(NY Times, Rolling Stone, Spin, Vibe, NPR)
The Holy or the Broken:
Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & the Unlikely Ascent of
Tuesday 15th at 10 AM
Room G-20 – Vanderbilt Divinity
“A venerated creator (Cohen). An adored, tragic interpreter (Buckley). An uncomplicated, memorable melody. Ambiguous, evocative words. Faith and uncertainty. Pain and pleasure.”
Today, “Hallelujah” is one of the most-performed rock songs in history. It has become a staple of movies and television shows as diverse as Shrek and The West Wing, of tribute videos and telethons. It has been covered by hundreds of artists, including Bob Dylan, U2, Justin Timberlake, and k.d. lang, and it is played every year at countless events—both sacred and secular—around the world.
Yet when music legend Leonard Cohen first wrote and recorded “Hallelujah,” it was for an album rejected by his longtime record label. Ten years later, charismatic newcomer Jeff Buckley reimagined the song for his much-anticipated debut album, Grace. Three years after that, Buckley would be dead, his album largely unknown, and “Hallelujah” still unreleased as a single. After two such commercially disappointing outings, how did one obscure song become an international anthem for human triumph and tragedy, a song each successive generation seems to feel they have discovered and claimed as uniquely their own?
Through in-depth interviews with its interpreters and the key figures who were actually there for its original recordings, acclaimed music journalist Alan Light follows the improbable journey of “Hallelujah” straight to the heart of popular culture. The Holy or the Broken (Simon and Schuster) gives insight into how great songs come to be, how they come to be listened to, and how they can be forever reinterpreted.
"Thoughtful and illuminating... [Mr. Light] is a fine companion for this journey through one song’s changing fortunes." (The New York Times)
A Brilliantly revelatory...masterful work of critical journalism." (Kirkus Reviews)
View From A Small Boat
Tuesday, February 28th 10-11 AM - Divinity Art Room (G-20)
Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture is pleased to present View from a Small Boat with award-winning photographer and adventurer John Guider. Guider built a small motor-less boat, launched it into the Cumberland River close to his home, traveled to the Mississippi, to the Gulf of Mexico, across the Gulf to Key West, then up the entire East Coast of Florida. He will soon begin an arduous trip up the Atlantic coast to New York City. "My intention is to go out for at least two months every year until I have completed the circumnavigation known as the 'Great Loop'. Once I get to New York City, I will enter the Hudson and Erie Canal, make my way across the Great Lakes, down to Chicago, and back to the Mississippi, ending up in Cairo, Illinois where I first entered from the Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland Rivers. The total journey is over 6000 miles, I am a little more than halfway with at least three years to go." Guider will tell us about his several year journey, which is also a journey of the soul and spirit. He will feature his exquisite photographs showing the water and land from a point of view seldom seen. Like the abstractions of modernist photographers, Guider's emphasis on texture and ambiguous subject matter evokes his encounter with nature. His work shows us a world visible only at a slow river pace. "My images are meant to be an expression for what I was feeling rather than a response to what I was seeing. The realities that appear in my photographs are intended to act as vessels for the poetry that lies within me."
John Guider is a nationally recognized award winning photographer and author, and one of eleven finalists in The Most Beautiful Minds in America 2011. His work has appeared in major publications such as Print, Communication Arts and Graphis. He is the recipient of many awards including a national Addy Award, the American Cancer Society's Excalibur Award, and the Nashville Advertising Federation's highest award, the Silver Medalist, in the year 2000. His images and his adventures have been featured in numerous magazine, television, and newspaper articles and broadcasts.
Andy Statman Trio
Divinity Reading Room
February 16 at 7:30 PM.
ANDY STATMAN'S virtuosity is legendary and his versatility is stunning. His music is a unique and often unpredictable amalgam of bluegrass and American roots, avant-garde jazz, Jewish Klezmer and Hassidic sources. A mere glance at some of his musical collaborators over the years—including Itzhak Perlman, David Grissman, Jerry Garcia, Bela Fleck and Ricky Skaggs—confirm his eclecticism, versatility, and legendary status in contemporary American music. Equally virtuosic on mandolin and clarinet, the Grammy-nominee is an intense and spiritual performer known for barn-burning solos, sprawling improvisation and prayerful meditations based on centuries-old Hassidic Nigunim. Much as John Coltrane transformed modern jazz vocabulary into a language of musical prayer, Statman too has redefined Jewish music through Jewish mysticism, spiced with a hearty helping of American musical influences.
"There are those who know Andy Statman as the virtuoso Klezmer clarinetist—violinist Itzhak Perlman for instance, who chose Statman to lead his klezmer album. There are those who know Andy Statman as the down-home mandolin player with a stack of straight-up bluegrass albums to his credit. In Statman's versatile hands is a music that's full of surprises, sophisticated and completely accessible at once." New York Daily News
"Statman's virtuosity has labeled him a genius by his peers." The Village Voice
" . . . a music not bound by denomination but a beautiful vital sound full of heat, heart, and a love of God." Rolling Stone
Songs for the Earth Concert
Songs of Protest Concert