Arts

Arts and culture

Photo provided by RACVB

A baker's dozen of monumental sculptures will be coming to Rockford later in June. 

John Groh, President and CEO of the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said a public display of sculptures in 2015 proved to be very popular, and there seems to be an appetite for more. Groh said the Bureau and its partners had hoped to bring ten sculptures to the city – up from nine by two artists that were on display a couple of years ago. But Groh says fundraising exceeded expectations, and thirteen works by nine artists will make Rockford their home for the next two years.

Sessions from Studio A - MahaRa

Jun 21, 2018
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

MahaRa performs "Upgrade" in WNIJ's Studio A.

MahaRa performs in WNIJ's Studio A.

Find MahaRa online at MahaRaMusic.com.

Max Richter's music seems ready-made for movies – and that's not in any way a put down. The music is powerful on its own, but certain pieces take on new depth when paired with well-designed visuals.

Here is a music video in which the things you don't see or hear are almost as important as the things you do.

The Women's March and #MeToo movement have helped raise the volume for women's voices across the country. But one place where women still struggle to be heard is in America's symphony halls. Take a look at which composers the top U.S. orchestras are performing in the upcoming season, and you will find some surprising disparities.

The Mission to the Stars series about faster-than-light (FTL) travel begins with a family tragedy. Married couple Jeff and Jennifer Bindl are killed while testing the first spaceship designed for FTL speed. When news of the ship's demise reaches Earth, the Bindls' four sons are left to carry on the mission started by their parents through their company Space Tech.

The Science Of Cicada Songs

Jun 15, 2018

It’s that time of year again: when cicada songs flood our warm summer nights, announcing their presence as they attract mates. As a kid I was told they only came out every 7 years. I was confused because I heard them every year. It turns out whomever told me they emerge every 7 years was wrong on two counts: some species of cicadas emerge every year, and some emerge every 13 or 17 years.

Rock River Ride Day 5: The Mighty Mississippi

Jun 15, 2018

I woke up in P-town and found radio’s Carl Nelson in my tent. Apparently his new hammock had not been up to snuff and he was unable to get into a horizontal position. He had earlier told me things would work out and I should not worry, and he was right. He had found a tent to sleep in after all.

Sessions from Studio A - V.V. Lightbody

Jun 14, 2018
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

V.V. Lightbody performs "Gaze" in WNIJ's Studio A.

V.V. Lightbody performs "Fig Leaves" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Find V.V. Lightbody online at vvlightbody.bandcamp.com.

Rock River Ride Day 4: Oregon To Prophetstown

Jun 14, 2018
Carl Nelson

A strange night for me last night: camped at home with my own warm shower (I’d give me a positive review), but also still on the ride with Carl, who slept in our basement and ate fresh eggs from our chickens and tortillas from a grocery store.

Rock River Ride Day 3: Rockford

Jun 13, 2018
Carl Nelson

The day started in high style: woke up from a relaxing sleep in my tent to find Carl Nelson already up and walking around the Finks' lawn. We listened with much delight to that day's Rock River Ride, which aired that morning on WNIJ.

Soon our group assembled for breakfast: Professor Fink and his wife and young daughter, Carl and me, and this morning we were joined by bicyclist and Rock River frequenter and enjoyer, Dom Cozzi. We biked into Beloit, the six of us, on a bracing and hilly route into Beloit, which Carl and I found somewhat challenging before breakfast.

http://crawfordgates.com/

Crawford Gates, longtime music director for the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra and professor emeritus at Beloit College, died at the age of 96 in the early hours of Saturday in Salt Lake City.

Rock River Ride Day 2: Watertown to Beloit

Jun 12, 2018
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

We started the day in Watertown, where Carl Nelson and I were pleased to discover the weather had improved considerably.  Instead of cold, it was pleasant and, instead of rain, it was no rain. We had breakfast at a cafe and were met by Chris Fink, Professor of Literature and Wisconsin Awesomeness at Beloit College.

 Carl Nelson and I have spent our first day riding the Rock River Trail. We started in Theresa, Wisconsin— which is not locally pronounced “Ter-ree-sah,” like the saint, but “the Riza,” like the Wu-Tang Clan fellow. Though it was raining hard, Carl and I headed out in good spirits. 

We met up with Greg Farnham, who coordinated the Rock River Initiative, and George Marsh, the president of the Village of Theresa. They gave us good advice about the ride, and Greg even chaperoned us several miles in his car.

Sessions from Studio A - Invisible Cartoons

Jun 7, 2018
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Invisible Cartoons performs "A Catastrophic Atmosphere" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Invisible Cartoons performs "Jackson Pollock" in WNIJ's Studio A.

The sun's season became official this past weekend — so what do you want to hear? Rooftop bops? Windows-down coasters? Sweated-through squall?

Back at the beginning of time, the human voice was the very first instrument. Probably close in second place were folks banging on stuff – in other words, percussionists. The quartet of gentlemen who form the Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion takes primordial pounding into a completely distinctive new league. To be sure, in this Tiny Desk performance, they'll play their sophisticated, modern marimbas and vibraphones, but be on the lookout for the subtleties of tuned cowbells and 3/4" galvanized steel pipes, like those found at the local hardware store.

The #MeToo movement has been a cultural reckoning across industries, from Hollywood to restaurants — but one of the oldest that's been affected is classical music. In March, James Levine, a longtime conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, was fired for allegations of sexual misconduct. And now, centuries-old works from Carmen to Don Giovanni are being challenged for misogynistic plots and themes.

Don't call Thea Musgrave a "woman composer."

"When I'm composing, I'm a human being," she insists. "It's not a question of sexuality."

Sessions from Studio A - Kendra Swanson

May 24, 2018
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Kendra Swanson performs "Heart Land" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Find the music of Kendra Swanson at kendraswanson.com.

The "Back of the Yards" is a neighborhood near the old Chicago Stockyards. Since the early 20th Century, it housed immigrants who processed meat in the city that Carl Sandberg dubbed "Hog Butcher for the World" in his poem "Chicago."

Author Sandra Colbert grew up in this neighborhood in the 1950s and '60s, when it was largely Polish and Lithuanian. Her book Chicago Bound re-creates the lives of these residents through short stories that capture their grit, prejudice, violence and dreams.

In a suit filed Friday by the Metropolitan Opera, five men have made newly public accusations against conductor and pianist James Levine, who was closely associated with the Met for four decades. In total, nine men have now come forward, either by name or anonymously, with accusations against Levine.

Sessions from Studio A - The Rooks

May 17, 2018
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

The Rooks perform "Bury Me Deep" in WNIJ's Studio A.

The Rooks perform "Secrets" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Find The Rooks online at therooksband.com.

The myriad stories about Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson usually fall into two groups: the ones about her enormous, laser-focused voice and those about her rapier-sharp wit.

Call it a percussionist's answer to Flight of the Bumblebee — with a twist. "Filigree," by composer Robert Honstein, is a rapid-fire workout for solo vibraphone. The instrument's bars, however, are partly covered in tinfoil, which adds a unique layer of color to the music.

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