Mormon Arts Center

Journal

Board members and participants capture behind-the-scenes activities of the Mormon Arts Center in frequent posts.

Podcast transcription: Richard Bushman and Farms, Family, and Faith

Glen Nelson:                  Hello and welcome to the Mormon Art Center's Studio Podcast. In this episode, we'll sit down with historian Richard Lyman Bushman to discuss his new book, The American Farmer in the Eighteenth Century: A Social and Cultural History. The book is just out, published by Yale University Press, and it gives me an excuse to get Richard into the interviewee's chair and pummel him with questions about the meaning of life or if not that, at least the meaning of his latest book. Welcome Richard.

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Another Life for "Cat"

We're very happy to announce that Andrew Maxfield’s composition, They All Saw a Cat, which the Mormon Arts Center commissioned and premiered at our Festival is having another life. On September 29, the BYU Philharmonic, under the direction of conductor Kory Katseanes, will give the orchestral premiere of the work as part of a free family concert series at Brigham Young University.

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Podcast transcription: Joy and Terror in the Art of Annie Poon

Glen Nelson:                  Hello everybody, and welcome back to the Mormon Arts Center's Studio Podcast. I'm your host Glen Nelson in New York. In our second episode, we present an interview with visual artist, Annie Poon whose award-winning, stop-motion animation films have been exhibited in museums and film festivals across the country. Today. We'll discuss Poon's work, her respect for outsider artists, how her mental health issues affect her artwork, and her daily creative exploration of LDS scriptures and their translation into her singular imagery.

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Podcast transcription: Jamie Erekson/James W. McConkie

Glen Nelson:                        Hello everybody and welcome to the first podcast of the Mormon Arts Center. I'm your host Glen Nelson in New York. In today's episode, we'll be telling the story of one of the great what-ifs of Mormon Arts: the life and music of composer James Wilson McConkie. Sitting in the studio with me--and by studio I mean my studio apartment--is Jamie Erekson, grandson of McConkie, who is currently bringing to life the music of this forgotten LDS composer. McConkie is almost completely unknown now, but in the 1950s, he was poised for a major career in American classical music. He earned a PhD in Composition at Columbia University in 1950 and then went to Paris to study with the legendary teacher Nadia Boulanger. Then tragedy struck at the age of 32.

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Recap Video

While the festival was coming to a close, our videographer was just getting started. In the weeks after we wrapped up in July, he and his crew were editing every presentation, concert, and discussion in order to put it all on YouTube. That way, anybody can experience the entire festival wherever they live. We asked him to create a short recap video, and we sent it out to all of our subscribers yesterday. Here's a link to the video on YouTube.

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Podcast transcription: Scott Holden

Glen Nelson:                        Hello everybody and welcome back to another episode of the Mormon Art Center's Studio Podcast. Two nights ago, Scott Holden stepped onto the stage at Carnegie Hall's beautiful, new jewel box Zankel Hall for a recital that would have sounded preposterous even a few years ago, a survey of classical music by Mormon composers performed in the most important music building in America. It's weird, Scott, now that I hear myself saying that out loud, it seemed almost too grand, but describing it any other way, shortchanges the historical moment it represented for me and the tremendous efforts behind it. So today Scott and I are sitting down together to listen to excerpts from a baker's dozen of LDS composers represented on the program, A Century of Mormon Music, and to describe what it was like to discover and champion these composers' works. Welcome. 

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Galaxies

It's exciting for me to see projects of the Mormon Arts Center continue to have a life beyond our projects. One example is the concert at Carnegie Hall by Scott Holden, A Century of Mormon Music. While he was rehearsing, he was also going into the recording studio. The result is a CD, The Unknown Galaxy: A Century of Classical Mormon Music, produced by Tantara Records' Heritage Series. For those unable to have attended the concert live, this is the next best thing. 

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Art Down

It felt strange seeing all of the paintings and drawings from the exhibition Nzambi (God) down off the walls at the Italian Academy this week. Columbia had requested that the show stay around another month after the festival ended in June so more people on campus could see it. I went to the gallery and removed the paintings, took off the hardware, pulled off the wall labels. The room felt so lonely. The director of the Italian Academy, Rick Whitaker, told me that he already missed the works. 

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