Kennedy Center’s Lucky Pre-shutdown Timing: Makeover For Concert Hall, Nso Black-tie Gala

Ben Speaks concert in Medway to honor suicide victims, bring community together

He started by pointing out the fresh coat of paint in the Concert Hall, the first renovation in 16 years. Music director Christoph Eschenbach at the National Symphony Orchestras season opener Sunday night. (Scott Suchman/National Symphony Orchestra) I want to thank the federal government for paying for it, Rubenstein told the audience Sunday night. And I want to thank the painters for finishing before tomorrow night. The timing, he admitted to laughter, was dumb luck. The gala concert was scheduled more than a year ago, so the $1 million repair and paint job (white, silver, and gold, which nicely matched the NSOs gleaming new organ) was completed over the summer long before a government shutdown threatened the national arts complex. Yo-Yo Ma and Cameron Carpenter. (Margot Schulman) The Kennedy Center has an unusual relationship with the feds: The government pays for the building, grounds and upkeep; private donations pay for performances, staff and other programs, explained spokesman John Dow. The shutdown contingency plans allow concerts, shows and educational programs to continue, but tours will be suspended and the building closed until an hour before evening performances. Of the centers 1,200 full and part-time employees, about 50 are directly impacted by the government going out of business. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts chats with Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein at the gala. (Margot Schulman) Which gave the annual NSO gala a certain fin de siecle vibe: VIP patrons (including Justices John Roberts, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Kennedy) in gowns and tuxedos, a post-performance dinner and dancing in a candlelit tent, music lovers clustered around cellist Yo-Yo Ma, organ virtuoso Cameron Carpenter (steampunk classical in a mohawk, feathered Victorian cravat and rhinestone boots), and conductor Christoph Eschenbach. The gala, chaired by former General Dynamics president Jay Johnson and Sydney Johnson, raised $1.3 million for the NSOs educational programs.

‘Another Day, Another Time’ concert strums up fitting folk tribute for Coen Brothers’ ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

Jack White and Elvis Costello compare notes backstage.

“Its going to be very healing for my family and me,” she said. In Needham, Giovangelo said a suicide coalition was created after the town experienced four teenage suicides over an 18-month period from 2005 to 2006. But she said Medway did little to address the four teenage suicides in Medway since 2009. “When my son died, it was horrific the way it was handled,” she said, adding that the issue was “swept right under the rug” after some time. In todays fast-moving culture, Giovangelo said people are expected to move on quickly, but when a child dies because of “systematic issues in culture,” it becomes difficult. “Teen suicide and bullying are up front and in our faces today,” she added. She said she hopes the concert on Saturday will help her and other families who have lost someone to suicide cope with their losses – and be a “celebration of life.” In order to stop bullying, Giovangelo said, “We need to shift to collaboration, contribution and recognizing that the weakest link is the greatest strength,” she said. A Concert to Remember will be held at Medway High School at 7 p.m. on Oct. 5. The concert will feature a performance by children of Open Fields, a musical theatre group from Dover, as well as performances from other local musicians, including Giovangelo herself.

Ark Nova: Blow-up concert hall inflates in Japan

For over three hours, scores of singers and musicians – some young, some old, several obscure, but many more well-known – did their best to evoke a very specific period in American folk. A few of the stars dated from the period in question (the 60s), including Joan Baez and Bob Neuwirth. Others arose in the next decade, and from an opposing genre like Patti Smith and Elvis Costello . But the majority of the pickers and strummers made their name in the last decade, including The Decemberists Colin Meloy, Gillian Welsh, Jack White, Colin Oberst and the Avett Brothers. All gathered for a show called Another Day, Another Time, which toasted the music, and milieu, of the forthcoming movie from Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis. The flick, which opens December 6th, tells the story of a Bleecker Street troubadour from the 60s, vaguely based on the life of Dave Van Ronk. Essentially, the movie, and its forthcoming soundtrack, mean to do for the Greenwich Village folk scene of fifty years ago what the Cohens O Brother, Where Art Thou did for old timey, acoustic music of an even earlier era. Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Musicians Marcus Mumford, left, and Oscar Isaac jam together during the ‘Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis’ concert. Stars from the movie were on hand to encourage, and sometimes warble along, including Carey Mulligan, Stark Sands, Adam Driver, and, as jaunty MC, John Goodman. The generous, three-hour show was taped for a Showtime special, to debut December 13th at 9 p.m. The tone and volume of the performances provided a striking contrast to the folk style currently raging on the charts. While million-selling bands like Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers, and Of Monsters and Men perform acoustic music on steroids, pounding their mandolins, and sawing on their fiddles, like they were electric guitars, here the players adopted an almost painfully intimate and close approach. The house band, the versatile Punch Brothers, kept most of their inflections delicate, savoring the nuances of their chord-changes and melodies rather than hammering them home. The light touch of the playing, and often of the singing, contrasted the songs sometimes dire subjects.

September 30, 2013 9:51 AM PDT (Credit: Lucerne Festival) From the outside, it looks like a giant purple doughnut. And the world’s first inflatable building is sweet indeed. British sculptor Anish Kapoor and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki recently took the wraps off the project, called Ark Nova . It has been in the works since 2011, the year Japan’s Northeastern coast was hit by a massive tsunami. The Lucerne Festival , a summer music event in Switzerland, commissioned the project in hopes of helping the disaster-struck area heal from the calamity. (Credit: Lucerne Festival) The inflatable concert hall is designed to house about 500 people. It’s made up of a balloon-like material that can be easily packed up and transported to another location via truck. Seats and acoustic reflectors in the building were created using wood from cedar trees previously damaged by the tsunami. The structure has a width, length, and maximum height of 98 feet, 118 feet, and 59 feet, respectively. The balloon-like material is attached to a trailer for ease of transportation and is inflated when in use. (Credit: Lucerne Festival) The venue is already being utilized by acts such as the Sendai Philharmonic and traditional Japanese theater (kabuki), with many more cultural events (PDF) scheduled through mid-October. It remains to be seen if Ark Nova will make its way to the other parts of Japan, or better yet, the rest of the world.