“Ellington [was] a combination of Sir Galahad, Scrooge, Don Quixote, and God knows what other saints and sinners that were apt to pop out of his ever-changing personality.”
Duke Ellington’s artistry and artifice – fascinating read on how the jazz icon engineered his own image, and what that reveals about the inner contradictions we all struggle to reconcile:
“That’s the soulful thing about playing: you offer something to somebody. You don’t know if they’ll like it, but you offer it.”
Jazz icon Wynton Marsalis on the magic of music:
“Food and music are the two best things in life.”
Legendary pianist and vocalist Liberace, once the highest-paid entertainer in the world, had seven dining rooms in his Hollywood mansion and a serious obsession with cuisine – here is a rare visual tour of his lavish house, with some of his signature recipes, from the little-known and wonderful Liberace cookbook
Bob Dylan’s beloved 1970 classic, adapted in pictures by illustrator Scott Campbell
In early 1956, an RCA publicist asked legendary photographer Alfred Wertheimer to shoot a 21-year-old up-and-coming singer in Memphis named Elvis. “Elvis who?” Wertheimer stared blankly — but he took the assignment. How bewildered he would have been to know that the young man before his camera, to whom he was given unlimited access and of whom he’d take nearly 3,000 photos that year, would go on to become a legend, a heartbreaker, a catalyst for a new kind of consumer culture, a king of pop culture — THE King.
Wertheimer’s photographs from that year, along with a small selection of his rare 1958 pictures of the King being shipped off to an army base in Germany, are now revealed here:
Band battles, brass classics, Cotton Club etiquette, and how to do the “double roll” like a pro.
“Stop thinking about art works as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences.”
Music pioneer Brian Eno on the essence of art in excerpts from his diary
“No amount of effort can save you from oblivion.”
A rare glimpse inside Kurt Cobain’s handwritten letters and journals:
“Each era finds something new to return to; things that seemed out of date have a way of coming back in new forms, and revealing aspects of themselves we might not have noticed before.”
Beck revives the romance of sheet music with 26 illustrated songs:
“It is the artist’s task, through offering his best and most carefully prepared achievements, to educate the public, to ennoble it.”
This remarkable and beautifully illustrated 1902 guide to singing by German opera superstar Lilli Lehmann doubles as a thoughtful meditation on the art of learning in general.
The science of why the wail of the baby Universe sounded like muffled highway traffic.
“Presuming that there is such a thing as ‘progress’ when it comes to music is typical of the high self-regard of those who live in the present. It is a myth. Creativity doesn’t ‘improve.’”
The legendary Talking Head presents a fascinating counter-intuitive theory of creativity, based on a lifetime of making and thinking about music.
“What can be analyzed in my work, or criticized, are the questions.” ~ John Cage
A remarkable new intellectual, creative, and spiritual biography of Cage — one of the most influential composers in modern history, whose impact reaches beyond the realm of music and into art, literature, cinema, and just about every other aesthetic and conceptual expression of curiosity about the world, yet also one of history’s most misunderstood artists — fifteen years in the making.
Italian Futurist painter and composer Luigi Russolo (1885-1947), best-known for authoring the 1913 manifesto The Art of Noises (public library) and regarded as the first noise artist, is the father of the first systematic poetics of noise. He Russolo played a crucial role in the evolution of 20th-century musical aesthetics and influenced such music icons as Edgar Varese, Pierre Schaeffer, and John Cage. He was also one of the first theorists of electronic music and is even considered by some the inventor of the synthesizer. Yet despite enormous interest in his work, Russolo’s life remained largely unexamined — until now.
Here, composer and San Francisco Conservatory music history professor Luciano Chessa reconstructs Russolo’s life through ambitious archival research, uncovering and digesting esoteric and obscure texts to reverse-engineer how the artist’s eccentric interests influenced his creative output — namely an interest in the supernatural and, more specifically, in the occult.