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Listen to a streaming playlist from Freegal Music, Naxos Music Library, Naxos Jazz Music Library, Hoopla or Music Online from Alexander Street free with your library card. Alexander Street will ask for an academic institution, use Glendale Public Library.
There are some fun Valentine’s Day playlists on Freegal. Not in the mood? There is also a breakup songs playlist.
Rolling Stone Music Now is a podcast hosted by the writers and editors of the iconic music magazine. Recent episodes include The Best Albums of 2020, Hip-Hop in 2020, Taylor Swift’s Evermore and an interview with Justin Townes Earle. There is a lot to dig into with 250 episodes to date.
Music Concerts Online
Check out this February 1st Classic FM article with videos of Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach on the beach. There is also a link to the full concert at the end of the article. Also you can listen to a full album of Yo-Yo Ma playing the six Bach Cello Suites on Naxos Music Library.
Tiny Desk Concerts has been celebrating Black History Month with a series of online concerts this month which are available on their web site. Beginning with Wynton Marsalis and ending with Kirk Franklin, it is an amazing lineup. You can find more information in their press release.
Lunar New Year Virtual Celebrations
Ring in the Year of the Ox! Celebrate the Lunar New Year online with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Chinese Cultural Institute, and the Embassy of the People's Republic of China. Enjoy streamed video performances and demonstrations of traditional Chinese crafts and Lunar New Year traditions.
USC’s Pacific Asia Museum rings in the Lunar New Year, Saturday, February 13th, 2021 at 10:00 am with a free afternoon of pan-Asian activities. You’ll find all of the programming online this year, with streams of lion dances and traditional Chinese music, plus craft-making workshops for dragon puppets and lion masks.
Chinatown’s Golden Dragon Parade is celebrating its 122nd anniversary. This year, you can celebrate virtually via Facebook Live with a program full of dance, music, storytelling and talks that reflect on the history and achievement of Chinese Americans in Los Angeles.
Learn About the Lunar New Year
Many East Asian countries celebrate the Lunar New Year following the lunisolar calendar or cycles of the moon and sun. Some East Asian countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year are China, Korea, Japan, Tibet, Mongolia, and Vietnam. This year it falls on Friday, February 12.
In China, the Lunar New Year is usually referred to as the Spring Festival, because the first day of the lunar calendar is considered the first day of spring. The celebration lasts for 15 days, concluding with the Lantern Festival. The day before the New Year, it is traditional to clean one’s house to sweep out any misfortune from the past year and make way for incoming good luck. (See instructions for making your own paper lantern in the next section!)
In Korea, the New Year celebration is called Seollal and lasts three days: the day before the New Year, the New Year itself, and the day after. Traditions in Korea include wearing traditional clothing (called hanbok) and playing traditional games, such as Yut Nori. Try it at home with this printable game board!
In Vietnam, the Lunar New Year is called Têt Nguyên Ðan (“Têt” for short) and lasts at least three days. One lovely Têt tradition is the cây nêu, a family New Year’s “tree” consisting of a bamboo pole between 5 and 6 meters (16-20 feet) tall. The top end of this tree is decorated with tons of different good-luck-inducing objects, including charms, folded paper, greenery, etc. It is traditionally removed on the seventh day of the celebrations, ceremonially concluding them.
In Mongolia, Tsagaan Sar (White Moon Festival) lasts for three days. The most common ceremonial food eaten during Tsagaan Sar is buuz, steamed dumplings filled with meat. Families work together to make mountains of these in advance. Under Communist rule Tsagaan Sar was outlawed, but after the 1990 Democratic Revolution, Mongolians were free to celebrate it again.
In Tibet, Losar is celebrated for 15 days. One of traditions is butter sculpture! The Tibetan word for “sheep’s head” and “beginning of the year” sound similar, so it became traditional to fashion a sheep’s head out of colored yak butter as a decoration. The practice (tsepdro), expanded into many different shapes, including flowers and other animals.
Until 1872, Japan followed the lunar calendar and celebrated with the other countries on this list. However, in 1873, five years after the Meiji Restoration, they adopted the Gregorian calendar and now celebrate the New Year on January 1. The celebrations are called Oshogatsu. A tradition is to eat long buckwheat noodles (toshikoki soba) on New Year’s Eve, to encourage long life.
Try It at Home
Lets make a paper lantern! You will need paper, scissors, and a needle and thread (optional decorative markers).
Start with a square piece of paper. Fold it diagonally and then crease it on the other diagonal.
Position your paper as shown. Fold the right corner up to the top of the triangle and crease.
Fold the left edge over to meet the marked crease and crease at the halfway mark.
Take the right corner and fold back up so that the first crease meets the second marked crease.
Turn the paper over and fold the other side over to meet the opposite edge.
You now have a square divided in six. Draw, cut, and unfold the petal shape, as shown.
Trace around the edge of this flower shape on whatever paper you will be making your lantern from. Add a circle to the point of each petal, and cut out your lantern. Once your shape is cut out, gently curl up the edge of each petal. (Depending on the size of your paper, you can get two lanterns from one sheet.)
If you want to give your lantern some pretty edges, turn the paper over and mark over your lines with any color marker you wish before cutting out the shape. (This example uses a gold highlighter.)
With a thumbtack, poke small holes in the center of your flower and at the point of each leaf. Thread an embroidery needle, tie a knot, and bring the thread up through the center hole.
Poke the needle through the holes of each leaf, as shown, and bring the lantern together by tightening the thread.
Fasten the thread with a knot (and a dot of glue if you have it), and you’re done! The completed paper lantern.
Optional bonus pretty thing: a tassel to hang from your lantern! Making a tassel is easy. Wrap whatever yarn or thread you like numerous times around a (smallish) book. Cut in the middle.
Tie a long thread in the middle of the yarn bundle. (If you wish to attach this tassel to your lantern, this will be the thread that you use to come up through the bottom hole and through the points of all the petals. Give yourself a good two foot strand of yarn.)
Bring the yarn bundle down on either side. Tie a second bit of yarn about an inch or so below your piece of thread. Wrap around as many times as possible and tuck the ends in. You now have a tassel to hang from your lantern.
Happy Lunar New Year!
Brand Library Staff Reviews
let me tell you Hans Abrahamsen. let me tell you is a piece for soprano and orchestra written in 2012-2013 by Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen (b. 1952). The piece was commissioned and premiered by celebrated Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan with the Berlin Philharmonic under Andris Nelsons in 2013. It won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition in 2016. The song cycle text is by novelist and music critic Paul Griffiths and is based on his 2008 novel let me tell you. The novel and the text of the song use only the 481 words Ophelia speaks in Hamlet. The piece is about 30 minutes long and is comprised of seven songs divided into three sections representing past, present and future. The texts also explore memory, love, light, music, glass and snow. The orchestra is large and is colorfully orchestrated using metallic percussion instruments such as celeste, vibraphone and glockenspiel to give the piece a beautiful, resonant, hazy and icy sound world. Hannigan has since performed the piece many times around the world with different orchestras. This recording with Hannigan, Nelsons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony is fantastic. The piece is very accessible and requires the soprano with a wide range, and also uses Moteverdi’s early baroque technique of rebounding on one syllable. Each of the three sections starts with the same music giving a point of reference, at least as far as mood. The piece slowly unfolds and the descending orchestral passages in the final and longest song I will go out now are a haunting exit. Check out this 2019 interview with Hans Abrahamsen, an introduction with music critic Lloyd Schwartz and this 2013 conversation with Hannigan, Abrahamsen and Griffiths. -BW
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