It has become an annual tradition on this blog, a chore, and — increasingly — an unwelcome reminder of how infrequently I blog these days. Life is busy, and my writing energies are differently channeled, for example into academic assignments. But music remains important, and I continue to actively combat the overwhelming taste for nostalgia most middle-aged people apparently develop at some point, by regularly seeking out new recorded music.
Art is not a mirror to reflect the world, but a hammer with which to shape it. This statement is variously attributed to Bertolt Brecht, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Leon Trotsky and Karl Marx, and is probably apocryphal in all cases. The … [read more]
Finding the energy to write about the year’s favourite music doesn’t come as easily as it used to anymore. This year, I’ve literally left it to the last hours of 2014 and am now trying to cram it in like … [read more]
The CBC’s Fifth Estate, a documentary show that presents a weekly 60 Minutes style documentary, recently aired the corporation’s official public reckoning with the Jian Ghomeshi affair. (We know there’s perhaps some sort of report still to come from the … [read more]
Leading up to the impending start of my graduate program in anthropology, I have gotten myself involved in an initiative which—based in the Department—will explore ‘real-world’ and sometimes non-academic applications of ethnographic research. While that initiative continues to be mostly … [read more]
Anthropology is, with music and mathematics, one of the few true vocations; and the anthropologist may become aware of it within himself before ever he has been taught it. (Claude Lévi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques, 1961) It is a notable curiosity that … [read more]
To round out the year (and in customary fashion), here’s a quick post to list my favourite classical music releases of 2013. The picture above shows the box and looming contents of John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach Cantatas box set — … [read more]
I took the picture above in our front yard this morning. Overnight, we got the ‘great ice storm of 2013,’ 12 hours of freezing rain. It downed tree limbs and whole trees, took down power lines, destroyed cars and eavestroughs … [read more]