Viewing: My recent trip to San Francisco allowed me the opportunity to take in some great art exhibitions, including:
* The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe at the Asian Art Museum
* Frank Stella: A Retrospective at the de Young
* The Brothers Le Nain: Painters of 17th-Century France at the Legion of Honor
* Bruce Conner: It’s All True at SFMOMA
* Japanese Photography from Postwar to Now at SFMOMA
I took many notes on these, and may write about one or more of them in the near future. In terms of movie viewing, I’ve been making much use of my FilmStruck subscription, and have seen things like Samuel Fuller’s The Baron of Arizona with Vincent Price; Samantha Fuller’s documentary on her father Samuel, A Fuller Life; the 1972 Kamal Amrohi Bollywood film Pakeezah; and Kazakh director Ermek Shinarbaev’s strange, fascinating Revenge. Turner Classic Movies has been its usual invaluable self, and has provided such goodies as the first three of the “Thin Man” films with William Powell and Myrna Loy, as well as the delightful Footlight Parade.
Listening: San Francisco also brought me one wonderful concert experience, “The Lou Harrison Centennial Celebration,” with Michael Tilson Thomas and San Francisco Symphony members at SoundBox.
Reading: With the help of one last short novel, Haruki Murakami’s Hear the Wind Sing, I made my 2016 goal of 40 books read, my best total since 1997. Other recently-completed books include Thupten Jinpa’s A Fearless Heart, Helen Russell’s The Year of Living Danishly, and, in preparation for the Asian Art Museum exhibition mentioned above, Linda Egenes and Kumuda Reddy’s prose retelling of The Ramayana.
Blogging: This is my first blog entry in weeks. Perhaps it won’t be my last.
Anticipating: 2017. 2016 was, personally and professionally, perhaps the worst year of my life, The Year of Dreadful Mistakes. Starting at ground zero, so to speak, I hope 2017 will be a year of rebuilding.
And finally: For this morning’s listening, we have the second movement, Estampie, from Lou Harrison’s Suite for Violin and American Gamelan, one of the highlights of the aforementioned SoundBox concert. I’ve long had it in my head that if I ever again have the chance to host a radio program on new classical music, this would be my theme song.