April 23, 2009...
Magic City Art Connection is this weekend. The event draws visitors from across the Southeast and features contemporary artists from around the country. Some of them were inspired by traditional crafters. And a new documentary follows the evolution from the traditional to the contemporary in the works of seven Alabama craft artists who make quilts, pottery, violins, glass, and iron. Andrew Grace is the producer of Alabama Craft: Tradition and Innovation, which air this month on Alabama Public Television.
Magic City Art Connection is three days of art, food and music - including the Birmingham Suzuki Violinists. Their director, Ladonna Smith, is a fixture in not only in Birmingham, but on the international new music scene. A writer once said of her, "...she drops sonic blocks on you while she plays." This is "Flight of the Bumblebee" off her CD "The Watchful Ear". Smith plays slide violin with Susan Alcorn playing steel guitar. (LISTEN)
Improv violist Ladonna Smith and the Birmingham Suzuki Violinists perform Saturday at noon at the Magic City Arts Connection in downtown Birmingham.
We use music to celebrate - and to commemorate. This is Holocaust remembrance week. President Obama recently spoke at a Capitol Rotunda ceremony, remembering some of the six million Jews, gypsies and others killed during the Holocaust.
Renowned composer Steve Reich draws on one of the most moving images of Nazi-era Germany for his composition Different Trains for String Quartet and Tape. The piece is notoriously difficult to play. But the Borromeo String Quartet recently took up the challenge. Producer Jenny Attiyeh documented the experience.
This week, Reich won the Pulitzer Prize for music with his piece Double Sextet.
Before the rise of Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity, playwright Eric Bogosian created a talk show host with a knack for making people angry. Barry Champlain is the protagonist in Talk Radio and is played by Birmingham radio veteran Brad Riegel. He's part of a production by Magic City Actors Theatre. Also taking part is WAPI morning show host Matt Murphy. They recently spoke with WBHM's Bradley George.
Magic City Actors Theatre's production of Talk Radio closes this weekend at the Virginia Samford Theatre. By the way, you probably know Eric Bogosian's work as an actor. He plays Captain Daniel Ross on Law and Order: Criminal Intent.
Guitar player wannabes have always found a way to "pretend" to play blistering riffs. Air Guitar became an art form during the 70's and 80's. But in 2005, that all changed with the creation of Guitar Hero. And in 2007, there was Rock Band. Between these two video games, almost 30 million units have been sold to the tune of more than a billion dollars. The games have fans and critics and as Les Lovoy reports they're prompting debate among music instructors.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott, Bradley George and Michael Krall with help from Les Lovoy and Jenny Attiyeh. If you've got a story idea for Tapestry, drop us an e-mail. I'm Greg Bass, and we'll see you next week.