Arts & Culture

The State of Things
12:02 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Researcher Documents The Use Of Music In War

Cover of the book 'Sounds of War: Music in the United States during World War II'.
Credit Philip E Pascuzzo/National Archives / Oxford University Press

    

World War II was fought not only with guns and bombs but also with strings, brass, and percussion.

The American government used classical music as part of the war effort to demonstrate the cultural dominance of the Allies. The military also used songs to rally American troops.

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The State of Things
12:17 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

From Gordon Gekko To Robert Frost

New River Breakdown by Terry L. Kennedy
Credit http://www.unicorn-press.org/books/Kennedy-New-River-Breakdown.html / Unicorn Press

Author Terry Kennedy talks about his new book of poetry, 'New River Breakdown'

    

Terry Kennedy wanted nothing more than to become a business maven and take over the world when he was in college. Literature was for people with too much free time on their hands. But he gradually learned that he was terrible at business and passionate for creative writing. Kennedy's latest book of poetry is called “New River Breakdown” (Unicorn Press/2013).  

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The State of Things
12:13 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

South African Roots Inspire Greensboro Band

Credit Phive, Facebook

Phive, a South African roots inspire Greensboro band, plays live at the Triad Stage

  

Greensboro-based band Phive was previously known mainly for their work as a cover band. But they’ve expanded their sound recently, thanks in part to member Afika Nxumalo and his connection to South Africa. His mother grew up there, and her experiences helped inspire the band’s recent song commemorating Nelson Mandela’s birthday, “Madiba.”

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NC Symphony Broadcast
7:37 pm
Sun August 11, 2013

Abraham Lincoln And "Hair-Raising" Music - NC Symphony Broadcast For Aug 12

Conductor William Henry Curry
Credit NC Symphony

The second in the series of August broadcast concerts by the North Carolina Symphony features two works by American composers, Aaron Copland and Charles Ives. The program airs at 10 p.m. on Monday, August 12.

Copland's Lincoln Portrait

During the Second World War Aaron Copland was asked to write a patriotic work. After first considering Walt Whitman, Copland then settled upon Abraham Lincoln for the work's subject.  Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" is for speaker and orchestra, combining a biographic sketch with texts from letters and speeches.  It also features melodic nods to popular tunes of the day, such as "Camptown Races" and other popular folk songs. The work was completed and first performed in 1942.

The North Carolina Symphony performed the work in honor of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln' Emancipation Proclamation of 1 January 1863.  David Hartman, who is also the host of the North Carolina Symphony broadcast series, is the narrator. The Symphony is lead by its resident conductor, William Henry Curry.

Ives's Second Symphony - A "Hair-Raising" Finish

American composer Charles Ives learned much about music from his father. Charles was born in October 1874 in Danbury, Connecticut. The elder Ives taught his son popular tunes from the age of the Civil War, as well as other music and hymns. In fact, "Camptown Races" and other popular tunes serve as an underpinning of the Symphony No. 2, but are not directly quoted musically as in the "Lincoln Portrait."

"He's a visionary and a Yankee contrarian with a great sense of humor," conductor William Henry Curry tells host David Hartman. These qualities show through in the ending of Ives's Symphony No. 2 in a jarring cluster of notes. This is  meant to replicate the sour notes from a barn dance where amateur  musicians would intentionally play something "off" at the end of the night to signal the end of the dance. "It was a way of saying good night folks, time to go home now," continued Curry.  "Ives caps this symphony with a completely crazy cluster of sounds. It really is hair-raising."

The symphony was premiered in 1951, some fifty years after it was completed, by The New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Some commentators referred to the closing discord as a sort of "Bronx cheer."

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The State of Things
11:00 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Radio Documentarian Spends A Year Riding Cargo Ships

Crew of the ship the Kashmir.
Mark "Maki" Reynaldo

Allison Swaim spent a year at sea. She rode on eight different cargo ships, documenting life onboard and circumnavigating the world.

She came back a year ago with hours of tape and hundreds of photos from her adventure. When she returned, Allison opened up her collection to artists, who made their own art in response to her work. The show, “Hold Capacity/Trade Route Stories, Reimagined,” features the work of a group of local artists who collaborated with Allison. 

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NC Symphony Broadcast
12:00 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

"Romantic And Terrifying," Grant Llwellyn Leads The NC Symphony In Sibelius

Music Director Grant Llewellyn
Credit Michael Zirkle

Our first North Carolina Symphony broadcast for the 2013 Summer season presents the Symphony's Music Director Grant Llewellyn conducting Sibelius's Symphony No. 2.

Jean Sibelius began writing his Second Symphony while vacationing in Italy in 1901. It departs sonically from some of his other work composed in his native Finland in that it's sometimes described as more "sunny" and "uplifting" than his other compositions from around the same time. Also, some listeners hear a nationalistic current that imagines a Finland free of Russian domination.

"Some people would say that the Second Symphony is perhaps uncharacteristic  of his symphonic output in that in that it is as Romantic as it is, " said Llewellyn while talking with host David Hartman. However, he doesn't see the work as sunny reaction to a holiday in Italy as some might propose. "I think it's as terrifying in places as anything he ever wrote. The second movement is thorny and sort of monolithic. It's sort of cataclysmic stuff. This is the Sibelius of the endless forest and lakes."

"I have an opportunity to see this landscape (of Sibelius) because I conduct in Finland three or four times every year and I'm beginning to get a real sense of the epic proportions of that country. And, I see it immediately in the Second Symphony," continued Llewellyn.

This first broadcast also features a recording of Sibelius’s Humoresque No. 1 in D minor for Violin and Orchestra, played by Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Staatskapelle Dresden, with Andre Previn conducting.

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The State Of Things
10:51 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Craicdown Brings World Acousticana To Triangle

Craicdown
Credit Donn Young / http://www.craicdown.com/

Craicdown plays live in the studio

The band Craicdown considers itself World Acousticana: a blend of world music and americana. Fitting then that "craic" means fun and "craicdown" means a good time. Musicians the world over gather for amusement and enjoyment, aspects craicdown embodies in name and melody. Host Frank Stasio talks with craicdown, and they play live in the studio.


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Arts & Culture
1:06 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

NC Shakespeare Festival Suspending Operations

Michael Huie as Scrooge in the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival's production of A Christmas Carol.
Credit Tom Terrell

The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, known as NCShakes, has announced that it is suspending all operations, effective immediately. NCShakes, one of High Point's main cultural attractions, has brought theater lovers to the city for 36 years.

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The State Of Things
10:35 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Breaking The Silence Of Mental Illness

Melody Moezzi 'Haldol and Hyacinths'
Credit Avery Publishing

Iranian-American writer and attorney Melody Moezzi joins Frank Stasio to discuss her memoir 'Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life'

    

Melody Moezzi has always been outspoken. As an Iranian-American writer and attorney, she has devoted herself to discussing controversial issues like religion, politics and culture in Iran. But when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, her family and doctors encouraged silence. On this issue, they thought, you could not speak the truth. Melody would not be quiet. She decided to write a memoir of her experiences so that others with the disorder, and those who know them, could better understand. The memoir is called “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life,” (Avery/2013). Host Frank Stasio talks to her about her experience.

The State Of Things
10:26 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Bringing A Caribbean Sensibility To Science Fiction

'The Best Of All Possible Worlds' by Karen Lord
Credit http://sf-fantasy.suvudu.com/ / Del Rey

Frank Stasio talks to science fiction writer Karen Lord and Samuel Montgomery-Blinn, publisher of Bull Spec Speculative Fiction Magazine

  

Science fiction is a genre dominated by white men. So, Karen Lord is something of an outlier. She’s a woman, first of all, but she is also a native of Barbados, and as such brings a decidedly Caribbean perspective to her novels.  Karen Lord is in town and making various appearances around the Triangle. She will be at the Bull Spec Summer Speculative Fiction event at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh this weekend.

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