The Mid-Hudson Valley and environs this year turned in the most spectacular fall I can remember. As I wrote this post, the leaves were falling fast. Now they’re down, baring bones of trees on a carpet of brown. Continue reading
We asked the city for help, and we got a raid.
We somehow understand punishment, but then we put a period after that word. Nothing follows. Nothing about rehabilitation, redemption, second chances.
—Leon Botstein, President, Bard College
This is not my typical reading material, but recently, three noteworthy articles relating to the subject of criminal justice came to my attention in quick succession. The first, in The Atlantic, by 2015 MacArthur Genius award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates, is entitled “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.” Using as his springboard Daniel Moynihan’s controversial 1965 report, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,” Coates, with clarity, intelligence, and nuanced marshaling of evidence, traces the plight of the black family in the United States from its origins in slavery to the present. In so doing, he sets current incarceration rates in the United States in bold relief: Continue reading
The photographs of Central Park in New York City were taken in early June. All who could were out to make the most of a beautiful day in what I choose to think of as the people’s park. Continue reading
Harlan: I wanted to watch, every morning forever, the world shape itself again out of the drifting fog.
—from Wendell Berry’s Sonata at Payne Hollow
It’s not often that Modern Farmer is the magazine of choice for a preview article about an opera, yet there’s no question but that Payne Hollow, composed by Kentucky-born Shawn Jaeger, was an excellent fit. The opera is based on a verse play by Kentucky poet Wendell Berry about Harlan and Anna Hubbard who, for thirty-five years, lived lightly on the land in their small home along the Ohio River. In keeping with the subject matter of the opera, Berry responded by handwritten letter to Jaeger’s request for permission to use the story and handed Jaeger a completed libretto while they sat together on Berry’s front porch.
This year, I’m even more relieved than last year that I’m not a professional critic assigned to assemble a “top ten” music list for 2013. Instead, here is a year-end offering of highlights from my personal musical journey throughout the year.
I also want to recognize the composer and musicians who participated in This Life in Music profiles during 2013: Maxwell J McKee, Sabrina Tabby, Dávid Adam Nagy, Lucy Dhegrae, and Amy Garapic, as well as composer Dylan Mattingly, for his guest post on his new work, The Bakkhai (a report on the premiere of The Bakkhai is included in this post). It was a pleasure and privilege to present each of them on Prufrock’s Dilemma. Thanks to all! Continue reading