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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Degenerate Art - in Berkeley! October 5th!


My friend Susan Waterfall - brilliant pianist - is presenting an evening of "Degenerate Art" - music, film and photos from Weimar. I'm very sorry to be out of town for this, which was a hit at this summer's Mendocino Music Festival. The details, from Susan:
“Degenerate Music!”: The Music of Weimar Berlin
Berkeley-Richmond Jewish Community Center Sunday October 5

Susan Waterfall, pianist and narrator, Erin Neff, mezzo soprano, and the Mendocino Music Festival Chamber Players, present an evening of music, film, and photographs.

After World War I, Weimar Berlin was a cauldron of artistic ferment as avant-garde artists and intellectuals, most of them Jewish, struggled to create a modern German culture. Exuberant freedom and hectic experimentation masked a sense of impending doom. After 1933, Hitler denounced them all as “degenerate” and their forced exile carried Weimar modernity to the rest of the world. The evening includes Joris Ivens’ twelve minute 1929 art film, "Rain," with an extraordinary score by Eisler, cabaret songs of Weill and Schoenberg, Weill’s String Quartet, and pieces from Three Penny Opera.

The Berkeley Richmond JCC’s newly restored theatre is at 1414 Walnut Street, at the corner of Walnut and Rose in North Berkeley. Concert begins at 7:30. 510-848-0237.
$15 Member, Senior, Student; $20 General.

Presented in association with the Goethe-Institut San Francisco and the Mendocino Music Festival.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Books 4 Barack

Ayelet does battle with chaos, and John McCain

Ayelet Waldman - Berkeley novelist and fellow MacDowell Colony fellow - has launched a really fun way to contribute to Obama. Donate $250 or more and get a grab bag of 10 signed books by illustrious authors from Judy Blume to Alice Waters to Stephen King to Jeffrey Eugenides to Steve Martin to Lemony Snicket.

Details at Ayelet's "Books 4 Barack" page and also the fundraising page she has with husband Michael Chabon (who's also contributed a volume or two).

About Me

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Paul Festa’s first film, Apparition of the Eternal Church (2006, 51 min), captures the responses of 31 artists to the apocalyptic music of Olivier Messiaen (with Justin Bond, John Cameron Mitchell, Harold Bloom; screenings: Grace Cathedral, Barbican Centre, Library of Congress; “Remarkable”The New Yorker; “Stunning”Chicago Sun-Times; “Sublime”Globe & Mail; numerous awards). Festa performs the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, opposite members of the San Francisco Ballet and The Cockettes, in his award-winning second film, The Glitter Emergency (2010, 20 min), a silent-film drag ballet comedy (“Enormous visual and musical inventiveness…full of pleasure and joy...Festa gives a bravura performance."—Film Threat). He produced, wrote and edited, with director Austin Forbord, and was chief archivist, for the Emmy-nominated documentary Stage Left: A Story of Theater in San Francisco (2010, 80 min: with Robin Williams, Bill Irwin, Peter Coyote; screenings: Geary Theater, KQED; “Intriguing...entertaining...a valuable record”—Variety). Performances as violinist and actor: ODC Theater, Center for Performance Research, Kunst-Stoff, TheatreFIRST, North Bay Shakespeare, Albert Fuller's Helicon Ensemble (Merkin Hall, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall). US, Boston, NYC, SF, LA and DC (Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress on the “Betts” Stradivarius) premieres of Messiaen’s Fantaisie for violin and piano. He is the author of OH MY GOD: Messiaen in the Ear of the Unbeliever, based on Apparition of the Eternal Church, and several anthologized essays, and has written for The Daily Beast, Salon, Nerve, and The New York Times Book Review. Current projects include a novel and Tie It Into My Hand (2014, ca. 80 min), a documentary feature that has screened as a work in progress at the Cannes film market and at ODC Theater in San Francisco (with Alan Cumming, Gary Graffman, Peter Coyote, Mink Stole, Robert Pinsky; "A fascinating exploration of the artistic life, as rollickingly entertaining as it is insightful and stirring."San Francisco Bay Guardian). Education: Yale (B.A.; prizes, honors, distinction), Juilliard (Cert., Adv. Cert., scholarships). Residencies: Yaddo, MacDowell, ODC Theater, Centre des R├ęcollets.

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