March 31, 1983: John Cage at 70 has a remarkably youthful, relatively unlined face. He keeps his hair dark (or perhaps it has always stayed that way): just a touch of grey at the temples. He has an engaging laugh. His brown eyes sparkle with the pleasure of whatever has struck him as funny (it’s usually an absurdity) and his mouth opens and this big, exultant grin happens. Continue reading
May 19, 1970: Cornelius Cardew is a British composer of experimental music that’s so far ahead of the game that he makes the avant-garde we all know and love look positively pre-historic. Continue reading
Opening article for the inaugural edition of The International Journal of Independent Scholars (ed. Guy P. Buchholtzer), 2010.
Taking Emerson’s famous Harvard address On the American Scholar as his touchstone, the writer draws on his experiences as an author and activist in the area of the arts and cultural policy to make the case for validity of the work of the independent scholar who chooses to work outside the traditional academy. The advantages and disadvantages of independent activity and academic affiliation are examined, and the writer concludes that “we have more in common—those of us outside the academy and those within its walls—than is sometimes allowed.”
A presentation to the Royal Society of Canada, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, November 19, 2004
© Max Wyman
In the late 20th and early 21st century, dance has been shaped by a few great artists with the vision and the audacity to exploit and explore the possibilities of the artform in a new fashion. Two of them have spent their careers working in Europe: Pina Bausch, who is German and works in the area of neo-expressionist theatrical modernism, and William Forsythe, an American also working in Germany, whose interests lie in expanding the expressive potential of classical ballet. A third is Canadian: Edouard Lock. Continue reading
July 7, 2003: Ron Longstaffe died of cancer at the end of May after a horrendous hospitalization following a femur fracture that happened when he was putting on a leg-brace. He was 69, which is not much of an age these days. He was an uncommon man, not least the way in which he straddled the worlds of business, politics and the arts with such ease.
March 22, 2005: PRINCETON, N.J.: Julia Zarankin, daughter of Boris and Inna and family friend since forever, is running the Canadian Studies program here and has invited me to talk to her class about Canadian culture and the U.S. position on the UNESCO cultural diversity issue.
May 14, 2003: STOCKHOLM, Sweden: Here for Stockholm + 5, the UNESCO experts meeting to follow up on the intergovernmental Action Plan that started all this cultural diversity activity that Canada is so keen on. Today is a day off, and my birthday.