Archive for November, 2006

Interview: Brigitte Fürle

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Brigitte Furle 2Brigitte Fürle, the new artistic director of Spielzeiteuropa, found a few minutes to talk with us about her project, just an hour before the official opening of the festival. She has previously worked on a range of productions at Schauspielfrankfurt, the Young Directors Project at the Salzburg Festival, the Bavarian State Theater and the Wiener Festwochen. Since 1995, she has been teaching Theater Studies at the University of Vienna, offering a course on the work of Robert Lepage.

Spielzeiteuropa opened on November 16 at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, which changed its attire dramatically for the occasion. Brigitte brought in a photo installation by the Latvian artist Monika Pormale, in order to inhabit the house before the arrival of the audience and the artists: the facade and foyer of the building were draped with large-scale photos of couples embracing in different Berlin locales. Brigitte alludes to the significance of this installation in the interview, relating it to the central themes of this year’s festival.

Alles Wird Gut Photoinstallation
Photo installation: Alles Wird Gut, by Monika Pormale

 Interview: Brigitte Fürle [12:27m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Yoko’s Simple Message, Big Idea

Monday, November 27th, 2006

Yoko Ono has chosen to mark the December 8th anniversary of John Lennon’s death with a very public plea for healing.

In a full page advertisement in the New York Times (Sunday, November 26), Ono thanks John’s fans for remembering the tragedy that took his life, and encourages all of us to send a message a those suffering in today’s world:

To the people who have lost loved ones without cause: forgive us for having been unable to stop the tragedy. We pray for the wounds to heal.

To the soldiers of all countries and of all centuries, who were maimed for life, or who lost their lives: forgive us for our misjudgments and what happened as a result of them.

To the civilians who were maimed, or killed, or who lost their family members: forgive us for having been unable to prevent it.

To the people who have been abused and tortured: forgive us for having allowed it to happen.

Know that your loss is our loss.
Know that the physical and mental abuse you have endured will have a lingering effect on our society, and the world.
Know that the burden is ours.

As a widow of one who was killed by an act of violence, I don’t know if I am ready yet to forgive the one who pulled the trigger. I am sure all victims of violent crimes feel as I do. But healing is what is urgently needed now in the world.

Let’s heal the wounds together.

Every year, let’s make December 8th the day to ask for forgiveness from those who suffered the insufferable.
Let’s wish strongly that one day we will be able to say that we healed ourselves, and by healing ourselves, we healed the world.

With deepest love,
Yoko Ono Lennon
New York City, 2006

Believe it or not, there was a time when John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” was considered ever so controversial. A simple song — a big idea.

Wouldn’t it be immensely sad if a widow asking to give healing a chance were in any way controversial today? This, too, is after all a simple message — a big idea.

Don’t you think?

- Bill Reichblum

Interview: Alain Paré

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

Alain Pare ThumbnailAlain Paré is the founder and Président-Directeur Général (Chief Executive Officer) of CINARS, Canada’s International Exchange for the Performing Arts. For 17 years, he was a manager and agent for many well-known Quebec artists, as well as the founder of the production company Les Productions Contour. He also served as president and board member of ADISQ for the recording and performance industry. From 1989 to 1994, he represented the Conseil Francophone de la Chanson as vice president in North America. The Paris-based Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique retained his services for the organization of 3 editions of the Marché des Arts du Spectacle Africain (MASA), which were held in Ivory Coast in 1993, 1995 and 1997. He was also the co-founder in 1999, and the president from February 2000 until June 2001, of Festivals Montréal.

As this year’s CINARS was coming to a close, KadmusArts sat down with Alain to talk about the different approaches to selling the performing arts, and the latest trends in work created for touring.

 Interview: Alain Paré [5:35m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Live From Montreal: CINARS

Monday, November 20th, 2006

This week, over one thousand artists, presenters, managements, and representatives from national arts councils came together in Montreal for the 12th edition of CINARS.

CINARS creates a meeting place for the industry of performing arts on tour. Breakfast presentations, luncheon discussions, excerpted performances, and selling are all part of four days and nights. (Of course, the hotel bar is also part of the experience. More on this below.)

The main focus of the day is the convention floor of 130 booths, each with their own instant identity. From a low-tech table with pamphlets, to the video monitors, to laptops and colorful lighting, each booth is trying to get your interest. There is something remarkably old fashioned about the market place. Expectant sellers wait in their booths trying to get the attention of the crowd walking down the aisles. To make it more difficult for the sellers’ morale, not all of the “walkers” are buyers.

I noticed that many walkers adopted the theory that if you provide too much eye contact, it is hard to politely extract yourself. Many adopt a kind of quick nod with a smile, as if to say “I have to be somewhere else, but I will be sure to come back to you, later” even if they have no intention of coming back.

The sellers who appear to have the most fun are the representatives of national arts councils. They can talk about “their” artists, without the kinds of responsibilities/worries/fear of debt that small artist management companies — one guy with two artists, for example — have in pushing forward “their” list of artists.

A key aspect of the art of booth management is to stay standing. This gives the impression that someone has just left your booth and you have not had time to sit; and, you are confident that your selling services will be required, again, at any moment. No one said this was going to be easy.

Still, this is an arts crowd and every single person in that room understands, first hand, just how difficult it is to promote, sell, and make the performing arts happen. So, for the most part, good cheer and warmth pervade the room — no easy task in a hotel conference spread.

From an informal and by no means extensive analysis there was one booth that consistently had the most traffic stop and look more closely. I don’t know how much business they did. I do know why so many stopped. Not only was the booth perfectly positioned next to a coffee station, but it also featured a large screen video monitor showing a completely naked dance company create images of, and well… by, beauty. Some coffee, some nudity; this is work — ah, life in the arts.

One of the most popular features of the conference was the opportunity to see performances (most excerpted, some in full) selected by CINARS, and those local groups who could be a part of “Off CINARS.” Everyone knows Montreal is a great city; what you might not know is that it is also an incredibly fertile ground for the performing arts.

The next time you see a dance group from Canada, there’s a good chance that they are in front of you because of what took place at CINARS. And, if size of a booth and high level of humor, smiles, and fun is any indication — the next time you see an Australian group performing in Canada, you’ll know why.

As for the bar, according to my on-the-ground contact (developed over each night of my stay) this arts crowd was one of the best conventions for the hotel’s bar business. They came early; they stayed late; and, they were having fun.

- Bill Reichblum

Creative Stimulants

Monday, November 13th, 2006

The place to be last week, for at least one kind of creative type, was the Idea Conference in New York. Hosted by Advertising Age and Creativity Magazine, the one-day conference brought together marketing experts, advertising creators, and regular New York buzz makers to look at the “latest trends in the world of marketing communications creativity.”

One throughline was the best approaches and practices to foster creativity. This is something we spend a lot of time trying to do at KadmusArts. So I took special note of the wisdom of how small budget limitations can be inspiring; or, trust one’s instincts, not research; or, create a flat management structure; or, think like a band.

However, one item in Ad Age’s Andrew Hampp’s published list of the 18 best nuggets of knowledge, certainly stands out:

9. Drugs won’t supply your ‘Aha!’ moment
They no longer fuel the creativity of Alex Bogusky, chief creative officer at Crispin Porter & Bogusky. “There was a time where I’d be working on something where I’d need to drink,” Mr. Bogusky said. “The problem is, the longer you do it, the smaller that window for creativity gets. And then you’re trashed.” He also pointed out that getting to that eureka time requires hard graft and is often about ripping up lots of OK ideas and starting over. (And you thought it was just brilliance and the occasional bong!)

Oh! Who knew?

After all, if you watch a lot of television commercials or see some marketing campaigns unfold you might think that there are lot of ad agencies that have not yet taken Alex’s advice to heart.

It should be noted that this item is listed before “Market to the Interested” (at No. 11), but after “Prototype Early” (at No. 8). Hmmm.

As wild (and wonderful) as the process of making art and then performing art can be, could you imagine an artists’ conference where this would need to be said?

This tells me that — yet again — the arts are ahead of the advertising geniuses. Yes, the paychecks differ (significantly so), but where would marketing and advert gurus be without us?

We switched to a nice glass of wine only after the arduous work of creativity is done, a long time ago.

Or, is it just me and Alex?

- Bill Reichblum

In the Beginning was the Logos

Monday, November 6th, 2006

Here’s something fun: test your visual awareness.

As a user of the site, you like to explore, travel, and stay up on the latest trends in live entertainment. The arts - no matter what form - show us the world from a different, or new, or captivating (or all three), point of view. So, generally artists and their audiences pride themselves on a keen awareness of the world around them.

Corporations spend millions trying to make sure their image sticks in our minds. They want us to associate a specific combination of color, graphic, font, size, and word with their good works. Think of all the money, all the meetings, all the committees, and all the angst to come up with that one and perfect image.

[Fully developed in-house — and you should know: no money was spent; there were no committees; and, as I recall, there wasn’t much angst. Of course, if you can do better with the same rules (no money, committee, or angst) — you are most welcome to send in your idea. At this point, we won’t even have to change the stationery (nonexistent), nor the coffee mugs (assorted collection from other cool places), nor jackets (we all bring our own).]

Addy Feuerstein has posted a Digg to a little game: it’s called “Guess the Logo.” These are logos you see everyday, everywhere. How good are you at picking the true one?

Let us know your score (correct answers and time). The highest scorer will receive their very own, signed, first edition (!) KadmusArts bookmark. (Isn’t that an exciting incentive!)

Even if you are not the winner, the test has its own benefit: you’ll slow down and take a really good look at the world surrounding us.

- Bill Reichblum

P.S. Come to think of it, the original Google logo was developed (in-house, no money, no committee, no angst) by Sergey Brin. The current version (by Ruth Kedar) is a refinement of the original idea - the fundamental logo remains much the same. Seems like we have some good company in our approach to logo development…

Interview: Johnny Palazzotto

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Photo: Johnny PalazzottoJohnny Palazzotto has his sounds playing throughout the music world from his base in the home of the blues — Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Over the last thirty-six years, Johnny has guided some of the most successful artists through their careers. In addition to producing Baton Rouge Blues Week, Johnny runs the recording label and marketing company Club Lousianne, music publisher Ertis Music, audio/video post facility Main Street Studios, and Pal Productions for producing events and representing talent. In other words, if you want to make music, you might want to be in touch with Johnny.

In this interview, Johnny talks about how the music industry works, how it should work, reminds us of the old saying that the Blues and Jazz had a baby — it was Rock ‘n Roll — and lets us in on his playlist this week: be sure to check out Raful Neal and family.

 Interview: Johnny Palazzotto [14:19m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download