Unfolding now in the great town of Ann Arbor is ONCE. MORE., a celebration of the legendary ONCE festivals of the 1960s. Laura Kuhn, of the John Cage Trust, performs Cage's Indeterminacy this afternoon; music of the co-founders, Robert Ashley and Gordon Mumma, is included in a concert tonight. Much more over the weekend. A sumptuous fiftieth anniversary guide is available online.... Anne Midgette ponders a very peculiar court case: a sixty-year-old violinist's lawsuit against Young Concert Artists.... Electoral stat: Meg Whitman spent $163 million in her unsuccessful attempt to become governor of California; the 2010 budget for the National Endowment for the Arts is $161.4 million. (Via Bryant Turnage.) ... Jacob Cooper's opera Timberbrit, a celebration of the comparatively brief but presumably intense love of Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, has a revival at the Incubator Arts Project Nov. 18-20.... New works of Alexandra Gardner at Roulette on Nov. 18... Bruce Odland and Sam Auinger's Requiem for fossil fuels, first seen in 2007, comes to the World Financial Center Winter Garden on Nov. 12, in a full multi-channel version.... That same night, Georg Friedrich Haas's in vain will shake EMPAC in Troy, New York; Alan Gilbert and the NY Phil will unleash Adams's Harmonielehre on Carnegie Hall; and Nicholas Phan will sing Purcell and Britten at Zankel. There is no wrong move.
I'm here for the 2010 Premio Napoli awards. Il resto è rumore is one of three books recognized in the foreign-language category, alongside Amos Oz's Scenes from a Village Life and Lawrence Osborne's Bangkok Days. One of these will be named Libro dell'Anno, but the view is prize enough.
The UK edition of Listen to This, from Fourth Estate, appears on November 25th. I'll be making several appearances in London that week, including a "chacona" lecture at the British Library (11/30, 1PM) and a reading at Foyle's (11/30, 6:30PM).
Back in July I posted a video of an outdoor musical performance at the Tower of the Juche Idea in Pyongyang, North Korea. DJ Mandyczewski, my source for that material, has tracked down the name of the song performed: it's "천리마선구자의노래," or "Song of the Chollima Pioneers." The lyrics begin: "Our Paekdu spirit overflowing / We build a new society on our own / Comrades, let's go, flames of innovation are flaring." Apparently North Korea recently held a competition in which school orchestras and bands played the song: one example is above, and others are here and here. Thanks, DJ M.!
Correction: I misread my source material — these videos show Koreans living in Japan. There are many Japan-based Koreans who identify strongly with North Korean culture.