Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 6:04 am
Tonight marks the first night of Passover, the commemoration of the Jews' liberation from slavery. Like millions around the world, I'll be sitting down to Seder to celebrate, in my case with a completely religiously and culturally mixed-up mishpocheh. I'm not Jewish, but Passover is one of my favorite nights of the year. With all of its rituals, this holiday takes eating mindfully to a whole new and incredible level, with every foodstuff, prayer and movement geared towards revisiting and renewing the ancient story of bitterness and then emancipation.
What happens when two very talented women — one, a rising alt-country star; the other, one of classical music's great new talents — meet one another? In the case of singer Tift Merritt and pianist Simone Dinnerstein, a friendship ensues.
Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Pertti Kurikka's Name Day), a punk band from Finland, is the subject of the documentary "The Punk Syndrome," which won the SXGlobal Audience Award at this year's SXSW Film Festival.
The documentary provides a sincere and honest look at the lives of the four band members, who are all adults living with varying degrees of mental intellectual disabilities.
The band is made up of Pertti Kurikka (guitar), Kari Aalito (vocals), Sami Helle (bass) and Toni Välitalo (drums).
The four finalists are doing all they can to impress the judges and make their mark on this special occasion. There is the award-winning performance of the commissioned work "Upsparkles" by the Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Moravec.
Russian mystic Alexander Scriabin breaks free from 'sonata-form' with his "Sonata Fantasy in g minor."
Claude Debussy cuts loose from the forms he used in his first set of preludes when one of the contestants plays four of the twelve works from his second set from 1913.
Clément, the lead singer of Paris-based French band Alba Lua, still calls Bordeaux his hometown and loves to talk about life in southwest France. Though they are proudly French, the name of the band is actually a mixture of Spanish and Portugese.
"Alba is the dawn (in Spanish), and Lua is the moon in Portugese... I like the association of the two words and sometimes you can see the moon in the daylight and it has always been beautiful to me."
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Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book isHelguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work atArtworld Salon and on his own site.
The Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz has found a great deal of success with her varied catalog of work. To try to define it in only a paragraph, or two, would be unfair and probably impossible. Likewise, her work defies any attempt to be pigeon-holed into a nationalistic or ethnic box. Yes, some of the catalog reflects her Mexican roots. But other titles speak in a musical language which should only be described as contemporary.