Brand from Home | December 3, 2020


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Music Playlists


Today's recommending listening is Josh Groban, AC/DC, B.B. King, and composer Samuel Scheidt.

Beethoven's Birthday


Beethoven’s 250th birthday is on December 16, 2020. We have some wonderful children’s books about Beethoven at Brand Library that are available for contactless pickup.

Music for the Holidays


Are you interested in listening to music from the December holidays? Music Online from Alexander Street has streaming music for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. You can also find some fun New Year’s concerts on Naxos Music Library. Also, Christmas and Hanukkah CDs are available to place on hold for contactless pickup at Brand Library.

Streaming Music

The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West is stationed at Travis Air Force Base northeast of San Francisco. They have some amazing musicians most who had graduate degrees in music. They cover a wide variety of music and a couple of their fantastic chamber ensembles have performed at Brand Library. Check out some of their videos.

The UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive contains online recordings from their huge wax cylinder collection. The recordings span from 1890-1925 and there is even a large thematic playlist including topics such as Vaudeville, musical theater, Christmas and the U.S. Civil War. Also in Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Yiddish and other languages.

Art Online

Van Gogh Worldwide is a new project by a group of Dutch museums which presents a digital collection of over 1,000 of the artist's masterpieces. Almost half of the post-Impressionist works of this prolific artist are now available to view—with scholarly commentary—from the safety of your own home. Van Gogh lived from 1853 to 1890, but the majority of his paintings were completed in the final two years of his life. A prolific sketch artist, his drawings are worth exploration; they depict landscapes as well as emotive figures from his everyday life.

Learn About Art

Watch Voguing with Beethoven, in connection to Beethoven’s 250th jubilee. High culture meets subculture in this short film about identity and belonging by the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. Shot on 16mm film on the suburban streets of Oslo, this film profiles a young man’s journey to embracing his identity.

Try Legendary: 30 Years of Philly Ballroom, an inside look into the effort to preserve Philadelphia's ballroom scene, a Black LGBTQ safe-space. What is Ballroom? For many within the community, "It is a resistance from toxic, abusive families that did not accept us. It is the resistance from toxic, abusive neighborhoods that refused to accept us...It's a movement."

Sipho Mabona folds, crimps, and puckers sheets of cotton to form geometric artworks. The artist dyes the porous material with natural substances like indigo and mulberry, which creates organic gradients and alters its texture. He then utilizes origami creases to transform the cotton’s structure and shape, sometimes working in response to current affairs. Watch an interview about his folding career and how he got started.


Art Inspiration - Try It at Home

Make an Origami Crane Wreath! For this project, you will need 8 pieces of square paper in any colors that you like. If you’re feeling festive, metallic paper makes an excellent choice. This wreath is made up of 8 individual folded modules. If you want a quick review on the art of origami try watching origami artist and physicist Robert J. Lang explain origami in 11 levels of difficulty through folding a simple traditional cicada to an extremely intricate one.

The Module: Crease the paper three times: corner to corner (both corners) and down the middle.

Fold in the sides. This makes a triangular shape called a waterbomb base. Position the paper so the base points down.

Crease the top flap up towards the middle, aligning it with the center. Repeat on the other side.





Turn both flaps inside-out and re-crease them.






Fold down the outside points of your newly-turned flaps so that they meet in the middle again.





Open out the flaps and squash into a kite-fold.






Fold over all of your flaps to one side. Fold down the top flap so that the outer edge matches all the other folds. Repeat on the other side.

Unfold back to the kite base you made before, and fold the bottom point up. Take the right point and shape it into a bird’s head, as shown.

Turn the module over and fold up the bottom point as shown.













The completed module. Well done! Now go make 7 more!













The Wreath: To create your wreath, you need to join your modules. To do this, line up your cranes as shown, then fold the overhanging edges of each module and tuck them into the back of the “partner bird.” Add a dab of glue for extra stability. Et voila! You have joined birdies!

8 birds make a wreath. Here are some samples for inspiration. Happy folding!

Staff e-Recommendations

Few performers are fortunate enough to celebrate their golden jubilee, but in 1953 singer and “red hot mama” Sophie Tucker, then in her late 60s, celebrated hers after riding the turbulent waves of change that happened with the rise and demise of vaudeville. Red Hot Mama: The Life of Sophie Tucker is the story of a second-generation Jewish immigrant who fought her way into a lifelong career at an especially hostile time in the entertainment business. Tucker sang in restaurants before she left her family for a rocky start on the stage. Told that her weight and facial features were unappealing, for several years she was asked to perform in blackface for minstrel shows before being allowed to perform as herself. Eventually her Tin Pan Alley song repertoire and playfully racy performances featuring her signature self-deprecating humor about relationships, aging and sexual empowerment became so well-known at home and abroad that she sang on the stage, in nightclubs, on the radio, in film, television, and for royalty. Tucker knew how to work a room and network--she thanked and kept in close contact with agents, accompanists, lyricists, critics, and her audience--while also championing better working conditions and pay for all performers and raising millions of dollars for charity. Tucker’s life was far from perfect, particularly her personal life, but there’s a lot of awe and inspiration to take from her progressive position in the history of the industry. Try these Sophie Tucker tunes on Music Online from Alexander Street: “I’m the Last of the Red Hot Mamas,” “Life Begins at Forty." -SB

Bobby McFerrin - The Voice (1984). It’s hard to believe that jazz singer Bobby McFerrin is now 70 years old. Of course, his biggest hit was Don’t Worry Be Happy but four years before that he recorded this groundbreaking album. This was the first album by any jazz singer that was solo with no accompaniment or overdubs. He uses his hands and body as a percussive accompaniment. Some of the album was recorded live and the audience joins in but that doesn’t diminish from his achievement. His parents were both singers, his father was an operatic baritone so he surely knew what it took to perfect his art. Even I’m My Own Walkman doesn’t sound dated because he does it so well. There are several covers including The Beatles Blackbird, James Brown’s I Feel Good but the album consists of mostly originals. He is able to jump from melody to accompaniment, sometimes octaves apart, being perfectly on pitch and in time. Certainly an amazing album that deserves more attention and many singers can learn from these performances. -BW

Covid-19 Resources


Reliable information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) is available from the World Health Organization, the California Department of Public Health, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department, the City of Glendale, and the Library, Arts & Culture department.


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