How does music speak to the buildings that house it? Music has always been a conversation with its environment, but from the 15th Century on, the craft became much more deliberate. And acoustic architecture has changed a lot since Dufay and the Gabrielis were composing their choral works for the Basilicas of Italy. … Continue Reading
RN’s Michael Shirrefs is talking to Ishan Khosla who returned to India from the US five years ago and quickly realised that the rapid rise of the Indian Tiger economy was coming at a cost. In the headlong rush to be a big global player, India was at great risk of losing its unique design traditions.
As India’s huge metropolises become ever more infatuated with the gloss and mystique of global design trends, alarm bells have sounded amongst many who see a downside. With a very wealthy new Indian middle-class being seduced by the power of ‘the global’, a vast number of distinctive local design skills and knowledge systems are being ignored or marginalised. This has prompted a counter-push from high-profile designers and commentators, aiming to elevate the profile of the myriad, rich design traditions across India’s length and breadth.
On the NSW Central Coast lives farmer and artist Neil Berecry-Brown. For him, those two titles describe what he does in equal measure and the roles are interchangeable.
However, while living on the land has always meant being relatively isolated, this is starting to change. And for many rural artists around the world, technology has allowed them to find each other and form strong networks.
For a hybrid like Neil, the power of this connectivity has wider implications than just the art. His farm, on Mangrove Mountain, has become a hub for his community and, through that, for a global conversation about agriculture, life on the land and how to confront change.
It’s a conversation that has a universal resonance and the long-term implications of these networks will be to help bind communities globally as we witness seismic economic, social and environmental shifts. And one of the fundamental questions that this sort of dialogue raises is whether geography is less critical. Does it matter any more where you live? … Continue Reading
Australia’s Capital is keen to move into a new era as it passes 100 years since its inception. But what does it mean to be a Canberran?
For the rest of Australia, Canberra has remained a staple of parody and caricature for its entire, short life, but surprisingly the residents of Canberra aren’t quite as quick to shrug off the old clichés as you might think.
For the people that choose Canberra as home, the idea of peace and quiet, trees and space, the things that are such a source of mockery—they’re the very reasons they stay.Canberra has remained a staple of parody and caricature for its entire, short life, but surprisingly the residents of Canberra aren’t quite as quick to shrug off the old clichés as you might think. … Continue Reading
Why did that very modern 20th Century composer, Maurice Ravel, compose images of spectres, goblins and death?
Gaspard de la Nuit is the title of one of the most arresting and spectacularly difficult works ever written for the piano, but the name of this 3-part suite has it’s origins much earlier. This remarkable piano work by Ravel is actually a conversation between the composer and a little-known poet living more that 60 years earlier. And today’s Into the Music feature enters into their dialogue—between the words and the music.
In a world of global ambitions and amorphous regions, Europe has become emblematic of the struggle between the need for collective cooperation and the fear of becoming lost in a vast, culturally homogenous mass. And in the current crisis of confidence about the future of the European ‘project’, one country sits as a symbol of all the tension and all the uncertainty.
Germany is once again right at the heart of global events and its role in the unfolding drama is being examined from all the obvious political and economic angles. But to understand what the future might hold for Europe, it helps to understand something of the identity of the main player.
So who is Germany? This series of three programs aims to provide some useful vignettes of how Germany sees itself, and how the country is perceived from the outside.
Born in 1888 into an industrial age full of machines, the young Antonia Sant’Elia began to articulate the collective obsession with the future through his remarkable sketched designs for the idealised city.
Sant’Elia had an almost comic-book, sci-fi sensibility about his drawings, and yet his aesthetic was also one of respect for a distant medieval tradition of ‘honest’ Romanesque forms.
Antonio Sant’Elia took the aesthetics of the 18th Century and brought them into the 20th Century, where new materials like glass, steel and concrete meant that the sky was the limit.
Although he was associated with the Italian Futurists, the young socialist didn’t share the Fascist sentiments of this movement, especially their love of violence and war. So it is, perhaps, especially tragic that the young Sant’Elia died at the age of 28 during World War I, with none of his most ambitious designs realised.
However the power of his imagination survives remarkably well, and his images remain a source of influence and intrigue in the 21st Century.
© 2012, Michael Shirrefs & ABC RN
What role do artists and intellectuals play in the debate over displaced peoples? Cultural theorist Nikos Papastergiadis and artist and performer David Pledger have been trying to figure this out for many years.
Both Nikos and David approach the subject of refugees, and our collective response to the ongoing drama, from different sides. But the questions they ask are very similar.
So this week on Creative Instinct, the artist and the academic look at how we got to this place, and why the events of Tampa and 9/11 drove such a divisive wedge between ‘the political’ and ‘the intellectual’ in Australia.
© 2012, Michael Shirrefs & ABC RN
Three decades later, and the Concert Hall—now known as Hamer Hall—has had a makeover and this week marks the official opening of the new space.But why do cities love to plonk so many of their large cultural building in one area?
Broadcast on Creative Instinct, ABC RN, on 28-07-2012
© 2012, Michael Shirrefs & ABC RN
In 2010, Australia joined the Asia-Europe Meeting. Australia has strong cultural connections with Europe, but our geographic location puts us in Asia. So were we invited to join the ASEM as part of Asia or Europe? Many may perceive Australia as a portal between the two continents – particularly where trade and business are concerned. But when it comes to arts and culture it’s a different story, with criticism that Australia doesn’t exploit its potential.
In May 2012 a public forum was held in Melbourne to discuss the idea—Does Asia+Europe=Australia? The provocative question was tackled by a panel consisting of H.E David Daly, EU Ambassador to Australia; H.E.Patrick Renault, Belgian Ambassador to Australia; Lesley Alway, Asialink Arts Director; the event’s organiser, David Pledger, Artistic Director of Not Yet It’s Difficult; and the panel was chaired by Radio National’s Michael Shirrefs.