Morgan Glennon: The Borgias Composer Trevor Morris Talks Scoring Season Three and the Enduring Legacy of The Tudors

The Tudors. The Borgias. Vikings. If you’ve watched a television period drama in the last few years, there’s a good chance it was scored by composer Trevor Morris. Morris has become a veritable time-traveler, musically taking us back to the distant past with a modern twist.

His score for The Tudors, mixing period instrumentation with a modern sensibility, nabbed him Emmy gold. In fact, Morris has been the most Emmy-nominated composer for the last two years.

Ahead of the April 14th season three premiere of Showtime’s scandalous papal drama The Borgias I chatted with Morris about finding the right tone for the score, the difficulties of creating the sound for The Tudors, and what’s to come in The Borgias’ third season.

via Morgan Glennon: The Borgias Composer Trevor Morris Talks Scoring Season Three and the Enduring Legacy of The Tudors.


J. Michael Welton: A New Magazine for Slow Travel

After seven years online (and three million views) the first issue of Wayfare magazine is now in print.

It’s been created by two partners — a writer/editor and a photographer/creative director — dedicated to idea that travel can be easy and efficient, even on the run.

“We want to redefine the travel magazine,” says Erica Dublin, editor of the new book she launched last week. “It’s about the journey and the experience — about the slow travel movement, like slow food.”

via J. Michael Welton: A New Magazine for Slow Travel.


Andrew Shaffer: How To Be a Literary Rogue (PHOTOS)

Way before musicians and actors cornered the market on misbehavior, writers were flooding hotel rooms and testing their livers’ upper limits. My new book, Literary Rogues, turns back the clock to consider these historical (and, in some cases, living) legends, including Oscar Wilde, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, and Bret Easton Ellis. Being a literary rogue isn’t that difficult, however: all you need are the right accessories.

via Andrew Shaffer: How To Be a Literary Rogue (PHOTOS).


Youth Vote Gap Suggests Republicans Risk Losing An ‘Entire Generation’ To Democrats

Heading into the 2012 election, Republicans were convinced young voters under the age of 30 were no longer in President Barack Obama’s corner, and they’d likely abandon him at the ballot box or simply not show up on Nov. 6. Considering Bureau of Labor Statistics data show young people have consistently held an unemployment rate as high as 10 percent, higher than other adult age groups since 2009, Mitt Romney gambled on making gains with the youth vote by simply talking about the economy and promising to get Americans back to work.

Instead, voters ages 18 to 29 — who made up 19 percent of the electorate, a greater share than in 2008, and half of whom cast a ballot, for the third presidential election in a row — went for Obama by 60 percent to 36 percent for Romney.

Now Republicans are faced with a grim premise as they look toward the future, with a much more racially diverse and socially liberal young voter base that supports Democrats by a large margin.

via Youth Vote Gap Suggests Republicans Risk Losing An ‘Entire Generation’ To Democrats.


Seyward Darby: Setting The Stage: The Kosovo National Ballet (PHOTOS)

KOSOVO — On a sultry summer afternoon in downtown Pristina, some two dozen ballet dancers in various combinations of sweats, track pants, leotards, and tights arrive in a narrow practice room to prepare for an evening performance. As they gather à la barre to warm up, a recording of piano music, playing the Cheers and Flintstones themes, “I Will Survive,” and other American classics, accompanies them. Afterward, the dancers spread across the floor to stretch feet, hamstrings, arms, backs and to take turns practicing leaps and turns. The mood is boisterous; the dancers clap and whistle along to the music while their fellow performers whirl.

Yet amid the good cheer are signs of the difficult existence of this company, the Kosovo National Ballet. There is a line of ragged tape down the middle of the floor where two panels were sealed together. Spare furniture has been shoved haphazardly to one side of the room. A piano sits unused under a burgundy drape. The practice room has only three windows and no mirrors, save a small one trimmed in yellow that leans against the wall in a corner. One or two dancers, if standing relatively still, can see themselves in it at a time. Downstairs is a room with mirrors built some time ago to improve the dancers’ practice conditions, but as holes quickly appeared in the floor, the group was obliged to move back upstairs. One of the dancers later remarks that a new building would be “the most magical thing that could happen for us.”

via Seyward Darby: Setting The Stage: The Kosovo National Ballet (PHOTOS).


Jim Sleeper: Yale Steps Into the Authoritarian Abyss

In “Quarrels With Providence,” his magisterial and, to my mind, unforgettable essay of 2001 about his alma mater’s past glories and contemporary travails, Lewis Lapham noted a bit impishly that “Institutions as venerable as Yale ordinarily arrange [their announcements] with considerable care, the press releases staged in a sequence indicative of sound judgment, good feeling, and the dawn of a bright new day.”

This month Yale tried to keep up that pretense as its new, star-crossed liberal arts college — undertaken with and paid for entirely by the authoritarian city-state of Singapore and its National University of Singapore — announced that “Students at the new Yale-NUS College will be able to express themselves freely on campus.”

Skepticism about this among Yale’s own faculty “would fade as people see the “successful education experiment,” Business Week was told by Pericles Lewis, the energetically pliable former Yale English professor who is now the new college’s president. “We expect students to express all kinds of opinions on campus,” he said. “The issue is about going off campus and, there, students will have to abide by the laws of Singapore.” The college’s first students, who are now being admitted, will arrive just over a year from now.

via Jim Sleeper: Yale Steps Into the Authoritarian Abyss.


Lightsey Darst: The Poorest Art: Dance and Money (I)

I’ve come to a conclusion about dance and money: if dancers did not sometimes sleep with rich people, American dance as we know it would cease to exist.

Absurd and degrading as this conclusion is — can you imagine the same being said of any other art form? — the dancers and dancemakers I’ve tried it out on have reacted with, at most, a laugh. Many haven’t reacted at all, as if this idea were already part of their lives. Dance’s capital is its sensual appeal; it has little other resource.

Just how poor is dance?

via Lightsey Darst: The Poorest Art: Dance and Money (I).