“April is the cruellest month,” T.S. Eliot wrote in The Waste Land (1922), referring to not just to a reawakening of lilacs and the like, but also a remembrance of desires and regrets mercifully forgotten during the previous benumbed season. But anyone who has endured the present electoral cycle in the United States, or even watched it from afar, might beg to differ, asserting November’s climax to a season of turbulence and discord – particularly this year, the likes of which (and certainly the depths of which) we’ve seldom witnessed before.
But with politics on our minds, we move ahead into the second month of The Log Journal with a special focus on exactly that: politics, viewed from a variety of perspectives. In the days and weeks ahead, certainly you’ll read about new music and about performances that are taking place at National Sawdust and elsewhere. But you’ll also hear from a performer whose newest recital program was prompted by concern over climate change; a composer whose latest opera dealt with a political subject, and who himself dealt with politics of a sort in its critical reception; a critic whose area of specialty involves classical music and political activism; and more.
Also coming in November, an interview with an artist whose thoughts on last month’s topic, community, seemed even more applicable to a consideration of the politics involved in moving between and among varying communities – performers and audiences alike – and coverage of a 50th-anniversary concert by Musica Elettronica Viva, a groundbreaking musical institution whose performances attracted politically oriented riots on occasion, and whose very idiom proposed radical new ideas about authorship and collaboration. (The concert will take place at National Sawdust on Sunday, Nov. 13.)
To all who’ve read and responded to The Log Journal so far, our sincerest thanks. We’re making steady progress, and your Facebook and Twitter shares have helped that process along. The best, we promise, is yet to come, and your feedback is not just welcome – it’s vital.
Director of publications, National Sawdust
Steve Smith can be reached at email@example.com.