The Humanities Center Recommendation List

The Humanities Center Recommendation List

This week's Humanities Center Recommendation List is curated by Emilie Amrein, DMA, Associate Professor, Department of Music and Director of Choral Activities.

1. Homemade: Poetic Remedies for the Times (May 1)
“Bread for all, and Roses too!”
Hosted by Aja Monet, this reading series takes place every 1st and 15th of the month in homage to workers who are losing their paychecks and to help us struggle through this pandemic. Join us on May 1st aka May Day for our reading dedicated to essential/frontline workers featuring Martin Espada, Wendy Trevino, Mark Nowak, Tyehimba Jess, Denice Frohman, Jose Olivarez, Staceyann Chin, Sonia Guinansaca, Ayodele Nzinga, Alando McIntyre, Christine Lewis, Ada Limon, and Calvin Early.

All of our lives have been turned upside down because of COVID-19 and yet the resilience of the human spirit persists. Poetry is a way through and can help us make sense of our deepest unlanguageable emotions and experiences. Rooted in oral tradition, Homemade is a dedication for the people and is inspired by Indigenous and African tradition. Our healing has always been holistic and therefore we must integrate our physical, spiritual, and mental parts in the process. Poetry is our healing and political inheritance.


2. Joe's Pub Live! Vanguard Gala honoring Laurie Anderson (May 1)
While Joe's Pub is temporarily closed to public access, join us for Joe's Pub Live! – a free series of live-streamed and archived performances from our iconic stage in New York City. Facilitating social connectivity during this time of physical distancing, Joe's Pub remains dedicated to supporting performing artists at every stage of their careers through sharing concerts with our audiences each Thursday, Friday & Saturday night at 8PM Eastern.

Join us for a special performance in Joe’s Pub celebrating Laurie Anderson (American avant-garde artist, composer, musician and film director whose work spans performance art, pop music, and multimedia projects) with a slate of artists and friends, with music direction by Shara Nova (of My Brightest Diamond) and Chris Bruce leading and all-star band featuring Meshell Ndegeocello, Daniel Mintseris, Jack DeBoe, and performances from (in order of appearance):

Starr Busby with Stuart Bogie, Alex Koi & Colin Stetson - “From the Air”  
Carl Hancock Rux - “The Puppet Motel”  
Shara Nova with Stuart Bogie & Colin Stetson - “Beautiful Red Dress”  
Theo Bleckmann - “Falling”  
Alex Koi - “Gravity’s Angel”
Theo Bleckmann & Helga Davis - “Walking and Falling”  
Colin Stetson & DM Stith - “Fear of the Unknown and the Blazing Sun”
Nona Hendryx with Kiki Hawkins, Asa Lovechild & Alex Sopp - “This is the Picture (Excellent Birds)”
Christina Courtin - “Flow”
Meg Harper directed by Derrick Belcham (film) with My Brightest Diamond - “The Beginning of Memory”  
Joan as Police Woman - “Blue Lagoon”  
Morley Shanti Kamen - “Only An Expert”  
Justin Hicks - “Nothing Left but Their Names”
Mmeadows (Kristin Slipp & Cole Kamen-Green) - “Walk the Dog”
Meshell Ndegeocello - “O Superman”
Theo Bleckmann & Nona Hendryx - “In Our Sleep”


3. Beth Morrison Projects presents Du Yun's Angel's Bone (April 30-May 7)
Angel's Bone (2016) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning new opera by Du Yun is an allegory of human trafficking in modern times. Two fallen angels are battered and bruised from their long journey to earth. They are found by a man and wife who nurse them back to health, only to exploit them for profit and personal use. The eclectic and lyrical score uses a variety of musical genres in this profound and haunting new opera. Originally commissioned by the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia. Completion co-commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects and HERE. Angel’s Bone premiered at PROTOTYPE 2016 and was produced in association with Trinity Wall Street.

BMP is a small production company that is streaming contemporary operas from its archives. This company is bold and innovative and has committed to paying artists for its canceled productions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Femme Fatale and the 320 Festival presents Gender Empowerment Week (May 1-7)
The 320 Festival was created to bring awareness to the importance of mental health, provide resources to the community and normalize the conversation surrounding all mental health pursuits. This three-day virtual mental health festival will take place May 8-10 and will feature educational sessions and guest artists. 320 has announced the partnership with LA-based production company, Femme Fetale for Gender Empowerment Week, taking place May 1 - 7, 2020, the week leading up to 320 Festival ONLINE.

Technical Director of Femme Fatale, Carey Diaz, continues, "During this time of uncertainty, the conversation surrounding mental health is more important than ever. We're honored to work with ... the 320 Team to help destigmatize mental illness and support our genderqueer community."

Femme Fatale Productions is proud to present Gender Empowerment Week in coordination with 320 Festival Online! Join us May 1-7 for daily online educational sessions and panels, drag make-up tutorials, and special guest performances to further the conversation on gender fluidity, the queer community, and mental health. While we may not be able to gather together in person, anyone around the world can tune into our virtual program via Twitch and Instagram Live.

Gender Empowerment week will feature performances by Ka5sh, Holander, Vitakari, Summer Speck, Wils, and Sadgirlism. Our educational sessions include topics on Allies and the Queer Community, Art Escapism, Creating From Within, Drag Make-Up Tutorials, Elemental Movement, Gender Possibilities, Mindful Creativity, Queer Stigma, and Women in Live: Mental Health in the Workplace.


5. Benedikt Kristjánsson reimagines Bach's St. John Passion (Ongoing)
This Good Friday performance was a creative reimagining of J.S Bach's St. John Passion, BWV 245. Recorded Good Friday, 10 April 2020, 3.00 pm (CEST) at St. Thomas' Church Leipzig, this performance recasts the familiar characters of St. John's passion story in a single tenor voice, accompanied by harpsichord, organ and percussion.

"On Good Friday, 10 April, at the hour of Jesus’ death (3pm, CEST), a fascinating chamber music version of Johann Sebastian Bach’s famous St. John Passion was performed at his tomb, and the global Bach community was invited to sing along. The actual Passion story was performed by just three musicians. In this production, the Icelandic tenor Benedikt Kristjánsson tells the story of Jesus’ Passion on the basis of Bach’s Passion, taking on the role of the Evangelist and all the other characters – and also conducting the virtual choir. Harpsichordist Elina Albach and percussionist Philipp Lamprecht take the role of the orchestra."


6. Global Jukebox (Ongoing)

At the website Global Jukebox, you can dive deep into musical cultures from around the world. The Global Jukebox explores connections between families of expressive style. One can travel the world of song, dance and language through the Wheel Chart and the Map. Thousands of examples of the world’s music, dance and other expressive behavior are available here. The Global Jukebox is presented as a free, non-commercial, educational place for everybody ‐ students, educators, scholars, scientists, musicians, dancers, linguists, artists and music fans can all explore expressive patterns in their own cultural-geographic and diasporic settings and alongside others'. By inviting familiarity with many kinds of vocalizing, musicking, moving, and talking, we hope to reconnect people and communities with their creative heritage and to advance cultural equity.


7. Alan Lomax for Parlametrics (Ongoing)
Here are 600 recorded language examples collected by Alan Lomax for Parlametrics. The recordings were made in the 1960s and ‘70s, by linguists and the United Nations.

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