Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

TWTP Presents Defying Gravity

Last weekend, I attended the opening night show of Defying Gravity, performed by Tennessee Women’s Theater Project. Nearly all of my Nashville theater experience has been relegated to the realm of TPAC, so I knew I was in for something a little bit different than what hefty budgets and large auditoriums usually produce.

Watching Defying Gravity is a bit like watching Titanic or United 93. No matter how nice things seem, we all know how it’s going to end. Defying Gravity is the story of Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher chosen to go into space. She was on the doomed Challenger flight when it exploded 73 seconds into its flight.

Crap Ballet

The installation of Ghost Ballet continues on the bank of the Cumberland at a Briley Parkwayian pace.

I figure we’ve spent a good five hundred bucks of the $250,000 earmarked on the project for scrap metal and a little acetylene work.
It is officially true that the new state bird of Tennessee is the crane.
An unfortunate side effect of the lackadaisical pace of construction is that someone has already tagged a major piece of the sculpture with some half-assed grafitti. In retrospect, it might actually have improved it.

While I was down there, I thought I’d bike over to LP Field to see the tent city waiting for Titans single game tickets that the media has been all hysterical about. Maybe they were all taking their tents back to the car or it was breakfast time, but 1 1/2 hours before the tickets were due to go on sale I only counted 13 people in line. Maybe they got wise and decided to just go home and use the internet. Like me.

Starwood Wiki

So the great Starwood is closing.

Let’s see how many different artists were seen at that outdoor venue by Nashville bloggers (and readers).

Leave your show list in the comments.

photographer for hire

Doofus photographer for hire!! Or, well, not exactly. For free.

I broke my camera this weekend, but I have a fancy new one on the way. So, I thought I’d toss this out there: what part of the city do you feel is underrepresented in the photographic lexicon of the city? Sure, everyone has creepy shots of Union Station, and naturally about a billion of the Bellsouth tower. The token shot or two of Printer’s alley, and the river.

But is there one part of the city you think is absolutely gorgeous and is just begging for a totally awesome, skilled photographer to take advantage of? Or, failing that, for me to take advantage of?

Give me your suggestions, and I’ll go forth to take pictures.

Philip Glass Festival?

President and CEO of The Nashville Symphony, Alan Valentine, was quoted in today’s Tennessean talking about a possible mini festival celebrating the movie scores of American composer Philip Glass.

One American Encores composer likely to generate attention is Philip Glass, well-known for his film scores, notable among them “Koyaanisqatsi.” For its Feb. 15-17 concert, the Nashville Symphony teamed with the Pacific Symphony in Orange County, Calif., to commission a new piece by Glass, “The Passion of Ramakrisna.”

That opened the way, Valentine said, to explore some other possibilities. “Next year will be Glass’ 70th birthday, and his ensemble is touring, so we decided to bring them to town, too.” The Philip Glass Ensemble will perform Feb. 18.

Valentine added that the symphony is in discussion with the Belcourt Theatre, which is looking into screening some of the films that Glass scored. The idea, he said, is to turn the composer’s appearance into a small festival. “It’s really incumbent on us to keep looking for new ways to approach our programming.”

This is a fascinating idea, in my opinion, and I would love for Nashville to host something of this sort more often. But, I have to wonder, will Nashvillians respond to such an event?

The NCO 2006-2007 Season

As September approaches, so does the 2006-2007 season for The Nashville Chamber Orchestra. The NCO has existed essentially as classical troubadours since its inception in 1990. But, the 17th season sees the orchestra finally at home in the new Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

The Nashville City Paper recently sat down with the NCO’s Music Director, Paul Gambill.

I found the following exchange most interesting:

What does the future hold?

Our biggest challenge is convincing people that the music we play can have a meaningful role in their lives. That’s a communication issue, because when people come to our concerts and experience what we do and feel that power of our music and those different types of music coming together, they are almost never disappointed. So now we are developing strategies as to how we can reach out to our audiences through the Internet and engage people more in our creative processes so that they can relate to it and understand how the music can be powerful to them.

How will you do that?

This fall we will be debuting a project where we are going to be posting information that our audiences can download off our Web site (, which will literally take them into the processes. Everything from interviews with our musicians, following a composer through the process of debuting a new piece, [to] listening to discussions between soloists and composers — information that can dispel some of the mystery behind what an orchestra plays.

You can read the rest of the interview here.

If your interest is sparked, check out the Nashville Chamber Orchestra during their Symphony Center Opening Gala Monday September 11th. You can find the details here.

Art that Smells

an art experiment

Scent: An Art Experiment is opening on Saturday June 3rd at East Nashville’s Art & Invention Gallery. Each painting in the exhibit was inspired by a scent. During the exhibit you will be able to see the painting and smell the scent that inspired it. There will be work from 14 artists in the show including my personal favorite, Jim Hsieh.

It is well known that scent can evoke very powerful memories, emotions, and images. Please join us for a unique exhibit where scent is the sole inspiration for each work of art.

Art & Invention Gallery is a really great gallery. It is very un-pretentious (unlike many other local galleries). Most exhibits also feature a related workshop for the average joe to participate in the art. This time is no exception:

In conjunction with this show, on June 25th we are hosting a workshop by Belva Cunningham, LMT , who will teach attendees how to work with essential oils in their daily lives and at the end of the workshop, each attendee will go home with a product they have created for themselves.

If you have never been to an opening at Art & Invention Gallery then you owe it to yourself to check out Scent: An Art Experiment on Saturday June 3rd, 6:30pm – 10:30pm. Maybe I will see you there.

I can’t stop reading this article.

It’s a review of the documentary “The Beauty Academy of Kabul” which has its Nashville opening tonight at the Belcourt. The movie tells, apparently, of “a trip made by a group of American hairdressers to Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban. These volunteer teachers were sent to teach aspiring hairdressers and beauticians the latest techniques in cutting, coloring and styling hair, cramming the benefits of their experience into a three-month curriculum. But what seems like a simple assignment develops into a complex and life-altering experience for the six participants (three Americans and three Afghan-Americans making their first return trip home in more than two decades).”

And I’m just mesmerized. How this never occurred to me, I don’t know. Despite being a reasonably enlightened person, I’m also unreasonably shallow and interested in physical beauty, and you’d think that I’d have made the connection that no burqa = new hairdo. Either I’m not as shallow as I thought or I’m just not swift enough to make the connection.

Well anyway, here. Read it for yourself, if you’re interested.

March Art Shows

When’s the last time you went to an art opening at a gas station? I can say for sure that Saturday was my first time. But due to the convergence of a bunch of art happenings in Nashville this month, my friends and I got to witness some pretty fresh art right here in town.

One of the artists (whose name escapes me, I’m sorry! please comment if you know who it was) released a group of paper soldiers attached to balloons. Each of the soldiers had tracking information and a URL on the back, so when someone finds them, those people are encouraged to enter their information on the web site.

Balloon release! Art event at Image Distillery (at the Shell station)

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