Tuesday, December 31

Times Square Ball

Technicians eye the new improved New Years ball, with halogen lamps for greater visibility, in New York City in 1978.
"The Times Square Ball is a time ball located in New York City's Times Square. Located on the roof of One Times Square, the ball is a prominent part of a New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square commonly referred to as the ball drop, where the ball descends down a specially designed flagpole, beginning at 11:59:00 p.m. ET, and resting at midnight to signal the start of the new year. In recent years, the festivities have been preceded by live entertainment, including performances by musicians. ... The prevalence of the Times Square ball drop has inspired similar 'drops' at other local New Year's Eve events across the country; while some use balls, some instead drop objects that represent local culture or history. ..."
Forbes - Countdown To 2020: How Waterford Crystal Designs The Iconic Ball For The Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration
The Times Square Ball Drop is Epic. This is the Family Behind the New Year’s Tradition.
YouTube: New Year’s Eve 2020: Times Square Ball Is Ready for its Big Night | NBC New York

The giant numbers use a total of 618 9-watt energy-efficient LED bulbs, according to the Times Square Alliance.

Monday, December 30

What to See with Your New Telescope

See if you can identify these noteworthy features around the time of full Moon. Some of the most prominent craters display bright rays: splashes of impact debris.
"Maybe you just got a shiny new telescope to call your own. Congratulations — you could be on your way to discovering many amazing, far, deep things in the night sky. Although most of them are so far and faint that just locating and detecting them is the challenge! Whether your new scope is a long, sleek tube or a compact marvel of computerized wizardry, surely you're itching to try it out. 'Here are three crucial tips for getting started,' advises Alan MacRobert, a senior editor at Sky & Telescope magazine. ..."
Sky & Telescope
Sky & Telescope - Observing the Great Orion Nebula
Sky & Telescope - Binoculars for Astronomy: Ultimate Guide to Selecting and Buying
Sky & Telescope - Observing
***Sky & Telescope - The Best Meteor Showers in 2020

This chart shows where to find the Orion Nebula, in Orion's Sword below the trio of stars forming Orion's Belt. Only the brightest stars (the largest dots) on this chart are readily visible to the unaided eye.

The Musical Legacy of Amiri Baraka

It’s Nation Time - African Visionary Music (1972
"January 2017 marked the third anniversary of the death of poet, activist, playwright and music historian Amiri Baraka, formerly known as LeRoi Jones. For nearly five decades, Baraka stood as a critical figure in black art and literature, helping to lay the groundwork for a radical black aesthetic whose influence has seeped into hip-hop, black theater and spoken word. The central thesis in Baraka’s work was the idea that the history of the black experience in America could be traced through the changes and new developments in black music. In an interview with late NAACP chairman Julian Bond, Baraka laid out his belief that 'Where the music goes, that’s where the people go. The music reflects the people.' ..."
Red Bull Music Academy (Video)
W - Amiri Baraka

Sunday, December 29

Eliane Radigue ‎– Songs Of Milarepa (1992)

"Performed (Arp synthesizer) and recorded by Eliane Radigue; Robert Ashley, English voice; Lama Kunga Rinpoche, Tibetan voice. Double CD of all 5 of Radigue's songs in tribute to the Tibetan saint and poet from the eleventh century. Two of the tracks date from an 1983 LP (Radigue's first release), two are previously unreleased and the final 62-minute track was previously issued as a sole CD in 1987. The material is performed by Radigue (synthesizer and recording), Robert Ashley (English voice) and Lama Kunga Rinpoche (Tibetan voice). Radigue was born in France and has studied under Pierre Shaeffer and Pierre Henry; her musical has an extremely organic and mystical electronics vibe, and has been previously documented on Phill Niblock's XI label, as well as Metamkine and Lovely. Milarepa is a great saint and poet of Tibet who lived in the 11th Century. ..."
Lovely: Album Notes
Discogs (Video)
vimeo: Songs of Mirapela

2018 May: Trilogie de la Mort (1988-1993), 2018 October: The Deeply Meditative Electronic Music of Avant-Garde Composer Eliane Radigue, 2019 February: Adnos I-III, 2019 May: Occam Ocean, Vol. 1 (2017)

Saturday, December 28

Fighting Words - Elizabeth Warren

"To launch her campaign, back in January, Sen. Elizabeth Warren had a number of locations to choose from. She could have started in Norman, Oklahoma, the setting of her ragged-edge-of-the-middle-class origin story, where her prairie populism could have been brought to the fore. She spent years in Houston, Philadelphia, and Boston, too, all chock full of their own useful imagery for a campaign. Instead, she chose Lawrence, Massachusetts, for her opening salvo, linking her campaign to the Bread and Roses strike, led in 1912 largely by radical immigrant seamstresses and other garment workers. It would be the first of three speeches setting up what Warren sees as the driving force of her campaign: the labor movement — more precisely, the women- and immigrant-led labor movements of the 19th and early 20th centuries. ..."
The Intercept_

Garment Workers Picketing, circa 1909.

2019 April: Socialism, but in Iowa, 2019 September: Working Families Party

Charles Ives: Piano Sonata No. 2 & Violin Sonata No. 4

"Despite much of the compositional output of American modernist Charles Ives (1874-1954) remaining unperformed until after his death, he is now well-established as a significant and pioneering composer whose works 'continue to find new friends and vigorous champions worldwide.' So observes Geoffrey Block in his excellent liner notes. His Concord Sonata, for piano with optional viola and flute (in first and last movements) is a complex programmatic work centred on the lives of four significant figures in the transcendentalism movement of mid-19th-century Concord, Massachusetts: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, the Alcott family (including Louisa May), and Henry Thoreau. Like many of Ives’ other works, it incorporates borrowings from hymns and popular song, in this case set within a sophisticated conceptual framework that adds Beethoven to the mix. Monumental and intricate, it’s given an assured and sensitive reading by Finnish pianist Joonas Ahonen. ..."
Limelight (Audio)
W - Piano Sonata No. 2
Apple Music Preview (Audio)
Spotify (Audio)

2008 September: Charles Ives, 2010 December: Holidays Symphony, 2012 August: Symphony No. 2, 2012 December: Decoration Day, 2014 March: Central Park in the Dark (1906), 2018 December: Three Places in New England (1911/14), 2019 May: Universe Symphony (1911 and 1928)

Who Tops the 2019 ‘Nation’ Honor Roll?

"Impeachment is a big deal. So is the 2020 presidential election. Plenty of advocates for executive accountability and even a few White House contenders are deserving of honor. But The Nation’s annual honor roll has always had a bias toward those who do the steady work of advancing economic, social, and racial justice but do not always enjoy the spotlight. Here are a few of 2019’s most valuable progressive officials, activists, organizations, and ideas that are shaping the future. ... The August Chicago magazine headline said it all: 'How Socialism Permeated City Council.' One of 2019’s biggest local politics stories was the renewal of municipal socialism in cities across the country, as a new generation of city councilors and school board members, many associated with and backed by the Democratic Socialists of America, swept into office. ..."
The Nation

Carlos Ramirez-Rosa

Friday, December 27

Belasco Theatre

"The Belasco Theatre is a Broadway theater which opened in 1907 at 111 West 44th Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Originally known as the Stuyvesant Theatre, it was designed by architect George Keister for impresario David Belasco. The interior featured Tiffany lighting and ceiling panels, rich woodwork and expansive murals by American artist Everett Shinn, and a ten-room duplex penthouse apartment that Belasco utilized as combination living quarters/office space. ... This theater is the subject of an urban legend that David Belasco's ghost haunts the theater every night. Some performers in the shows that played there have even claimed to have spotted him or other ghosts during performances. It was also reported that after Oh! Calcutta! (a musical revue with extensive full frontal male and female nudity) played at the theater, the ghost of David Belasco stopped appearing. ..."
Belasco Theatre (Video)
NY Times: A Temple of Drama, Burnished
The Haunting of Broadway's Spirited Belasco Theatre

Thursday, December 26

So Why Did I Defend Paul Bowles?

Paul Bowles, photographed for Vogue, Tangier, Morocco, 1946
"In the mid-1990s, I used to lead literary walking tours of 'Paul Bowles’s Tangier' for friends or literary pilgrims visiting from the US. We would meet at Madame Porte, the famed tearoom downtown, where Jane Bowles and Tennessee Williams spent many a rainy afternoon writing in 1948. The place, crawling with Italian and German spies during World War II, is mentioned in Let It Come Down, Paul’s exquisite novel about 1950s Tangier. From there, we’d walk across to Paradise, the equally fabled bar where Jane once removed the wig she wore in later life and began stripping. Then we’d walk to the Hotel Muniria, where Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg resided, and where, upstairs in Room 9, William Burroughs wrote Naked Lunch. From there, we’d cross the boulevard to Café de Paris, a haunt of Jean Genet. ..."

The Gran Café de Paris, Tangier, Morocco, 1950

2007 November: The Authorized Paul Bowles Web Site, 2010 February: Paul Bowles (1910-1999), 2011: January: Halfmoon (1996), 2013 July: Tellus #23 - The Voices of Paul Bowles, 2014 January: Let It Come Down: the Life of Paul Bowles (1998), 2014 March: The Sheltering Sky (1949), 2015 January: Things Gone & Things Still Here, 2015 October: The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles – a cautionary tale for tourists, 2015 November: The Rolling Stone Interview (May 23, 1974), 2016 June: Let It Come Down (1952), 2016 December: Paul Bowles & the Music of Morocco, 2017 July: Night Waltz: The Music of Paul Bowles, 2018 July: The Sheltering Sound, 2019 September: Jane Bowles

Jean-Jacques Pigeon

"... Pigeon began drawing from a young age, inspired by the nature surrounding him. It was during the ‘70s that the artist had a real revelation during a Pierre Soulages exhibition at Centre Pompidou in Paris. The artist then attended art classes, in which he learned Bauhaus techniques and discovered the works of Simon Hantaï, a painter from the New York School, as well as the Minimalists of the United States. Pigeon later produced his initial canvases Hantaïeries pollockiennes and began questioning artistic concerns. Pigeon believes that art is a space for reflection rather than a place for a crafty act. His work is very open; before, the painter’s work was distinguished by the broad and vertical knots, whereas now, his work is more free and delicate. In this way, the painter wanders in the plants that he paints today. Greenery, flowers and stalks are at the heart of his work, allowing him to explore his art. ..."
Jean-Jacques Pigeon
Asia Contemporary Art
YouTube: CONTEMPORARY ART : The painter Jean-Jacques Pigeon (Work in progress)

How 2 Soviet Émigrés Fueled the Trump Impeachment Flames

"On a warm summer evening last year, Lev Parnas stepped aboard a private cruise around New York Harbor for a gathering of some of Rudolph W. Giuliani’s closest friends. The passengers sipped wine and cocktails while they sailed past the Statue of Liberty, singing along as another guest, the entertainer Joe Piscopo, belted out 'Theme from New York, New York.' Mr. Giuliani, a personal lawyer to President Trump, relaxed on the open deck in a bright blue polo shirt as the sun set over Lower Manhattan, a video of the event shows. The August 2018 cruise, which was won in a charity auction, came at a pivotal moment in Mr. Giuliani’s relationship with Mr. Parnas and his associate Igor Fruman, both Soviet-born businessmen from Florida who were among the newest entrants to his circle. Mr. Parnas had recently struck up a friendship with Mr. Giuliani while recruiting him for a business deal, but now the men were on the verge of something bigger: teaming up to unearth damaging information on Mr. Trump’s political rivals. ..."
NY Times
NY Times - How Not to Plot Secret Foreign Policy: On a Cellphone and WhatsApp

Lev Parnas, left, and Igor Fruman, who helped Rudolph W. Giuliani carry out shadow diplomacy in Ukraine, were arrested in October on campaign finance charges.

Wednesday, December 25

Ranking the Top 100 Websites in the World

"As a greater portion of the world begins to live more of their life online, the world’s top 100 websites continue to see explosive growth in their traffic numbers. To claim even the 100th spot in this ranking, your website would need around 350 million visits in a single month. Using data from SimilarWeb, we’ve visually mapped out the top 100 biggest websites on the internet. Examining the ranking reveals a lot about how people around the world search for information, which services they use, and how they spend time online. ... The 100 biggest websites generated a staggering 206 billion visits in June 2019. Google, YouTube, and Facebook took the top spots, followed by Baidu and Wikipedia. Below is the full ranking. ..."
Visual Capitalist
View the full-resolution version of this visualization

Tuesday, December 24

NORAD Tracks Santa

"NORAD Tracks Santa is an annual Christmas-themed program that occurs on December 24 and has existed since 1955. It is a community outreach function of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Every year on Christmas Eve, NORAD tracks Santa Claus leaving the North Pole as he journeys around the world on his mission to deliver presents to children. The program is in the tradition of the September 1897 editorial 'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus' in the New York Sun. On December 24, 1948, the United States Air Force issued a communique claiming that an 'early warning radar net to the north' had detected 'one unidentified sleigh, powered by eight reindeer, at 14,000 feet [4,300 meters], heading 180 degrees.' ... It was the first time that the United States Armed Forces issued a statement about tracking Santa Claus's sleigh on Christmas Eve, although it was a one-time event, not repeated over the next several years. ..."
NORAD Tracks Santa
YouTube: Follow Santa's sleigh with NORAD's Santa Tracker (LIVE)

Monday, December 23

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes (2019)

"Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes, a stylish and engaging new documentary by Sophie Huber, opens in the recording studio, with a top-tier crew of modern jazz musicians going about their business. From his station behind a keyboard rig, Robert Glasper calls out ideas for an arrangement; Ambrose Akinmusire's trumpet, warming up, can be heard in the background. An establishing shot introduces Don Was, the musical polymath serving as Blue Note's president, as a hipster Buddha in the control booth. As Was explains to the camera, we're watching a session for the Blue Note All-Stars, a group with an obvious name and celebratory purpose, having originally been assembled in commemoration of the label's 75th anniversary. ..."
NPR: New Documentary 'Blue Note: Beyond The Notes' Surpasses Its Purpose (Video)
“Music Is A Portal”: Sophie Huber On Blue Note Documentary ‘Beyond The Notes’ (Video)

The lost images of anarchist Barcelona

Anarchists march on the streets of Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War.
"It was a Barcelona where taxis were prohibited, waiters and shoe shiners did not accept tips, hats were frowned upon, and the notes of The International rang out from every corner. A city where approximately 70 percent of the businesses were collectivized, with their offices occupied by workers and militiamen. Anarchist Barcelona, a unique libertarian experiment in Europe which had its decisive moment between July 1936 and May 1937, has been the subject of various studies and textbooks. However, the studies and textbooks of this exceptional period have been lacking the graphic history which had been presumed lost. ..."
Jacobin: Spain Through Orwell’s Eyes
New Republic: The Spain Orwell Never Saw
amazon: Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939

Two militia reading the anarchist newspaper “Solidaridad Obrera.”

2011 July: Spanish Civil War - 75 Year, 18 July, 2011 August: Down and Out in Paris and London, 2012 March: 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother), 2012 June: "The Spanish Earth", Written and Narrated by Ernest Hemingway, 2013 January: The Real George Orwell, 2015 August: Songs of the Spanish Civil War, 2016 September: George Orwell - Homage to Catalonia (1938), 2017 January: Guernica (2016), 2019 September: What Makes Guernica So Shocking? ...

Sunday, December 22

John Fahey - America (1971)

"Listen to John Fahey's America and hear an honest-to-goodness pioneer of solo acoustic steel-string guitar. With a truly distinctive approach, Fahey creates dusty, sweetly evocative worlds of American folk and blues that make the soul throb. His fingerpicking on alternating and drone bass lines, coupled with chorded melodies, continues to provide inspiration to acoustic players. America opens with the bittersweet 'Jesus Is a Dying Bedmaker,' a spirited folk painting of elation dressed in suffering. Fahey's halting articulation at the outset of the tune eventually gives way to an uptempo gust of glad resolve. Here and elsewhere lies Fahey's remarkable talent for squeezing a wondrous amount of expressiveness out of simple musical materials. ..."
allmusic (Audio)
W - America
YouTube: America 1 / 13

2009 March: John Fahey, 2011 March: Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You (The Fonotone Years 1958-1965), 2012 September: Fare Forward Voyagers (Soldier's Choice), 2013 February: The Mill Pond, 2013 August: Railroad (1983), 2013 December: Dances of the Inhabitants of the Invisible City of Bladensburg (1973), 2016 January: The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death (1965), 2017 March: Days Have Gone By (1967)

The Ornament of the World

"The Ornament of the World tells a story from the past that’s especially timely today: the story of a remarkable time in history when Muslims, Christians and Jews forged a common cultural identity that frequently transcended their religious differences. Ornament will retrace a nearly 800-year period in medieval Spain, from the early 8th through late 15th centuries, during which the three groups, though they competed and sometimes fought, managed for the most part to sustain relationships that enabled them to coexist, collaborate and flourish. The film blends evocative location cinematography with dramatic and lifelike animation to take viewers on a fascinating journey through the cities at the center of the story: Cordoba, Seville, Toledo, and Granada. We will discover what made this rare and fruitful collaboration possible and what ultimately tore it apart. ..."
Kikim Media (Video)
PBS: The Ornament of the World (Video)
NY Times: A Golden Reign of Tolerance
amazon: The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain

Court of the Lions

Saturday, December 21

Joris-Karl Huysmans Art Critic. From Degas to Grünewald, in the Eye of Francesco Vezzoli

Giovanni Boldini, Count Robert de Montesquiou
"A key writer of the late 19th century, Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848-1907) was an art critic who is still little known or little understood by the general public. However, his contribution to the artistic press and the aesthetic debate was as decisive as the impact of his novel Against Nature. More passionate about Hals and Rembrandt until his discovery of Degas in 1876-1879, Huysmans admitted that this was a defining moment. And yet, his art criticism immediately accepted the possibility of a double modernity. The modernity of the painters of modern life and that of the explorers of dreams were not mutually exclusive. Here, Manet coexists with Rops and Redon. The desire Huysmans showed very early on to escape from the logic of church doctrine no doubt blurred the perception of his aesthetic choices. ..."
Musée d'Orsay (Video)
Musée d'Orsay: Huysmans from Degas to Grünewald
Sortir Paris

Charles-Marie Dulac (1866-1898), Paysage Mystique, 1894

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, December 20 – 28

"... Saturday, Dec. 21. The Christmas season is when M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, passes your zenith shortly after dark (if you live in the mid-northern latitudes). The exact time depends on your longitude. Binoculars will show M31 just off the knee of the Andromeda constellation's stick figure; see the big evening sky chart in the center of Sky & Telescope. This is the longest night of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere; the shortest night in the Southern Hemisphere). The solstice occurs at 11:19 p.m. EST (8:19 p.m. PST), marking the start of northern winter, when the Sun begins its six-month return northward in the sky of Earth. Sunday, Dec. 22. In early dawn on Monday the 23rd, look southeast for tiny Mars to the right or upper right of the crescent Moon, as shown above. Mars is faint now at magnitude +1.6, but it's on its way to a very favorable opposition next October — when it will shine 50 times brighter and appear a big 22 arcseconds wide. ..."
Sky & Telescope

Drones & Strings - RP Collier

"The sleepy drone that slowly pulses and frays throughout this RP Collier track, “We Fly in Blimps Now,” hovers like its title subject. What it hovers above provides quite a study in contrasts. The drone is all muffled noise, a crunchy sound yielding softness through filters and the semblance of stasis. Below the drone unfolds the slow progression of a melody, presumably played guitar: a lonesome presence in the shadow of fierce clouds. Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/rpcollier. More from RP Collier, who is based in Portland, Oregon, at youtube.com and rpcollier.bandcamp.com."
disquiet (Audio)
SoundClick: RP Collier Thumb Piano Project (Audio)
Bandcamp: Lamellaphone (Audio)
YouTube: RP Collier

Friday, December 20

The Village Voice Film Guide (50 Years of Movies from Classics to Cult Hits)

"And so it goes. Many of us saw it coming. But just wouldn’t, couldn’t believe it. But after Ridgeway and Schanberg and Christgau got the axe, a half dozen other senior editors were forced out, and the national syndicate of arts reviewers moved in, it was inevitable that longtime Village Voice film critic/editor Dennis Lim would be next on the chopping block of New Times management. As Lim leaves the Voice’s pages, so, too, do the auteurs he’s championed over the years, from Guy Maddin to Spike Jonze, Jia Zhang-Ke to David Lynch, Tsai Ming-liang to Hou Hsiao-hsien. Art-house lovers, we’re at the end of an era. Independent distributors IFC Films, Zeitgeist, ThinkFilm, Roadside, Palm, Koch Lorber, Kino, and First Run, if you think you had a friend at alternative weeklies across this country, you can think again. Film critics can also say goodbye to the Voice’s annual film poll — a yearly rite of passage for many critics, both aspiring and established — which I can’t imagine will be renewed under the new management. ..."
NY Times: David Lynch Returns: Expect Moody Conditions, With Surreal Gusts By Dennis Lim (Oct. 1, 2006)
[PDF] The Village Voice Film Guide (50 Years of Movies from Classics to Cult Hits)

Fire in my mouth - Julia Wolfe (2018)

"Fire in my mouth is an oratorio for girls' choir, women's choir, and orchestra by the American composer Julia Wolfe. The work was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Jaap van Zweden and was completed in August 2018. Its world premiere was given by the Philadelphia-based chamber choir The Crossing, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and the New York Philharmonic led by Jaap van Zweden at David Geffen Hall, New York City, on January 24, 2019. The piece was inspired by the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which claimed the lives of 146 New York City garment workers—most of whom were young immigrant women—in 1911, and the political unrest surrounding it. The title of the piece comes from a quote by the labor activist Clara Lemlich, who later reflected on her years of activism saying, 'Ah, then I had fire in my mouth.' ..."
Fire in my mouth (Audio)
NPR: Tragic Fire Sparks Julia Wolfe's Latest Look At American Labor History (Audio)
NY Times: With Protest and Fire, an Oratorio Mourns a Tragedy (Video)
YouTube: Fire in my mouth (trailer), Fire in my mouth - I. Immigration, II. Factory

2013 March: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire

Thursday, December 19

Trump Impeached for Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress

"The House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, making him the third president in history to be charged with committing high crimes and misdemeanors and face removal by the Senate. On a day of constitutional consequence and raging partisan tension, the votes on the two articles of impeachment fell largely along party lines, after a bitter debate that stretched into the evening and reflected the deep polarization gripping American politics in the Trump era. ... The impeachment votes set the stage for a historic trial beginning early next year in the Senate, which will have final say — 10 months before Mr. Trump faces re-election — on whether to acquit the 45th president or convict and remove him from office. The timing was uncertain, after Ms. Pelosi suggested late Wednesday that she might wait to send the articles to the Senate, holding them out as leverage in a negotiation on the terms of a trial. ..."
NY Times ((Video/Audio)
NY Times: Opinion - Trump Has Been Impeached. Republicans Are Following Him Down.
W - Impeachment of Donald Trump
Vanity Fair: Democrats Charge Trump With Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress
*****NY Times: After Impeachment, an Angry Trump Looks to Vindication in November
*****NY Times: Evangelical Magazine Christianity Today Calls for Trump’s Removal

2019 December: Panel Approves Impeachment Articles and Sends Charges for a House Vote, 2019 December: House Democrats Unveil Articles of Impeachment Against Trump

Ricardo Levins Morales Art Studio Online Store: Drawing the Line for Social Justice

"This site features artwork I’ve created over years to encourage the laughter, hope, love and anger that move us toward a better world. Many were made for and within the labor and social justice movements of our time. They can be gifts, educational materials, morale boosters, appreciation awards, organizing tools, courtship displays and many other communication purposes. Most posters are 11″x17″ but some are larger format. Many pieces are on button pins or note cards too. ..."
Ricardo Levins Morales: Art Studio

Wednesday, December 18

Vibrant Aerial Embroidery Captures the Beauty of English Farmlands From Above

"Inspired by traditional embroidery techniques, more and more contemporary textile artists are pushing the boundaries of the craft to create elaborate textile art. One of those artists is 21-year-old Victoria Rose Richards. She uses a range of embroidery stitches to craft illustrative landscape scenes that are bursting with color and texture. Richards is based in rural Plymouth, England, where’s she’s surrounded by the natural beauty that inspires her. Farmers’ fields, countryside roads, and river streams feature throughout the 'needle painter’s' work, all of which are meticulously rendered in colorful thread. Long, straight satin stitches depict patchworks of fields, while clusters of French knots look like trees and foliage from an aerial view. ..."
My Modern Met
W - Embroidery

Cosimo Recording Studios

"The golden age of New Orleans R&B is synonymous with the Cosimo Recording Studios, owned and operated by sound engineer Cosimo Matassa. Located in the heart of the French Quarter in a former wholesale grocery warehouse at 521-23-25 Governor Nicholls St., the facility was opened in spring 1956 after Matassa had made his mark at J&M Recording Studios on Rampart and Dumaine in the preceding decade. At Cosimo’s, which like J&M was the only significant recording studio in the city at the time, the sound of New Orleans R&B came alive as it spread throughout the world. The primary artist recorded at Cosimo studios was Fats Domino, who in 1956 was at the peak of his popularity as an unlikely rock ‘n’ roll star. Through the early 1960s, he recorded hit after hit here under the production genius of Dave Bartholomew for Lew Chudd’s Imperial Records of Los Angeles. ..."
Cosimo Recording Studios
Cosimo Matassa
J&M Recording Studio
W - Cosimo Matassa

Cosimo Matassa

Tuesday, December 17

127 years after his death, letters of love and angst still come to Rimbaud’s grave.

"I’ve always loved the tradition of trekking to a beloved author’s grave and leaving gifts for them (and future visitors) to find. Attention has recently turned to the resting place of Arthur Rimbaud, that scraggly-haired tempestuous poet, in the Charleville-Mézières cemetery in northern France. Bernard Colin has been the sexton of Charleville-Mézières for the last 37 years (coincidentally, Rimbaud was 37 when he died prematurely of bone cancer). Colin regularly receives two or three weekly mail drops in a yellow postbox outside the cemetery and stores the many letters addressed to the poet in shoeboxes. Some of these bemoan fading youth, while others wish Rimbaud well. ..."
Letters to Rimbaud, 127 years after his death

A mailbox dedicated to Arthur Rimbaud at the west cemetery of Charleville-Mezieres

2008 May: Arthur Rimbaud, 2010 November: Arthur Rimbaud - 1, 2012 October: Patti Smith: Poem about Arthur Rimbaud (Subtitulado), 2012 December: Writers’ Houses Gives You a Virtual Tour of Famous Authors’ Homes, 2013 August: Arthur Rimbaud Documentary, 2013 November: julian peters comics - The Drunken Boat by Arthur Rimbaud, 2014 June: In Which We Begin To Roar With Laughter At Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud, 2015 May: Illuminations - Arthur Rimbaud (John Ashbery - 1875), 2016 March: Rimbaud in New York, 2016 December: The Photography of Poet Arthur Rimbaud (1883), A Season in Hell - Arthur Rimbaud (Robert Wyatt, Carl Prekopp, Elizabeth Purnell, 2009), 2019 September: A Rebel French Poet Draws New Followers to the Hometown