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Posts Tagged ‘Allan Kozinn’

We watched a lovely thing on PBS recently, an opera about the Christmas armistice in World War I. You have probably heard of it. The combatants decided to take Christmas off. A movie was made about it, taking a few liberties with the story. Then the Minnesota Opera Company commissioned  composer Kevin Puts to write an opera based on the movie.

From the composer’s website: “Silent Night is an opera in two acts by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell, based on the 2005 film Joyeux Noël, directed by Christian Carion and produced by Nord-Ouest Production. Commissioned by Minnesota Opera with co-producer Opera Company of Philadelphia, it opened on November 12, 2011 at the Ordway Theater, St. Paul Minnesota … The opera is sung in English, German, French, Italian and Latin.

The interplay of the five languages was charming, especially when the German officer translated English into French and French into English so the three main officers could understand one another.

Read Allan Kozinn’s comments about this Pulitzer Prize winner at the NY Times ArtsBeat blog, here.

I will say that, delightful as it is to see the soldiers put down their arms and show each other pictures of loved ones back home, it makes the misery and futility of war doubly painful as the men are ordered back to battle and the camera pans over the lifeless bodies and the very young faces.

Peace is something to think about at Christmas. Ordinary people just want to live in peace.

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The music of avant garde composer Kenneth Kirschner is open source, free to experiment with.

Other musicians are looking for sales models that may render hidebound and  unimaginative music labels obsolete.

Allan Kozinn of the NY Times describes what Rabbit Rabbit Radio is doing.

“With some help from George Hurd, a composer and music administrator, [Matthias Bossi and Carla Kihlstedt] produced a blueprint for Rabbit Rabbit Radio and started the Web page in February 2012. The plan was to release a new song for subscribers on the first of every month.

“Along with the song, Ms. Kihlstedt and Mr. Bossi, who are married to each other, began posting video clips, slide shows and photo albums; information about the making of the track; essays on various subjects; and lists that might include links to clips by other musicians whose work they admire or notes about restaurants they have discovered on tour. Past releases can be explored in their online archives.

“Subscribers pay $2 to $5 a month. (There is no difference in access; it’s a matter of paying what you can.) …

“So far, 18 months into the project, Rabbit Rabbit Radio has nearly 900 subscribers.”

More here.

Pay-what-you-can usually relies on some people paying more than they would ordinarily pay for the product. Theaters offer it occasionally, but they could never survive just on that. Panera Bread struggled with the model when it first tested it in St. Louis.

John has told me about a video-game payment model that requires people to pay small amounts for tools that can help them win the otherwise free game. Sometimes, he says, there’s a pop-up in the intense middle of the game that says you have to wait eight minutes to continue but if you want to keep going right now, you can pay a small amount.

I think if you are motivated enough, you will pay a small amount for almost anything. I hope the approach works for Rabbit Rabbit.

Photo: Gretchen Ertl for the NY Times
Matthias Bossi and Carla Kihlstedt, with their daughter, 4.

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The New York Times recently printed a lovely collection of pop-up music sightings by various reporters. Each unexpected free performance affected New Yorkers like a flash mob.

At the High Line, surprised “participants were given small sets of speakers that could be attached to their coats or backpacks, or held by hand. As you began the walk at the southern end of the High Line, near Gansevoort Street, your every footstep or hand twist kicked the app into action, and you heard various sounds — clinking, chimes, splashing water, car horns, chords on electric guitar and, in a novel touch, occasional rounds of applause.”

Another report notes, “The High Line elevated park does not normally allow group walks or amplified sounds, but it made an exception for ‘The Gaits,’ one of a dozen participatory performances that constituted Make Music Winter.

“The event was an offshoot of Make Music New York, a festival of hundreds of concerts that occurs in June on the first day of summer, in public spaces around the city. Modeled after Fête de la Musique, an annual affair in Paris started in 1982, the New York version is in its sixth year.

“The founder of Make Music New York is Aaron Friedman, a composer and political activist who decided it was time to add a winter solstice edition.”

Several delightful Winter Solstice music events are described here.

Photograph: Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Meredith Krinke, 6, holds Bach sheet music for her father, Brian, December 21 on the G train in New York.

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