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Deep Listen: Kaija Saariaho

Confession: As a music lover, one of my least favorite things to do is actually go to a live performance. Not because of the performance itself, but for the hell-is-other-people experience of being in an audience and the unspoken sense of competition that seems to come through in the concert hall. One evening, as a […]

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Deep Listen: Robert Rich

Have you considered that your needs for sleep at 19 may be different from your needs for sleep at 24?” my therapist asks me, looking at me in the compassionately bemused way that competent mental health professionals have down to an art. I am almost three years out of college, and my always-edgy relationship with […]

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Awful Magic

On Franz Schreker’s “Die Gezeichneten” By · Photography © Iko Freese · Date 2/15/2018 Our times are full of peculiar things,” Carlotta sings in the first act of Franz Schreker’s 1918 expressionist psychothriller, “Die Gezeichneten.” She is referring to a woman who paints hands—delicate ladies’ palms, fat workingmen’s fists—but by the end of the evening […]

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Buried Treasure

In June 2013, the Aldeburgh Festival celebrated the centenary of its founder, Benjamin Britten, by brutalizing his music. “Grimes on the Beach,” a production of the opera “Peter Grimes” that was performed over three nights on the very shoreline that first gave George Crabbe, and then Britten, a setting for their stories of Suffolk fisherfolk […]

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Deep Listen: Clara Iannotta

I’m listening to “dead wasps in the jam-jar (ii),” a string work by Clara Iannotta, and I’m disoriented. Though I play violin in string orchestras, and have for years, I feel like a layperson without any visual information. How do the performers make those frog croaks—bowing overpressure, probably, but with or without the left hand? […]

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Deep Listen: Maryanne Amacher

Magic Eye images, or autostereograms, are those illusory images you used to see in books and magazines back in the ‘90s. If looked at in the right way or for the right amount of time, parts of the image would appear on a separate plane and acquire a kind of three-dimensionality produced entirely within the […]

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The Architecture of Experience

On Success Through Failure at the Ultima Oslo Festival By · Photography Ultimafestivalen 2017 / © Andreas Turau · Date 11/16/2017 Attendees of the Ultima Oslo festival took cover from the rainy September weather at venues that ranged from a railway underpass to a waste water purification plant to a mausoleum in the woods. These […]

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Is An Opera An Opera An Opera?

A New Production of “The Mother of Us All” By · Title Image © Robert Umenhofer · Date 11/09/2017 Dazzlingly abstruse and brimming over with surreal touches, “The Mother of Us All,” an opera with music by Virgil Thomson and a libretto by Gertrude Stein, is an idiosyncratic choice for an experiment in community building […]

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