12th Annual Toy Piano Festival!

A family friendly free show! Come early, or else you’ll end up sitting on the floor (the toy piano performers have to sit on the floor, though, so you’ll be in good company!) Hope to see you at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 for the Twelfth Annual Toy Piano Festival!

Serious music for toy piano?
The first composer to write a “serious” piece for toy piano was American composer John Cage. His Suite for Toy Piano, written in 1948, uses nine consecutive white notes of a piano keyboard. This is significant because some toy pianos only have white notes (the black notes are sometimes merely painted on as a reference point so that players will know where “C” and all the other notes are.) Composer George Crumb used toy piano to great effect in his chamber music piece Ancient Voices of Children (1970). The score of this piece even shows a diagram of where to place the toy piano on stage.

Here in San Diego, toy pianos are celebrated with great fanfare in the month of September (because John Cage’s birthday is September 5!!) at UC San D’iego’s Geisel Library. It is there that Scott Paulson and his colleagues at the UCSD Arts Library host an annual toy piano festival. Composers visit the Library and pick a specific toy piano from the collection, and a piece is written specially for that instrument. Some toy pianos only have nine notes, some three octaves—so each piece has its own special charm and special limitations.

The Toy Piano Collection at Geisel Library consists of actual instruments, recordings, extant literature and commissioned scores. In 2001, because of the Toy Piano Collection’s activities, the Library of Congress issued a special call number and subject heading for Toy Piano Scores: M 175 T69

UCSD has a history with toy pianos that pre-dates the annual toy piano festival. Composer Robert Erickson, a founder of UCSD’s Music Department wrote a piece for toy pianos and bells that was premiered on California’s PBS television stations in 1966, just months before Erickson’s arrival at UCSD.

Featured: new works from local composers, a work from John Cage and songs from The Cat in the Hat Songbook.

Performers and composers this year include: Sue Palmer (the Queen of Boogie Woogie!) Ryoko Amadee Goguen, Christian Hertzog, Kenneth Herman, Gail Gipson, Ellen Lawson, Dana Mambourg Zimbric & of course, Scott Paulson!

Chris Marker, famed French filmmaker who directed “La Jetee,” dies at 91

From the Washington Post:

PARIS — France’s Culture Ministry has confirmed that award-winning French filmmaker Chris Marker has died, one day after his 91st birthday. Many critics count Marker, with his experimental documentary style, as among the most influential French filmmakers of the post-war era. His 1962 classic “La Jetee” — a 28-minute post-apocalyptic movie comprised almost entirely of stills — is often ranked among the best time-travel films ever made.

It was the inspiration for Hollywood’s “Twelve Monkeys,” which Marker co-wrote. Cannes Film Festival President Gilles Jacob called Marker an “indefatigable filmmaker,” paying homage to a director who was still active into his 80s.

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The Arts Library Presents a Steampunk Tea

Victorian time travelers are invited to visit the UC San Diego Library, at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, August 25th in the climate controlled comforts of the mother ship Geisel Library on the campus of UC San Diego.

Enjoy light refreshments with fellow futurists, explorers and adventurers and attend Anastasia Hunter’s survey of steampunk literature (from Jules Verne onwards).

on display at the tea: Examples of Victorian era entertainments such as magic lanterns, paper theatres and paper optical toys. Critique a scale-model paper theatre version of Jules Verne’s “Journey Through the Impossible”  and drop in for screenings of steampunk-friendly films in our high-def viewing rooms.

Attention new visitors: steampunk literature re-imagines the Victorian era with a sci-fi aesthetic in a steam-powered, gaslight world filled with wind-up gadgets and clockwork technology.

About our guest speaker:
Anastasia Hunter, Director of Programming for the  Gaslight Gathering, San Diego’s premier steampunk convention, will speak about the history of steampunk literature, from its inception in the 19th Century with the works of Victor Hugo and Jules Verne, to the 1980′s when the term “steampunk” was first coined. Ms. Hunter will also survey more recent examples of the genre from authors such as Scott Westerfeld and Cherie Priest. Anastasia’s presentation will highlight the use of steampunk as an inspiration for journeys of discovery both real and imaginary.

This event is free and open to the public. Parking is free that day, as well.
For more information, contact Scott Paulson at spaulson@ucsd.edu or call (858) 822-5758, or visit http://artslib.ucsd.edu

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Now available on ARTstor: Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery (Scripps College)

ARTstor and the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery at Scripps College are now sharing more than 700 images of works from the permanent collection in the Digital Library. The collection in ARTstor consists of highlights from several special collections.

The Gallery houses a teaching collection of Japanese woodblock prints and illustrated books from the late 17th century to late 20th century, featuring works by the artists Yoshu Chikanobu (1838-1912) and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892). The Marer Collection of contemporary ceramics is international in scope, comprising American, British, Japanese, Korean, and Mexican works. The Young Collection focuses on Impressionist oil paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists, including George Bellows, Mary Cassatt, William Glackens, Frederick Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, Winslow Homer, Maurice Prendergast, and Theodore Robinson, among others. Another important teaching collection traces the history of photography with a selection works from the 19th through the 21st century. Finally, there is the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection, which comprises works by contemporary artists with a special focus on art by women and African-American artists, such as Elizabeth Catlett, Samella Lewis, Faith Ringgold, and Alison Saar.

 

View the collection in the Digital Library.

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Tanglewood’s Archival Magic Still Casts a Spell

From the NYT Online

THE magic of Tanglewood, the summer festival in western Massachusetts, has many parts. There is the music of course, this being the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. There is the beauty of the surroundings, both on the meticulously maintained campus in the quaint town of Lenox and all around in the Berkshire Hills.

There is a spirit that has evolved over three-quarters of a century, stemming from the festival’s founder, Serge Koussevitzky, the music director of the Boston Symphony from 1924 to 1949; nurtured under music directors like Charles Munch and Erich Leinsdorf, and influential guests like Leonard Bernstein and Lukas Foss; and now combining the youthful energy of students at the Tanglewood Music Center with a unity of purpose across generations. That spirit splintered briefly some 15 years ago, when Seiji Ozawa, the orchestra’s music director at the time, crossed swords with longtime faculty members, but it seemed to come back stronger than ever under James Levine, the music director from 2004 to 2011.

There is even a tinge of pride — a slight sense of indomitability, perhaps — shared by performers and audiences alike, born of their having repeatedly weathered terrifying flash storms and survived the annual plague of mosquitoes. Mud is part of the creation myth, as witnessed in the photograph of well dressed patrons tiptoeing over the newly soaked grounds at a Wagner concert in 1937 — in the festival’s first season, before the concert shed was built — often printed in the Tanglewood program.

Alas, this disparate yet potent mix of elements cannot be bottled. But happily the music can be, to some extent, and has been, in the form of archival recordings now being made available in quantity.

Read more…

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A Brief History of John Baldessari

Video narrated by Tom Waits!

Love it.

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Walters Museum uploads 19,000 photos to Wikimedia Commons

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, has donated more than 19,000 freely-licensed images of artworks to Wikimedia Commons. The Walters’ collection includes ancient art, medieval art and manuscripts, decorative objects, Asian art and Old Master and 19th-century paintings.

The images and their associated information will join our collection of more than 12 million freely usable media files, which serves as the repository for the 285 language editions of Wikipedia. ‬Check it out!!

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ARTstor = The Great Campus Race = ?

 

Did you know that the UCSD Library gives you access to more than one million digital images in the arts, humanities, and sciences? The ARTstor Digital Library includes of that, plus software tools to view, present, and manage images.

The images in ARTstor come from all over the world, but over 250,000 come from our very own University of California.  You can use images from ARTstor for research, teaching, presentations, and as a clue to direct people to a checkpoint on campus.

Enjoy some samples of the fine images included in the collection:

 

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UCSD Libraries’ Book Collection Contest

Current UCSD students are invited to participate in the UCSD Libraries’ 11th annual Book Collection Competition! Collect books, build your own libraries, celebrate the printed word, and win!

Two $500 prizes will be awarded, one to an undergraduate and one to a graduate student.

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Stylophone: The Greatest Little [Musical] Instrument of the [Last] Century? *

The UCSD Arts Library presents an exhibit** of Stylophones on the lower level, West wing of Geisel Library at UCSD. Exhibit opens March 28th and closes April 30.

Opening event: Wednesday, March 28th at 12:30 p.m. features a premiere of new works for Stylophone by composer Pea Hicks. Additional event: Sunday, April 15th, 2:30 p.m., features a premiere of a new work for multiple Stylophones by composer Scott Paulson.

About the Stylophone:

In 2002, David Bowie made a surprising Stylophone confession: “It’s the only instrument I take on holiday with me to compose on.” In fact, David Bowie’s 1969 album “Space Oddity” was composed entirely on a Stylophone. The small British company that manufactured the instrument (Dubreq) was surprised to hear this news, as they had invented and marketed the instrument merely as a musical toy.

Invented in 1967. the Stylophone is a pocket electronic musical synthesizer. Originally invented by Brian Jarvis as a toy and made available to the general public in 1968, the little instrument was presented as a novelty electronic organ with an iconic transistor radio look… Read more…

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