Entries from May 2008

Playing By Ear: The Soundscape of Modernity

Comments   1   Date Arrow  May 31, 2023 at 8:05am   User  by Mark Willis

Princeton University historian Emily Thompson is author of The Soundscape of Modernity: Architectural Acoustics and the Culture of Listening in America, 1900-1933. According to Thompson, the sound in the spaces around us has a history; what we hear in the world and the way we listen result from architectural methods, technological innovations and even […]

Tagged   architecture · NPR · books · Playing by EarComments  Add Your Comment

Playing By Ear: The Sound of Rain

Comments   0   Date Arrow  May 31, 2023 at 7:00am   User  by Mark Willis

“Playing by ear” is my shorthand for a process of letting go of sight, or, more precisely, letting go of the will to see, so attention can shift away from the deficits of blindness to experience the richness of other sensory possibilities. I love how the process sometimes becomes play: joyous, instructive, and surprisingly […]

Tagged   sense · blind · Playing by EarComments  Add Your Comment

Café Mouffe: Rupa and the April Fishes

Comments   2   Date Arrow  May 30, 2023 at 3:00pm   User  by Mark Willis

Rupa is a doctor in San Francisco as well as a singer-songwriter. Born in SF, she was raised in India and France. As the title of her new CD, eXtraordinary Rendition, suggests, she is a citizen of the world with global concerns. She tells the back story of Une Americaine À Paris in a recent […]

Tagged   global citizen · Café Mouffe · ParisComments  Add Your Comment

In the Company of Irises

Comments   1   Date Arrow  May 30, 2023 at 8:14am   User  by Mark Willis

Two companions have led me astray this week as I swore off blogging so I could work on restoring my gardens. One is this startling white iris, which I’ve waited three years to bring again to bloom. The other is the red-tailed hawk that streaks across the treetops, shrieking on the wing. It […]

Tagged   garden · flowers · blind photographersComments  Add Your Comment

Café Mouffe: Amina Annabi at Eurovision

Comments   2   Date Arrow  May 23, 2023 at 3:00pm   User  by Mark Willis

Thanks to Alex de Jong for pointing me to Amina’s Le dernier qui a parlé. It was France’s entry in the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest. It should have won but didn’t, according to RFI Musoque. This clip is Amina’s live performance in Rome on May 4, 1991. Her contest preview is just as […]

Tagged   1990s · France · Playing by Ear · Café MouffeComments  Add Your Comment

Surrealist Manifesto Sells for Real Money

Comments   1   Date Arrow  May 22, 2023 at 12:15am   User  by Mark Willis

“All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name.”
“Had this yearning been for money, rather than revolutionary art,” says the Guardian, André Breton would today have seen his dream realised, on learning that a selection of his personal effects have been sold at auction in Paris for a total of […]

Tagged   surrealism · 1920s · poetry · French history · Art · ParisComments  Add Your Comment

Manifesto of Surrealism by André Breton (1924)

Comments   0   Date Arrow  May 21, 2023 at 11:42pm   User  by Mark Willis

The original manuscript is a priceless fetish object now, but you don’t have to be a zillionaire to read the Manifesto of Surrealism. You can experience a little psychic automatism , and it’s free. Thanks to surrealist.revolution@skymail.fr for publishing this translation in the Creative Commons.
The Manifesto begins:
So strong is the belief in life, in […]

Tagged   surrealism · 1920s · free culture · poetry · Art · ParisComments  Add Your Comment

Government 2.0: Building an Online Democracy

Comments   2   Date Arrow  May 20, 2023 at 3:29pm   User  by Mark Willis

Don Tapscott, coauthor of Wikinomics, spoke on NPR’s Talk of the Nation this afternoon about Internet projects intended to engage citizens more fully in participatory democracy. According to the NPR blurb, “He says the Internet can make government more open, participatory and efficient — and maybe even smaller and cheaper, too.”
Tapscott mentioned a collaboration with […]

Tagged   Canada · global citizen · accessibility · NPR · free culture · TorontoComments  Add Your Comment

Playing By Ear: Esperanza Spalding

Comments   0   Date Arrow  May 19, 2023 at 8:07pm   User  by Mark Willis

Esperanza Spalding (left) is a young jazz vocalist who just caught my ear. According to NPR Music: “There are many gifted singers in jazz today, and no shortage of accomplished acoustic bass players. But few jazz artists can be both. Esperanza Spalding’s new album, Esperanza, blends her soaring vocals and her deep bass lines. At […]

Tagged   NPR · Playing by Ear · jazzComments  Add Your Comment

In the Glen: Solomon’s Seal, True or False?

Comments   2   Date Arrow  May 18, 2023 at 8:00pm   User  by Mark Willis

Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum) blooms in the Glen beginning in mid-May. [Photo by a blind flaneur]
As a kid I learned to distinguish two flowers called Solomon’s seal, one identified as “True” and the other “False.” The flower perched above the leaves in the first, and below them in the second. The fruit of at least one […]

Tagged   flowers · Glen · blind photographersComments  Add Your Comment