Archive for the ‘Looking Back in Time’ Category

Meet Samuel Pepys. Born in London in 1633, Pepys was the fifth son of eleven children, born into a merchant-class family. Pepys attended Cambridge University, and entered the British Navy as a bureaucratic administrator. Finding himself particularly adept at the tasks of administration, Pepys rose in the ranks of the Navy Board, despite his lack

Uncertain bedfellows. How do art and politics relate to one another? Can they sit happily together? Are they mutually exclusive? 
 Are they destined to clash, or inherently connected? The political and artistic atmosphere of Chile in the 1960’s and 1970’s provides a rich opportunity to delve into the question in one particular time and

-> Read more

Why do humans make art? There are many ways to answer this question. We can ask ourselves, other human beings around us. We can take brain imaging scans to try and trace neural patterns associated with the desire to paint, write, or sing, and we can look into our history to reveal ourselves. Looking at

-> Read more

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” ―Aldous Huxley Music in our modern world is more than entertainment. Knowing what kind of music someone enjoys can tell you a lot about them. Nearly all religions today use music as a tool of worship in some way, and music seems to

-> Read more

What does art mean? 
 That is the million dollar question, isn’t it? Who decides what a piece of art means? The artist? The art-critic? The culture in which the piece lives? The viewer?

 Perhaps the best answer is at once the most and least satisfying option: all of the above. Which leaves us

Beauty out of oppression. Subjugation, racism, and violent prejudice weave their shadowy threads through the early history of the United States. And yet through such tragedy and oppression, the irrepressible voice of a people broke through with beauty, emotion, and genius. 
 One legacy of that struggle is a musical revolution that not only shaped

The Duke says it best. Duke Ellington, April 29, 1969 – upon receiving the presidential medal of freedom: “Thank you very much, Mr. President. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. This is the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And the word “freedom” is one, coincidentally, that we are using at the moment in our sacred concert. And,

-> Read more

Who’s that guy waving the stick? Ah yes, a common question when first witnesses a conductor in action. Who indeed? What role does he play in an orchestra? What is he doing with that stick? And the other hand?

 Let’s explore! What does a Conductor do? Conductors evoke individual performances from a collection of instrumentalists

-> Read more

The Orchestra The lights in the house dim, and the chatter of the audience fades away. 

The lights come up, revealing a host of a hundred musicians, poised and ready. Their presence is unified; they seem almost to breathe as one. The conductor, their head, stands in front of them.

 A hand is raised –

Electronic instruments. Electronics are so fused in today’s music world, we hardly notice their presence anymore.  The process of amplifying and recording music on it’s own has cemented electronics as a cornerstone of music-making in the 20th century. But how do electronics fit into an exploration of different types of instruments?

Simple answer: not very easily!