10 November 2013

Rieu : violin = Rastrelli : cello

When we were in Capo d'Orlando, our B&B host, Calogero Nici, talked about his love of the violinist André Rieu who plays classical music with glitz and circumstance. Not actually to my taste. I prefer "real" (unadulterated) classical music, don't need it all popped up.

I had read a notice about the Rastrelli Cello Quartet coming to Houghton College as part of their U.S. tour. I read the notice to mean that they were something like a traveling Kronos Quartet. Their "non-traditional programming" is more in the lines of Rieu, classical music for the masses, than Kronos. More Vegas than downtown NYC. Or the Miller Theater at Columbia where I heard some great contemporary classical music when I lived in the City. They're good, don't get me wrong about that, and they played the glissandos and glitz with skill and musicality.

If you're interested, here's a link to the video page on the Rastrelli website. One of the things we really enjoyed was how four Russian guys, all playing the cello, could be so different in physical appearance and playing style.

07 November 2013


I have been thinking about joining Nadine Hoover on one of her trips to Indonesia where she works with the Friends Peace Teams in Asia West Pacific. And today's Bergren Forum was Brian Arnold, photography teacher at School of Art and Design here; he talked on "Modernism and photography in Bali and Java." Intriguing. And now I know how to say Yogyakarta, one of the centers of contemporary art in Java. Or as Brian called it: the Chelsea of Indonesia.
Drawing by I Gusti Made Deblog,
from the Sutasome Story
"Gajahwaktra Fighting the Naga, before Sutasoma Comes to Bring Peace"
(ink on paper, circa 1950)

Knowing how Brian said Yogyakarta is a bit of a librarian story. Some places in Indonesia used to be spelled with "dj" where the "y" is now. I learned about this from my cataloging, probably items at Cornell which has a magnificent Southeast Asian collection. Anyway, Yogyakarta is pronounced "djogdjakarta" or something of the sort. The authority record for Yogyakarta has several references with DJ, K, or J where other letters appear in the authorized form.

05 November 2013

you can call me keith

So I was on my way home from the VRA/Upstate meeting in Salem, New York, at the McNish House, a project of Sheafe Satterthwaite. Sheafe is a part-time teacher and raconteur at Williams College, teaching American landscape history and other courses. The house is lovely, the 17th-century kitchen is remarkable, the book collection is stupendous. On the way home, after walking about some more in downtown Troy, I went over the Menands Bridge to Albany, walked about some more and went to the Albany Institute of History and Art. The mystery of the Albany mummies show had some wonderful Egyptian Revival tchotchkes.

Then it was on my way. As I neared Oneonta, I figured it was about lunch time and I could go to the Neptune Diner ... oh, no, I can go to downtown Oneonta and visit Green Toad Bookstore and eat someplace downtown. Green Toad is paired with a coffee house. I had on my Annie Leibovitz t-shirt with the picture of Keith Haring, from the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.
After I ordered my sandwich and coffee, the cashier asked if the guy on the t-shirt was me. No, but that's OK, you can call me Keith if you want to.

(Photo from http://www.artnet.com/auctions/)