| May 30, 2010
In fall 1986, as part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, John Cage delivered, in his uniquely spoken-sung fashion, poetic texts he had derived from James Joyce's readably unreadable comic novel "Finnegans Wake." Irish musicians...
| Oct 31, 2010
Common as Air
Revolution, Art and Ownership
Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 306 pp., $26
The late Jack Valenti, who was Hollywood's ubiquitous lobbyist for four decades, fully agreed that copyright terms should be limited. The proper term, he...
| Dec 19, 2010
"In the Middle Ages," Sara Maitland writes in her brilliant "A Book of Silence," "Christian scholastics argued that the devil's basic strategy was to bring human beings to a point where they are never alone with their God, nor ever attentively face to...
| Sep 12, 2010
Fall, it seems, starts earlier every year. Certainly, that's true of publishing: Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom" — arguably the big book of the season — has been a topic of discussion since mid-August, while other anticipated titles (Tom...
| Jul 24, 2011
The Art of Cruelty
W.W. Norton: 304 pp., $24.95
From a movie billboard in her Los Angeles neighborhood to the Italian Futurists, Maggie Nelson swings her lively gaze across a century's worth of art and culture in "The Art...
| Jul 27, 2008
The San Francisco
Tape Music Center
1960s Counterculture and the Avant-Garde
Edited by David W. Bernstein
University of California Press/Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: 336 pp., $65
THERE was a time when the zeitgeist used to get bashed about...
| Sep 23, 2008
| 10:28 AM
[This Book Review originally ran in the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 11, 2007]
A unified, comprehensive history of 20th century music is the philosopher's stone of modern criticism: How to transmute such vast, maddening complexity into conceptual gold? It's...
| Jan 6, 2009
| 10:10 PM
Betty Freeman, a fiercely independent philanthropist and photographer often described as a Medici for contemporary classical music, who supported a Who's Who of modern composers, including John Cage, Philip Glass, Pierre Boulez and John Adams, died...
| Jul 28, 2009
Merce Cunningham, arguably the greatest, most pioneering and widely influential contemporary choreographer of the past half-century, has died. He was 90. A seminal artist whom fellow choreographer Bill T. Jones called "the champion in the struggle to...
| May 14, 2008
Robert Rauschenberg, the protean artist from small-town Texas whose imaginative commitment to hybrid forms of painting and sculpture changed the course of American and European art between 1950 and the early 1970s, died Monday night, according to New...
| Feb 7, 2010
| 4:32 PM
John Cage never tired of describing art as imitating nature in the manner of her operation, an idea he got from Indian philosophy. Accepting the sounds of the environment, he also explained, allowed him to enjoy sounds of the city.......