Many of us spend our lives pursuing a certain vision. An idea, a dream, a blueprint. There is something we are supposed to work on, in this life. No matter what we do, and no matter what else we think we are doing, this is what we work on, every minute, every day.
I don’t know how it became my dharma to work on two different monthly podcasts at the same time, and to pour my heart into each episode of each as if I were packaging the secrets of the universe for the world to enjoy. All I know is, I’m glad to have some creative outlets, and I hope you will listen to the two podcast episodes I recently put out.
I’m so glad I talked to hiphop artist and antiwar activist Miles Megaciph on the World BEYOND War podcast. I’ve been wanting to interview him since hearing him perform at a #NoToNATO protest in Washington DC over a year ago. His new release “No Fear Now” connects the coronavirus pandemic to Black Lives Matter, and that’s where attention needs to be right now. Thanks to Megaciph for covering so much territory with me in this wide-ranging talk about peace, music and life.
I dug into the cultural legacy of Miguel de Cervantes’s amazing psychological comedy “Don Quixote” in the new episode of Lost Music: Exploring Literary Opera. The French composer Jules Massenet’s opera “Don Quichotte” was a hit at its premiere in Monte Carlo in 1910. It’s a beautiful and touching opera, filled with exciting music and culminating in a strangely moving love story. The love is thoroughly misguided and unfulfilled, of course, because this is “Don Quixote” – but the story is deeply moving nonetheless. After talking about this wonderful opera, and about “Man of La Mancha” and Wagner and Mozart and lots of other stuff, I look into the evidence that a single terrible review in a New York newspaper in 1926 is the reason this worthy work has not played at the Metropolitan Opera House in nearly 100 years. I have a quixotic hope that Massenet’s late-career triumph will play someday there again. I also have a quixotic hope that the Met will open again, and that other live music venues in New York City will too … and at least this hope has some decent shot of eventually coming true.
I took the photo at the top of this page in a rainy playground in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, this week.