With the release of his unique, understated, and critically acclaimed Tiny Resistors (Cryptogramophone, 2008), bassist/composer Todd Sickafoose suddenly and unintentionally upped the ante for indie jazz. Surging ahead of such indie mainstays (and label mates) as Nels Cline, Steuart Liebig, and boss Jeff Gauthier, Sickafoose has garnered strong press from such diverse sources as Bass Player Magazine, PopMatters, Jazz Times, USA Today, and The New York Times. The daring, spacious compositions and performances on Tiny Resistors, Sickafoose's third CD collection, have succeeded in obliterating all the subheadings of "modern," "progressive" and "new"—settling, instead, on eminently appealing.
A longtime coconspirator of Ani Di Franco's, Sickafoose finds himself in the enviable position of touring behind a musical statement that seems to be irresistible. Read More.
Getty Villa to sport a giant steel wheel for 'Prometheus Bound'
The Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades boasts a magnificent collection of ancient art in a replica of a Roman Villa, but this summer the biggest sculpture on display will be a creation from 2013: a 23-foot-tall, five-ton steel wheel that will be the centerpiece of an avant-garde production of the ancient drama “Prometheus Bound.”
The play, believed to have had its premiere around 450 B.C., depicts the suffering of the titan Prometheus, who’s been chained by the vengeful gods to a remote mountain. His transgression: teaching humanity the use of fire and other civilizing skills that had been the exclusive property of the gods themselves. The wheel represents the mountain. Prometheus, played by Ron Cephus Jones in the production that begins previews Aug. 29, will spend the bulk of the evening strapped to it, on a smaller wheel that traverses the gigantic one like a hand on a clock or a gondola on a Ferris wheel.
Fortunately for the actor, he won’t be turned upside down, and he’ll have company from other performers who’ll clamber onto the wheel. Vinny Golia, a noted L.A. jazz musician, will add live instrumentals, performing original music he composed with Ellen Reid.
The setpiece was conceived by director Travis Preston and scenic designer Efren Delgadillo Jr. for the production, which is being presented by the California Institute for the Arts’ Center for New Performance in conjunction with Trans Arts and the Getty Museum. The script is poet Joel Agee’s new translation of the ancient Greek text, which is commonly attributed to Aeschylus, although that’s a matter of scholarly dispute. Read More.
UWM Summerdances transfigures two Milwaukee landmarks
At nightfall on June 13, 14 and 15, 14 dancers will perform at the base of the beautiful North Point Water Tower while digital projections animate the white stone monument's upper half and 25 voices from Bel Canto Chorus sing a wordless accompaniment written and conducted by Music Director Richard Hynson. You'll watch, free of charge, from the edge of North Avenue where it carves a small island around this historic landmark.
On the afternoons of June 14 and 15, twice as many dancers will transfigure the fountain-lined Cudahy Gardens of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Tim Russell, Milwaukee's outstanding composer for modern dance, will premiere an original score. You'll watch, free of charge, first from the sidewalk facing east with the Calatrava as the background, then from the walk bridge that connects the building with O'Donnell Park and Wisconsin Avenue, looking south onto the terraced gardens, the nearby traffic, the lake and the far horizon.
Named for the man who conceived and choreographed both works, these entirely distinct site-specific performances share the title "Stephan Koplowitz: Water Sight, Milwaukee." They represent the UW-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts Dance Department's radical rethinking of its annual "Summerdances," the recital with student dancers that caps each school year. UWM's School of Freshwater Sciences is a project partner. Water is the theme. Read More.
Academy Award winning writer and director Brenda Chapman recently gave a masterclass at the Verdens Beste Children’s Film Festival in Tromso, Norway, meeting professionals from the Norwegian and European animation industry.
“I appreciate the European animation and the culture around it. It’s different than the studio system in the United States,” she says. “I think, in the U.S., we can learn from the European system’s diversity.”
We caught up with her for a quick Q & A session. Read More.
'Jack," one of six short 16mm films playing on a loop near the entrance to "Jack Goldstein x 10,000" at the Jewish Museum, is a good place to try to get a handle on this elusive, passive-aggressive artist.
A performance piece from 1973, it's a simple two-person interactive drama: A young man stands in a desert landscape and calls out the name "Jack," at which point the filmmaker takes a shaky step backward. Similar to other minimalist time-and-space dissections, this one also has a forlorn, autobiographic undertone. With each step of the procedure, repeated over the 11 minutes, 24 seconds of the film, the man grows tinier, his voice fainter until he is so distant from the camera and us as to be an inaudible speck in the twilight.
If Goldstein feared that his name would be forgotten after his death—and his art is riddled with anxieties about the Void—he shouldn't have. Since his 2003 suicide in a San Bernardino, Calif., trailer park after years of heroin addiction, his peculiar and sometimes poignant art is more visible and honored than when he was alive. Read More.
The renowned California Institute of the Arts fosters generations of imagineers.
Once you know where to look, you see it everywhere: from the grand museums of the Miracle Mile to the shoestring performance spaces of Echo Park.
“It’s hard to imagine the LA art scene today without CalArts,” the Los Angeles Times says. It’s the epicenter of LA’s creative class. Among its notable alumni are actor Don Cheadle, famed photographer Catherine Opie, fi lmmaker Tim Burton, and countless others. It’s hard to walk into a gallery or watch a major motion picture without being witness to the school’s enduring influence.
The Future’s So Bright? Talking Debt with CalArts Design Grads
June 4, 2013 KCRW
Ah, graduation season. The sense of accomplishment. The thrill of independence. The pomp. The circumstance. And the sobering fact that American college students are leaving school this year with, on average, $35,200 in student loans to repay.
That kind of debt can dim the optimism of any bright-eyed graduate. But what about when you’re expected to be creative for a living? A few weeks ago I headed up to the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia for their graphic design school’s graduation shows—Amaze, featuring graduating BFAs and Inbox, featuring graduating MFAs—to talk to the former students about this new reality and how it will impact their careers.
Student Academy Awards: Future Filmmakers Honored -- See The List Of Winners
The world's future filmmakers got a preview of the kind of Hollywood glamour and glory that could be theirs someday as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented its 40th annual Student Academy Awards.
Sixteen college students from around the globe were honored at the Saturday night ceremony, held at the academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills and hosted by onetime Student Academy Award winner Bob Saget. Presenters included writer-director Kimberly Peirce and actors Clark Gregg, Jason Schwartzman and Quvenzhane (kwuh-VEHN'-juh-nay) Wallis.
This year's student honors included two each from the University of Southern California, Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida and the School of Visual Arts in New York. Read More.
Young filmmakers excitedly gather for Student Oscars
On Tuesday, Wouter Bouvijn left his home in Belgium for his dream trip to Hollywood.
Wednesday morning, the 25-year-old filmmaker from Deinze, a small municipality in East Flanders, sat in the lobby of the JW Marriott in Los Angeles, jet-lagged but eager, preparing for his weekend of events leading up to the Student Academy Award ceremony on Saturday.
"I'm so excited to see what the students here are doing," Bouvijn said. "It makes me wonder what my work could be like if I had gone to school in the U.S." The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences established the Student Academy Awards in 1972 to "support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level." This year the academy selected 13 applicants from universities in the United States (including Eusong Lee of California Institute of the Arts in Valencia and David Aristizabal and Jonathan Langager of USC) and three from international universities to receive its awards in Hollywood.
The 16 winners were flown to Los Angeles, put up in the JW Marriott and invited to attend meetings with directors, producers and screenwriters in Hollywood prior to the presentation of gold, silver and bronze medals in five categories (narrative, documentary, animation, alternative and foreign film) at a formal ceremony at the academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Read More.