Throughout February, hear new works by contemporary composers based on words of 16 American presidents, in recordings by conductor Judith Clurman and Essential Voices USA. Today, words from Andrew Jackson come alive in music by Nico Muhly.
Composer Nico Muhly isn't afraid of large forces or new media. He's at work on an opera with playwright Craig Lucas that's destined for London and the Metropolitan Opera. His Drones and Piano for pianist Bruce Brubaker features sounds from an unusual instrument: the iPod.
As democracy protests spread across Egypt, Bahrain and other Middle Eastern and African countries, the White House is studying historical parallels. One of those parallels has personal significance to President Obama.
In 1967, shortly after a violent crackdown on student protesters in Jakarta, a young woman named Ann Dunham moved to Indonesia with her 6-year-old son.
It's interesting that the cover of the novel Georgia Bottoms features a pair of bright yellow shoes. Shoes are common on the covers of novels about women, but not necessarily on books that aren't romances, and not necessarily on books by men like Mark Childress, who also wrote One Mississippi and Crazy In Alabama. (He's going through the southern states, perhaps.)
It's difficult to describe the illustrations of Edward Gorey without using the word "macabre." Death was often a subject of his drawings, and the way he depicted evil adults and dispatched mischievous children often provoked horror. However, his work often provoked humor. Besides, he didn't like the word "macabre."