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Academics Take Flight

Academics Take Flight

The famed nineteenth-century Swiss historian Jacob Burkhardt, author of the seminal The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy first published in 1860, enjoined true scholars to remain at their desks rather than…

On The Road To Rochester

On The Road To Rochester

The glaciers were bigger then. I gained renewed appreciation for their scale two weeks ago when making the long climb by bicycle out of one of the holes they dug…

Wrestling With Art; Ai Weiwei’s ‘Human Flow’

Wrestling With Art; Ai Weiwei’s ‘Human Flow’

Put a lacquered frame around something and hang it on the wall and that thing instantly becomes Art. Or a critique of Art. Or a critique of a critique of…

Bach Blows

Bach Blows

For at least as long as people have talked about the weather, they have made music about it—from rain dances to pastoral symphonies, from the Paleolithic to Prince. Never mind…

Katy Perry’s Gastro-Pop, Gastro-Porn Orgy

Seated on psychedelic Rings of Saturn beneath an arena night sky strewn with planets, stars and galaxies, and herself kitted out in glittering silver wig with matching boots, gown, and…

Jazz Revolutionaries: Monk & Dizzy

Jazz Revolutionaries: Monk & Dizzy

Legion are the books on jazz that wave the banner of “revolution” above the chapter devoted to bebop, the improvised American music of swerving light and impossible speed, incandescent optimism…

Sidelining The Sideman

The one thing you can say about the all-too-familiar genre of posthumous documentary in which dozens of admirers bear dutiful witness to the deceased’s unrecognized artistic achievements, is that at…

Silent Hamlet

Silent Hamlet

Many have had a go at explaining the madness of Hamlet, not least generations of high school and college students faced with faking their way through that perennial exam essay…

Back In The DDR

Organists have long been present at, indeed participants in, great political events:  the 759 Byzantine delegation from Constantinople to the French court of Pippin the Great, the diplomatic mission that…

Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Blue

It is late August and millions of North Americans and Europeans continue to mass on beaches from Cape Code to the Costa del Sol, the mood of carefree seaside relaxation…

That Clancy Sigal Sound

That Clancy Sigal Sound

I learned of Clancy Sigal’s death on July 16th only on returning home Saturday to Ithaca, New York after five weeks on the road. I owed him an email. I’d…

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