ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ Three music faculty members are represented in the New England Conservatory of Music's Spring Festival, celebrating Boston Composers of the '90's. The "Unusual Forms" concert on March 6 at 8pm at the New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall in Boston will feature the world premiere of Professor Peter Child's Refrain(commissioned by the NEC for the festival) and Institute Professor John Harbison's Viola Concerto performed by the NEC Honors Orchestra with Professor Marcus Thompson as soloist.
In addition, an all-Harbison program on March 6 (5pm, Williams Hall) presents Professor Harbison's String Quartet No. 3, Four Songs of Solitude and Quintet for Winds. Professor Harbison is also represented in the "Inspired by Soloists and Singing" program on March 7 at 8pm in Jordan Hall with an excerpt from Full Moon in March and in the March 9 All-Saxophone concert (noon, Williams Hall) with his Saxophone Sonata. On March 9 at 5pm in Williams Hall, Professor Harbison will join composers Leon Kirchner, Daniel Pinkham and Gunther Schuller and Boston Globe music critic Richard Dyer in a conversation moderated by John Heiss. For more information, call 585-1122.
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ Professor James Makubuya's recent participation in the World Music Institute's 15th-anniversary benefit concert in New York City's Town Hall, received fine reviews from the New York Times's Jon Pareles. "Wu Man's Chinese pipa and James Makubuya's Ugandan harps made a surprisingly unified duo," he wrote. "It turned out that the pipa and the Ugandan ndongo, a buzzing lyre, have the same tuning. In one Chinese melody and one Ugandan one, Mr. Makubuya plucked syncopated patterns behind sharply etched pipa melodies; then Ms. Wu returned the favor to accompany his amiable voice." Their duets went so well that Professor Makubuya invited Wu Man to guest star with MITCAN, MIT's East African performing ensemble, at its April 22 concert.
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ Cityscapes, an exhibition of photographs by electrical engineering and computer science graduate student Andrew Chen, is on view at the Cambridge Public Library (449 Broadway) through February. "Through my photographs I strive to make people more conscious of their surroundings and to emphasize the diversity and dynamic nature of life," he said. "Many images in this exhibit depict people in a variety of different settings and moods. Others illustrate the beauty that exists around us every day, if we take time to notice it." Cityscapes was made possible in part by a grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT and Technique.
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ Dramashop's Ethnographic Museum of Irrelevant Races (EMIR), a temporary MIT installation of satirical living dioramas directed by performance artist Guillermo Gï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½mez-Peï¿½a (artist in residence and a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor), attracted the attention of Boston Globe correspondent Elijah Wald. "Gï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½mez-Peï¿½a... feels that the young people he is working with do not have 'the ideological and cultural certainties that our generation had,'" Mr. Wald wrote in a lengthy feature article. "On the other hand, he thinks that this has its advantages, at least for performers. They can stand between cultures, ages, political affiliations, and comment both as insiders and outsiders. Thus [we have] the spectacle of MIT students, a privileged minority in many ways, acting out the anger, stereotypes and confusion of their ethnic, national and socio-sexual backgrounds."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 16, 2000.