Sunday, December 31, 2006

Culture Leading European And World Integration: Ukraine's President Victor Yushchenko Pushes For Kyiv's Arsenal Art And Spirituality Center

"In Ukraiinsky Dim, Victor Yushchenko presented a concept of the Art Arsenal Museum Complex. In his speech, the President said this large-scale project would benefit Ukraine.

“No doubt, each European capital has something it is proud of. I am convinced what we are starting today will make the whole Ukraine proud,” he said and added that the project would serve our posterity.

The Head of State then thanked all artists and officials that were involved in formulating the concept. Speaking about ways to fund the project, Yushchenko said philanthropists would help complete it and remarked that traditions of charitable giving were being renewed in Ukraine. He said in 2005 UAH 63 mln had been donated to preserve Kyrylo Razumovsky Hetman Palace in Baturyn, Kyiv Sophia, Khortytsya Island, Chersonese and the Stone Grave and described these charitable initiatives as “really successful.”

“I would like to assure you that Ukrainian society will always appreciate our philanthropists,” Yushchenko said.

The President told those present he had delegated the government to elaborate a law on philanthropy and suggested that parliament should pass it as soon as possible.

Humanitarian Premier Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, Culture Minister Ihor Likhovy, First Deputy Chief of Staff Ivan Vasyunyk, and Kyiv Mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko attended the presentation.

The concept was presented by Mr. Kyrylenko, who is also a first deputy head of the Art Arsenal Council established by the President. He outlined goals of this multistage project:

First stage (2006-2009): creating museums at the Old Arsenal, reconstructing its patio and covering it with glass, renewing ramparts and moats around the Kyiv Citadel Fortress;

Second stage (2009-2014): renovating several architectural sights and building a modern concert hall, a literature center, a linguistic research center, and a national music center near the Old Arsenal;

Third stage: renovating temples of the Kyiv Fortress and developing infrastructure.

The complex will be funded by central and local government. It will also receive private donations and earn its own money.

In his speech, Kyiv Mayor Omelchenko said it would take UAH 700 mln [ca. $140 million] to complete the first stage and added that investors might donate UAH 300 mln [ca. $60 million] of this sum."

Office of the President of Ukraine "President Presents Art Arsenal Concept", February 22, 2006. Kyiv, Ukraine,Future European Union.

Kyiv, Ukraine, Future European Union's Kievo-Pechersky Lavra [Historic-Culture Preserve and 1,000 Year Old Christian Orthodox Monastery Complex].

Photo credit: UNESCO World Heritage List. With thanks.


Again, a Happy New Years to my faithful readers, worldwide!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

My Brief New Year's Thank You, And An Envoy By Another, To My Faithful Readers

I will be away in Kyiv, Chernigiv, Zhytomyr, Lviv, Krakow, Wroclaw, Warsaw, and London for the Orthodox Christmas and New Years Holiday Seasons. I'll be back to my duties soon after the 19th of January. A deep thank you to my readers for their faith, hope, and charity. My best New Years wishes to all.


The Envoy of Mr Cogito

Go where those others went to the dark boundary
for the golden fleece of nothingness your last prize

go upright among those who are on their knees
among those with their backs turned and those toppled in the dust

you were saved not in order to live
you have little time you must give testimony

be courageous when the mind deceives you be courageous
in the final account only this is important

and let your helpless Anger be like the sea
whenever your hear the voice of the insulted and beaten

let you sister Scorn not leave you
for the informers executioners cowards - they will win
they will go to your funeral with relief will throw a lump of earth
the woodborer will write your smoothed-over biography

and do not forgive truly it is not in your power
to forgive in the name of those betrayed at dawn

beware however of unnecessary pride
keep looking at your clown's face in the mirror
repeat: I was called - weren't there better ones than I

beware of dryness of heart love the morning spring
the bird with an unknown name the winter oak
light on a wall the splendour of the sky
they don't need your warm breath
they are there to say: no one will console you

be vigilant - when the light on the mountains gives the sign- arise and go
as long as blood turns in the breast your dark star

repeat old incantations of humanity fables and legends
because this is how you will attain the good you will not attain
repeat great words repeat them stubbornly
like those crossing the desert who perished in the sand

and they will reward you with what they have at hand
with the whip of laughter with murder on a garbage heap

go because only in this way you will be admitted to the company of cold skulls
to the company of your ancestors: Gilgamesh Hector Roland
the defenders of the kingdom without limit and the city of ashes

Be faithful Go

Zbigniew Herbert

Translated from the Polish by John Carpenter & Bogdana Carpenter.

My childhood favorite painting by Raphael at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Text and image credit: and National Gallery of Art. With thanks.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Maja Ratkje Enables POING Trio To Storm National Museum Of Women In The Arts In Washington, D.C.

We enjoyed a wonderful performance this afternoon by Norwegian composer - musicians Maja Ratkje, Frode Haltli, Rolf-Erik Nystrom, and Hakon Thelin, who were completing their first North American tour which included earlier performances in San Francisco (Other Minds Festival), Chicago, Milwaukee, and New York City (The Kitchen, The Project Space/Brooklyn, and Tonic). Some of the music will be featured on a new ECM New Series release in 2007, and earlier music was featured on a 2002 ECM New Series release. The musicians have performed with major European orchestras and ensembles and the trio/quartet/mini-opera company looks forward to performing in Ukraine.


"The Holiday's feeling is flying in Kyiv's air. All the shops and cafes are decorated with Christmas trees, Santas and other sweet little things. Many people are looking for the presents, and sometimes our shopping malls are overcrowded and look like street-markets. Maybe the same Christmas mess is going in Washington, isn't it?"

"I'm going to write a course project about modern technologies of public service advertising in different countries and, of course, it would be interesting to learn more about about the development of PSA in American society. The problem is that I don't have any serious literature about it, except some i-net sources. Would you be so kind to help me to find some material in the USA?"

-- Y. of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Національний університет <<иєво-Могилянська академія>> (Ukraine's Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford, or Cambridge; though smaller.)

Does anyone in my huge readership know who are the experts on this topic in the various countries around the world?

Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Podil District, Kyiv, Ukraine, Future European Union.

Photo credit: wikimedia. With thanks.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Life On Earth: Two Pictures of Donetsk, Ukraine, Future European Union; And One Etching By William Kentridge Of South African Diamond Mining Detritus

Urban centers and their surrounding areas. Donetsk, Ukraine, Future European Union.

[Click images for enlargements.]

Photo credits: Partners for Environmental Cooperation in Europe. With thanks.

... And with thanks to Jan for sharing the information about her niece's new Peace Corps posting near Donetsk.


William Kentridge
Rand Mines
Hard ground, soft ground, aquatinit, drypoint, engraving, and chine collé on 1913 ledger paper on Velin Arches Blanc 300 gsm paper
Printed by Malcom Christian, The Caversham Press, South Africa
Collection of the Artist and also Mr Cogito.

Image credit: (c) William Kentridge via Falconer Gallery, Grinnell College. With thanks.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sharon Percy Rockefeller And WETA-FM Radio, In The Nation's Capital, Are Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

"Radio is the dominant mode of consumption of classical music, followed by recordings and then live concerts. Six in 10 orchestra ticket buyers listen to classical music on the radio daily or several times a week. The typical orchestra subscriber owns 105 records, tapes and CDs, compared to 63 for single-ticket buyers.

While some consumers think of classical radio programming as a substitute for live concerts (particularly those with modest levels of knowledge about classical music), most do not. Generally, classical consumers sustain and enhance their interest in the art form through radio and recordings." ...

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation "Classical Music Consumer Segmentation Study" October 2002

"Collage rendering for Princess Yueyang, in Tan Dun's new MET Opera starring Placido Domingo, The First Emperor, by designer Emi Wada, who has designed costumes for Zhang Yimou’s films as well as Julie Taymor’s Oedipus Rex and Akira Kurosawa’s Ran.

In composing The First Emperor, a historical portrait of the visionary but brutal leader who unified ancient China and built the Great Wall, Tan Dun drew on both the vocal lyricism in Western opera as well as the percussive and ritualistic elements found in the Eastern tradition. His innovative score, combined with a compelling production by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Turandot in the Forbidden City), brings freshness, new energy, and a dynamic visual component to the opera stage.

The First Emperor, which runs from December 21 through January 25, will be conducted by Tan Dun — only the fifth man in the history of the Met to conduct his own opera. Plácido Domingo sings the title role of the Emperor who unified China but betrayed the two people he loved most: his daughter Princess Yueyang (Elizabeth Futral and Sarah Coburn) and his childhood friend Gao Jianli (Paul Groves), the composer whom he imprisoned and forced to create an anthem for the glory of the empire."

Photo and text credit: The MET Opera Family. With thanks.

Monday, December 04, 2006

In September 2006, Lviv, Ukraine Celebrated 750 Years Of History, Spiritual Memory, Cultural Achievement, And Inter-Ethnic And Religious Tolerance

In September 2006, Lviv, Ukraine celebrated 750 years of history. One of the largest events was a light show around the Lviv Opera House.

The central core of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Photo credits: via Wikipedia. With thanks.

Mr Cogito Checks His Bank Balance, Pauses, And Then Explains To His Son That It Is Better To Toil On A Far-Off Farm Than To Sell Out To Globalization

Hi Garth,

My name is Sara I***** and I’m currently working with Columbia Records on their online campaign for Il Divo’s newest album Siempre. Below you will find audio streams from the record as well as a press release and a link to album cover art. Please let me know if you’d like to review the album or host a giveaway on your site. I’d love to work with you.


Account Manager
Special Ops Media
235 Park Avenue South
5th Floor
New York, NY 10003
(212) 219-****


This week's Renaissance Research giveaway: Name (and correctly spell) the birthplace of internationally-renowned [not globally-renowned] twentieth century moral poet Zbigniew Herbert, and receive three audio streams from Il Divo's next album, Siempre, courtesy of Columbia Records/Sony Music Corporation.


... "Il Divo’s next album, Siempre will feature ten brand new tracks – many of them collaborations with Steve Mac & the Swedish team of Per & David. Acting once again as Executive Producer, Simon Cowell targeted, and achieved, a great mixture of classic and new songs. "There is no question in my mind that this will be their finest record to date," he unequivocally stated.

This strong viewpoint is echoed by the band, who all shared a heightened sense of unity and purpose. David Miller offers that "For the first time, we really felt we entered the studio, not as David, Carlos, Urs, and Sebastien [France - vox populi], but as IL DIVO … confident and with absolute conviction that we could take our sound to another level." Honing their craft in front of live audiences through extensive touring had a significant effect on the band.

Further, the projected track-listing makes their unbridled enthusiasm understandable. Absolute classics like "Nights In White Satin" and "Caruso," alongside "Somewhere," and "Without You," will find some real familiarity as will a version of the 70's classic "Music," entitled "Musica," that has been specially re-arranged by writer John Miles." ....

Full Length Audio Streams are available here:




Windows Media

30 Second Clips:

Nights In White Satin - Notte De Luce


Without You (Desde El Dia Que Te Fuiste)

Come Primavera

Un Regalo Que Te Dio La Vida - Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman

La Vida Sin Amor

Una Noche

Amor Venme A Buscar - Tell That To My Heart



Danish experts say U.S. farmers, who often feed antibiotics to livestock to avoid infections, can cut down on antibiotic use by simply disinfecting livestock pens on a regular basis. Above, an Eastern European guest worker hoses down a Danish chicken house.

Photo credit: (c) Rebecca Davis and NPR. With thanks.

While High-Fived Kennedy Center Turns Cold Shoulder To National Music Conservatory, Snape Maltings To Become First 21st C. Music Campus in Europe

Britten celebrated with new music campus

"Benjamin Britten, composer, pianist, conductor, pacifist, humanitarian, and visionary, died on December 4th 1976. Today I celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of his death with the remarkable story of how he left not just a legacy of 20th century masterpieces, but also a remarkable vision which is about to be realised after three decades.

It was the dearest wish of both the composer and his life partner Peter Pears that a music centre should be created at Snape Maltings, and in 2006 comes the exciting news that this vision is to become reality. Over the next three years the ambitious plan is to transform the musical life of the Suffolk coast immortalised in Peter Grimes and other Britten compositions. Drawing on the inspiring landscape, Snape Maltings will become the first dedicated music campus in Europe where top artists from around the world can realise their full potential and connect with a wider public.

The plan is to establish a ‘creative campus’ on the Snape Maltings site, providing the perfect environment for leading artists to work alongside the next generation of musicians." ...

Bob Shingleton "Britten celebrated with new music campus" On An Overgrown Path blog December 4, 2006


"In October 2006, work began on some of the old maltings buildings which are being redeveloped as part of the Aldeburgh Music Development Plan. This involves taking some of them down by hand to ensure that as much of the original material as possible can be reused to retain the character of these wonderful buildings."

Aldeburgh Music

Rather than leaving it to "experts", Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears envisioned the future of music education -- creative and performing -- in a transforming, alert world. It took 30 years for their vision to be recognized by "experts" and to receive institutional support.

Photo credit: Haverford College. With thanks.

Mr Cogito Takes A Deep Breath And Peeks At The National Public Television Classical Music Offerings For The First Week In Early December

Il Divo: Live at the Greek -- Monday, December 4, 8 PM

The popular cross-continental operatically trained quartet Il Divo presents a program of well-known hits — both old and new — transformed with a refined classical twist of new arrangements. Taped in June 2006 at the stunning Greek Theater in Los Angeles before a capacity crowd of 5,000, these charming and talented young men perform in English, French, Spanish and Italian.

Length : 00:59:48 min.


Patrizio: The New Voice of Romance -- Tuesday, December 5, 8 PM

Patrizio Buanne, the 27 year-old Italian singing sensation, performs live on stage with the legendary Dutch Metrople Orchestra conducted by Dick Bacher. Patrizio's style is warm, charismatic and romantic and will appeal to fans of Dean Martin, Tony Bennett and Paul Anka. Raised in Naples, Patrizio moved to Vienna at the age of six when his father opened Austria's first pizzeria. But his fiercely patriotic father would play only Italian music at home. When he was 8 his parents bought him a guitar, and at 11 ye old Patrizio made his first public performance at a talent contest for schools. Patrizio then began to enter more talent competitions - and always won first prize. At the age of 17 he was invited to sing for the Pope in Poland, performing in front of his biggest audience yet - 85,000 people -which led to a recording contract shortly thereafter. However, tragedy soon followed when his beloved father passed away shortly after Patrizio's 17th birthday. But one thing made Patrizio determined to survive - "I had promised my father I would be a superstar and make my name - his name - famous. It is always music that reminds me of my father and makes me happy." In 1999 Patrizio took up on an uncle's offer to return to Italy and, after winning yet another talent show, found himself offered a job as a TV entertainer. Soon he was one of the most popular young faces on Italian television, hosting his own show in between studying languages at a university in Rome. But his dream was still to be a recording artist - and most of all to be successful in Great Britain and America. In 2003 Patrizio was introduced to music producer Christian Seitz. They both shared the same passion and vision for music, so bravely quitting his burgeoning TV career they went to work on the album - going into London's world famous Abbey Road studios with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to realize his dream. 18 months later the result was "L'Italiano" (The Italian), an album mixing traditional Neapolitan romance and singing tradition with Italian standards from the 50's and 60's - songs barely known outside of Italy, but destined to become favorites for a new generation.

Length : 00:43:05 min.


Celtic Woman - A New Journey - Wednesday, December 6, 8 PM

Following on the massive success of last year's PBS special, Celtic Woman, a new special has been recorded at the historic Slane Castle. The wonderfully talented original members were joined by a sixth Celtic Woman, the New Zealand born International recording star Hayley Westenra. Hayley whose ancestors hailed from County Monaghan in Ireland brought another great dimension to the show. The setting for the show which has seen performances by U2, The Rolling Stones & Bruce Springsteen was a perfect backdrop for the music and songs that were once again arranged and written by composer David Downes. The new show received a standing ovation from a very appreciative audience. The songs were a wonderful blend of old classics, contemporary hits and original material. The individual and collective performances of Celtic Woman were enthralling and took full advantage of the castle setting on a surprisingly warm night at the County Meath venue. The evening was hosted by Lord Henry Mount Charles whose home in Slane Castle is steeped in Irish history with the famous River Boyne running through its grounds, the mystery of Newgrange at its door and the hill of Tara home to the kings of Ireland at its rear.

Length : 01:21:38 min.

Source: WETA - Public Television for a Globalized Nation's Capital

Steve McQueen momentarily gives in to inevitability in the American, not yet globalized, movie, The Great Escape, from 1963.

After McQueen left the Boys Republic home for wayward boys in Chino Hills, California, he drifted before joining the United States Marine Corps in 1947 and served until 1950. In 1952, with financial assistance of the G.I. Bill, McQueen began studying acting and auditioned to study at Lee Strasberg's Actors' Studio in New York City. Of the 2000 people who auditioned that year, only McQueen and Martin Landau were accepted. McQueen made his Broadway debut in 1955 in A Hatful of Rain.

McQueen died at the age of 50, on November 7, 1980, in Juárez, Mexico of a heart attack following cancer surgery. McQueen had traveled to the Santa Rosa Clinic in Mexico for alternative treatments for mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. It is unclear whether the asbestos exposure came from his racing career or from an experience in the United States Marine Corps; he wore an asbestos-insulated racers suit in his race cars and when working on his own cars and motorbikes would use an asbestos soaked rag to cover his mouth from other fumes, and McQueen himself admitted that he was exposed to the deadly insulating material during his stint in the Marines.

Elmer Bernstein wrote the memorable music to The Great Escape. Bernstein was born in New York City. During his childhood he performed professionally as a dancer and an actor and won several prizes for his painting. He gravitated toward music by his own choice at the age of twelve, at which time he was given a scholarship in piano by Henriette Michelson, a Juilliard teacher who guided him throughout his entire career as a pianist. She took him to play some of his improvisations for composer Aaron Copland. Copland was encouraging and selected Israel Citkowitz as a teacher for the young boy. Bernstein's music bears stylistic semblance to Copland's music.

He wrote the theme songs or other music for more than 200 films and TV shows, including The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Ten Commandments (1956), The Man with the Golden Arm, To Kill a Mockingbird, Robot Monster, and the fanfare used in the National Geographic television specials.

Picture and text credit: and Wikipedia. With thanks.