Alexis Smith

Recent Posts

Sep 25 2018

The Magical World of Skunkadelia

Posted by Alexis Smith on Sep 25, 2018 1:28:17 PM | 0 comments | Interviews

Any story that begins with “well, it all started with a moose…” you know is going to be a good story. This week, the blog decided to do something a little different from our typical profile: we’re focusing on robots—beautiful, fantastic robots. And I mean fantastic, in a quite literal sense. To encounter the work of artist Skunk, you’re transported away from the mundanity of everyday life to a fantasy world where junk-metal comes to life and can emote and have a distinctive personality, to a bicycle chopper gang that pilots choppers through the streets of Somerville with the mission to “BUST THE FUNK”. This week, I entered the world of Skunkadelia.

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Sep 06 2018

Kristo Kondacki on Music as Transformation, 'Sheltering Voices', and Political Exile

Posted by Alexis Smith on Sep 6, 2018 2:39:51 PM | 0 comments | Interviews, Boston

Many of you may have seen a video circulating Facebook featuring an orchestra whose choir was comprised partly of women currently experiencing homelessness. The project, called 'Sheltering Voices', is the brainchild of Kristo Kondacki, co-founder and conductor of the Eureka Ensemble, and has gone viral with cities across the country reaching out to Kondacki in an effort to start similar programs in their home-cities.

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Aug 21 2018

Stacey Chou from the Flute Quintet, In Radiance, Talks About the Flute

Posted by Alexis Smith on Aug 21, 2018 4:11:01 PM | 0 comments | Interviews

A few months ago this blog featured the Boston Trombone Project and we explored the history of the trombone and what makes it special. Now it's time for an instrument on the other end of the spectrum, the flute. This week, I sat down with Stacey Chou, from the flute quintet, In Radiance, to talk about what exactly a flute quintet is, what makes it so special, and how they're changing around the chamber music concert.

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Aug 09 2018

Sasha Callahan on Restoring Intimacy to Chamber Music

Posted by Alexis Smith on Aug 9, 2018 4:34:42 PM | 1 comment | Interviews, Boston

Generally my editor likes these articles to be around a thousand words, I can usually pare down to around 1200 or so, but in talking this week to Sasha Callahan I simply couldn't cut anything. (Get ready readers, you’re in it for the long haul!) Sasha, who co-founded the Willamette Valley Chamber Music Festival along with her husband, cellist Leo Eguchi and her sister, has so much passion and enthusiasm and joy for chamber music that it's just infectious and well-worth reading about.

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Aug 01 2018

Amy Smith Talks About Boston's Magical Melting Pot of Belly Dancing History

Posted by Alexis Smith on Aug 1, 2018 11:26:56 AM | 0 comments | Boston

This week I had the chance to interview Amy Smith, founder of Belly Dance New England and member of the Origins Folkloric Dance Company. Amy has been researching Boston’s rich history of belly dance and how borders do not equal disparate cultures.

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Jul 20 2018

Ben Hires of The Boston Public Library is Creating a Synthesis of the Arts, Accessible to All

Posted by Alexis Smith on Jul 20, 2018 3:40:44 PM | 0 comments | Interviews

Boston Public Library’s new Director of Strategic Partnerships, Ben Hires, has used his multifaceted background to embrace what it means to be an artist as citizen and looks forward toward a future of cross-collaboration.

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Jul 02 2018

Peter DiMuro: Finding Commonality Between Words

Posted by Alexis Smith on Jul 2, 2018 12:33:27 PM | 0 comments | Interviews

Peter DiMuro views art as a window into humanity. He believes art to be a great unifier meant to reach wide bodies of people and bring them together into a shared experience. A little while ago, I spoke to Maria Finkelmeier about the magic of bringing a large group of people together to experience the same thing at the same time. There’s an intimacy and magic in shared experiences. During these fractured times, it seems as if it is more important than ever to be open to sharing experiences and learning to find the commonalities that we all share as humans. In the wake of Anthony Bourdain’s death, let us be reminded that these bonds can be found in the most unexpected and simple of places to create new friendships and open dialogue.

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Jun 12 2018

Kathleen McDermott: Divas as Pioneers of Women's Rights Through Grit and Spectacle

Posted by Alexis Smith on Jun 12, 2018 3:58:34 PM | 1 comment | Interviews

Today, the term diva has pejorative connotations as someone who is temperamental or hard to work with or self-absorbed and uncompromising. Yet in the classical world, divas were goddesses. Literally. In Latin, diva means “goddess.” In my opinion, divas were bad-ass bosses who fought tooth and nail to survive. They were larger-than-life women because they had few legal or economic protections. They were idolized onstage but treated as social outcasts in person. A man could have a diva mistress but never marry her. There’s the famous story of diva Adelina Patti being pursued by a prince who, for an entire season, night after night sent her jeweled brooches, necklaces, or bracelets with the note: “It is I. It is I again. It is always.” Yet jewels were always more than shallow display for divas; gems were an integral part of their life savings.

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Jun 01 2018

Mark Gould: Orchestra Confidential

Posted by Alexis Smith on Jun 1, 2018 11:19:16 AM | 0 comments

When I was a kid, Harry Potter was all of the rage and with it, trying to typecast yourself in specific Hogwarts houses—was I brainy like a Ravenclaw, conniving like a Slytherin, or maybe brave like a Gryffindor? Hopefully anything but silly Hufflepuff.  My friends and I obsessed about it until we realized that we were band geeks and in lieu of having any sort of social status, we had something almost as good: a predetermined ratings system in the form of instrumental stereotypes. (Maybe I was a Hufflepuff after all.)

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