New book by Prof. Daniel Asia, "Observations on Music, Culture, and Politics" | The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies

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New book by Prof. Daniel Asia, "Observations on Music, Culture, and Politics"

05/10/2021 - 14:45

Daniel Asia
Professor, Music
Fred Fox School of Music, University of Arizona

Observations on Music, Culture, and Politics is a bit of a surprise, or at least it is to me. It came about in a rather unintended fashion. I had been giving a talk around the country, “Breath in a Ram’s Horn: The Jewish Spirit in Classical Music.” One of my daughter’s best friends was dating a young editor at The Huffington Post (HP). He and I met for the fun of it, and he took a liking to the idea of my writing up that presentation as a feature for HP, with the subtitle “Why Classical Music is like Jewish Prayer.” I did so, and he published it around the time of the Jewish High Holy Days.

The HP editor mentioned to me sometime thereafter that, since I had been published, I could now post other materials, though I did not originally give it much thought. A few months or so later, I attended a colleague’s concert, which included a performance of Cage’s well-known work Sonatas and Interludes. Soon thereafter, I wrote “The Put On of the Century, or the Cage Centenary” and posted it. Little did I know that I was whacking a hornets’ nest, as those hornets came after me with a vengeance. This resulted in my continuing to take up my pen (okay, keyboard) to ward off those attacks and to make the case for why the compositional, and larger cultural, world was not in a good place and needed to re-orient itself. Read More

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