Cary Ratcliff writes by leaps and bounds. The lines of his songs might jump a fifth, slide back down, and hover around a series of pitches before leaping up again. Difficult to perform but easy on the ear. Lyrical.
He’s also a working composer, far from the dreaded ivory tower. On a gleaming black Steinway in his light-filled living room, Ratcliff's written music that’s been sung by thousands of singers of all ages and abilities. His children’s opera "Mice and Beans" is being staged April 26-27 in San Diego. New York City Opera will read Ratcliff’s “Eleni” in May, and in July, the Rochester Oratorio Society will take a section of the “Ode to Common Things” to Beijing and Shanghai.
Venues present themselves like creatures of the night. They get made-up, or don’t, wash up a bit, or not, display darkness and light in codes their customers are lured toPor Vida.
It’s all about attitude. It was the Molotov Lounge. Austin in March of 2007.
Bikers, aggressive punks, music critics, folk music fans, feminists, the generally rebellious. They filled this place. I swear in one of the only two booths was a Midwestern family, kids and all. Inside a rather threatening room, what could have brought together such a wildly diverse crowd.
One of the most remarkable shows I’ve ever seen was in a punk bar in Austin, 2007. It looked like the inside of an old diner stripped of anything and everything. What could have once been a lunch counter was the bar. No windows, just vacant spaces inside empty window frames.
It looked like a fire had gutted the downstairs of structures and function, then been splashed with dull, black paint to remove any remaining color.
Not the sort of place you would imagine a most memorable show happeningEric Taylor album art.
The performer was Michelle Shocked. Sally Timms opened. The venue became part of the show in a way no other venue would have worked.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) first established the Week of the Young Child (WOYC) in 1971 recognizing that the early childhood years (birth through age 8) lay the foundation for children’s success in school and later life.
Each April, child advocates celebrate the Month of the Young Child. This is a time when communities and individuals recognize the needs and
rights of young children and their families.
Another short and sweet post. I’m in my second week of getting up at 4:00 a.m. to host the local classical music morning show, and I’m a little tapped out. (I'll have some richer material for you, including a bizarre RPO-related story that landed in my e-mail this week. But I can’t get to it until later.) So I’ll stoop to cat-blogging with this message from Skitty and a picture taken this morning in our muddy garden.
My children found a dead blue heron in the yard last night, folded up and strangely exotic like one of Audubon's paintings. There was no sign of a struggle. It reminded me of something I read about Jean Sibelius. Around the time he was working on his Fifth Symphony, Jean Sibelius watched sixteen swans fly in formation over his home. In his diary, he wrote,
“One of my greatest experiences! Lord God, that beauty! They circled over me for a long time. Disappeared into the solar haze like a gleaming, silver ribbon. . . . That this should have happened to me, who have so long been the outsider.”
I can’t hear the Aram Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance without picturing guys in blue and white outfits zooming across the ice with sticks. In the 1970’s, the Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey team ran local TV commercials using the classical warhorse at its rousing theme song. I saw that ad a lot.
According to the British newspaper The Guardian, the Eiffel Tower will be reshaped, altering the skyline of Paris. In time for the structure's 120th anniversary next year, builders will add a bigger viewing platform so more people at one time can go up and look around. The new platform will be attached with a design similar to the way that an aircraft's wings are attached to the fuselage.
Each performance space played a significant role in that particular show’s experience. From the cold, grey Austin Music Hall, to the sunny tented patios, and pulsing honky-tonks. The final show I saw was in the quiet sanctuary of a church.
Jacob Goldin In order to assure a seat for the featured sets later, we needed to wait nearly an hour for the first of three songwriters, Josh Goldin. The doors opened early making the wait pretty painless.
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