Top 10 Australia Culture On this week 23/08/2020 (COVID-19 EDITION)

We are all mortal, fragile beings. And as a direct result, the majority of us are, at best, complete knobs.


10) A Midsummer Night’s Zoom

28th August

What: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Zoom’ is directed by Eli Simon and features some sparkling new talent. The play has been re-envisioned for the medium of live streaming. The play will be divided into halves, with interactive discussions led by Julia Lupton. These one-hour performance segments followed by discussion are great for families and for newcomers to Shakespeare!

Why: If these shadows offend, add it to the list of a-billion-and-counting artists to be offended by when your brain is mush, your time is useless, your insight is non-existent and your voice seemingly never amplified enough for your satisfaction.


9) Raising Coconspirators: Talking About Racism With White Kids

28th August

What: Join panelists from ‘We Are’ and the ‘Abolitionist Teaching Network’ to discuss and learn how to raise White coconspirators who disrupt racism.

Why: Try to make sure your kids are less c**ty than your contemporaries.


8) Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’

29th August

What: Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra will perform a specially commissioned work by English composer Hannah Kendall. Tuxedo: Vasco ‘de’ Gama – its title a quote from American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s iconic matrix of hieroglyphs, symbols and words – launches a voyage across the Atlantic that takes us via Eric Whitacre’s tender Sleep, sung by the BBC Singers, to the expansive, desolate sound-world of Copland’s Quiet City. For the concert’s climax we plunge into the stormy waters of Beethoven’s revolutionary ‘Eroica’ Symphony, noted by one early reviewer for its ‘strange modulations and violent transitions’ – a passionate musical vision of heroism.

Why: Never has the phrase “come on, just the t” been so applicable.


7) Are We Living in a World Ray Bradbury Tried to Prevent?

28th August

What: Ray Bradbury, the author who saw the dangers inherent to the modern world, used a variety of genres, including fantasy, horror, and science fiction, to illuminate pressing issues like censorship and xenophobia. Author Lilliam Rivera, Arizona State University Center for Science and the Imagination professor Michael Bennett, and Jonathan R. Eller, Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University, visit Zócalo in honor of what would have been Bradbury’s 100th birthday, to discuss what he would make of 2020, and what his work can teach us in the current moment.

Why: Yes. Yes is the answer. But we bet he didn’t predict the alarmingly rapid mass proliferation of songs about sweaty, juicy, jiggling butts.


6) The Symphonic Organ

30th August

What: In the vast space of the Royal Albert Hall, Manchester-born Jonathan Scott sits alone at the 70-foot-tall Henry Willis organ – an instrument Scott describes as ‘one of the greatest concert organs in the entire world’. Here he exploits the full possibilities of the musical beast’s four manuals, 147 stops and 9,999 pipes, to bring to life his own symphonic arrangements of colourful orchestral classics. Scott’s selection opens with the overture to Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie, its famous snare drum exchanged for bellowing pedals.

Why: A Mancunian, a 70 foot tall organ and a camera. There’s definitely a joke in here somewhere.


5) Rattle Conducts the LSO

31st August

What: Making his 75th appearance at the Proms, Sir Simon Rattle conducts his London Symphony Orchestra in a programme that explores the ideas of dialogue and space. The programme opens with Thomas Adès’s new work, Dawn, incorporating a piano into the ensemble, while Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro singles out a string quartet alongside the string orchestra, in the manner of a Baroque concerto grosso.

Why: Add a little class to your porn and “other ways to melt cheese because broken microwave” internet history.


4) Preview Screening: Harbor From The Holocaust

26th August

What: Join KQED, PBS affiliate stations, and community partners for a screening of Harbor from the Holocaust, a film depicting the flight of nearly 20,000 Jewish refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe to the Chinese port city of Shanghai during World War II. Take a deeper look into the acculturation of a new society through an intimate look at survivors’ families, their shared recipes, and historical context for the resettlement of Jewish communities during the Holocaust.

Why: A unique and relatively unplumbed perspective of one of the greatest atrocities of all time. Tune in in 2100 for ‘Rona 2020: When Coles Ran Out of Black Swan Hummus So We Settled for Pilpel.


3) Women Take The Stage

27th August

What: Experience a free virtual concert on the centennial of the 19th Amendment, marking milestones in women’s voting rights and taking action needed today. Featuring: Alicia Garza, Andrea Jenkins, Billie Jean King, Carol Jenkins, Dolores Huerta, Gloria Steinem, Judy Gold, Kierra Johnson, Letitia James, Lily Tomlin, Mona Lake Jones, Tina Tchen, Vanessa Williams, The Chicks, Indigo Girls, Skip the Needle, Sophia Ramos, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and many more amazing performers and activists.

Why: If Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ is the first thing that came into your head upon reading the description, you need to self-examine. We need to self-examine.


2) Screening: The Stories Of Rudolfo Anaya

26th August

What: Myth-maker, magician, grandfather and guru of Chicano literature author Rudolfo Anaya is best known for introducing readers to the unique landscapes and characters of New Mexico, reawakening traditions and defying stereo-types of the Mexican American experience. He published his first novel in 1972 a coming of age story set in rural New Mexico about a boy cast into a spiritual world of contradictions and guided by a traditional healer or curandera named Ultima. Experience a live screening of a documentary about his amazing journey and cultural legacy.

Why: Explore the work and journey of a brilliant, sensitive artist quick before some chunky white truther screengrabs an out-of-context shot of the film and claims “reverse racism“.


1) Royal Albert Home: Gary Crosby and Tomorrow’s Warriors 

29th August

What: Gary Crosby and Tomorrow’s Warriors will celebrate 100 years of Charlie Parker with an exclusive set from Strongroom Studios as part of the Royal Albert Home sessions. The multi-award-winning double-bassist, bandleader, music arranger and educator, Gary Crosby OBE, is hailed by many as the ‘Godfather of British Jazz’. He was a founder member of the Jazz Warriors and bandleader of Gary Crosby’s Nu Troop and Jazz Jamaica. In celebration of the Centenary of Charlie Parker, Gary Crosby will be playing five tunes written by the late, great saxophonist and composer.

Why: He’s definitely better than you in many, many ways. But at least when you express yourself it doesn’t come out as an explosion of experimental jazz.

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