The local ensemble [http://www.akropolisquintet.com|Akropolis Reed Quintet] made waves nationally in 2014 when the group won the prestigious Fischoff Gold Medal, the first group of its kind to win the award. Tim Gocklin (oboe), Kari Landry (clarinet), Matt Landry (saxophone), Andrew Koeppe (bass clarinet), and Ryan Reynolds (bassoon) founded [https://www.facebook.com/akropolisquintet|Akropolis] at the University of Michigan in 2009. The reed quintet has been extremely prolific from the start, including releasing albums, streaming concerts online, and conducting educational programs locally, nationally, and internationally (when I reached out to the group, they were in Abu Dhabi).
On Wednesday, Sept. 27, Akropolis will relaunch its web series on [http://www.akropolisquintet.com|akropolisquintet.com] and [http://www.youtube.com/akropolis5tet|youtube.com/akropolis5tet]: "In 2011, we created our YouTube Web Premiere Series as a platform to showcase new works for reed quintet online, around the world," the group wrote on the Facebook event page for its latest, which will feature a live studio recording of Gregory Wanamaker's new arrangement of "Elegy" from his Duo Sonata written specifically for Akropolis. "This series has over 31,000 views, 522 subscribers, and features 13 online premieres, 9 of which are from American composers!"
I caught up with ensemble member saxophonist Matt Landry to chat about the group’s latest album, [https://www.innova.mu/albums/akropolis-reed-quintet/space-between-us|The Space Between Us] (“pure gold” according to the San Francisco Chronicle), classical music and popular culture, and what’s next for the group.
If you don’t live in New York City or London, and perhaps don’t have the money to go to The Metropolitan Opera or the National Theatre on a regular basis, you might feel like you’re missing out on some amazing arts events.
But HD broadcasts of productions from these venues to movie theatres around the world are a way for people all around the world to see legendary works like La Bohéme, Hamlet, Everyman,Der Rosenkavalier, and more, performed by legendary performers such as Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, Plácido Domingo, Vittorio Grigolo, and Renée Fleming. NT Live has been broadcasting shows from the National and other theaters in London to movie theaters since 2009, and The Met: Live in HD has been broadcasting operas since 2006.
He drew support from working class people by appealing to their fears and their prejudices in a time of economic strife. He went into angry rants blaming minorities for all the country’s problems. He encouraged his supporters at rallies to punch out those who protested against him. He came to power in an unusual though legal way, while claiming the support of the nation. He pushed a philosophy of racial and ethnic superiority. He told the crowds that “I and I alone can make this nation great again.”
He was Adolph Hitler.
Many filmmakers have tackled the true crime saga of the Zodiac Killer, who stalked Northern California and stole national headlines in the late '60s, but only one has been brave enough to try to face the murderer himself. That distinction belongs to Tom Hanson, an L.A. fast-food-magnate-turned-amateur-director who made his 1971 debut, [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0143016|The Zodiac Killer], with the express purpose of catching the actual Zodiac.
Five hundred years ago a theological revolution was heralded in by the ping of hammer on nails. When Luther left his theses pinned to the church door at Wittenberg that day in 1517 he didn’t intend to start a schism or to tear asunder the heart of the Catholic Church. But with the posting of his grievances, Luther set into motion a series of events that would forever alter the history of the world, and in so doing, would change the course of all that his movement touched. Swept up in the wave of Reformation was the art of the age, which warped in such a way that new worlds were born -- and now, echoing down the halls of history, the music of that era of transmutation arrives in Ann Arbor.
“Probably the most important change that the Reformation brought us was that music started to be sung in the vernacular,” said [http://www.stevenrickards.com|Steven Rickards], founder and countertenor of the early music ensemble [http://echoingair.org|Echoing Air]. “The music of the language is going to affect how the text is set.”
[https://www.facebook.com/EchoingAir|Echoing Air], which will be performing a program of music from the German Reformation at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church at 8 pm on Saturday, September 16, was founded by Rickards in 2009 with the purpose of advocating for music that features the pairing of two countertenor voices, two recorders, and basso continuo.
Saying the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s 89th season has variety would be a gross understatement.
“We like to feature pieces that were written all the way from the Baroque era to the classical era to the romantic era to the 21st century and beyond, even pieces that were written in the last couple of years,” said Arie Lipsky, A2SO’s musical director and conductor. “I think the variety is much more apparent in this season.”
With this prayer, the dance begins:
Angikam bhuvanam yasya Vachikam sarva vangmayam Aharyam chandra taradi Tam numah satvikam sivam.
-- "We bow to the Sathvikam (pure) Shiva whose Aangikam (body) is the world, whose Vaachikam (speech) is the Universal Language and whose Aaharyam (ornaments) are the moon and the stars."
As powerful drumbeats create primal, pulsating energy, Shiva Nataraja, the Hindu God of Dance, comes to life. This dance of Shiva symbolizes the wondrous interplay of dynamic and static energies, symbolizing the five cosmic functions of creation, preservation, destruction, illusion, and emancipation.
When we at [https://akshara-arts.org|Akshara] decided to produce the India-inspired, month-long, multi-arts [https://rasafestival.org|Rasa Festival], a classical dance segment was planned as a key event because it occupies a pre-eminent position in the arts landscape of India. Rasa Dance Festival runs September 23 and 24 at Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti. (As a prelude to the festival, we will [http://www.aadl.org/node/360604|present a performance] at the Ann Arbor District Library on September 21.)
Wallace House at the University of Michigan features two major programs that recognize the work of early career and mid-career journalists.
"The [https://wallacehouse.umich.edu/knight-wallace|Knight-Wallace Fellowships] for journalists is a residential program here at the University of Michigan," said [http://annarborobserver.com/articles/lynette_clemetson_full_article.html|Lynette Clemetson], director of Wallace House. "We bring roughly 20 mid-career journalists to the university every year for an academic year of immersive study related to their work as journalists. Our other program is [https://wallacehouse.umich.edu/livingston-awards/winners|The Livingston Awards], which is an awards program recognizing excellence in journalism by journalists under 35."
Wallace House was a gift from 60 Minutes's Mike Wallace and his wife, Mary, but its offerings aren't strictly for journalists and the organization is expanding its public programming. On Thursday, September 14, award-winning political reporter [https://www.propublica.org/people/alec-macgillis|Alec MacGillis] will give the [https://wallacehouse.umich.edu/?p=8287|32nd Hovey Lecture], and he'll cover income inequality in the U.S. and the perilous implications of winner-take-all cities and left-behind places. The additional talks feature the Washington Post’s [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Fahrenthold|David Fahrenthold] (October 26), who was awarded a Pulitzer for his reporting on the Donald J. Trump Foundation, and [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydia_Polgreen|Lydia Polgreen] (January 16), editor of The Huffington Post.
We chatted with Clemetson about these upcoming events, demystifying journalism, and its vital role in a functioning democracy.
There are those who believe the poets will save us all, and those people are probably correct. Lucky for us locals, there are several places around town that feature live poetry readings including the independently owned and operated bookstore [http://www.bookboundbookstore.com|Bookbound] on the north side of Ann Arbor.
Every second Thursday (except in August and January) at 7 pm finds poets and poetry lovers gathered in Bookbound’s comfortable space. Self-described poetry enthusiast Leslie McGraw curates and leads the Open Mic & Share Poetry Series, which can veer from scheduled poets to open mic explorations and pure party slams.
“There are many poets who write it because they love it and not because it’s their 'career,'" McGraw says. "Poets who have self-published or published with independent presses may not get that big 'book launch' feeling and all of them should still have the chance to market their work. One of the best ways to do this is for readers to meet the person, hear them reading their creations.”
Theater-goers in Southeast Michigan will soon have four chances to see a unique production of Tennessee Williams’ one-act play Ten Blocks on the Camino Real, the foundation of his later expanded work Camino Real. The National Theatre of Ghana -- aka Abibigroma, the Ghanaian name of the theater troupe -- will perform the one-act play at outdoor venues in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Detroit in a performance style known as Ghanaian Concert Party.
David Kaplan, the production’s director and also the curator of the annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival in Massachusetts, said he “learned about Ghanaian Concert Party in 1997 from someone in the Peace Corps who had seen performances in Ghana. Concert Party is a form of outdoor theater that combines African stock characters, clowning, singing, and dance -- and social satire. I love clowning that delivers insight."
Kaplan "thought for years about a suitable text" to adapt for a Ghanaian Concert Party "and it seemed a perfect fit for performing Ten Blocks on the Camino Real. The American actor Greg McGoon, who had worked with Abibigroma, introduced me to the ensemble. It fit their mission, too, performing popular theater as a way to build community.”