Posts Tagged ‘Performance Today’

spring is coming

March 19, 2011

Saturday morning, catching up on life. It’s been a busy week here recovering from being out of town last week at the annual PRMC (public radio music conference) in NY City. It was a great trip, the conference was sponsored by AMPPR (Assoc. of Music Personnel in Public Radio – unwieldy, that’s why we just call it the PRMC) and held in the Greene Space at the WNYC studios.

I met with composers Paul Moravec and Aaron Jay Kernis, and had good conversations with Performance Today host Fred Child along with many other friends and colleagues. Quotable quote came from Montreal-based violinst Angèle Dubeau, who also leads the all-female ensemble she founded, La Pietà. She was talking about Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, one of the subjects of her new ‘Portraits’ series of recordings: “For me, the music of Arvo Pärt is like a cathedral. It’s that big.”

What’s the buzz among public radio music personnel these days? Community engagement. ‘Radio’ relevance in a Pandora world. Creating meaningful partnerships with area arts organizations. Social media. Web presence. In essence: connecting. The same thing that radio has always tried to do but now we’re doing it in different ways (many of which have little to do with traditional ‘radio’ at all), and we’re doing it in a time where there’s a lot more competition for people’s attention. It’s worth talking about. A lot.

cool old radios in Mystic, CT

I came back to Vermont to discover the big snow on March 13th/14th had melted down a few inches, and the first bare ground of the year is now visible in the yard. This morning a new inch or so of snow is covering everything and a few flakes are still falling through sunlight as I write this. A late afternoon visit to South Hero revealed the Lake beginning to break up. (It was stunning.) First day of spring is tomorrow. Besides March Madness, another sure sign of the changing season is yesterday’s opening of the annual Green Mountain Film Festival. (More on that later  – this year’s festival features interesting films on many musical subjects including Mozart’s sister Nannerl, Leonard Cohen, local musician James Harvey, and composer David Amram.) It’s also open house weekend at Vermont maple sugar houses – the sap is running!

beautiful melting Lake Champlain, 3/14

Libyan artist Ibn Thabit has been busy too, with two new videos responding to developing events in his country. And, in breaking news today – check out this extraordinary series of shots from AFP/Getty Images photographer Patrick Baz. He was on the ground in Libya this morning when a fighter jet was shot down. It’s been less than a day since day since the UN declared a no-fly zone over Libya. CNN is reporting that the jet photographed here belonged to Libyan rebels.


It’s good to be back. And, while this is something that is much bigger than just Vermont -when you’re out tonight remember to look up, the moon will be at its closest point to Earth since 1993.

Tripoli Calling

Libyan Warrior Song

npr music

June 9, 2010

Interesting article from the Washington Post, about NPR’s music website. Worth a read.

A little (little) background info: NPR’s off-and-on-again commitment to producing arts and cultural programming has been cyclical through their 40-year evolution in defining what they “want to be when they grow up”. It’s an inevitable part of the process, of course, as establishing core values and mapping a related course are necessary for any organization’s success.

At one time NPR produced programs like World of Opera and Performance Today, and now most of that kind of programming has either been discontinued or handed off to other distributors like American Public Media, and Public Radio International. In recent years NPR has been focusing resources on developing their news and information programming, meaning it’s been another “off” period for their production of arts and cultural programming. And this time it may be for good. That’s where NPR Music comes in.

NPR Music launched in November, 2007 and offers everything from live concert webcasts to reviews, “best of” music lists, industry news, and interviews produced by both NPR itself and by contributing partner public radio stations across the country. NPR Music acts as both a content generator and content aggregator, with material (like “All Songs Considered”) coming in to the site from NPR flagship programs such as All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Likewise, occasionally material offered at NPR Music makes its way onto the air in one of these programs. It’s nothing if not an almighty feedback loop. It is a production model in itself.

What do you think about NPR being viewed as a “tastemaker” for music in our world? Have you visited the NPR Music site? How’s it work for you? Leave a comment, curious to hear your thoughts on this.

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