Monday, November 30, 2009

York Holler's Sphären (2001-06):

York Holler's Sphären (2001-06): 'Song of the Clouds' 'Wind Chime' 'Layers of the Earth' 'Rain Canon' 'Fireworks' 'Mourning of the Spheres' for large orchestra. World Premiere WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln conducted by Semyon Bychkov on April 4, 2008, at the Philharmonie Cologne, Köln, Germany, Present-day European Union.

More Information on how nature, love, and philosophy influenced this Grawemeyer Prize winning work.

Thanksgiving: Who Needs The Highest Skyscraper In The World?

Khom Fai in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Photo credit: (c) Sangdao Sattra/EPA/Corbis 2009. Copyright controlled.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday: The New, So-called Masters Of The Universe Must Be Stopped

Anders Auslund "The Group of 20 must be stopped" Financial Times. November 26, 2009

Pan Cogito "The New, So-called Masters of the Universe must be stopped" Renaissance Research. November 27, 2009

Photo credits: Copyright controlled.

Click on images for enlargements.

Overtaking John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts's 'Conservatory Project', AR Rahman’s Music Conservatory, In Chennai, Plans New Programs

[Click on bottom image for enlargement.]

“Oscar wining music composer AR Rahman’s prestigious KM Music Conservatory is reportedly proposing to launch preparatory program in various instruments. It is proposing to offer this 2-5 years program in French Horn, Saxophone, Flute, Double Bass, Trumpet, Oboe, Trombone, and Clarinet.

There are no age restrictions for admission into this specially designed program. It is currently offered in Harp, Percussion, Piano, Violin, Cello, Hindustani and Western Voice, Guitar, and Viola.

Conservatory also offers 1-2 years Foundation Program and three years Degree Program under affiliation of Middlesex University in United Kingdom (UK). …

Founded by Rahman (who is also its Principal), KM Music Conservatory in Kodambakkam area of Chennai in Tamil Nadu state of India envisions expanding the horizon of musicians in India by offering education in both Indian and Western music besides music technology and its mission is to provide students with a strong artistic, intellectual, and technical foundation.”

Spicezee News "AR Rahman’s Music Conservatory plans new programs in instruments" November 27, 2009

Photo credit: Copyright controlled.


Rahman converted to Sufism — a mystical form of Islam — in the late 1980s.

Chennai is on a flat coastal plain, as shown on the Landsat 7 map, above.

Monday, November 23, 2009

With Fiscal Soundness Projected By IMF As Worst In G-20, Korean Government Announces Plan To Build Artificial Island For G-20 Meeting

"When G20 leaders meet in Seoul next November, they may be huddling on a brand new island floating on the Han River.

The plan was unveiled by Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, Monday, during a ceremony marking the opening of the G20 organizing committee office, located at the Korea Banking Institute near the presidential office in central Seoul.

The artificial island ― designed to resemble Dubai's Palm Jumeirah ― is part of the Seoul City's Han River Renaissance Project and will be built by next spring close to Banpo Bridge connecting the downtown districts on both sides of the river."

Jane Han "G20 Summit Planned on Floating Island on Han River" The Korean Times November 23, 2009

Photo credit: (c) Korean Times 2009. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

Happiness Moderated (Pan Cogito Tries To Connect The Dots On A Late November Afternoon)

[Click on image for enlargement.]


2006:06 0.10 -0.05 0.04 -0.05 0.04 -0.04
2006:07 -0.03 -0.10 0.06 -0.06 -0.13 -0.08
2006:08 0.04 -0.08 -0.03 -0.01 -0.08 -0.05
2006:09 -0.19 0.02 0.03 -0.13 -0.28 -0.16
2006:10 -0.19 -0.06 0.01 -0.09 -0.34 -0.23
2006:11 -0.19 -0.01 -0.03 -0.02 -0.24 -0.29
2006:12 0.38 0.19 0.04 0.17 0.79 0.07
2007:01 -0.42 -0.16 -0.06 -0.32 -0.95 -0.13
2007:02 0.22 -0.20 -0.07 -0.04 -0.07 -0.08
2007:03 -0.08 0.08 -0.04 0.04 0.02 -0.33
2007:04 0.07 -0.53 -0.07 0.02 -0.50 -0.18
2007:05 -0.08 0.19 -0.04 -0.01 0.07 -0.14
2007:06 0.01 -0.16 -0.10 -0.11 -0.35 -0.26
2007:07 0.09 -0.24 -0.08 0.12 -0.11 -0.13
2007:08 -0.19 -0.38 -0.09 -0.13 -0.77 -0.41
2007:09 0.09 -0.04 -0.14 -0.10 -0.17 -0.35
2007:10 -0.39 -0.22 -0.13 0.02 -0.70 -0.55
2007:11 0.08 0.08 -0.13 -0.06 -0.04 -0.30
2007:12 0.00 -0.18 -0.26 -0.13 -0.57 -0.44
2008:01 -0.15 -0.25 -0.22 0.02 -0.60 -0.40
2008:02 -0.31 -0.37 -0.24 -0.36 -1.29 -0.82
2008:03 -0.29 -0.51 -0.23 -0.05 -1.09 -0.99
2008:04 -0.49 -0.37 -0.23 0.09 -1.00 -1.12
2008:05 -0.21 -0.55 -0.27 -0.24 -1.27 -1.12
2008:06 -0.28 -0.41 -0.24 -0.01 -0.94 -1.07
2008:07 -0.22 -0.51 -0.35 -0.20 -1.28 -1.16
2008:08 -0.65 -0.59 -0.32 -0.45 -2.01 -1.41
2008:09 -1.77 -0.70 -0.41 -0.56 -3.44 -2.24
2008:10 0.07 -0.77 -0.46 -0.31 -1.48 -2.31
2008:11 -0.95 -1.05 -0.44 -0.53 -2.99 -2.63
2008:12 -1.40 -1.41 -0.61 -0.33 -3.77 -2.74
2009:01 -1.50 -1.46 -0.52 -0.64 -4.13 -3.63
2009:02 -0.52 -1.31 -0.52 -0.13 -2.47 -3.46
2009:03 -0.98 -1.39 -0.60 -0.39 -3.36 -3.32
2009:04 -0.41 -0.84 -0.62 -0.28 -2.15 -2.66
2009:05 -0.63 -0.97 -0.52 -0.30 -2.42 -2.64
2009:06 -0.35 -0.74 -0.49 -0.22 -1.81 -2.13
2009:07 0.40 -0.36 -0.48 0.09 -0.37 -1.53
2009:08 0.53 -0.53 -0.38 -0.25 -0.63 -0.94
2009:09 0.23 -0.60 -0.61 -0.04 -1.01 -0.67
2009:10 -0.07 -0.46 -0.52 -0.02 -1.08 -0.91

"The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago released data showing that its National Activity Index's three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, decreased to -0.91 in October from -0.67 in September, declining for the first time in 2009.

According to the Chicago Fed, a move below -0.70 in the three month moving average following a period of economic expansion indicates an increasing likelihood a recession has begun."


Image credit: Brice Marden Cold Mountain Painting, 1989-91. (c) Brice Marden 2009. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.


Hanshan 寒山 "Cold Mountain"

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Problem Of Huge Marshall Plan Level "Reconstruction" Spending Tied To Concurrent Warfare?

"In its largest reconstruction effort since the Marshall Plan, the United States government has spent $53 billion for relief and reconstruction in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, building tens of thousands of hospitals [sic], water treatment plants, electricity substations, schools and bridges.

But there are growing concerns among American officials that Iraq will not be able to adequately maintain the facilities once the Americans have left, potentially wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and jeopardizing Iraq’s ability to provide basic services to its people."

Timothy Williams "U.S. Fears Iraq Development Projects May Go to Waste" New York Times November 20, 2009

Marshall Plan

Image credit: U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR).

Lacking Its Own Music Conservatory, Nation's Capital Showcasing Kazakhstan's National Music Conservatory

Reminder: Tonight the Symphony Orchestra of the Kurmangazy National Conservatory of Kazakhstan performs at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, with the traditional music group Turan, the regional premiere work by contemporary Kazakh composer Aktoty Raimkulova: Symphonic Poem "Jamilya", in memory of Chingiz Aitmatov

Founded in 2008 by a group of students from the Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory, the members of Turan perform on ancient Kazakh instruments, including the lute-like zhetygen, sherter, and dombra (all plucked); the kyl kobyz ("the most ancient bowed instrument on earth"); the flute-like sybyzgy and saz syrnay; together with a host of percussive instruments, mouth harps, and throat singing.

Kazakhstan, Future European Union.

In 2010, Kazakhstan will chair the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Photo credits: (c) Copyright controlled 2009.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Photo credit: (c) Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Classical WETA Offers Opportunity To Listen Carefully To Some Of The First 20th Century Modern Classical Music And To Reflect

Classical WETA will be broadcasting Mahler's Symphony #7 tonight at 9 PM; followed by a broadcast at 11:05 PM of Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) with Dame Janet Baker.

Perhaps children should be allowed to stay up late this evening to listen (at hopefully de minimus increased risk of adolescent depression from them getting too little sleep -- that is, less than nine hours a night).

Image credit: Egon Schiele.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What Miser Or Monster Has Been Hiding All Of Our Wonderful American National Operas?

THE Code:

Unofficial Washington National Opera Playbill Timeline (Interactive)

Unofficial Washington National Opera Playbill Timeline (Spread-sheet)

Compiled, unofficially, by Vickie Carlson.


Image credit:
Hieronymus Bosch
Death and the Miser
, c. 1485/1490
Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, 1952.5.33

Copyright © 2009 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Something Strange About Sharon Rockefeller's Classical WETA-FM, In Nation's Capital

I rushed home by taxi from the airport last night (one-tenth of the way after taking the public bus to Rosslyn) in order to listen to the Dina Koston memorial concert, from last August, broadcast on Classical WETA. Dina's Theater Chamber Players (aka Kennedy Center Theater Chamber Players) came into existence at about the same time as Elizabeth Campbell's visionary WETA, so I was pleased that the radio station devoted an hour to remembering Dina.

The memorial concert included two works by Debussy, three works by Dina Koston (including her very wonderful last work, Distant Intervals ), and the Webern Piano Variations Opus 27, insightfully performed by Dina.

A half hour after the tribute, the station broadcast the Adagio from Mahler's Symphony #10 -- the second time I have heard the work on Classical WETA-FM, this month.

I remember lending Dina my copy of Udo Zimmerman's two-person chamber ensemble anti-fascist opera Die Weisse Rose (The White Rose) (in the work's revised Munich version of 1986). She really wanted to stage this work with her ensemble, but was pessimistic that she would ever be able to find the resources in the Nation's Capital to hire the extra musicians required. I remember encouraging her to try.

I doubt that this work has ever been done in the Nation's Capital, either by the Washington National Opera or another opera company. I also wonder whether the larger chamber ensemble, the Argento Ensemble in New York City which is visiting the Nation's Capital now more frequently, has ever performed it. I have their repertoire list somewhere in my studio, from their concert at the Austrian Embassy last spring. I will need to double-check.

Alas, no Paul Hindemith yesterday -- the composer's birthday -- on Classical WETA. (No Paul Hindemith at all in the Classical WETA data-base; whereas I heard Sarah Cahill program Hindemith's Viola Chamber Concerto of 1930 on KPFA on Sunday night. Frederick the Great of Prussia has at least ten hits on the WETA radio search feature, and was featured after the Mahler Symphony #10 Adagio last night.)

Two questions: Which opera by Paul Hindemith would you like to see staged by the Washington National Opera? Also, do you know how Udo Zimmerman changed The White Rose between the 1967 and 1986 versions?

Photo credit: Students of the White Rose anti-fascist group in Munich, Germany, 1942-43.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Paul Hindemith ... Ignored By The Washington National Opera, the NSO, And Classical WETA In The Nation's Capital

Paul Hindemith

List of operas by Paul Hindemith

List of compositions by Paul Hindemith

Photo credit: Gilmore Library. Yale University. United States.

One Miss, And Two Hits

Unfortunately, I missed Friday night's San Francisco Symphony performance, under Semyon Bychkov, of Dutilleux's Metaboles, two substituted works by Ravel, and Sibelius's Symphony #5. Here is a link to the program notes to the Dutilleux and Sibelius works on the program. I did find a recording of the Dutilleux work in my collection, and was able to listen to it. It was still a quite strong work. Excellent review in the San Francisco Chronicle. I am sorry that I will miss the upcoming radio broadcast of this exciting concert.

I did see the public opening of Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown November 14, 2009 — June 6, 2010
at the de Young Museum of Fine Arts:

"This exhibition features approximately 48 full-size and crib quilts dating from the 1880s to the 1940s. Quilts made by girls and women of various Amish communities in Pennsylvania and the Midwest are visual distillations of their way of life. The Amish faith embodies the principles of simplicity, humility, discipline, and community, but their quilts are anything but humble. Using a rich color palette and bold patterns, these quilts are truly a unique contribution to American textile history. The quilts highlight the beauty and complexity of the abstract patterns."

I am also currently engrossed in Afred Brendel's "Me of All People", a memoire in interview form, published by Cornell University Press a few years back. For me of all people, at least, it is a real page turner.

Header photo credit: Amish quilt. (c) North Carolina Community College System. 2004. Copyright controlled.

Friday, November 13, 2009

National Opera Week Entry: Renewed Berkeley Opera Company To Reprise Evening-Length Retelling Of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle This Summer

"National Opera Week will celebrate the vitality of opera in America as a contemporary cultural expression. The strength and diversity of established opera companies, community opera ensembles and opera training programs across the United States will be shared through a variety of free and accessible activities for opera lovers and newcomers to the art form. Launched with the presentation of the 2009 NEA Opera Honors in Washington, D.C., the celebration will reach from coast to coast as opera companies offer a range of free programs for the public that demonstrate the allure and accessibility of this most multi-media of the arts."


Statement by the New Berkeley Opera's incoming Artistic Director, Mark Streshinsky.

"The new face and home theater of the company will require a name change. We will soon announce a contest to create a label that best suits the company."

2010 Season

Mozart: Don Giovanni
February 20 - 28, 2010

Copland: The Tender Land
April 10 - 18, 2010

Wagner: The Legend of the Ring
July 31 - August 8, 2010

Wagner's epic saga told in one evening "produced more goosebumps and emotion than many of the 17 cycles of Wagner's masterwork I've attended in 55 years of international opera-going."

— Stephanie von Buchau, The Bay Area Reporter

Image credit: Still from Danish film, Valhalla Rising. (c) Nicolas Winding Refn . Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.


With apology for unannounced delay in posting.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Phillips Collection Now Playing Leading Role In New Music Renaissance In Nation's Capital

Dear Pan Cogito,

The Embassies of the European Union in Washington, DC and The Phillips Collection have joined forces to create an unprecedented concert series: “Leading European Composers”

This series is unique in that the composers will be present to introduce their works and that the performers are chosen directly by them. “Leading European Composers” will provide our audience with an exclusive opportunity to get a comprehensive perspective on the state of musical creation in Europe!

Be apart of the series début on Thursday, November 12 at 6pm in the beautiful Music Room of The Phillips Collection. The performance will feature French composer Tristan Murail and the Argento Chamber Ensemble with conductor Michael Galante.

WHAT: European Composers Series Début: Tristan Murail (details below )
WHEN: Thursday, November 12, at 6pm
WHERE: The Phillips Collection Music Room (1600 21st St, NW)
ADMISSION: General: $15; Members of The Phillips Collection: FREE

We look forward to welcoming you to the “Leading Contemporary Composers” première at The Phillips Collection.

Warm regards,

Roland Celette
Cultural Attaché | Director of La Maison Française

Unanswered Questions - Tristan Murail - 5 min.
Feuilles à travers les cloches - Tristan Murail - 6 min.
Flicker - Michel Galante - 7 min.
Cloches d'adieu, et un sourire... in memoriam Olivier Messiaen - Tristan Murail - 3 min.
Piccola suite - Giacinto Scelsi - 9 min.
Satori - Allain Gaussin - 9 min.
Le Fou à pattes bleues (The Blue-Footed Booby) - Tristan Murail - 9 min.
Les Ruines circulaires - Tristan Murail - 5 min.
La Barque mystique - Tristan Murail - 12 min.

Human skin forms the colour chart in Synecdoche, by Byron Kim, a recent gift to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Kim copied the hues from friends and strangers in 20-minute sittings. [The work may currently be under installation at the NGA.]

Photo credit: (c) Colin McPherson 2009. Copyright controlled.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Two Pictures: How The Construction Of The New "Titanium Curtain" Contributes To Poverty, Inequality, And Depression In Present Day Europe

An actress of theatre piece 'Angel over Berlin' stands on a roof in Berlin, Germany,Present-day European Union, 09 November 2009. Many events are held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

The participant of a flash-mob, dressed as a pig, accosts a pedestrian in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine, Future European Union, on 06 November 2009. Mob participants protested against depression and panic caused by a swine flu epidemic in the country.

[Click on images for enlargements.]

Photo credits: (c) EPA/BGNES 2009. Copyright controlled.

My First Night And Day In Berlin, Europe Many Years Ago ... (Because A Librettist's And Composer's Life Is No 'Hotel California')

[Click on images for enlargements.]

Photo credits:


The newly divided Europe twenty years after the fall of the old Iron Curtain, and the slow construction of the new Titanium Curtain:

[Click on images for enlargements.]

Image credit: Present-day European Union, year-end 2009.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

"There Are Thousands Of Music Lessons On This Naked Planet, And This Is Just One (II)"

A master class taught by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa


Thursday, November 12 at Noon
District of Columbia Downtown Center for the Arts
The Lansburgh Theatre
450 7th Street NW
Washington, D.C.

"The Shakespeare Theatre Company and Washington Performing Arts Society present Happenings at the Harman: A master class taught by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa featuring artists from the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. Te Kanawa first appeared as Carmen in Britain and New Zealand before making her sensational lead debut as the Countess in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 1971. Te Kanawa has since mastered a large repertoire from the classics of opera to French art songs, works by German and British composers and a treasury of contemporary popular music while remaining at the front rank of international opera, becoming one of the most sought after sopranos in the world. The event is general admission. No reservations are required."

Photo credits: Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

"There Are Thousands Of Music Lessons On This Naked Planet, And This Is Just One"

The Music Lesson: A Film by Virginia Galloway featuring young musicians from Boston, Massachusetts and Laikipia, Kenya.

Collaboration, not Charity

Photo credit: (c) Virginia Galloway 2009.

Richard Wagner, Warren Buffett, And Pan Cogito Agree: “Pessimism Is Your Friend, Euphoria The Enemy”

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Safe signals from Buffett’s train deal


The so-called Washington National Opera invites citizens, visitors, and guests to sample opera and is offering $25 tickets to performances of Richard Strauss's "Ariadne Auf Naxos" and Richard Wagner's "Gotterdammerung" (without acting or sets). Apparently, you are supposed to whisper the word "Express" when you order your tickets for the Nov 5, 7, 8, 10, 13, or 15, 2009 performances.

The Szymanowski Quartet offers a FREE concert tomorrow night at 8 PM at the Library of Congress.

The Warsaw Village Band stages counter-performance to the first Washington National Opera concert performance of Richard Wagner's Gotterdammerung on Saturday at 7:30 PM at the National Geographic Society. Tickets ranging from about $7.50 to $12.00.

The Fine Arts Quartet perform a FREE concert on Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 3 p.m. at the National Academies of Science Auditorium 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. (Photo ID required.)


Header credit: Edward Hopper 'Haskell's House,' 1924
Gift of Herbert A. Goldstone 1996.130.2
Copyright © 2009 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Monday, November 02, 2009

Pan Cogito Confronts A Prime Example Of Old-Fashioned European Thinking

EU-US Summit, Washington 3 November 2009

"EU and US leaders will meet on Tuesday 3 November in Washington DC for their yearly summit. Participants from the side of the Commission will be the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso and Commissioners Benita Ferrero-Waldner. The EU Presidency will be represented by Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, assisted by High Representative Javier Solana.

Issues featuring on the agenda this year will include major global challenges such as the economic recovery, climate change and development but also a range of foreign policy issues such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and the Middle East. The Summit also envisages strengthening the EU-US dialogue in the field of development cooperation.

A major outcome will be the creation of a new EU-US Energy Council."


Candidates for EU membership

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Potential candidate countries

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Kosovo under UN Security Council Resolution 1244

Other European countries, including Eastern Neighbours

Monaco (Principality of Monaco)
San Marino

UNESCO World Heritage Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation -- Future European Union.

Photo credit: Far la Sulina - Lighthouse. Sulina, Romania, Present-day European Union. Copyright © 2007 Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. All rights reserved.