In 1977 The Metropolitan Museum of Art presented Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century, the largest exhibition ever to focus on the period that spans the transition between the classical and medieval ages. In keeping with the didactic spirit of the exhibition, the Museum held a symposium in November 1977 to provide the public with a broad background for appreciation of this little-known field and to offer art historians the provocative speculations and conclusions of their colleagues. In addition to art history, the distinguished scholars who participated in the symposium discussed the theology, literature, politics, economics, and architecture of the first centuries of the Christian Era.
What is one of the most challenging aspects of creating original art? It doesn’t matter if you work with oils, acrylics, watercolor or pastels. Every artist in every medium has at one point struggled with color.
It was pretty clear that Billy Joel had run out of steam by 1993's River of Dreams. He had shown signs of wearing on its predecessor, Storm Front, but his trademark melodic gift disappeared on River of Dreams and his words, even performances, were bone-tired – he even called the last song "The Last Song (No More Words)." So, it was no great surprise that he did not rush to record a follow-up, and when he started murmuring toward the end of the decade that perhaps he wasn't interested in pop music anymore, nobody who paid attention could have been surprised.
The Japan and Porcupine Tree keyboardist Richard Barbieri releases his most sonically expansive work to date, with a brand new album entitled Planets + Persona. It is the third Barbieri solo album, but the first to feature such a wide pallet of instrumentation. Vintage analogue synthesisers combine with acoustic performances and jazz elements. Twisted voices are always present, though not in a language we can recognise. Barbieri skilfully utilises the talents of a pan-European core of musicians to produce an album that marries synthesised sounds with organic instrumentation to conjure up vivid, colourful and allusive soundscapes. It’s a skilful commingling of texture and tone, mood and musicality.
A series of duets with Ron Carter and French accordionist Richard Galliano. Not a common jazz instrument, the free-reed sound of the accordion on this recording is both subtle and lovely. Tempos range from ballads to medium, but tend to be on the slow side. Not breakthrough jazz, these duets (recorded live, in concert) are refreshing and what all good music should be, just good listening.