September 25, 2008...
As much as we've heard about artist Leonardo da Vinci in recent years, the opportunity to see the master's original work is rare. But the Birmingham Museum of Art has pulled off a major coup, organizing an exhibition of DaVinci drawings never exhibited outside of Italy. It opens this weekend at the BMA. Reporter Haden Holmes Brown looks at what it takes to borrow and exhibit such precious works.
Leonardo da Vinci: Drawings from the Bibliotecca Reale is on display at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Sunday through November 9th.
Think about eastern meditation and you might conjure up images of a bald guru in a lotus position, eyes closed, up on a mountain. Certainly not a maximum security prison. But the inmates of Alabama's Donaldson Correction Facility - southwest of Birmingham - have been practicing Vipassana meditation for a couple of years - the first program of its kind in the country. Psychotherapist Jenny Phillips helped start the program and documents it in her film The Dhamma Brothers, which airs this weekend at Birmingham's Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival. WBHM's Andrew Yeager spoke with Phillips.
In the landscape of American music, only a handful of bands come to define the culture of the songs they play. In Cajun music, that band is BeauSoleil. They capture the essence of the French-speaking Acadians who settled southern Louisiana in the 18th century. For more than 30 years Michael Doucet and BeauSoleil have crossed the country, performing traditional French fiddle tunes and modern Cajun music in venues large and small, including in Birmingham. I asked Doucet how Beausoleil has managed to endure.
What to know what's going on around town? Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.
Birmingham band Wild Sweet Orange is getting a lot of national attention, with a tour and appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman. But guitarist Taylor Shaw has a side project that's gaining attention locally - a band called The Great Book of John. Their approach is stripped down. They play acoustic instruments and on their debut CD Yves Blues, recorded each song in one take. Here's a preview with the song 'When He Screams, We're Done'. (AUDIO MONTAGE)
The Great Book of John has a CD release show at Bottletree next Friday night.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall, with help this week from Haden Holmes Brown, Andrew Yeager, Coleman Lipsey and Islara Vazquez. Next week on Tapestry, we talk to the local man who's written a new play that parodies those cheesy slasher films of the late 1970's and early 80's. It's called The 13th Friday: Ready, Set, Die! I'm Greg Bass, and we'll see you next week.