While travelling recently, I had a chance to attend a screening of the documentary film Eva Hesse, directed by Marcie Begleiter. The film draws from the large collection of diary entries and letters written by Hesse, now housed at the Allen Memorial Art Museum in Oberlin, Ohio, and makes generous use of archival photographs and footage of Hesse and her circle of New York City artists and writers during the 1960s. Featured in this film are Sol LeWitt (1928-2007), with whom Hesse maintained a close friendship, Robert Mangold and Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Paul Thek, Lucy Lippard, her former husband, Tom Doyle, and her older sister, Helen Hesse Charash, among others. The actress Selma Blair is the voice-over for the selected passages from the diaries and letters. Most of the still photography is black-and-white, and a few of the photographs are manipulated very subtly so that they appear to be slightly moving, creating a haunting effect. Hesse’s artwork presented in the film is beautiful, poignant, and profoundly personal.
Many of us have been on an emotional rollercoaster since Beyoncé gifted us with her visual album Lemonade on April 23. Putting aside our concern for Bey and Jay’s marriage, the album itself is aurally and visually stunning and has received high critical acclaim. Lemonade premiered on HBO, and being especially proud of the part they played in its release, the network plans to submit Lemonade for Emmy consideration. Continue reading “Get in formation: a Lemonade syllabus”
Several years ago when I was brainstorming for a doctoral performance project, I knew that I wanted to deal with something that had to deal with African-American composers. This was because through all my studies I found that black composers were seldom represented in the classroom and on the performance stage. After some initial research I came across the works of Ed Bland mostly because it seemed he had many compositions for clarinet (my instrument). After acquiring his album Urban Classical, I became fascinated by the music I was listening to and decided to focus my research on him. Continue reading “Ed Bland: American urban classical composer”
Looking for a thought-provoking or entertaining book to spark your interest this spring semester? The librarians have selected a collection of new titles, all of which can be found on display and checked out from the first floor of Hamon by the periodicals and reference section.
American conductor and musicologist Robert Craft passed away on November 10 at the age of 92. Craft was best known as the advisor and close friend of Igor Stravinsky from 1948 until Stravinsky’s death in 1971; at times, he even lived in the Stravinsky home. But Craft was also a tastemaker in American classical music during the 20th century. He championed the works of composers Arnold Schönberg, Anton Webern, and Alban Berg by conducting and recording their music. He recorded a collection of Webern’s complete works, and he collaborated closely with Stravinsky and conducted recording sessions and premieres of the composer’s later works. Continue reading “Robert Craft (1923-2015): An improbable life”
An effective image can be essential when making an argument, but not all of us have graphic design skills and access to applications like Photoshop. Fortunately, there is a profusion of free or inexpensive web applications for nonexperts. Here is a roundup of web tools for graphic design that I have used and can recommend. All are easy to use and have free versions. Continue reading “Simple web tools for creating graphics”
For the second time in less than five years, the Dallas Opera is producing the world premiere of an opera by composer Jake Heggie with the libretto by Terrence McNally. Great Scott opened Friday, October 30th and will continue its run at the Margo and Bill Winspear Opera House through November 15th. Continue reading “Great Scott and great voices at SMU”
The Hamon Blog wants to know what you’re currently reading, watching, or listening to. On entering the elevator on the first floor of Hamon, you will notice a message board filling up with recommendations from library users. Continue reading “What are you reading, watching, or listening to?”