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Itzhak Perlman

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Itzhak Perlman was born in 1945 in Israel. He began playing on a toy violin at age three until he was old enough to play on a real violin. His family emigrated to the United States in 1958, and at age 13 he appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, launching his professional career. I remember seeing that broadcast and my mother commenting on his skill and his young age at the time. This might have been that actual performance; if not, it’s from the same time period:

Perlman contracted polio at age four. When he first started performing, much was made of the poor kid with the crutches, and people speculated that his career would be short because of his disability. He proved the naysayers wrong by becoming one of the most popular violinists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, playing as a solo recitalist and symphonic soloist with a varied repertoire, performing with the finest orchestras all over the world, and also on television (such as The Late Show with David Letterman, Sesame Street, The Tonight Show, the Grammy Awards telecasts, and numerous Live From Lincoln Center Broadcasts) and in movies. He also advocates for the disabled.

One of his most famous performances was on the soundtrack of Schindler’s List, playing the gorgeous music of John Williams’ score.

In January 2009, Perlman participated in the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams and performing with clarinetist Anthony McGill, pianist Gabriela Montero, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. In December 2003 the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts granted Mr. Perlman a Kennedy Center Honor celebrating his distinguished achievements and contributions to the cultural and educational life of our nation. In May 2007, he performed at the State Dinner for Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, hosted by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush at the White House.

In February 2008, Itzhak Perlman was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in the recording arts. His recordings regularly appear on the best-seller charts and have earned him fifteen Grammy Awards.

Click here to view a video of Perlman conducting and playing the solo in “Spring” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.

Perlman performed John Williams’ Air and Simple Gifts at the 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama along with Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano), and Anthony McGill (clarinet). (While the quartet did play live, the music played simultaneously over speakers and on television was a recording made earlier due to concerns that the cold weather might damage the instruments.)

The Perlman music program, founded in 1995 by Itzhak’s wife, Toby Perlman, and Suki Sandler, started as a summer camp for exceptional string musicians between the ages of 11 and 18. Over time, it expanded to a year-long program. Itzhak Perlman and other string teachers coach the students before they perform at venues such as the Sutton Place Synagogue and public schools. The program strives to have musicians who would otherwise practice alone develop a network of friends and colleagues.

Itzhak Perlman is also known for his delightful sense of humor. Here is a portion of a performance with the Boston Pops, John Williams, and Peter Schickele.

At least three documentaries have been made of Perlman’s life. Below is the trailer for the most recent one.

Did you like this article about Itzhak Perlman? Make my day: click the “Like” button, and share this article on your social media.

Do you have something to add about Itzhak Perlman? Have you seen him perform in person? (I did, a few years ago.) Share in the comments below.

Why Do You Write?

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Why Do You Write?

When I was a young wife in the mid-1970s, Woman’s Day and Family Circle magazines often published short stories. My friend Peggy and I read them and were consistently disappointed with them. “I could write better stories than these,” I said. “Me, too,” said Peggy. But I don’t think we ever submitted any.

In the 1990s I was a stay-at-home mom with five kids. I decided to become a freelance writer because that way I could earn money while raising my own children fulltime. I was published in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, A Closer Look, The Annals of St. Anne de Beaupre, The Arizona Republic, Women’s Touch, Media Investor, and Lutheran Digest. As for earning money, my biggest grossing year I earned $600, for two worship drama scripts I sold to Concordia Publishing. I started several novels and finished a couple, though they were never sold (although one did go to “committee”).

Why Do You Write?

 

In 2000 I started working a string of jobs outside the home, the last as an elementary general music teacher, which I resigned from in 2014. It was after that I got serious about writing.

I’d always said when I retired I’d go back to writing. I hadn’t meant to retire in 2014, but since I applied for jobs for a year and never got hired, I rejoined the critique group I’d attended during the 90s and early 2000s and resurrected my favorite novel. I contributed to a group blog and started ARHtistic License.

I write because my brain is swimming with ideas. I have a file cabinet of drafts that I want to rewrite someday, and notebooks full of ideas for future projects. I have a poetry chapbook on the contest circuit, three novels in different stages of progress, a bible study I’m rewriting and another I’m planning, and a book of children’s poems in the works that I want to illustrate myself. I’m also committed to posting on ARHtistic License every day.

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Okay, you writers out there—why do you write? Let’s face it, it’s not the easiest way to make a living. So what drives you to put the words on paper? You can share in the comments below, or if you prefer, email me through my contact page. I’d like to tabulate the responses and address them in a future post on ARHtistic License. Thank you for your input.

 

Guest Post: “The Hand of God” by Auguste Rodin from The Joy of Museums

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Thank you to The Joy of Museums for this article.

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“The Hand of God” by Auguste Rodin

“The Hand of God” was modeled by Auguste Rodin and attempts to compare the art of sculpture to the divine process of creation. A right hand, emerging from the earth, holds a lump of clay from which two struggling emergent figures, Adam and Eve, have been modeled.

The work presents Adam and Eve entwined in a fetal position and emerging from a lump of earth cradled in God’s hand. Rodin said,

 “When God created the world, it is modelling, he must have thought …”  

In this sculpture, Rodin depicts this metaphor of God’s hand cradles the material from which male and female emerge.

To continue reading the article, click here.

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Josef and Anni Albers, German-American Artistic Power Couple

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Even if you don’t recognize Josef Alber’s name, you’ve probably seen some of his paintings of colorful squares.

Josef Albers (1888–1976) was a teacher, writer, painter, and color theorist, best known for the Homages to the Square he painted between 1950 and 1976 and for his innovative 1963 publication (at age 75) Interaction of Color. Anni Albers (1899–1994) was a textile designer, weaver, writer, and printmaker who regarded fabrics as an art form, both in their functional roles and as wall hangings. Together, they influenced modern art in both Germany and the United States.

The couple met in Weimar, Germany in 1922 at the Bauhaus. Founded three years earlier, the Bauhaus transformed modern design and emphasized the relationship between art, architecture, and crafts.

Before enrolling as a student at the Bauhaus in 1920, Josef taught in an elementary school; then, following studies in Berlin, he became an art instructor.

At the Bauhaus, he started to make glass assemblages from trash he found at the Weimar town dump and from stained glass; he then made sandblasted glass constructions and designed large stained-glass windows for houses and buildings. He also designed furniture and household objects.

In 1925, he was the first Bauhaus student to be asked to join the faculty. In the late 1920s, he took photographs and made photo-collages documenting Bauhaus life.

Throughout Annelise Elsa Frieda Fleischmann’s childhood in Berlin, she had been encouraged by her parents to study drawing and painting. But she rebelled against her privileged upbringing by entering the Bauhaus in 1922. She enrolled in the weaving workshop because it was the only course of study open to her.

She and Josef, eleven years apart in age, met shortly after her arrival in Weimar. They were married in Berlin in 1925—and Annelise Fleischmann became Anni Albers.

At the Bauhaus, Anni experimented with new materials for weaving and became a bold abstract artist. She used straight lines and solid colors to make works on paper and wall hangings. In her functional textiles she experimented with metallic thread and horsehair as well as traditional yarns.

In 1925 the Bauhaus moved to the city of Dessau to a building designed by Walter Gropius, the architect who had founded the school. In November, 1933, the Bauhaus shut its doors rather than abide by the restrictions of the Nazis, and Josef and Anni Albers were invited to the United States when Josef was asked to design the curriculum at the newly established Black Mountain College in North Carolina. They remained at Black Mountain until 1949, while Josef continued his exploration of a range of printmaking techniques, took off as an abstract painter, and became an ever more influential teacher who wrote about the arts and education. Anni made extraordinary weavings, developed new textiles, and taught, while also writing essays on design that reflected her independent and passionate vision. Meanwhile, the Alberses began making frequent trips to Mexico, a country that captivated their imagination and had a strong effect on their art.

In 1950, the Alberses moved to Connecticut. From 1950 to 1958, Josef Albers was chairman of the Department of Design at the Yale University School of Art. There, and as guest teacher at art schools throughout North and South America and in Europe, he trained a whole new generation of art teachers.

In 2013, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Interaction of Color, Yale released an interactive iPad app based on the principles of the book:

In 1971, Josef Albers was the first living artist ever to be honored with a solo retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Also that year, Josef Albers established a not-for-profit organization to further “the revelation and evocation of vision through art.” Today, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation is devoted to preserving and promoting the enduring achievements of both Josef and Anni Albers, and the aesthetic and philosophical principles by which they lived. Most of the information for this article came from their website, where photos of their work can be viewed. (You can even purchase kits to make some of Anni’s jewelry designs.)

At the time of his death in New Haven, Connecticut in 1976, Josef was still working on his Homages to the Square and his Structural Constellations, deceptively simple compositions in which straight lines create illusory forms, and which became the basis of prints, drawings, and large wall reliefs on public buildings all over the world.

While Josef taught at Yale, Anni Albers continued to weave, design, and write. In 1963 she began to explore printmaking and experimented with the medium in unprecedented ways while developing further as an abstract artist. Her text On Weaving was published in 1965.

Here are some of Anni’s prints, textiles, and jewelry:

The Alberses devoted themselves to their work and pursued it regardless to the trends and shifting fashions of the art world. They had an extraordinary relationship and, while never collaborating on art work other than their highly inventive Christmas cards and Easter eggs, fostered one another’s creativity and shared the profound conviction that art was central to human existence.

Following Josef’s death, Anni Albers helped oversee her husband’s legacy while expanding her own printmaking and textile design until her death in 1994.

Creative Juice #105

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Creative Juice #105

These dozen articles fill me with artistic gratitude.

Guest Post: Skill vs. Talent–Which do you have? by Ryan Lanz

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Guest Post: Skill vs. Talent–Which do you have? by Ryan Lanz

A big ARHtistic License thank you to Ryan Lanz for this article. Skill vs. Talent–Which do you have? first appeared on Lanz’s website, A Writer’s Path.

  • tal·ent [tal-uhnt] noun: a special natural ability or aptitude.
  • skill [skil] noun: the ability, coming from one’s knowledge, practice, aptitude, etc., to do something well.

What if you don’t have natural talent? Does that mean you may as well give up?

woman typing writing programming

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

It’s not quite the chicken or the egg debate, but it’s up there. I’ve heard people go in circles about which comes first and which is necessary. At what combination of both does one continue the grind and attempt at success? I’d be surprised if you haven’t asked yourself that question. It’s a part of being human.

What does each really mean?
This comes from the university of my opinion, but I would describe talent as the natural ability that needs little to no refinement, and skill is the unnatural ability that you have to develop. For those of us who’ve played sports (myself excluded), I’m sure you’ve all encountered someone who strides onto the field and makes it all look so darn effortless.

This person hardly shows up to practice, and you have a fairly good idea that it took hardly any effort to accomplish. Same with the person who aced every test in college with little preparation, leaving you in study hall time after time with a bucket of coffee. You must have missed at least three parties because you had to cram for the Calculus exam, right?

To continue reading this article, click here.

 

The ARHtistic License Creative Playlist

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The ARHtistic License Creative Playlist

I love music playing in the background while I work, but not just any music. It has to be music I love, but not music that distracts. I could say it has to be instrumental, but that’s not true—I write and draw to songs just as well. The music doesn’t have to invoke any special mood, though I prefer mysterious melodies.

I used to input all my CDs into my iTunes, and just play music from my computer, but years ago when I switched computers, I lost all my non-Apple purchases, and I just couldn’t face downloading them again. I’ve made Genius playlists which work for me for a while, but eventually, I get tired of them.

I have a CD player in my study, and for years I put in a CD when I sat down to write. But there are problems with that strategy. There are always a few cuts I’m tired of, or which never appealed to me, or which disrupt my attention, and I have to stop working to click past them. Or the CD stops and I don’t notice because I’m so absorbed with my work. Often I listened to the same CD over and over because I didn’t want to take the time to put in a different CD.

woman typing writing programming

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

I don’t subscribe to a music streaming site, which would probably be the ideal solution for people who want unlimited beautiful music to create to. I do have Amazon Prime, so I often listen to music I like there, or to their pre-compiled playlists. Their playlists have the disadvantage of including pieces I don’t care for. You can make your own playlist on Amazon Prime, which I haven’t done yet, but plan to do.

Instead, I made my own playlist on YouTube, which has its own advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, I can share it. If you’d like to listen to it, it’s located here. (You can also subscribe to my channel. I plan to add creativity-related content eventually.) The main disadvantage is unless you pay a monthly fee (which I don’t), you have to deal with ads every video or two. You can skip most of them after five seconds, but that means you have to stop what you’re doing, go to your YouTube window, and click the little rectangle. The ads also disrupt your concentration. One other feature, which could be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your point of view, is that you can add and delete videos from the playlist, which I intend to do as I tire of some and come across others.

YouTube Music also has a new player which I have not yet fully explored, but it looks like it could be a good thing.

Do you like to play music while you work? What sort of background music do you prefer? (I have eclectic taste in music, from classical to bluegrass to Balkan to pop.) Have you made your own playlists? Share in the comments below.

 

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