“We can play anything”: a conversation with Satoko Fujii on creative determination and the musical self

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A FREE PUBLIC EVENT

An interview and demonstration with Satoko Fujii
In conversation with Alister Spence

‘Unpredictable, wildly creative, and uncompromising…Fujii is an absolutely essential listen for anyone interested in the future of jazz.’ 
– Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

For virtuoso Japanese pianist and composer Satoko Fujii, the search for musical identity has been a long journey. Training in classical piano from an early age constrained her improvisational urge to ‘just hit things’ on the piano, to explore sounds in themselves. Later studies in jazz at Berklee College of Music, Boston, reinforced her view that following conventional approaches to improvisation and composition was creatively inauthentic. During further advanced studies at the New England Conservatory, pianist and improviser Paul Bley encouraged Fujii to pursue her musical ideas however inchoate they might have initially seemed. From then on Fujii followed her intuition unwaveringly and created sounds that she liked – ‘violations’, as she calls them. The determination to forge her own creative path has produced music that has brought international critical acclaim.

In this lecture demonstration, Fujii will reflect on the importance of curiosity and determination in creative development vis-à-vis the notion of talent. Allied to this is the discussion of the developmental relationship between personal musical expression, formal training and cultural background as exemplified by her engagement with Okinawan music and min’yo vocal styles. Fujii’s broader vision is of a vibrant, multi-faceted, and multi-dimensional music community, one that champions individual endeavour and a commitment to the creative self.

Read more about the Roger Covell Fellowship

On the night:
7pm – 7.30pm – Drinks in the foyer of Io Myers Studio with Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura
7.30pm –  8.30pm – Interview and demonstration with Satoko Fujii and Alister Spence

Finding us
Io Myers Studio is located at the entrance to Gate 2 High St, Kensington. Look for the Creative Practice Lab neon sign in our foyer windows.

Parking
There is limited parking in the Gate 2 area around Io Myers Studio but free parking is available from 6:30pm in the car park next to NIDA accessed through Day Ave.

Links
More information on getting to UNSW.
Download a campus map.  (PDF)

The ‘Imagine Meeting you Here: Fujii/Spence performance, education, recording project’ is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-Japan Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

[“Source-ndtv”]

AT&T Adds Security Apps For Networks

Inside An AT&T Inc. Store Ahead Of Earnings Figures

The AT&T Inc. logo is seen past a customer and a retail sales consultant at an AT&T store in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images Photograph by Andrew Harrer — Getty Images

AT&T is expanding its lineup of products for business customers that use its services for managing data centers and large networks.

Customers that want to add security features can now forgo buying specialized hardware from outside companies like Palo Alto Networks (PANW, +0.41%), Juniper Networks, and Check Point Software (CHKP, +0.81%). Instead they can use software to do the same thing, saving money and avoiding headaches, says Thaddeus Arroyo, who oversees the AT&T unit focused on large business customers.

“Once we get the basic service installed, it’s as easy as downloading an app on a smartphone if you want,” Arroyo says.

AT&T’s corporate division has been trying woo customers away from buying proprietary networking gear in favor of cheaper hardware that can be upgraded by downloading software. The push moves AT&T from just deploying and managing gear made by others on its customers’ networks to selling its own hardware and collecting recurring revenue for the applications, as well.

The new Flexware line, which changed its name from “AT&T Network Functions on Demand” last year, can already run network routing software from Juniper (JNPR, +0.52%) and Cisco Systems, security features from Fortinet (FTNT, +0.65%), and programs from other well-known network gear manufacturers.

The new security applications can provide services like firewalls to keep out hackers or filters to block phishing emails from reaching employee e-mail in boxes.

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The carrier’s latest push follows the larger trend to cut costs in corporate data centers and cloud computing facilities by relying more on software. This market is expected to grow 53% annually for the next four years, reaching $12.5 billion in total sales in 2020, according to market research firm International Data Corp.

AT&T’s pitch is that customers can spend much less with Flexware than if they bought all the dedicated hardware to connect to their networks from the same vendors. Implementing the same functions in software on generic computers is less costly overall.

AT&T (T, -0.03%) says it has sold 2,000 Flexware devices since the name change last October. The product is available in 200 countries now, up from 150 last year, AT&T said.

The participating network software companies are hoping to keep customers in the fold as the shift to cloud computing and more generic networking gear gains momentum. But it hasn’t been easy. Some of the larger companies like Cisco (CSCO, +1.89%) and Ericsson (ERICCSON) have seen sales slump for key, high-profit networking gear. In March, Cisco paid almost $4 billion to acquire AppDynamics, a leading provider of network monitoring services via the cloud.

AT&T’s bid to get customers to switch to more software-based networking mirrors its own efforts to cut costs through software in its own massive network. The carrier said 34% of its own network was software-driven at the end of 2016, with a goal of 55% by the end of 2017 and 75% by 2020.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Cannes Film Review: ‘Loveless’

'Loveless' Review from Cannes: Andrey Zvyagintsev's

 

Alexey Zvyagintsev’s stark tale of a divorcing couple is a missing- child procedural that meditates on the corruption of Russia.

“Loveless,” the title of the compelling and forbidding new movie by the Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev (“Leviathan,” “Elena”), seems, for a while, to refer to the state of the relationship between the film’s two main characters, a Moscow couple who are on the verge of divorcing. Boris (Alexei Rozin), bearded and officious, a kind of mildly saddened Teddy bear, and Zhenya (Maryana Spivak), beautiful and knife-edged, with a buried despair of her own, still live together in the same apartment. But they’re trying to sell it off as quickly as possible, because they can barely come up with three words of civility between them.

Their marriage, or what’s left of it, has reached the toxic point of no return. No one understands this better than Alyosha (Matvey Novikov), their pale and passive 12-year-old son, who doesn’t do much besides stare at his computer between crying fits. When Alyosha disappears without a trace, his emotionally estranged parents have to come together to search for him. But no, “Loveless” isn’t a story about how the search for Alyosha brings Boris and Zhenya closer together, or makes them take stock and stop hating each other. What the movie is about, in a way that’s both potent and oblique, is something larger than the charred ashes of one dead marriage.

There have always been oppressive societies that clamp down on filmmaking, but allow just enough wiggle room of expression for a shrewd — and poetic — artist to say what’s on his mind. That was true in the Communist Czechoslovakia of the 1970s, or in the Iran of the last 30 years. It’s true, as well, of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. As a filmmaker, Andrey Zvyagintsev can’t come right out and declare, in bright sharp colors, the full corruption of his society, but he can make a movie like “Leviathan,” which took the spiritual temperature of a middle-class Russia lost in booze and betrayal, and he can make one like “Loveless,” which takes an ominous, reverberating look not at the politics of Russia but at the crisis of empathy at the culture’s core.

Boris and Zhenya have both moved on to other relationships, which are far more affectionate than the one they’re in, so that seems to be a sign of hope; after divorce comes a new beginning. Boris is with the perky, very pregnant Masha (played by Marina Vasilyeva, who suggests an Eastern European Michelle Williams), and Zhenya, between visits to the salon and a consuming relationship with her smartphone, has found the man who answers her dreams, or at least her needs: the wealthy, handsome, doting, middle-aged Anton (Andris Keishs). Love, it seems, is possible. But what kind of love?

Zvyagintsev colors in a whole society’s romantic neurosis, and he does it with the details along the sidelines. Boris has to keep his divorce hidden at his corporate sales office, because the boss is a fundamentalist Christian. (If Boris isn’t married with children, he’ll be out of a job.) Zhenya’s lover, on the other hand, has given her entré to the one-percent echelon of the new gilded Russia. The film introduces us to it in a telling moment at an outrageously ritzy restaurant where the camera lingers on a woman flirtatiously giving out her phone number…before sitting back down to dinner across from the man she’s come with. That moment speaks volumes — about a clawing-to-the-top ethos of desperate avarice that scarcely leaves room for “romance.”

So what does all this have to do with a missing child? Everything, it turns out. “Loveless” has been made in a forceful and deliberate socialist-realist Hitchcockian style that recalls the most celebrated films of the Romanian new wave (“4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days”; “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu”). The disappearance of Alyosha hangs over the movie and haunts it, and on some level it’s a missing-child procedural. Yet what’s meaningful is the way that he disappeared: He was left unsupervised, and his mother, coming home at night, assumed that he was in his room and didn’t bother to check in on him. A minor mistake…and an epic instance of neglect.

The Moscow police, who lean toward thinking that he has run away (because if so, the statistics suggest he’ll likely return, and they won’t have to add to their caseload), can’t do a lot, and a local citizens’ group is more proactive. They scour the area in their orange jackets and fatigues, leaving no stone unturned. As all of this goes on, the title of “Loveless” begins to expand. A society rooted in corruption becomes a petri dish for a loveless marriage that spawns a family in which a child isn’t loved — that is, looked after — in the right way. And the result, seemingly out of nowhere (but not really), is tragic.

The dramatic aesthetic of a movie like “Loveless” — rock-solid yet leisurely in its observance, grounded yet metaphorical — makes it a quietly commanding film, but it’s not clear, at least in the United States, that there’s much of an art-house audience left for a movie like this one. It culminates (in a resonant final shot), but it’s doesn’t always powerfully deliver. It’s a meditation as much as it is a relationship drama. That said, almost anyone who sees it is sure to recognize the virus it diagnoses, which is hardly limited to Russia. The forces that conspire in the fraying of love are now everywhere.

[“source-ndtv”]

Top Republican recorded suggesting that Putin pays Trump

House majority leader Kevin McCarthy.

House majority leader Kevin McCarthy. Photograph: Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

In a 2016 conversation with fellow members of House leadership, majority leader Kevin McCarthy suggested that Donald Trump was on Vladimir Putin’s payroll.

In an exchange first reported by the Washington Post, McCarthy said: “There’s…there’s two people, I think, Putin pays: [California Representative Dana] Rohrabacher and Trump…[laughter]…swear to God.”

According to the transcript, speaker Paul Ryan immediately responded: “This is an off the record … [laughter] … NO LEAKS … [laughter] … alright?!”

On Wednesday night, Ryan’s spokesman, Brendan Buck, said in a statement to the Guardian: “This entire year-old exchange was clearly an attempt at humor. No one believed the majority leader was seriously asserting that Donald Trump or any of our members were being paid by the Russians.”

He added: “What’s more, the speaker and leadership team have repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s interference in our election, and the House continues to investigate that activity.”

Both Buck and a spokesman for McCarthy initially denied the remarks; the Washington Post listened to and verified an audio recording of the conversation. McCarthy’s spokesman did not respond to the Guardian for a request for comment. However, he tweeted: “This was an attempt at humor gone wrong. No surprise @WashingtonPost tried to contort this into breaking news.”

Trump’s ties to Russia have been the subject of bipartisan concern and, on Wednesday, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein appointed a special counsel to investigate those as well as Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election.

The conversation came shortly after both McCarthy and Ryan had been briefed by the Ukrainian prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman, about Russian attempts to undermine democratic institutions in eastern Europe, and a day after it was reported that Russia had successfully hacked the DNC.

At the time, Ryan had still not endorsed Trump but McCarthy had already signed up to become a Trump delegate to the RNC and formally endorsed the real estate developer’s campaign.

At least some Democrats raised concerns about the statement. California congressman Eric Swalwell, a member of the House intelligence committee, said the remark raised questions about whether the majority leader has additional information on the “relationship the president had with president Putin”.

“If it was said they had their own concerns and so far they have done nothing to address concerns about the president’s ties to Russia,” Swalwell told reporters. “So I just want to know, were these concerns based on separate information that the majority leader had or had been told?”

Rohrabacher, who has a history of expressing support for the Putin regime and has been described as “Putin’s favorite congressman”, told the Guardian Wednesday night that McCarthy reassured him it was a joke.

He said that the majority leader approached him on the floor during votes on Wednesday evening to ensure that he knew that the remark was intended as a joke.

“Kevin didn’t mean any harm, I’m sure,” said Rohrabacher told reporters.

“You have to be very careful when you’re using humor,” Rohrabacher said, recalling a joke he made during a hearing.

“I remember I was trying to make fun of the scientist who claimed that cow farts make global warming,” Rohrabacher said. “And so at a hearing I said, ‘Oh do you think maybe the dinosaurs disappeared because of dinosaur flatulence?’”

To this day, he said environmentalists still fault him for believing “that dinosaur flatulence killed the dinosaurs”.

[“source-ndtv”]