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Today's recommending listening is Beethoven's piano sonatas, The White Stripes, Yumi Ito, and Bebel Gilberto.
Here are some fun Christmas and Hanukkah albums you can listen to streaming on Hoopla.
Learn About Music
In honor of Beethoven’s Birthday on December 16, here are some fun children’s books from the Brand Library collection. You can request these titles for contactless pickup.
The Global Music Series is from Oxford University Press. This innovative introduction to world music focuses on how people make music meaningful and useful in their lives. Brand Library currently owns thirteen volumes, including volumes on Portugal and Spain, Korea, Ireland, North India, Trinidad, America and more. Pick up at Brand Library using our contactless service.
The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies is at San Jose State University. They have a variety of materials online relating to Beethoven. For Beethoven’s Birthday week they will be having a number of virtual events, so check out their web site for details.
Glendale Youth Orchestra In Pieces is available on the GYO web site starting on December 13. This virtual concert will break the orchestra up into smaller components where they can perform with enough space between each other. There will be units as small as duets, trios, sextets but none larger than 15 musicians while all having social distancing. The performances will also feature interviews with members of the orchestra telling their musical story. The members will share how studying music plays a part of their growth as young people in this current period of time. Henry Shin, conductor and music director, will give a short history about the music played and what the audience should listen for in the music. GYO In Pieces is generously sponsored by the Glendale Arts and Culture Commission through funding from the Urban Art Program.
Armenian born Cellist Artyom Manukyan will perform a virtual concert on December 16 at 5pm as part of the With Love From LA series. Artyom is equally at home on the stages of jazz clubs, concert halls and rock festivals, performing with major international artists including DMC of Run-D.M.C., Grammy-winning Latin alternative rocker Draco Rosa, Natasha Bedingfield, scoring for film and television or leading his electro-jazz quartet. Artyom has joined Coldplay, Bono and Odesza for performances. Artyom’s genre-defying approach to playing the cello like a bass emerged from a combination of his conservatory training and exposure to the music of hallmark jazz bassists including Jaco Pastorius and Marcus Miller. Catch his live in-concert performance December 16 on Instagram @withlovefrom.la. With Love From LA is generously sponsored by the Glendale Arts and Culture Commission through funding from the Urban Art Program.
However weird you feel inside, you’re not alone. Try Nobody Is Normal, an animated short created for the UK children’s charity Childline — a 24-hour hotline that helps kids navigate bullying, abuse, sex education, and pretty much any other stressor you can imagine. Directed by Catherine Prowse, the film imagines the sometimes unbearable anxiety of growing up and the ultimately futile attempt to bottle it all up.
Watch 硬币 (The Coin) a short stop motion animation by Siqi Song brimming with cultural insight and family traditions. On Chinese New Year, finding the coin hidden in a dumpling brings good luck. A girl loses a jar on her journey to a new country, which contains the lucky coins she has been collecting growing up. Her new life begins with a search for the coin.
Photo Director Gem Fletcher hosts The Messy Truth, a podcast dedicated to the world of contemporary photography featuring exclusive interviews with emerging and leading artists, curators and critics. Listen in to these candid conversations that unpack photography and why it connects us all in such transformational ways. Giving photographers, commissioners, and editors alike the chance to share their thoughts on work and process, The Messy Truth aims to create and curate a space in which candid conversations about “the future of visual culture and what it means to be a photographer today,” can thrive. Take a listen.
What Artists Listen To is creating an archive of the soundtracks and stories of artists' lives. Listened to as a whole the recordings serve to create a sense of connection between individual artists working in their studios. The weekly podcast created by artist Pia Pack features interviews with artists discussing their creative soundtracks and how their musical choices impact their artistic process and lives outside the studio.
What was it like to be a woman making art during the feminist and civil rights movements? Listen to Recording Artists, where host Helen Molesworth delves into the lives and careers of six women artists spanning several generations: Alice Neel, Lee Krasner, Betye Saar, Helen Frankenthaler, Yoko Ono and Eva Hesse. Hear them describe, in their own words, their work, relationships, and feelings about the ongoing march of feminism. Their audio interviews with historians Barbara Rose and Cindy Nemser are now in the archives of the Getty Research Institute.
Art Inspiration - Try It at Home
Crochet with the Autry Museum of the American West Griffith Park Yarnscape Series, as part of their exhibition Investigating Griffith Park. Learn to crochet an earthworm, a red tailed hawk, an elderberry leaf, California poppies, butterflies and more.
Try fiber weaving with the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Art at Home series. Get inspired by artist Sheila Hicks' small weavings that she calls “minimes” including found objects that range from magazine pages, wood, shells, and other odds and ends that represent the time and place in which they were made and make your own piece of art.
Explore the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. Try online exhibits and introduction to fiber arts. Their Maker Space offers Fiber Art At Home education through exploration activities and creative hands-on projects from natural dyes to macramé and hand embroidery.
Denmark has a high yearly rain average, and in December and January, the country gets only a handful of hours of daylight. But somehow, even engulfed in the darkness of winter and trapped in their homes, Danes are supposed to be some of the happiest people in the world. And they love December! As CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Meik Wiking has written two humorous, short books that explain this, The Little Book of Lykke and The Little Book of Hygge. The books work well in conjunction with one another: the first (“lykke” or “happiness”) discusses what leads to overall life satisfaction by examining the social structures that can support physical and emotional well being. The second (“hygge” or “coziness”) uses anecdotes to recount the every day pleasures that are part of the Danish way of life. I read “Hygge” first and really enjoyed learning that the Danish word summons wool blankets and socks, board games, lighting design including candles (so many) and low lighting in general, jam, small group gatherings, egalitarian dinner parties where no one specifically “hosts”, and plenty of cake and chocolate. Reading “Lykke” answered a lot of questions I had about Denmark and how their infrastructure promotes social interaction and activities that encourage wellness, like cycling. There are plenty of happiness tips in both books, leisure activities for every month of the year, recipes, craft projects, and even a lighting guide! I laughed many times and ordered some wool socks, so I’m on board with the hygge and lykke life. -SB
Eighth Blackbird: Filament (2015). Eighth Blackbird is a Grammy award winning Chicago based contemporary music sextet. The ensemble instrumentation is what is often called a Pierrot Ensemble + percussion which is a popular instrumentation of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano with sometimes added percussionist and/or singer. The instrumentation started with Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire (1912) and many composers in the 20th and 21st century have written for this instrumentation. This program is all by American composers and my favorite is the opening Murder Ballads by Bryce Dessner. They have a bright rhythmic characteristic that many would describe as very American including influences of Civil War era fiddle tunes and the banjo. Nico Muhly’s Double Speak is an attractive piece that quotes from Philip Glass’s Music in Twelve Parts. Philip Glass’s Two Pages is typical early hypnotic minimalism, a unison line of music that can be performed by any instruments. Ryan Lott’s To Love and This is my Line are remixes of other sounds found on this album combined with the voice of Sarah Worden on This is My Line. A lot of the music is minimalistic and is very accessible. Highly recommended for those who are interested in 21st Century American new music. Eighth Blackbird performed on NPR Music Tiny Desk Concerts in 2016. A couple of movements from Filament are included in this performance. -BW
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Resources for Music Businesses And Industry Workers, Playing for Change, Sounding Point LA
Resources for Freelance Artists, California Arts Council, Americans for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts