Tag: Music & Sound

Harmony and Discord

The myth of the inspired musician Orpheus informs some of our most fundamental ideas about the life of the creative artist and performer. Three new novels by Stacey D’Erasmo, Michael Cunningham, and ...

The Corner Office

This is a new installment of Public Streets, a biweekly urban observations series curated by Ellis Avery. At the corner of 60th and Madison, high-end retail logos create an upscale fantasia: DKNY ...

Forgotten Woman

When we think of the ’30s film musical, we tend to picture Fred and Ginger gliding through the polished worlds of Top Hat (1935), Follow the Fleet (1936), and Shall We Dance (1937). Earlier in the ...

Translating The Magic Flute

When I got a call last year about translating a new Magic Flute libretto for an English-language production at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. The Magic Flute had ...

How to Buy a Guitar in Chicago

This is a new installment of Public Streets, a biweekly urban observations series curated by Ellis Avery. In its still relatively new location on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago’s Northcenter neighborhood ...

Lending an Ear

It’s 2006 in Iowa City. Two women sit at opposite ends of a library table, fingers arched over their keyboards. A moment’s pause, then they begin—an étude on the voice for four hands. The reading ...

Michael Nyman At 70

When asked to name a “minimalist” composer, most would say Philip Glass. Steve Reich, John Adams, and Terry Riley resonate with those a bit more familiar with classical music. Yet few know that it ...

Bigmouth Strikes Again

I never expected Morrissey to be a hopeless romantic. But then again, I never expected that I would be one, too. As a struggling queer growing up a generation after the moody singer, I relied on our ...

Cassandra, Retiring

I spent a good portion of 2010 playing the Cassandra, mongering doom and gloom about the heat death of the alternative comics universe.1 Despite some important works—chief among them James Sturm’s ...

Characters of Concealment

In his 2002 New Yorker essay, “Mr. Difficult,” Jonathan Franzen identified William Gass as a prominent member of a group including the likes of William Gaddis, Robert Coover, and John Barth that ...