Europe Vs America

“Since the beginnings of classical music in this country, since the Dark Ages before Ives, Cowell, and the arrival of Varèse, Americans (composers and audiences alike) have been consumers of European musical culture. As Americans, we know our Beethoven and our Schoenberg and our Debussy, but we do not feel them as a Boulez or a Lachenmann does; that is what it means not to be European. For the European Audience, speaking through Boulez, that makes the American Composer ‘WORTHLESS’; for the American Audience, it makes the European Composer inscrutable.”

A Progressive Is A Progressive (Except In Iran?)

Iran is, as the Iranian anthropologist Ziba Mir-Hosseini puts it, ‘a state at war with itself.’ Inside Iran there is astruggle for cultural progressive values. So why has the American progressive Left been so quiet in taking sides? “An unwillingness to extend support to the Iranian opposition puts into question any claim to internationalism, solidarity against oppression, or defense of intellectual freedom.”

MoMA’s New-Flash Curator

“It has many times been said–mostly by people outside the art world who favor ostentation, or those within it who do not–that curators are the new rock stars. Over the past decade, there has been a major infusion of capital, in all its precious metaphors, into the art world. Curators are often the brokers and handlers of this currency, moving among different worlds, drawing from one to complement the other.”

Theatre – What’s The Opposite Of Green?

“Think of all those sets scrapped at the end of a run. Think of the hotel nights and minibus miles generated by companies on tour. Consider the audiences travelling into town. What of the paper for the flyers, posters, programmes and scripts? Then there are the stars – Don Johnson, Jessica Lange – who jet in from the US to see their names in high-wattage West End lights. Should we wonder at the scarcity of green-themed plays, when the theatre business itself has such a voracious appetite for resources?”

Steve Jobs, Music’s Liberator?

Why did Steve Jobs come out against music copy protection? After all, iTunes’ success is driven by this business model. “Jobs is cleverly positioning himself to take credit for the death of DRM. The music industry is on the brink of abandoning DRM, according to the New York Times, after it has failed to make the slightest dent in piracy.”

A World Of Art On Your Screen

“The ability to scan works of art, post them to the Internet and print high-quality digital copies is revolutionizing the way curators around the world are managing their collections. For art lovers, it’s a boon. Imagine surfing the Web and choosing from millions of paintings and photographs, and then placing an order for the perfect living room print. It’s already happening.”

Slow Down! Reading Isn’t For Speed

There’s pressure for everything to go faster these days. Even reading. “Is it any surprise that there is now a reading crisis worldwide that affects people at all levels, from preschool to graduate school, the affluent and the poor alike? Don’t assume you are immune, people of higher education. Is it reassuring or frightening to learn that problems that afflict one group actually afflict other groups considered to be as different as night and day?”

BBC To Quit Free Downloads

So the BBC has decided it can no longer offer free downloads of music. The service has been astonishingly popular. “This marks the beginning of a new era for the BBC, an age of clipped wings and shortened horizons in which inexpert individuals appointed by an interfering government will destroy vision and make producers work to rule.”