The Jazz Loft Project

On December 3rd I attended the Jazz Loft Project book and website launch event at the West End Wine Bar in Durham, NC.  WUNC’s Frank Stasio, always on top of local goings on, clued me in.  It was packed, despite the venue being situated by LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY signs from all approaches.  Where else would Jazz fans congregate, if not in some well-hidden bar that’s so small you’d need three of them just to hold all the people who came to hear the music?

Needless to say I bought the book, got it signed, and have since met people who are on their third reading of the text.  I’m trying to save it for Christmas!

I look forward to the time when, perhaps 40 years from now, The Miraverse has become the definitive archive for a new collection of music representing a meaningful continuum of talent and community.

The Participant Listener

In the seminal essay The Prospects of Recording, Glenn Gould “explores the vast changes in musical ontology, phenomenology, production, and listening brought about by audio recording” (see Audio Culture, edited by Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner, pp 115-126).  The Glenn Gould archives have Part A of that essay online, but it is the paragraphs that immediately follow that have me most excited.  He says:

Continue reading “The Participant Listener”

The Obamas transform the White House into a Salon

In the comic strip Doonesbury, the White House is an iconic representation of all that is wrong with America and American power, the ironic home of presidents who, one way or another, come to represent the very evil they have sworn and affirmed their duty to defeat.

First Lady Michelle Obama Candidate Obama ran his campaign on a platform of change, and every day the Obamas surprise and delight with the changes they are bringing, not just to American politics, not just to Washington, but to the White House itself.  Earlier this week, the Obamas hosted what the Washington Post believes to be the first-ever poetry jam at the White House.  Somewhere from his living room in Heaven, Langston Hughes is nodding in approval as many gather to sing a new song.  It is a joy to see what happens when we have a President who is willing to let America be America again.

And so we have a President who is willing to listen to both rhyme and reason, to both the arts and science.  And we have a First Lady who is willing to bring people with something to say, something to listen to.  What a change!

And so for one night at least, the East Room has become a Salon.

Continue reading “The Obamas transform the White House into a Salon”

Construction and Deconstruction

Michael Pollan Pulseoptional While I have been fairly diligent about maintaining my construction blog, I have neglected to blog about much else since January, which could mislead the reader into believing either that nothing else of interest is happening, or, worse, that nothing else has been interesting me, both of which are false.  But this past week, two creative works—one a book and the other a CD—were so interesting that I was compelled to respond to both in manifold ways.

Now, for the blog, how to begin?

Continue reading “Construction and Deconstruction”

A new website

In case you have only been reading the blog and not visiting the website, I have news for you: the website has been fully refreshed.

Big thanks go to Wes Lachot, who showed me a preview of his new website and got my imagination all fired up.  His website uses flash, which I continue to eschew, but his design was so compelling that I had to figure out how to implement it without resorting to flash.  I studied CSS, discovered a few tricks, and am pretty happy with the results.

All of the images are newly rendered, and the 3d walkthrough has also been updated.

Happy surfing!

Music Think Tank confirms Miraverse business model

A new blog posting For the fans, by the fans… is yet another validation of the Miraverse business model.  For those keeping track, this adds to Peter Gabriel’s validation, George Massenburg’s validation, and others.

If others are doing this, or thinking about doing this, please get in touch!  The biggest business buzz kill is not competition–it’s lack of experience and poor execution.  Let’s get it right together, and then make it big.

Changing kids' lives through jazz

 I never thought I’d be giving a shout out to CNN from this blog, but the article they wrote about Wynton Marsalis and his musical ministry was exceptional.

The story begins “Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis knows how important education is for youth, but what feeds their minds and souls, he says, often lies beyond traditional classroom walls.”  Amen!

Growing up in New York City, I had always taken the City’s icons as givens, as if Tiffany’s, or The Metropolitan Opera, or the Empire State Building had always been a part of the city, because they were all part of the city by the time I became aware of them.  When Wynton Marsalis co-founded Jazz at Lincoln Center, he changed the architectural, musical, and cultural landscape of the city, thereby also changing the fixed points of reference that I had presumed were immutable since I was a boy.  Something really new in New York?  Amazing! Continue reading “Changing kids' lives through jazz”

Why Dissonance is the new Harmony (a lesson in Authenticity)

I’ve always had a soft spot for Youth Radio on NPR, but What’s is the new What? has taken that affection to a whole new level.  The story Dissonance is the new Harmony prompted me to set a bookmark that day and commit to blog it when I had the chance.  Now I have the chance…

Continue reading “Why Dissonance is the new Harmony (a lesson in Authenticity)”