight and Sound

Iannis Xenakis: Now and Tomorrow Curtis Roads: New Work, with Brian O'Reilly, Video, REDCAT, January 30, 2011 –  The CalArts Center for Experiment in Art, Information and Technology (CEAIT) Festival returned this year to REDCAT with an extraordinary three nights of concerts and two symposia featuring the work of the highly experimental architect and composer Iannis Xenakis. Presented in conjunction with the MOCA exhibition Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary, Angelinos got a rare opportunity to dote on the work of this complex hybrid master. The culminating CEAIT program included Xenakis works, Dikhthas (1979), Epicycles (1989), Akanthos (1977) and Polytope de Cluny (1972), and that night's opening … [Read more...]

Bibliotecture

Seattle Central Library, USA, OMA / LMN – A Joint Venture Commissioned:1999 Completed: 2004 – From the Original Project Proposal 1999 At a moment when libraries are perceived to be under threat from a shrinking public realm on one side and digitization on the other, the Seattle Central Library creates a civic space for the circulation of knowledge in all media, and an innovative organizing system for an ever-growing physical collection – the Books Spiral. The library's various programs are intuitively arranged across five platforms and four flowing "in between" planes, which together dictate the building’s distinctive faceted shape, offering the city an inspiring building that is robust in both its elegance and its logic. … [Read more...]

On the Occasion

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791) – "Miracles; I’ve used the word, and I‘ll stay with it. In a lifetime with Mozart’s music I am still surprised, shaken, momentarily ashiver at those moments when the heavens seem to part and revelations fill the sky." — Alan Rich On the occasion of his birth, offered here is the Mozart Piano Sonata No. 13 in B flat, KV  333 as performed by Solomon. This is the BBC transcription from his final broadcast pre-recorded August 28, 1956, just weeks before the catastrophic stroke that was to end his career. Mozart Piano Sonata No. 13 in B flat, KV  333, Solomon (Solomon Cutner), Great Pianist of the 20th Century, Philips Classics, In cooperation with Steinway and … [Read more...]

A Considerable Collection

Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915 LACMA Resnick Pavilion, October 2, 2010–March 6, 2011 – Photography by Nancy Baron Fashioning Fashion, one of the inaugural exhibitions of the Renzo Piano designed Lynda and Stewart Resnick Pavilion, is a trove of European clothing that speaks to both the evolution of style and the historical narrative of technical innovation covering a span of more than two hundred years. The show is the culmination of the gift from donors Michael and Ellen Michelson and Suzanne Saperstein, that when integrated with the objects and holdings of the LACMA's Costume and Textile departments, now make Los Angeles a destination of consequence for European costume studies. Stewards Sharon S. … [Read more...]

Show and Tell

Alfred Brendel: On Character in Music, REDCAT October 28, 2010 – The assignment of character or poetic meaning in music of the last half of the last century has been an unfashionable practice. Perhaps practiced in secret in the hearts of all composers, but not openly discussed by many. Pure musical theories of chromatic scale, tonality and form have been the favored pursuits of "new music", a turning away from the over laden portentous Romantic zeal that dominated the late 19th and early 20th century. But as of late there has been a distinct, albeit slow, shift back towards easy listening. The toot and bleep that has been so closely identified with composers of contemporary classical music is steadily being subverted with sound thats … [Read more...]

Summer Night, Driftwood Crystals

Top Left: Beaumontia Grandiflora with Mexican Latern Top Right: Driftwood Crystals Bottom Left: Stag Horn Fern, Platycerium Bottom Right: Grape Lights Entwine with Wisteria © Nancy Cantwell … [Read more...]

Summer Night, Hindu Rope

Top Left: Hoya Copacta or Hindu Rope, Verigated       Top Right: Stag Horn Fern, Platycerium Bottom Left: Stag Horn Fern, Platycerium                     Bottom Right: Begonia Bloom with Palm Leaf © Nancy Cantwell … [Read more...]