New year already starting to sled by

By Tim Smith

Where A r[ts] Thou?

The @ home edition

These first few days into the new year have gone by swiftly – one day, we were kayaking and the next, we had a fire going in the fireplace, only a few degrees from receiving a bit of snow . . . sadly none arrived.

Living in North Texas has some wonderful advantages, shoveling snow and sledding happen to not be on that short list – too often. I am, and will always be, an Illinois born and raised snow lover, so only memories sustain.

Speaking of reflections, and as promised last week, I recently purchased a copy of Rolling Stone magazine, and to all that enjoy the art of photography, remember, that one picture does speak a thousand words, hence the allure of the cover on this December 2020 special issue.

Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift, three icons, the other being a survivor from its '60s launch onto the magazine landscape – all representing music history are in one image, powerful, and bridge building.

In its featured article, “Musicians on Musicians: Taylor Swift & Paul McCartney: On songwriting secrets, making albums at home, and what they’ve learned during the pandemic,” with photography by Mary McCartney and the conversation (transcript) edited by Patrick Doyle, this is one of those lightening in the bottle resources that will take me a few weeks to digest, and then attempt to discover a manner in which to share the content, without taking too much away from your reading enjoyment.

“I often feel like I’m writing to someone who is not doing so well. Not in a crusading way, but I’m trying to write songs that might help. I think that’s that angle I want: that inspiration thing.” Paul McCartney.

“I always thought, 'That’ll never track on pop radio,' 'but when I was making ‘Folklore,’ I thought, ‘Nothing makes sense anymore. If there’s chaos everywhere, why not just use the…word I want to use in the song?’” Taylor Swift.

Between those bookend statements, so much to savor, so please come back in the weeks to come.

Just thinking, this is one of the first holiday seasons when I have not seen and then felt compelled to write about the latest feature film that is capturing my family’s attention and then, dominating our holiday conversations.

Something too, is diminished, when I also am not able to share a reminder, that when planning to travel to New York City over the upcoming spring break, (remember those?), “. . . here are a few stage productions you might want to check out.”

Those days will return, in some fashion, and in the meantime, please support the ever-expanding roster of virtual offerings from any number of the nation’s premiere theatres, art institutions and other art venues.

Many of them have the potential to bring much needed financial support to the presenting organization through expanding membership bases and other streaming services.

How things work out: Literally, and as I was typing this to you, I was able to watch over my iPhone, (and presented by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas) the Digital Van Cliburn Concert Series 2021 New Years Day Concert.

This special “. . . performance takes the audience into the Great Hall and the galleries of Crystal Bridges, presenting pairings of artworks from its collection and temporary exhibitions with music performed by Northwest Arkansas musicians. Each of these performances feature our Van Cliburn Concert Grand Piano as the star and are accompanied by various musicians for a variety concert experience that celebrates art and music.”

Watching ballet with an orchestra, in this case sharing, “Appalachian Spring” by Aaron Copland, each distancing and yet, not, was like being in a dream.

They are out there, these magnificent works, so please look for them and support the commitment by all artists to keeping us engaged and connected as creative beings.

The songs and dances remember when, as do old films and television programs – most of which were reported on in the pages of Rolling Stone, which still gathers no moss.

See you in the ‘local’ paper and online.

t A s

(This is the @ home edition of Where A r[ts] Thou? by Tim Smith)

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