Arts and Music


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Despite the growing importance of visual effects across the media industries, VFX companies and their employees have been in turmoil for over a decade due to the increasing pressures of globalized production. Long hours, short deadlines, and low profit margins have become characteristic of an industry that was once considered a shining example of the elite knowledge economy. Reflecting on both artistry and activism, this session brings together leading advocates of the VFX community in Southern California to discuss practical strategies for dealing with the challenges they confront.

Malashock Dance and SACRA/PROFANA, in partnership with UC San Diego Department of Theater & Dance, present SNAKESKIN; an evening-length dance drama told through live folk-rock songs, instrumental music, and breathtaking choreography. Composer Krishan Oberoi and choreographer John Malashock explore timeless themes through a mythic story set in a small Southern town. Watch the journey unfold as uniquely flawed characters navigate feelings of isolation that lead to the discovery of intimacy and human connection.

Students, administrators and academic researchers demonstrate the value of learning music in school as they show improvements in English and Math test scores, class attendance rates, cognitive development, self-esteem and the ability to work with others. Featured are Francisco Escobedo, the superintendent of the Chula Vista Elementary School District; UC San Diego cognitive scientists Terry Jernigan and John Iversen; and young musicians participating in the Community Opus Project, an in-school and after school music program led by Dalouge Smith, the president and CEO of the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory.

La Jolla Symphony Chorus Director David Chase celebrates his retirement in grand style, with an eclectic selection of works inspired by love and passion. "Overture to Beatrice and Benedict" is from Hector Berlioz's opera comique, based on Shakespere's "Much Ado About Nothing." Arnold Schoenberg's tone poem "Verklärte Nacht" ("Transfigured Night") is the composer's interpretation of a German romantic poem. In "The Lovers," American neo-Romantic composer Samuel Barber sets poems by Pablo Neruda for baritone, mixed chorus, and full orchestra. Recorded on 6/11/2017.

Paola Antonelli, the senior curator of the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, delves into design's many directions and into its future. She takes us on a fascinating tour of design to ask some very serious questions.

Yusef Komunyakaa, an internationally renowned poet who won the Pulitzer Prize for "Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems," reads and discusses his work while writer-in-residence at UC Santa Barbara. Recorded on 03/01/2017.

One of the most important composers in jazz history, Charles Mingus documented his lively impressions of Tijuana in "Tijuana Moods," a rarely performed suite. Join grammy-winning jazz author Ashley Kahn; eminent alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, a longstanding member of Charles Mingus' band; Anthony Davis, UC San Diego professor of music and noted composer, pianist and improviser; and Steven Schick, UC San Diego professor of music, percussionist, and conductor, for an exploration of the legacy of African-American composer Charles Mingus and his historic Tijuana Moods album. Recorded on 01/20/2018.

UC San Diego's Geisel Library hosts an annual Paper Theater Festival, celebrating an art form with roots in Victorian Era Europe. Paper theaters (also known as toy theaters) were used to promote productions. They were printed on paperboard sheets and sold as kits at the concession stand of an opera house, playhouse, or vaudeville theater. The kits were then assembled at home and plays performed for family members and guests, sometimes with live musical accompaniment. The theaters gradually declined in popularity during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but have enjoyed a resurgence in interest in recent years among many puppeteers, filmmakers, theater historians, and hobbyists. Presently there are numerous international paper theater festivals throughout the Americas and Europe, as well as several museums.

Composer Francis Poulenc maintained that one need not be solemn to praise God, and that belief is echoed is his "Gloria." Indeed, listeners not otherwise informed may not guess it's the setting of a sacred text (in this case, the second part of the Roman Catholic Mass liturgy). Poulenc's score is by turns melodic, rhythmic, serene, piquant, high-spirited, slightly dissonant, subdued, or strident, but is never less than charming. Recorded on 12/10/2017.

Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" is one of the most popular choral/symphonic works in the repertoire and has appeared in numerous films, TV programs and commercials. Orff's cantanta, with a text based on medieval Latin poetry, has been described as "both sacred and profane," qualities very much in evidence in the music. The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus is joined by two guest choruses and three soloists. Recorded on 03/16/2018.
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