Umphrey’s McGee Reveals Exciting Quarter Themes, TAB Horn Guests For UMBowl VII

first_imgWith just a few weeks until Umphrey’s McGee annual UMBowl performance at the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, the famed jam rockers have shared insight into the four-quartered performance. Held from May 6-7, the 7th annual UMBowl will feature three familiar themes, and one rookie to the traditional UM celebration. They’ll also welcome Trey Anastasio Band horn players Natalie Cressman and Jennifer Hartswick into the mix, only adding to the excitement.The band has revealed that the four quarters will be: Raw Stewage, All Request, All Improv, and Choose Your Own Adventure. Of the four, “All Improv” makes it UMBowl debut, after being tested on a Madison, WI crowd for a performance earlier this year. Listen to that show here, which included Joshua Redman on saxophone.Umphrey’s has kindly broken down each of the quarters to give newcomers a better sense of what to expect. Read on below:Q1: Raw StewageRaw Stewage is a set of your favorite pieces of improv stitched together to create a long-form piece of new music. Ticket holders vote on their favorite previous “Jimmy Stewarts” and the band assembles a new game plan accordingly.Q2: All RequestTicket holders receive a ballot to select the songs you’d most like to hear, including rarities, new material and Hail Marys. Look for a twist on this year’s ballot as new teams form to result in some unlikely play calling.Q3: All ImprovAs advertised. All Improv, all the time. Here’s to a turnover free quarter.Q4: Choose Your Own AdventureThose in attendance will be calling the plays in real time, quarterbacking the music to unfold at your will. Multiple choices will be presented on projection screens and you’ll decide the setlist by voting via text message. You’re in charge, don’t blow it.Sounds like fun to us! If you’re still on the fence, be sure to enter the L4LM contest for UMBowl, which includes a behind-the-scenes tour, a signed bowling ball from the UM crew, and, of course, tickets to the show. More info can be found here, and the contest can be entered below:Check out the artwork for the quarter themes below:last_img read more

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Open Up The Freaks Ball In Style [Review/Gallery]

first_imgLast night, March 24th, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead hit the stage for the start of the three night Freaks Ball, celebrating the web denizens of the NYC Freaks List. The completely sold out Brooklyn Bowl welcomed their hometown heroes with excitement and anticipation, and Almost Dead wasted no time getting into it.The opening jam had the whole band keenly listening and responding to each other. Each member has their own voice up there- Scott Metzger has a deep tone with a bit of twang; Tommy Hamilton’s guitar provides an elegant counterpoint with lighter notes a bit higher in register. Marco Benevento bolsters the music with some spry keyboard playing, dancing on top of the rhythm section. Dave Dreiwitz, playing his first shows with Almost Dead since the Ween reunion gigs held down the bass with a steady groove that never stopped- the notes were always next to each other instead of on top of each other. And holding it all down is Joe Russo on the drums, making more music with four limbs than any human being has a right to.Almost Dead jams have an element where you think you’re hearing something- you think you can tell where they’re going. Sometimes you may be right, sometimes you may be wrong, and sometimes they’re intentionally messing with you. After about ten minutes of a jam that had the whole Bowl moving, you knew where this jam was going- “Not Fade Away!”Nope. Such was the fake out that half the Bowl started singing, but the band took a left turn and dove into the “Reuben &Cherise,” that at no point slowed down to let the building energy dwindle. At one point of the jam leading out of the song all five of the members had their eyes closed, fully locked in with each other.Watch a pro-shot “Reuben & Cherise” below, courtesy of LazyLightning55a:Twenty-five minutes after they began, they eased their way into “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad” for the evening’s first sing-a-long. This eventually led to “Hell In A Bucket,” which contained a jam that got real dirty- the song structure was abandoned as the band again showed that they each play their instruments reacting to each other instead of on autopilot. Benevento laid down a plinking foundation that each person added a layer to. That jam dropped perfectly into “Shakedown Street.” It speaks to the intensity of the set when the shortest song of the set is one of the more historically jammed out songs in the Dead’s catalog. The outro jam got both spacey and spooky. And then those hints of familiarity appeared. It was one of those, “Hey, I think I know this,” moments which turned into, “Yeah, I know this, but they aren’t playing it,” moments which turned into, “They’re playing Liz Reed!”Based on the facial expressions on stage, the band was thinking the same thing. The moment felt spontaneous, and had a feeling of five friends on stage having fun and taking chances. Benevento nailed the organ solo that Gregg Allman made iconic on At the Fillmore East. Hamilton and Metzger both shredded, Dreiwitz thundered away on bass, and Joe Russo once again played the role of two drummers at the same time. After “Liz Reed” the set ended with an emotional rendition of “Mission in the Rain.” Hamilton emotes great passion in both his playing and singing on Garcia ballads, and that was in fine form this night.After a brief setbreak (seriously- under 30 minutes!), the band returned to the stage. The jam started off real slinky, letting the anticipation of the first song of the set build. The beat started shuffling and they went into “Truckin’,” which is a great way to start a set. This set had a lot of sing-a-long moments which kept the crowd rapt. During the jams Marco provided a funky groove while Metzger had a rocking solo with some country twang in it. The jam at the end slowed down for an a cappella ending that exploded into a final refrain for everyone to get back truckin’ on. “Bertha” then came up and just rocked- great vocals from Hamilton and two monster solos from Metzger.Then came the biggest surprise of the night, with Almost Dead debuting a cover of “I’m Writing a Novel” by Father John Misty, with Joe Russo on lead vocals. Those who knew the song were really excited, and the band nailed it. After a version that was both faithful and jammed, they patiently worked their way into “The Eleven.” It kept building and building until hitting its massive peak, but then they took somewhat of a left turn and finished the song (including vocals) in a very delicate and intricate manner, letting the nuances of the melody come through.This led to the set closing “Mississippi Half Step,” which again had everyone singing along at full tilt. The music was exploding off the stage and the crowd returned it back. Crossing that lazy river was a perfect coda to the set. The lone but thumping encore of “Not Fade Away “(for real this time) had the band leaving the stage, clapping out that familiar beat, and setting incredibly high expectations for the next two nights.Welcome back to the Bowl Almost Dead. Your music may belong to the world, but there’s nothing like being home.Images from the show provided by Scott Harris Photo. Check out the gallery below, as well as a full setlist with notes from Peter Costello [via Almost Dead’s Facebook Page].Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead at Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY – 3/24/16Set 1 8:43PM – 10:01PMJam ->Not Fade Away Jam @ ->Ruben & Cherise (TH) ->GDTRFB # (ALL) ->Hell In A Bucket (SM) ->Shakedown Street (TH) ->Space ->In Memory of Elizabeth Reed $Mission In The Rain (TH)Set 2 10:24PM – 11:43PM ishJam ->Truckin’ (SM) ->Born Cross-Eyed Jam >Bertha (TH) ->I’m Writing A Novel % (JR) >The Eleven (TH/JR) ->Mississippi Half Step (TH)E: Not Fade Away ^ (ALL)@ – First Time Played, no lyrics# – With an unknown tease (MB) & without the “WBYGN” ending, Segued directly into Bucket$ – First Time Played, Allman Brothers Band Cover. Bustle in Your Hedgerow covered it during the “Bustle Plays Other Shit” show on 2013-08-31% – First Time Played, Father John Misty Cover^ – With a “I’m Writing A Novel” (Father John Misty) tease (TH) and Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson on turntables. Not Fade Away ended traditionally with the crowd clapping the beat & singing lyrics back to the band as they walked off stage. Then ?uestlove joined in, starting his DJ set by scratching the Not Fade Away beat on the turntables, in time with the crowd clapping & singing. Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Inside ‘The Last Waltz’ 40th Anniversary With Bob Weir, Dr. John, Lucinda Williams & More

first_imgBig thanks to the Lincoln Center and The Americana Music Festival for helping to make this happen. Check out the full setlist below, via JamBase.Setlist: The Last Waltz 40th Anniversary at Lincoln Center, New York, NY – 8/6/16Set: This Wheel’s On Fire, The Shape I’m In, Life Is A Carnival, Up On Cripple Creek (w/ Buddy Miller), The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (w/ Buddy Miller), Ophelia (w/ Teddy Thompson), Evangeline (w/ Patti Griffith), Caravan (w/ Anderson East), Rag Mama Rag, It Makes No Difference (w/ Lucinda Williams), Further On Up The Road (w/ Bob Weir), Such A Night (w/ Dr. John), Down South In New Orleans (w/ Buddy Miller), Long Black Veil, Genetic Method > Chest Fever, Forever Young (w/ everyone but Dr. John), The Weight (all)[Photos by Mark Dershowitz] A few blocks from Central Park, nestled into the center of Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, thousands of music fans gathered to enjoy the music of The Last Waltz nearly 40 years after Martin Scorsese captured that wonderful night at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.The talented young story teller Parker Millsap got the night started with an upbeat set of Americana music before Larry Campbell came out to lead The Midnight Ramble Band just as the sun was beginning to set on the Upper West Side.The Midnight Ramble Band brought it right away getting the sing-a-long started with “The Shape I’m In”. The first guest of the evening was Buddy Miller sitting in on “Up On Cripple Creek” and bringing the crowd to their feet yet again for what would become a night of joyous celebration for everyone who was lucky to be there. Keeping that momentum going with “Ophelia”, Teddy Thompson came out to join the band and put his energetic stamp on a classic.After a couple of softer jams, Larry invited Anderson East to the stage to lead the crowd in a cover of Van Morrison’s “Caravan”. Anderson’s raspy voice along with an incredible four-piece horn section left fans screaming for more!The guests just keep coming; next up was Howard Johnson, who performed on the original documentary 40 years ago, he brought that deep sound and the band rallied around him to bring the heat with a rousing “Rag Mama Rag”.Next up, Lucinda Williams who delighted the crowd with her soulful sound under the beautiful Manhattan skyline. Watch her lead “It Makes No Difference” in the video below.On to the next one, Bob Weir was a late addition to the lineup last week and we are all very happy he came. Bobby came out and crushed the bluesy “Further On Up the Road”. He is still on fire from the Dead & Company tour, and it showed last night.But the big names kept coming; Dr. John came in and played one his originals “Such a Night” – the same as he did forty years ago. Mac also played earlier this week at Aaron Neville’s 75th Birthday party at Brooklyn Bowl.Campbell did a great job leading the band and really shined during his guitar solo late into the set. He then brought together all his guests for the Dylan classic “Forever Young”. Giving all those powerful voices the opportunity to shine was pure joy to see. They finished the night off with an all-star everyone sing-a-long version of “The Weight” that took everyone back 40 years.last_img read more

Bob Weir Will Be Performing For Norwegian Crown Prince & Princess On Their Visit To America

first_imgNow here’s something you don’t see every day.According to Royal Central, their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway are planning to visit New York, NY from December 5-7, where they will hear music by none other than our very own Bob Weir. The Grateful Dead guitarist will be performing at an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) event, of which the Crown Prince Couple are members. Actresses Connie Britton and Michelle Yeoh will also speak at the event, with Padma Lakshmi hosting.The UNDP operates to eliminate poverty around the world, working in over 170 countries to improve the lives of people in need. Though Weir has long been a champion of philanthropic causes, it will be interesting to see how his music and message fits with this high end event. You can find out more about the UNDP here.[Photo by Steve Rose]last_img read more

Umphrey’s McGee Announces Summer Tour Dates, Special Acoustic Duo Show

first_imgUmphrey’s McGee has announced a self-proclaimed “fresh” new batch of tour dates for later this year. Three of the new dates will take place in mid-May, with another two coming at the tail end of June.Umphrey’s McGee’s first run of dates will bring them to Baldwinsville, NY, Providence, RI, Hampton Beach, NH. Roughly six weeks later, the band will swing through Boston, MA and Asbury Park, NJ. Today’s announcement comes after the sextet revealed their plans to return to Charleston, SC with Perpetual Groove on May 31st before heading to Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheater from July 5th to 7th. According to their tour art, additional 2018 summer dates will be announced in the future.Furthermore, Umphrey’s McGee has also announced a one-of-a-kind acoustic show featuring guitarists Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger on Tuesday, April 24th. While the pair has played a number of acoustic shows in the past (usually during the Holiday Season), this concert is notable because it will be the duo’s first acoustic gig in the band’s hometown of South Bend, IN. The special performance will take place at the Morris Performing Arts Center as part of the University of Notre Dame’s IDEA Week, and will feature an opening solo piano set from UM keyboardist Joel Cummins.Pre-sale tickets for the new summer tour dates and the acoustic duo show will be available on Wednesday, March 7th. Tickets for the summer dates will go on sale to the general public on Friday, March 9th, tickets to the acoustic duo show will go on sale on Thursday, March 8th.Umphrey’s McGee “Fresh” Summer Tour DatesMay 17 – Baldwinsville, NY @ Paper Mill Island AmphitheaterMay 18 – Providence, RI @ The StrandMay 19 – Hampton Beach, NH @ Hampton Beach Casino BallroomJune 29 – Boston, MA @ House of BluesJune 30 Asbury Park, NJ @ The Stone Ponylast_img read more

Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit (Acoustic Set) To Headline 2019 Old Settler’s Music Festival

first_imgThe 32nd Old Settler’s Music Festival has announced its return, going down April 11th through 14th, 2019. For the second year in a row, the spring event will take place in its new home of Tilmon, Southeast of Lockhart, TX—conveniently located less than an hour from Austin and San Antonio and approximately two hours from Houston. Additionally, the festival has teamed up with independent Texas concert promoter Kessler Presents for the first time.The upcoming Old Settler’s Music Festival will be headlined by Brandi Carlile and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, who will perform an intimate acoustic set. The lineup is rounded out by Del McCoury Band, Galatic, Hayes Carll, Wild Child, Penny And Sparrow, ShinyRibs, Texas supergroup Los Legends (feat. Flaco Jimenez, Augie Meyers, Rick Trevino, Y Amigos), Amanda Shires, Mandolin Orange, and more.With a diverse group of activities for all festival-goers, Old Settler’s Music Festival will again offer camping (which often includes impromptu jam sessions); Camp ShhhTimes, a completely unplugged late-night listening area; a youth talent competition; a juried arts and crafts fair; and many kid-friendly activities.Additional artists will be announced soon. Early Bird tickets to the festival have already sold out, and advance tickets are available now on the event website.last_img read more

Oregon State University To Host Academic Conference Devoted To The Music & Culture Of Phish

first_imgOregon State University has announced plans to host the first peer-reviewed academic conference devoted to the music and fan culture of Phish. The conference, dubbed “Phish Studies: An Interdisciplinary Conference On The Band, Its Music & Its Fans,” will take place from May 17th through 19th at the university’s campus in Corvallis, OR.OSU hopes to bring scholars together from diverse academic disciplines while welcoming a wide range of methodological and theoretical approaches to the sonic, narrative, performative, visual, and cultural worlds of Phish, including but not limited to:Music and Lyrics: compositional practice; improvisational strategies; band mythologies, including Gamehendge; questions of genre; historiographyElements of Live Performance: cover songs; concert lighting; venues; fan space and placeFan Culture: fan communities (virtual, face-to-face); fan art; parking lots; tape trading; issues of race, gender, religion, sexuality, disability; Activism; Subcultural identities; Fan mythologiesBusiness: business practices; place within music industry; tape trading; early adoption of the internet; media framing of Phish; influence on American music festival culture; influence on the jam band genreQuantitative Analysis: analyses of setlists, fan show ratings, tour itinerariesProspective participants of the upcoming conference are asked to submit abstracts of 200–500 words for either individual 20-minute papers or 90-minute panel proposals featuring a minimum of three presenters. Read OSU’s statement on the submission process below:Please submit abstracts of 250-500 words for either (a) individual 20-minute papers or (b) 90-minute panel proposals (three presenters minimum). Complete panel proposals should include an abstract for each panelist’s contribution as well as a 250-word (max.) justification for the panel. We encourage proposals from scholars at any stage of their career, including graduate students as well as scholars outside of academia. Abstracts should specify the presenter’s methodological and theoretical approach, summarize conclusions, and specify the broader academic implications of the research. Abstracts are due no later than January 15, 2019.For more information on Oregon State University’s upcoming Phish academic conference, head to the event page here.last_img read more

Watch Blackberry Smoke & Marcus King Rip Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Tuesday’s Gone”

first_imgThe Marcus King Band and Blackberry Smoke were both in Nashville, Tennessee last weekend, where the two southern rock bands welcomed fans for a pair of performances at the Ryman Auditorium on February 22nd and 23rd. One of the highlights from Blackberry Smoke’s two-night run at the well-known Nashville venue came during the second night, when they welcomed Marcus King to the stage to help perform a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s classic rock anthem, “Tuesday’s Gone”.The cover performance came 17 songs into the show towards the end of the band’s headlining set. The members of Blackberry Smoke also welcomed Kristian Bush guitarist Benji Shanks and Preston Holcomb to help play on the 1973 ballad. The crowd could be heard bursting into applause in approval of the band’s song choice, as there’s no doubt the southern spirit of Skynyrd still holds up strong in Nashville. King takes a pair of strong solos throughout the performance, with the first beginning at the 2:50-minute mark, and again at 5:35 mark into the video below.Blackberry Smoke with Marcus King – “Tuesday’s Gone” – 2/23/2019[Video: Eric Almy]King will continue his Carolina Confessions Tour into next month with scheduled stops at Garcia’s At The Cap on March 6th, followed by a recently-upgraded show at The Capitol Theatre two nights later on March 8th. King will also make an appearance at the previously-announced “Love Rocks NYC Benefit Concert” at New York City’s Beacon Theatre alongside Robert Plant, Buddy Guy, Sheryl Crow, and many more in between the two Port Chester gigs on March 7th. Fans can head over to King’s website for ticket info to all of his upcoming shows.[H/T Guitar Player]last_img read more

Alastair Graham Walter Cameron

first_imgAlastair Graham Walter Cameron was born in Winnipeg on June 21, 1925, and died in Tucson on October 3, 2005. As a boy his interests ran to science fiction and away from sports. His father was head of the biochemistry department at the Manitoba Medical College; at the age of four Cameron addressed all men as “Doctor,” which he later said was an early example of forming a hypothesis based on limited data.His mother raised him by herself. Working his way through a private high school he became a bookie, taking bets from fellow students, and did quite well. In about 1941 he made a bet with a classmate that man would land on the Moon by the year 1970. Years later the classmate asked Cameron how he had known when the Apollo Program would take place. He replied that he had extrapolated the speed of transportation to the time when that speed would exceed that needed to escape from the Earth.He majored in math and physics at the University of Manitoba, and for his physics Ph.D. at the University of Saskatchewan, where he devised a new method to determine nuclear cross sections. He went on to apply nuclear physics to the origin of the chemical elements, or nucleosynthesis, in stars. In 1955 he married Elizabeth “Betsy” MacMillan. Betsy called Cameron “Alastair,” but in the scientific community he was known only as “Al.”After the Ph.D., Cameron spent two years at the Ames Research Center of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. While there he read that the astronomer Paul Merrill had observed a feature in the spectrum of a red giant star that corresponds to the chemical element technetium (Tc). Technetium has no stable isotopes; it was discovered in 1937 only after bombarding molybdenum with energetic particles; hence its name, derived from the Greek for “artificial.” Given the fact that technetium decays rapidly into other elements, Cameron reasoned that it must have been created in the star where Merrill found it. Cameron found this discovery “very exciting” because it provides a clue to the origin of the heavy elements in the Universe. Having never studied astrophysics before, Cameron immersed himself in the literature. In 1954 he relocated to the Chalk River Laboratory of the Canadian Atomic Energy Project, where he calculated cross sections for the many nuclear reactions that occur in the interiors of stars when the temperature is high enough for collisions between charged nuclei to overcome the electrical repulsion between them.The temperature at the center of the Sun is 14 million degrees, high enough to allow the conversion of hydrogen into helium, but not high enough for the reactions that ultimately lead to the creation of elements as heavy as Tc, that require hundreds of millions of degrees.While Cameron was working on nucleosynthesis, other theorists calculated that the Sun would run out of hydrogen in 5 billion years, at which time the temperature in its core would begin to rise, and the Sun would become a red giant star of the type that Merrill observed to contain Tc. Surprisingly, when stars run out of one nuclear fuel, their cores get hotter, not cooler, and then new fuels that react only at higher temperatures kick in. In red giant stars the helium produced earlier is reacting to form even heavier elements.Cameron predicted what elements are produced and in what quantities. He found that indeed technetium is produced along the way, explaining Merrill’s observation. In order to be found in the atmospheres of the Sun and other stars, and in solid bodies such as planets and meteorites, new elements have to first be ejected from the parent star into space where they contaminate interstellar matter destined to form new generations of stars and planets. Thus the full understanding of nucleosynthesis involves the formation of stars and planets, as well as the ejection of heavy elements into space by red-giant winds and supernova explosions. Undaunted by the challenge, Cameron plunged into a full range of theoretical astrophysics.Cameron published his papers on nucleosynthesis in 1957. Experts attribute the birth of the field of nuclear astrophysics to those papers, together with one by a group at Caltech led by William Fowler published the same year. Fowler, an experimentalist, won the Nobel Prize in 1983 for his work in the field, and in his Nobel Lecture credited the independent work of Cameron.In 1961 Cameron moved from Chalk River to the newly formed Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. There he supervised graduate students at Columbia, New York University, and Yale. He taught regularly at Yale, where his students compiled his notes into a monograph that is highly regarded, but unfortunately, was never published. In 1973, upon the founding of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) at 60 Garden Street, Cameron was appointed to a professorship in the Department of Astronomy at Harvard. He also accepted a position as associate director of CfA for Planetary Science, a field to which his interests were increasingly turning because of the continuing discoveries of anomalous abundances of isotopes in meteorites. His model of the Solar Nebula, a disk of gas and dust formed at the time of the origin of the Sun 4.5 billion years ago, provides quantitative temperatures that theorists use in their studies of planet formation.During this period, Cameron is reported to have given a seminar at Caltech covering the entire history of the Sun and planets, from the collapse of an interstellar cloud to the coagulation of dust to form the solid cores of the planets. When asked what he did on the seventh day, Cameron replied, “I rested.”An important result of Cameron’s work was his conclusion that the main product of the buildup of the observed high abundance of the elements near iron in the periodic table is not iron per se, as had been assumed, but radioactive nickel 56. His idea was verified many years later by a NASA spacecraft.In 1982 Cameron became the chair of the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences, which advises NASA on its science program, and at Harvard he served six years as chair of the Department of Astronomy. During this period he also organized annual conferences to bring together astrophysicists and planetary scientists to enhance collaborations between their different specialties.He then decided to attack a long-standing theoretical problem in planetary physics: the origin of the Moon. The Apollo Program had found that unlike the Earth, the Moon has no iron core, but is composed solely of the same material as the mantle of the Earth. At the time theorists could not explain this fact. Cameron proposed that the Moon formed from a disk of debris orbiting the Earth, much as the Solar Nebula orbited the Sun. But where could the debris have come from? Cameron proposed that it was material ejected from Earth’s mantle when a Mars-sized body collided with the Earth early in the history of the solar system. That would explain the Moon’s composition, but how would the debris reach the distance of the Moon? Cameron attacked this problem head on, acquiring faster computers for his office in order to model the collision event. He finally succeeded in showing that such a collision would result in a disk of the correct mass, as well as the angular momenta of the Earth and Moon that are observed today. Cameron’s theory is now the accepted one for the origin of the Moon.Cameron received honors from many scientific societies, among them the Petrie Prize of the Canadian Astronomical Society, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the Smith Medal of the National Academy of Sciences, the Hess Medal of the American Geophysical Union, the Leonard Medal of the Meteoritical Society, the Bethe Prize of the American Physical Society, and the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship of the American Astronomical Society—the highest honor an astronomer can receive.Upon his retirement from Harvard in 1999, Cameron accepted an appointment at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory of the University of Arizona in Tucson. There he and Betsy lived in the Academy Village, a non-profit organization devoted to life-long learning. Sadly, Betsy, his loving wife of forty-six years, died in 2001; they had no children. Those of us who were lucky enough to know Al Cameron well remember him as an exceptionally talented and dedicated scientist, a wise counselor, and a witty person. Few are those who cross one’s path with all of these qualities; Al Cameron was one of them.Respectfully submitted,Alexander DalgarnoJames MoranDimitar SasselovPatrick ThaddeusFriedrich ThielemannGerald WasserburgJohn WoodGeorge Field, Chairlast_img read more

The Living Magazine

first_imgYoung-jun Lee, a fellow at Harvard’s Korea Institute, read from the work of two poets, one from the south and the other from the north. Both felt the sting of a divided country.North Korean poet O Yong-jae is known for “Oh, My Mother,” written in 1990 when he heard his mother was still alive in South Korea — 40 years after leaving her during the Korean War. “A sun suddenly rises in the middle of a black night,” he wrote.In South Korea, the ironic “Long Live Kim Il Sung” could not be published during the lifetime of poet Kim Suyong (1921-1968), a writer so direct about advocating for a free literature that even some of his friends regarded him as dangerous.Former Russian journalist Maria Yulikova provided a reminder that members of the press can face the same dangers as poets and novelists for simply writing truths in another way. “You might want to use your pen name,” she said of journalists in her native Russia, “just to be safe.”Rumbidzai Mushavi ’12 read snippets from Chenjerai Hove’s “Letter to Mother,” a voice that wove through the event three times.Driven from his native Zimbabwe by death threats, Hove, who is a poet, essayist, novelist, and dramatist,  has been in exile since 2001.It was a reminder that imprisonment can also mean having to live away from home. He wrote, “Every sunset reminds me: I am in another land.”Mandanipour, who is also a visiting writer at Boston College, spoke of exile’s pain too. “You shut the doors and windows of your house to others,” he said. “You get angry, and anger keeps you on your feet.”Hove cut to the heart of the matter for oppressed writers, struggling in exile or at home. He told his illiterate mother, “You can’t read, and I — oh, the hopelessness — I can’t write.”With hopelessness sometimes comes guilt. Ling recalled a trip to the printer in 2000, on a mission to make two deletions from his magazine: the name of a Tiananmen Square activist and the word “anti-communist.” (He was arrested anyway.) “I was committing an act of self-censorship,” said Ling, “just as all editors and writers in China still do today.”Mandanipour recalled many nights of pacing at his office, wondering which voice to cut out of Thursday Evening.On one hand, he said, there was his personal style as a literary editor: “My role was never to change or delete a single word in a text.”On the other hand, he ended up snipping out some controversial writers. “I sometimes think I should have published that good poem or story,” said Mandanipour, “and not publishing them remains a shame in my life.”Of the writers and editors speaking at “The Living Magazine,” only one worked for a publication still afloat: Burmese writer and Radcliffe Fellow Ma Thida, editor of Teen magazine in Rangoon. None of the contents are explicitly political.“I don’t want to lead the next generation,” said Thida of her audience, who live largely outside the grasp of the Internet. “I just want to deal with them, to hear their voices.”Voices were the point of the session, many of them little-known, all of them strained through pain and guilt. But the dream survives.“Waiting for the daytime sun … I sing and play a deep melody in these bright years,” read Chinese poet Ar Zhong from his “Darkness, the Theme of my Life.” “Morning appears in my dreams.”Ling read from his poem “For Dreams to Linger, and for Time,” a paean to the power that print still has in countries where censors rule.“Wishes,” one line reads, “are pressed into a paper surface.”Providing support for “The Living Magazine” were the Humanities Center at Harvard, the Harvard College Writing Program, the Office of Undergraduate Education, the Office for the Arts at Harvard, and the Undergraduate Council. During the Iran-Iraq War, Shahriar Mandanipour wrote short stories under fire. He would compose one line at a time between exploding mortar rounds.Back in Tehran after the war, Mandanipour started editing Thursday Evening, a literary journal. He came under fire again, this time from his own government. Censors combed through the essays and poems slated for publication. They feared that one might be a mortar round of another kind that scattered new ideas like shrapnel.The journal was banned years ago, after surviving censors for eight-and-a-half years, and Mandanipour, now an acclaimed novelist, is an associate in Harvard’s Department of English.Thursday Evening came briefly to life again last week (April 14) during “The Living Magazine,” a literary event that featured writing from banned or at-risk publications in Iran, China, and Burma.Even Cambridge audiences, like the one 100-strong in the auditorium at Sackler Museum, need reminding: In many countries in the thrall of oppressive regimes, writing is still a dangerous pursuit.Reading their work were writers who had once suffered arrest and imprisonment. One of them, Chinese poet Bei Ling, edited the literary magazine Tendency. In 2000, print copies were seized by the Beijing Office of Public Security, and Ling was arrested.“I was guilty of a crime that no civilized country would count as a criminal act,” he said, “the illegal publication of a literary journal.”Ling paraphrased what writer Susan Sontag wrote about the incident, “that my crime should be called: bringing ideas to China.”Mandanipour avoided arrest but lived in fear for his life, he said, and “fear for my unwritten stories.”During those postwar days, editors, writers, and even translators were being killed for their creative work. “Gloom and fear seeped into our lives,” said Mandanipour, author of the 2009 novel “Censoring an Iranian Love Story.” “No one could guess who the next person would be.”Other glimpses of gloom and fear came up in “The Living Magazine,” which was conceived by Jane Unrue, who teaches in the Harvard College Writing Program and who is a member of the Harvard chapter of the Scholars at Risk Committee. “The Living Magazine” is not bound or numbered or even a virtual publication, she said. It is a “dream space” that imagines worldwide freedom for writers.Avant-garde poet Meng Lang, a veteran of China’s underground scene since the late ’70s, put literary print magazines in the tradition of the “little magazines” of the 1920s and beyond — as well as in the tradition of furtive samizdat literature in the Soviet Union’s Iron Curtain.China these days, he said, is no longer the Bamboo Curtain, but a “Silk Curtain … hiding China’s last brazenness, or cowardice, from the powerful winds of freedom.”It is joined now by pressures from the “Gold Curtain,” the race for profits not only in China but around the world.Lang’s own beleaguered publications started with the 60-copy MN01 in 1981. Now he is managing editor of the online literary journal Freedom to Write. “I will not give up,” said Lang. “We are the nurturers and protectors of living magazines.”“The Living Magazine” was the second annual literary event in Harvard’s Visiting Writers Series, inaugurated by Unrue last year. It drew back the curtain on poems and essays that were heartfelt and brilliant, with many of them the work of imprisoned authors.“Help keep these voices heard,” said novelist and editor Nicholas Jose, visiting chair of Australian studies at Harvard. He was one of the readers — many of them Harvard undergraduates — who delivered passages from the imprisoned, the exiled, and the dead.Jose read the words of Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese human rights activist in prison for 12 more years. He was a signatory to Charter 08, a 2008 manifesto marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations. Xiaobo only twice spoke in a public forum in his native country, said Jose, “and both of those times have been in court.” His crimes, he added, were “both crimes of expression.”Jose read from one of the court statements. “I have no enemies and no hated,” said Xiaobo. “For hatred is corrosive of a person’s wisdom and conscience. The mentality of enmity can poison a nation’s spirit.”Facing prison, the writer remained full of optimism that China would one day embrace human rights and the rule of law. “I hope,” said Xiaobo, “to be the last victim of China’s endless literary inquisition.”There was a reading from the Burmese poet Yekkha, arrested for his participation in the 1988 democracy movement. He spent 20 years in prison. A fragment, read by Ben Biran ’13, says:I hear the bells from the churchesI don’t see thoseThey don’t see me. last_img read more