Creativity in the Capital

So… that dream project you never knew you wanted to do until you were handed the gift of time to daydream. The idea that gnaws at you even though family is eating up your attention. That collaborative script that you’ve been working on for a couple of years… So you want some prompts? Our eBook collection is brimming with ways to let your creativity out of that box in your head and out into the world. These titles are just the beginning, delve into your library’s online collection for more inspiration, ideas and seriously engaging game plans.

Overdrive cover Cheap Movie Tricks, Rickey Bird (ebook)
Bird and Guevara show aspiring filmmakers how to overcome common movie and video production problems.
· How planning and shooting a short film today can lead to a feature-length project tomorrow
· Everything you need to know about writing a movie project on a burger budget (adapted from Overdrive description)

 

Overdrive cover Screenwriting is Storytelling, Kate Wright (ebook)
While most screenwriting books focus on format and structure, Kate Wright explains how to put story at the center of a screenplay. A compelling story, complete with intriguing characters and situations created with these screenwriting tricks of the trade can become a box office blockbuster film.  (adapted from Overdrive description)

 

Overdrive cover So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know, Retta (Audiobook)
Parks and Recreation star Retta takes us on her not-so-meteoric rise from roaches to riches. Throwing her hard-working Liberian parents through a loop, Retta abandons her plan to attend med school after graduating Duke University to move to Hollywood to star in her own sitcom—like her comedy heroes Lucille Ball and Roseanne. Retta’s unique voice and refreshing honesty will make you laugh, cry, and laugh so hard you’ll cry. And she just might inspire you to reach for the stars, too.  (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Hamshack Raspberry Pi, Dwight Standfield (ebook)
Are you an Amateur Radio enthusiast? Or are you looking to get into this amazing hobby because you’ve heard about some of the interesting things you can do like tracking satellites, communicating in Morse code or perhaps playing a game over the air, and you want to try them out? Best of all, you’ll be able to complete the projects discussed in the book by yourself without any problems because they are so easy and straightforward. (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Woodworking, Andrea Brugi and Samina Langholz (ebook)
Using simple techniques, Tuscany-based woodworkers Samina Langholz and Andrea Brugi teach you how to make 20 beautiful wood objects for the home. From an egg cup made from a reclaimed beam and broom handle to a chopping board featuring a hand-carved “butterfly”, here are a wonderful selection of approachable carpentry projects that don’t require complicated tools, and can be done easily in the home. Suitable for all levels of expertise.  (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Discover Torch Enameling, Steven James (ebook)
After teaching this technique successfully for years, Steven is introducing all-new projects in this book. In a series of 25 small projects (pendants and beads), Steven will explore creating structural metal work (such as hinges) and applying enamel effects such as faux raku. Simple techniques include sawing/cutting/punching; dapping; riveting; lashing; soldering; and enameling. All these techniques are simplified and the only torch needed is a hand-held one that can be used in a home studio.  (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover How to Write One Song, Jeff Tweedy (ebook)
One of the century’s most feted singer-songwriters, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, digs deep into his own creative process to share his unique perspective about song-writing and offers a warm, accessible guide to writing your first song, championing the importance of making creativity part of your everyday life and experiencing the hope, inspiration and joy that accompanies it. (Overdrive description)

 

Overdrive cover Amazing Glaze, Gabriel Kline (ebook)
Join author and Odyssey Clayworks founder Gabriel Kline on a journey that makes glazing less intimidating and more fun. Start in the “glaze kitchen” where you’ll set yourself up for success, then move on to learning the tools and techniques for getting your glaze right every time. Gabriel shares dozens of tried-and-true recipes and combinations for both mid-range and high-fire glazes.  A variety of artist features and stunning gallery work from today’s top artists will leave you inspired and ready to get glazing.  (adapted from Overdrive description)

Get creative at your library these October holidays!

Are you looking for something fun and creative to do with your tamariki during the school holidays? Your local libraries and community centres have you covered from 28 September — 13 October with a wide range of free activities and events to engage, delight and inspire children and their families. From beeswax wraps to creative writing workshops, robotics and technology playgrounds to board games, arts and crafts to cultivating a mysterious alien garden, Wellington City Libraries is open for creativity and exploration these holidays.

For a full schedule, click here or visit your local library to pick up a calendar. We’ve picked out some of our favourite events below to whet your appetite. What new thing will you create, try out, or learn at the library these holidays?

Building BLOOM is like cultivating an alien garden on another planet – what shapes will you create?

BLOOM
Is it a dinosaur, a spaceship, a chandelier, a cloud? Bloom consists of thousands of identical pink pieces that let children and big kids connect, construct and deconstruct 3D installations with no boundaries or rules. Your whānau is welcome to drop in at any time during these sessions, and BLOOM is appropriate for all ages. BLOOM is proudly supported by Capital E.

Monday 7 October, 11am – 4pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library
Tuesday 8 October, 11am – 4pm at Newtown Library

These cute robots will have a crucial role to play as you guide them safely through the Minotaur’s labyrinth.

Minotaurs vs. Mini-Robots
Ancient myths + Robots = awesome time! Come along and decode one of the most fascinating myths of Greek Mythology, the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Code Ozobots and navigate them in a dark labyrinth. Can you escape the Minotaur? Let’s find out. Suitable for ages 6+ with their caregivers.

Monday 30 September, 11am – 12pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library
Friday 11 October, 11am – 12pm at Khandallah Library
Saturday 12 October, 11am – 12pm at Karori Library

Have something to say, but not quite sure how to say it? Our creative writing workshops are for you!

Creative writing workshops
Our creative writing workshops come in two flavours these holidays: Spring Scribblers and Storm the Castle! In Spring Scribblers, you’ll immerse yourself in the joy of language as you discover how to bring out your unique voice in writing. Storm the Castle! will guide you through the Hero’s Journey as you go through all the main beats that make up nearly every great book and movie. Suitable for ages 11+ with their caregivers.

Tuesday 1 October, 2 – 3pm at Karori Library (Storm the Castle!)
Thursday 3 October, 12 – 1.30pm at Churton Park Community Centre (Spring Scribblers)
Friday 4 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library (Spring Scribblers)
Tuesday 8 October, 2 – 3pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library (Storm the Castle!)
Wednesday 9 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library (Spring Scribblers)

Keep Calm and Carry On: New art books

Bomberg

In our most recent art picks we invite you to “keep calm and carry on” appreciating art. Whether your interests lie in 20th century artists such as David Bomberg and Mark Dion, instructional books, recounts of the influences of art or evolutionary tales of Manga through comics, cartoons and animation, or a WW2 slogan, we have quite the selection for you.

Book Jacket for: Keep calm and carry on : the truth behind the posterKeep calm and carry on : the truth behind the poster / Lewis, Bex
“‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ has become one of the most recognizable slogans of the twenty-first century. But where is it from and why has it resonated so strongly with the modern British public? This book reveals the truth behind the now infamous poster, tracing its origins to the Second World War, when it was created to allay public panic in the event of a German invasion. Later seized upon as an encouragement in the economic crisis, ‘Keep Calm’ went on to become arguably the most successful meme in history.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Draw your weaponsDraw your weapons / Sentilles, Sarah
“A literary collage with hope at its core, Sentilles tells the true stories of Howard, a conscientious objector during World War II, and Miles, a former prison guard at Abu Ghraib, and in the process she challenges conventional thinking about how war is waged, witnessed, and resisted. The pacifist and the soldier both create art in response to war. Asking questions such as, what impact can one person have? And how should we respond to violence when it feels like it can’t be stopped?” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: BombergBomberg / MacDougall, Sarah
“This monograph on the influential 20th-century British artist David Bomberg (1890-1957) accompanies a major new exhibition curated by the authors. A comprehensive account, providing an informed and accessible overview of Bomberg’s career and achievements, combining a biographical narrative with an analytical and interpretative approach. Including new material relating to Bomberg’s Jewish background and sumptuous illustrations.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Mangasia : the definitive guide to Asian comicsMangasia : the definitive guide to Asian comics / Gravett, Paul
“An exhaustive and visually engaging account, Mangasia charts the evolution of manga from its roots in late nineteenth-century Japan through the many and varied forms of comics, cartoons and animation created throughout Asia for more than one hundred years. With infographics, maps, timelines, and reproductions from all across Asia, this book is the first to explain the significance of key themes, the meanings of embodied myths and the connections between various manga traditions.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: In celebration of Cecil Collins : visionary artist and educatorIn celebration of Cecil Collins : visionary artist and educator
“Cecil Collins is arguably one of the greatest English visionary artists since Blake and Palmer. With emblematic figures such as the Fool, and the Sibyl in extraordinary landscapes, Collins portrayed an original and inspiring philosophy of life. Recognized as belonging to the Neo-Romantic movement of poetical art, his dedication to depicting his mystic understanding made his work highly distinctive.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Mark Dion : misadventures of a 21st-century naturalistMark Dion : misadventures of a 21st-century naturalist / Erickson, Ruth
“Part of a generation of artists expanding institutional critique in the 1990s, Dion adopted the methods of the archaeologist or the natural history museum, juxtaposing natural objects, taxidermy, books, and more to reorganize the natural and the manmade in poetic, witty ways. Generously illustrated, this publication introduces new insights and features more than seventy-five artworks.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Ann Blockley's watercolour workshop : projects and interpretations.Ann Blockley’s watercolour workshop : projects and interpretations./ Blockley, A 
“Artist Ann Blockley is renowned for her innovative approach to watercolour painting. Her highly anticipated new book provides a series of workshops demonstrating how to push the boundaries of watercolour, using key techniques to develop your own work and take your paintings to the next level. Her beautiful and inspirational artworks demonstrate how different interpretations of a subject might take an unexpected or unusual direction, and how to make the most of these opportunities.” (Adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Book Jacket for: Wanted : the search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn TaylorWanted : the search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn Taylor
“The detective hunt for some of this country’s most important and beautiful murals. Mervyn Taylor was one of the most celebrated New Zealand artists of the 1930s to 1960s. He was highly connected to modernism and nationalism as it was expressed in the New Zealand art and literature of the period. This fascinating and beautiful book, bursting with archival material, details the detective hunt for his murals and tells the stories of their creation.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: The art of buying art : how to evaluate and buy art like a professional collectorThe art of buying art : how to evaluate and buy art like a professional collector / Bamberger, Alan S.
“This classic, since its original publication in 1990, has been revised to bring it completely up to date and make it internationally relevant. It now includes information on the internet (researching and buying directly from artists), global art fairs and the contemporary art world. Without a doubt the best and most readily understandable book on how to buy, sell, price, evaluate, appraise and collect artworks for any art buyer, not just collectors no previous knowledge of art or the art business is necessary.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Cats, dogs, teabowls and other things that influence artists

Influence and inspiration, are fickle topics to understand even to the best of us, but perhaps none more so than the artistic community. The stories behind art and the artists who created them, what inspires artists and who they inspire in turn, are some of the greatest hidden stories of our time. So in our most recent picks we invite you to look closer at art, at muses, at what inspires, what what influences, and yes, at cats, dogs and Teabowls.

Syndetics book coverCats in art / Desmond Morris.
“The cat, that most graceful, stubborn, and agile of animals,has been a favorite subject of artists the world over from prehistory to the modern day.In his latest book, Desmond Morris tells the compelling story of cats in art. He explores feline art in its many forms, tracing its history from ancient rock paintings to the depiction of cats in cartoons. The result is a beautifully illustrated book that will delight anyone with a Kitty, Max, or Tigger in their life.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA dog a day / Sally Muir.
“It all began with a Facebook post in 2013: ‘My name is Sally Muir and this is a new gallery where I will add a dog drawing/painting every day, adding up to a massive 365 day dogfest.’ As the page grew in popularity, so did Sally’s dog portraits, leading to commissions, exhibitions at prominent galleries, and events. Drawing on artworks from the site, A Dog A Day is a lovingly curated collection and celebration of dogs, perfect for all dog lovers.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe teabowl : East & West / Bonnie Kemske.
“Revered for its associations of its past and its connotations of sophistication and simplicity, the teabowl enjoys an elevated status. Here Bonnie Kemske looks at the form as a whole, considering the history and ideas behind the original tea ceremony, how it moved into contemporary ceramics, and the way it is used today. This book is wide in scope, thorough in detail, and essential reading for anyone involved in making or using these tactile objects.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInside the Freud Museums : history, memory and site-responsive art / Joanne Morra. “Sigmund Freud spent the final year of his life in London, surrounded by all his possessions, in exile from the Nazis. The long-term home and workspace he left behind in Vienna became a seemingly empty space. Now museums, both of these spaces resonate powerfully. Taking us on a journey through the ‘site-responsive’ artworks, Joanne Morra offers a fresh experience of the history and practice of psychoanalysis, of museums and contemporary art.” (AdaptedSyndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe long dream of waking : new perspectives on Len Lye / edited by Paul Brobbel, Wystan Curnow and Roger Horrocks. “Recognized internationally as one of the twentieth century’s great modernist innovators, New Zealand artist Len Lye is most famous for his avant-garde experimental films and for his astonishing and playful kinetic sculptures.  In this collection of essays, writers from New Zealand and overseas consider Lye’s assured place in modern art from a variety of fascinating and thought-provoking angles. ” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of Lent : a painting a day from Ash Wednesday to Easter / Sister Wendy Beckett. This delightful book describes and interprets a series of paintings for each day of Lent. Artists often address subjects that our culture seeks to avoid, and Sister Wendy’s brilliant and perceptive reflections will help you to read these paintings with a more discerning eye and encounter deeper levels of spiritual meaning than may at first appear. (Amazon Summary)

Syndetics book coverGordon Walters : new vision / commissioning editor, Zara Stanhope ; curators, Lucy Hammonds, Laurence Simmons and Julia Waite ; managing editor, Clare McIntosh.
“One of New Zealand’s most influential artists, in a practice spanning 50 years, he explored the seemingly infinite potential of a limited set of geometric forms to create art of increasing refinement. Here we see the first complete picture of the artist’s extensive body of work, offering readers new perspectives on the evolution of Walters’ rigorous abstraction.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverModern art in detail : 75 masterpieces / Susie Hodge.
“Great works of art cannot be fully understood in a single encounter. Modern Art in Detail: 75 Masterpieces spotlights the finer points that even connoisseurs may miss. From the late 19th century to the modern day, it treats each piece on its own merits, but it also views each as part of a tradition, which sees artists pass a baton down through the ages. Moreover, it charts the shift from the supremacy of artistic technique to the dominance of the idea or concept behind the object created.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Arts Newsletter for March

Kia ora and welcome to our latest update on new books about the arts at Wellington City Libraries. This month’s picks feature some great overviews of art and design trends, as well as some exciting new craft books. We are also re-introducing our Central library knitting circle – see the Craft section below for more details. Don’t forget to also take a look at our new classical CDs!

Library News

Art

Here are some recent additions to our art book collection that are well worth seeking out.

Syndetics book cover Art + fashion : collaborations and connections between icons / by E.P. Cutler and Julien Tomasello.
Art + Fashion reveals the astonishing work that results when luminaries from the art world come together with icons of the fashion world . Represented in lavish visuals with thoughtful essays reflecting on the history of each project this books brims with the energy and possibility.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Art in minutes / Susie Hodge.
“The perfect compact reference guide for all would-be art buffs. Art historian Susie Hodge takes you on a whistle-stop international tour of all the major artistic cultures, movements, phases, developments, artists and themes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Pop! : The World of Pop Art
“Exploring Pop art’s origins in modern European avant-garde movements such as Cubism and Dadaism, this compelling book also travels the world to examine how Pop art influenced artists as far afield as Italy, Spain, Finland, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Key figures include Japan’s Yayoi Kusama and Italy’s Mimmo Rotella.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Modern Scottish Women: Painters and Sculptors 1885-1965 [paperback]
“This revelatory book concentrates on Scottish women painters and sculptors of the Glasgow School of Art and explores the experience and context of the artists and their place in Scottish art history, in terms of training, professional opportunities and personal links within the Scottish art world. A fresh look at the achievements of Scottish women artists of the modern period.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Craft

Find inspiration and have fun browsing through this collection of newly arrived craft books we have selected for you. For those of you who are interested in joining the library knitting group, you are welcome to join us at the Central Library to share your ideas and enthusiasm, with our devoted “Knit and chat” library knitters. A delicious morning tea is provided, and the latest craft books and magazines are offered for inspiration. The group meets on the last Saturday of every month on the first floor behind the escalator from 10am to 3pm. The next meeting will take place at Easter Saturday, 28th March – contact Sue Dale if you have any questions (phone 801 4146 or email sue.dale@wcc.govt.nz)

Syndetics book cover Knit scarves and shawls now.
“Discover over 40 fresh new designs for scarves, shawls, capelets, wraps and cowls that will add excitement to any wardrobe. Scarves and shawls are extremely versatile and are perfect for adding colour and character to an outfit. These designs range in style and shape and, depending on the yarn you choose, can be light & airy, thick & bulky, or elegantly lacy. There are plenty of projects to suit every knitter’s taste and experience level.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Banners, buntings, garlands & pennants : 40 creative ideas using paper, fabric & more / Kathy Sheldon and Amanda Carestio.
“Festive and eye-catching, banners, buntings, garlands, and pennants add visual fun to almost any type of celebration or space. These 40 quick and easy projects–made of paper, fabric, felt, and more–make beautiful displays. Use them for special events, for holidays, when entertaining, or even just to spice up a room. A basics section gives beginners a primer on the materials and techniques they need.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Aran & Nordic knits for kids : 25 designs for babies and young children / Martin Storey ; photography by Steven Wooster.
“With 25 great knits for little girls and boys, this Scandinavian inspired collection of designs by Martin Storey has a range of delightful projects. Features Aran-style textures and cables and Nordic-inspired colourwork, incorporating traditional patterns with a contemporary twist. The designs include a range of garments, such as coats, jackets, cardigans, sweaters and slipovers, plus accessories. There are also knits for the nursery.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Modern vintage gifts : over 20 pretty & nostalgic projects to sew & give / Helen Phillipps
“Sew a little love and give the gift of handmade with Vintage Modern Gifts! A bright contemporary collection of over 20 patchwork and sewn projects, designed to make readers smile and have fun with fabric from Helen Philipps – a popular craft designer whose highly desirable style is a cross between Cath Kidston and Tilda. The projects are all simple enough for beginners yet desirable enough for more experienced sewers, exploring different techniques including patchwork, quilting, paper piecing, appliqué, colour play, embroidery and embellishment. Projects include small quilts, dolls, bags, pillows, hearts, puppies, flowers, stars, angels and more – all in a gorgeous coordinating color palette, with charming hand-drawn illustrations and exquisite styled photography.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Design

A colourful selection of new items this month, featuring architectural reinvention and repurposing, and design books on colour, hand-lettering, and more.

Image from Fishpond The terrace house / edited by Cameron Bruhn & Katelin Butler.
“With British precedents and working-class origins, the Australian terrace house was once the home of bohemian artists, share-housing students and urban trailblazers. Today a new generation of homeowners are reimagining the terrace house for twenty-first-century living. This book is a catalogue of twenty of these renovations. It looks at the design challenges of terrace houses in general terms and describes the individual treatment of each property based on the site, the existing structure, the requirements of the owner, and the vision of the chosen architects.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover High Line : the inside story of New York City’s park in the sky / Joshua David and Robert Hammond.
“The High Line is among the most innovative urban reclamation projects in memory. Two young citizens with no prior experience in planning and development collaborated with their neighbors, elected officials, artists, local business owners, and leaders in horticulture and landscape architecture to create a park celebrated worldwide as a model for creatively designed, socially vibrant, ecologically sound public space. Now the High Line–a half-mile expanse of plants, paths, staircases, and framed vistas–runs through a transformed West Side and reminds us that extraordinary things are possible when creative people work together for the common good.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Hand-lettering for everyone : a creative workbook / Cristina Vanko.
“Hand-lettering is more popular than ever. This beautiful and inviting book serves as an inspiring primer and an interactive workbook. Creative prompts encourage readers to create their own serifs, create lettering from found objects, make a type self-portrait, collage with found type, recreate a favorite book cover with hand-lettering, play with shading and perspective, and more. Featuring a lively (and hand-lettered) design and engaging exercises, the book will appeal to designers and illustrators as well as doodlers, hobbyists, and anyone who enjoys putting real pen to real paper.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover 100 Years of Colour: Beautiful images & inspirational palettes from a century of innovative art, illustration & design [hardback]
“This beautiful book features 100 carefully chosen images from the graphic arts, each representing a colour palette for every year of the 20th century. The images are taken from a variety of sources including magazines, book covers, adverts, posters, illustrations and postcards. The palettes taken from the images are displayed in a number of ratios, demonstrating the different effects achieved when altering the dominant colour. Ten palettes per decade gives an authentic overview of the colours and trends of an era, making this an ideal historical reference for anyone working in set or interior design, graphic design, illustrations or fashion.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Classical Music

In this installment, super guitarist Miloš Karadaglić tackles the Beatles with guest appearances by people as varying as Steven Isserlis and Tori Amos. Violin and piano pieces are also featured, plus an ode to water through music.

ClassicalrecentMar16a1 Blackbird: The Beatles Album. Performed by Miloš Karadaglić (guitar).
“After delighting audiences with the core-classical heritage of the guitar in his three previous albums, award-winning guitarist Milos Karadaglic now makes a thrilling new departure. He performs innovative new arrangements of songs by the Beatles, collaborating with celebrated artists from the pop, jazz, classical and world music fields, including Tori Amos, Anoushka Shankar, Gregory Porter, Sergio Assad and Steven Isserlis. Songs include Blackbird, Come Together, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Eleanor Rigby, Fool on the Hill and many others. The album was recorded in the famous Studio 2 of Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles recorded almost all of their songs. The sessions also used some of the original microphones…” (amazon.com)
ClassicalrecentMar16a3 Violin Concertos, Korngold, Britten. Performed by Vilde Frang with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony (James Gaffigan conducting).
“Both concertos on this new disc were written when their composers were exiles in the USA around the time of World War II. The Korngold was completed in 1945, the Britten in 1939. In the course of the 1930s Korngold, an Austrian Jew, had become a prominent Hollywood composer, but could not return to his homeland after 1938; the young Britten, a pacifist, left the UK for New York shortly before the declaration of war in 1939. Both composers had been child prodigies and both concertos are centered aound the key of D, the most ‘natural’ key on the vioin and the tonal focus for the violin concertos fo Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky.” (amazon.com)
ClassicalrecentFeb16b2 Water. Performed by Hélène Grimaud, with Nitin Sawhney.
Water is an evocative, experimental and deeply personal musical project from one of the most captivating pianists of today, Hélène Grimaud, combining her two greatest passions: music and nature…. Grimaud performs great, water-themed romantic and contemporary repertoire, and in addition to these traditional evocations of rivers, lakes, seas, snowflakes and raindrops, Nitin Sawhney’s Transitions are woven into the album’s ‘narrative’ as newly composed reflections upon water as a feature of nature, its spiritual connotations, and its role in the world today” (cover).
ClassicalrecentFeb16a3 Schumann. Performed by Jan Lisiecki with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Antonio Pappano conducting again).
“Jan Lisiecki has dreamt of recording Schumann’s Piano Concerto with Antonio Pappano and his Rome orchestra ever since they first played the piece together in 2012. Their shared experience creates an interpretation of chamber-music-like intimacy. Schumann’s concerto is here presented in a rare pairing with his only other completed works for piano and orchestra.” (Cover)

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Start fresh – Arts Newsletter for January

Welcome to the first Arts newsletter for 2016! There are lots of fantastic, inspiring, and beautiful new books to catch your eye this time around. Gather inspiration for building your home, take up a new craft, discover your new favourite artist, and listen to some classical music while you’re at it.

Library News

Art

We kick of the new year with this smorgasbord of recent picks. There is even a pocket guide to our fair city’s public art in the mix. My personal standouts are Postdigital artisans and Maya Lin Topologies for combinations of imagery and concepts.

Syndetics book cover Postdigital artisans / author, Jonathan Openshaw.
“Digital technology has irreversibly changed how we see, think and act. A staggering number of us spend as much as half our waking hours online. As we are drawn deeper into a symbiotic relationship with the digital, there is also a growing desire for more tactile, immersive experiences. It’s in this context that today’s “postdigital artisans” operate. Inescapably influenced by the digital world, they nonetheless reject strictly screen-based design and total reliance on automated production, such as 3D printing. They advocate a return to craft, with objects made from clay, metal, glass and wood. They neither turn their backs on technology nor glorify nostalgia, but the high-tech honeymoon is over.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Maya Lin : topologies / foreword by John McPhee ; essays by Michael Brenson, William L. Fox, Paul Goldberger, Philip Jodidio, Maya Lin, Lisa Philips, and Dava Sobel ; index by Tan Lin.
“This is the first comprehensive monograph on the acclaimed American artist and architect, known for her environmental works and memorials that distill a tranquil yet texturally rich minimalism. Maya Lin is one of the most important public artists of this century. From the moment she entered the national spotlight with her design for the Vietnam Memorial, Lin has been proposing ways of thinking and imagining that resist categories, genres, and borders.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Art & about : a pocket guide to Wellington’s public art / Frances Sutton ; with photos by Helena Fierlinger.
“Wellingtonians and visitors love the city’s profusion of public art. Complete with maps and photos to help you uncover even the most hidden treasures, this book tells you about each work and the artist who made it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Strange tools : art and human nature / Alva Noë.
“In his new book, Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature, the philosopher and cognitive scientist Alva Noë raises a number of profound questions: What is art? Why do we value art as we do? What does art reveal about our nature? Drawing on philosophy, art history, and cognitive science, and making provocative use of examples from all three of these fields, Noë offers new answers to such questions.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Craft

This month’s picks feature a number of sewing books, perfect for aiding those New Year’s resolutions!

Syndetics book cover The artful year : celebrating the seasons and holidays with family arts and crafts / Jean Van’t Hul.
“Celebrating the seasons and holidays is a wonderful opportunity to embrace creativity together as a family. It’s also a fun way to decorate, prepare for, and learn about the holidays we celebrate. In The Artful Year, you’ll find art activites, crafts, recipes, and more to help make each season special. By doing so, your family will create memories and mementos, you’ll develop creative growth in your children and yourself, and you’ll have lots of fun!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Sew many dresses, sew little time : the ultimate dressmaking guide : interchangeable patterns to create 200+ unique dresses / Tanya Whelan.
“Tanya Whelan believes that dressmaking is easier than most people realize but that most sewing books are more complicated than they need to be. With her “choose-your-own-adventure” approach to sewing, Tanya offers an invaluable collection of patterns that empowers sewers to become designers. The trick is a set of patterns for 6 skirts and 8 bodices that line up perfectly at the waist, plus an additional 4 sleeve styles and 4 necklines. Tanya Whelan gives readers clear instructions and easy-to-follow step-by-step diagrams that allow them to use the enclosed pattern pieces to create up to 219 fitted dresses, including simple strapless designs, sheaths, and halter gowns. The book covers basic dress construction and altering techniques for women of all shapes and sizes.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Sew fab : sewing and style for young fashionistas / Lesley Ware.
Sew Fab is a style and sewing workbook for any girl aged 8-13 who loves fashion. It will teach you not just to sew, but how to wear your creations with flair. Start by finding your style tribe, learning to accessorize, identifying the best colors for you, and more. Now get ready to sew. Make yourself a mini studio, stock your sewing basket, and try out some hand stitching. There’s a mix of easy step-by-step projects to sew by hand or using simple machining, from a hair bow to a little black dress (but in the color that suits you best!). Packed with gorgeous illustrations, step-by-step projects, tips, and fun activities, you will be creating unique clothes and accessories in no time.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Handmade interiors / project editor, Laura Palosuo.
Handmade Interiors is the most comprehensive guide to soft furnishings and home sewing projects on the market. Handmade Interiors leads you through sewing projects such as how to sew curtains, a cushion cover or a Roman blind using step-by-step instructions and images. Compiled by experts in home design who offer advice on fabrics and variations to tailor to your specific home decoration needs. The easy to follow format makes this the perfect guide for novices and experts alike, covering the whole process of creating professional looking furnishings, from measuring, all the way through to installing your finished project.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Design

This month’s selections include well-known design icons, and inspiration for your home kitchen design. Plus, there’s a great book of infographics about architecture. Enjoy!

Syndetics book cover London in Fifty Design Icons
“In this new series, the Design Museum looks at the fifty design icons of major cities around the world – icons that, when viewed together, inherently sum up the spirit of their city. Covering everything from buildings and monuments to a graffiti mural or an item of clothing, we are able to build up an intricate portrait of a city, layer by layer. From its long-serving Routemaster buses and world-famous tube map to the miniskirts of the swinging sixties and the imposing silhouette of Battersea Power Station, London is a tapestry of design masterpieces. Join Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum, as he unravels the visual history of one of our most complex and intriguing cities.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Kitchen Kulture / edited by Michelle Galindo, Sven Ehmann, and Robert Klanten.
“Whether traditional, Nordic, or futuristic, the kitchen is the new living room–a place to cook, eat, and celebrate. This book showcases the latest interiors and kitchen concepts. Whether large or small, modern or rustic, the kitchen has become the center of all the action. What was once a pragmatically designed place for food preparation has now become a stage on which the act of cooking and eating is celebrated as a social event. Kitchen Kulture is an insightful survey of new, established, and unconventional ideas in contemporary kitchen design.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Archi-graphic : an infographic look at architecture / Frank Jacobus.
“This informative and engaging book uses a variety of inventive infographics to compare the range of materials and colours used by different architects, who influenced who, and which architects are the most discussed. It also approaches architecture from more unconventional angles with spreads that show the kinds of architecture favoured by dictators, the defining facial features of famous architects and so on. Irreverent and entertaining, this book will appeal to all those with an interest in architecture or infographics.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Worship : a history of New Zealand church design / text, Bill McKay ; photography, Jane Ussher.
“A striking tribute to the diversity of New Zealand church architecture, Worship brings together early country churches, grand cathedrals and modernist designs in a unique survey of some of our most compelling architectural landmarks. Architectural historian Bill McKay thoughtfully explores the history of church building in New Zealand over the past 200 years while award winning photographer Jane Ussher captures an extraordinary array of churches the length of the country.” (Syndetics summary)

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Classical Music

A few new pieces for the new year:

ClassicalrecentJan16a1 1615: Gabrieli in Venice. Performed by The Choir of King’s College.
The King’s College choir is joined by His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts (on reliably period instruments) and corralled by Stephen Cleobury in a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of this collection of Gabrieli’s works and the 500th anniversary of the completion of the King’s College chapel (where the recording took place). This is, we are told, the first classical album to be recorded using Dolby Atmos technology. So where you were during the recording is where you will be in the listening. The album contains a hybrid SACD and also a pure audio Blu-ray disc (Dolby Atmos on Blu-ray must be a bit special).
ClassicalrecentJan16a3 Néère. Performed by Véronique Gens.
Together with pianist Susan Manoff, Veronique Gens (who Presto Classical refers to as the “grande dame of lyric art”) performs a selection of French art songs by Reynaldo Hahn, Henri Duparc and Ernest Chausson.
ClassicalrecentDec15b1 24 Preludes, Barcarolle, Berceuse, Variations Brillantes, Chopin. Performed by Dong Hyek Lim.
“Dazzling South Korean pianist Dong Hyek Lim was a precocious talent who was first recorded by this label in 2001 becoming the youngest pianist to record for them. Since then he has grown into a mature artist and balances his building performance career (particularly around Asia) with life in New York and studies with the great Emmanuel Ax. He is the laureate of several international competitions including the Hamamatsu, Chopin and Tchaikovsky competitions as well as the Long-Thibaud International Piano Competition when in 2001 he became the youngest ever winner of the Premier Grand Prix. With this album Dong Hyek returns to the music of Chopin, a composer close to his heart” (amazon.com).
ClassicalrecentDec15a2 The New Four Seasons, Vivaldi. Performed by Nigel Kennedy and members of the Orchestra of Life.
2014 marked 25 years since Nigel Kennedy brought The Four Seasons to the masses (25 years!). The haircut hasn’t changed much but this version is souped up a bit, featuring an electric violin, which might be polarising?
“Everybody moves on artistically. So this is a representation of everything I hear in the music and I think I’m well placed to do this because I’ve played The Four Seasons in front of so many audiences, possibly thousands of times. I really love this music and want to give it as much as I can. I hope that this new approach brings you a different and deeper enjoyment of this amazing music.” (Nigel Kennedy, cover)

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Art to inspire you – November Arts eNewsletter

We’ve had lots of exciting new material lately; from seasonal crafts and women artists, to graphic design education and tiny house living, plus some exciting new classical music additions. Hopefully you will find something new to delve into!

Art

From a marketing take on the idea of the artist, through to artist biopics and more; this month’s picks feature a range of art and artists.

Syndetics book cover The art of the con : the most notorious fakes, frauds, and forgeries in the art world / Anthony M. Amore.
“Anthony M. Amore’s The Art of the Con tells the stories of some of history’s most notorious yet untold cons, incredible not only for their boldness but more so because they actually worked. Using interviews and newly released court documents, The Art of the Con will also take the reader into the investigations that led to the capture of the con men, who oftentimes return back to the world of crime. For some, it’s an irresistible urge because their innocent dupes all share something in common: they want to believe.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Women Artists : The Linda Nochlin Reader
“Linda Nochlin is one of the most accessible, provocative, and innovative art historians of our time. In 1971 she published her essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”–a dramatic feminist call-to-arms that called traditional art historical practices into question and led to a major revision of the discipline. This Reader brings together twenty-nine essential essays from throughout Nochlin’s career, making this the definitive anthology of her writing about women in art.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Colour in the making : from old wisdom to new brilliance / [Philip Ball, Mark Clarke and Carinna Parraman]
Colour in the Making is a visual history of art and design told through the materials of color-from the discovery and use of early earth pigments through lakes to organic chemistry and into contemporary dyes, inks, printing techniques and manufacture. Throughout this sumptuously colorful book artists’ and designers’ projects illustrate the often behind the scenes inventions and processes of color-making.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Barbara Hepworth: Writings and Conversations [hardback]
“This first collection reveals the remarkably eloquent writings and conversations of sculptor Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975) spanning almost the whole of Hepworth’s artistic life. Her gift for language and desire to communicate to a public are evident throughout. The collection sheds new light on Hepworth’s life, her artistic practices, the sources of her inspiration, the breadth of her intellectual interests, and her deep engagement with contemporary politics and society.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

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Craft

There’s nothing more satisfying than making Christmas cards and gifts for your family and friends and you will find lots of new library books, packed with magical ideas and inspiration to help you make this season special.

Syndetics book cover Half yard Christmas : easy sewing projects using left-over pieces of fabric / Debbie Shore.
“Are you craving a crafty, creative Christmas? Let Debbie Shore show you how to create all the accessories you’ll need in the latest addition to her best-selling Half Yard series. Featuring six themed chapters – rustic, traditional, contemporary, monochrome, Scandinavian and kids – there’s something for everyone: you can select your favourite Christmas style or mix and match throughout your home. With over 30 simple, stylish projects requiring only half yards of fabric, this book will have you feeling festive in no time.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Sew many dresses, sew little time : the ultimate dressmaking guide : interchangeable patterns to create 200+ unique dresses / Tanya Whelan.
“Tanya Whelan believes that dressmaking is easier than most people realize but that most sewing books are more complicated than they need to be. With her “choose-your-own-adventure” approach to sewing, Tanya offers an invaluable collection of patterns that empowers sewers to become designers. The trick is a set of patterns for 6 skirts and 8 bodices that line up perfectly at the waist, plus an additional 4 sleeve styles and 4 necklines. Tanya Whelan gives readers clear instructions and easy-to-follow step-by-step diagrams that allow them to use the enclosed pattern pieces to create up to 219 fitted dresses, including simple strapless designs, sheaths, and halter gowns. The book covers basic dress construction and altering techniques for women of all shapes and sizes.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Sew fab : sewing and style for young fashionistas / Lesley Ware.
Sew Fab is a style and sewing workbook for any girl aged 8-13 who loves fashion. It will teach you not just to sew, but how to wear your creations with flair. Start by finding your style tribe, learning to accessorize, identifying the best colors for you, and more. Now get ready to sew. Make yourself a mini studio, stock your sewing basket, and try out some hand stitching. There’s a mix of easy step-by-step projects to sew by hand or using simple machining, from a hair bow to a little black dress (but in the color that suits you best!). Packed with gorgeous illustrations, step-by-step projects, tips, and fun activities, you will be creating unique clothes and accessories in no time.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The art of slip-stitch knitting : techniques, stitches, projects / Faina Goberstein & Simona Merchant-Dest.
“Slip stitch is one of the simplest and most versatile knitting techniques, but it’s often overlooked. The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting is a modern and thorough take on this technique that delivers beautiful colorwork and gorgeous textures–with minimal effort. A complete overview covers all the basics of slip-stitch knitting. Forty stitch patterns, many of which are reversible, stretch the boundaries of slip stitch. Sixteen original projects for cardigans, pullovers, hats, bags, scarves, and more showcase the versatility of slip stitch by using it as an allover pattern or accent.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Design

This month features books on using design to sell, explain and inspire, the history of spots and stripes, and inspirational interiors of UK ex-council homes, plus more unique topics.

howto How to use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and (every once in a while) change the world / Michael Bierut.
“Protégé of design legend Massimo Vignelli and partner in the New York office of the international design firm Pentagram, Michael Bierut has had one of the most varied careers of any living graphic designer. He provides insights into the creative process, his working life, his relationship with clients, and the struggles that any design professional faces in bringing innovative ideas to the world. Inspiring, informative and authoritative, How to… is set to be the bible of graphic design ideas.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Patternalia : an unconventional history of polka dots, stripes, plaid, camouflage, & other graphic patterns / Jude Stewart.
“We wake up in the morning and put on our striped socks and our plaid shirts, sit down to breakfast at a gingham tablecloth, perhaps eyeing the wallpaper with its fleur-de-lis. Patterns are everywhere–yet they can go unnoticed. In fact, every pattern is a story, a surprisingly deep trove of historical information and cultural associations. From camouflage to keffiyeh, plaid to paisley, Patternalia plumbs the backstories of individual patterns, the surprising kinks in how each developed, the parallels between patterns natural and invented, and the curious personalities these patterns accrue over time.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Style council : inspirational interiors in ex-council homes / Sarah Thompson ; foreword by Wayne Hemingway, MBE.
Style Council brings together an inspirational and eclectic selection of interiors from a generation of homeowners who are redefining the status of local-authority architecture. From covetable apartments in hip Brutalist high-rises to rural cottages with roses around the door, Style Council peeks behind the curtains of the often unappreciated former council home, into the lives of the creative and resourceful people who live there. Style Council is an essential sourcebook and a goody-bag of ideas for anyone wanting to do up their home – ex-council or not – in style.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Overdrive cover The Education of a Graphic Designer, by Steven Heller (eBook)
“Revised and updated, this compelling collection of essays, interviews, and course syllabi is the ideal tool to help teachers and students keep up in the rapidly changing field of graphic design. Top designers and educators talk theory, offer proposals, discuss a wide range of educational concerns—such as theory versus practice, art versus commerce, and classicism versus postmodernism—and consider topics such as emerging markets, shifts in conventions, global impact, and social innovation. Building on the foundation of the original book, the new essays address how graphic design has changed into an information-presenting, data-visualization, and storytelling field rooted in art and technology.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)
Syndetics book cover Small house living / Catherine Foster.
“Smart, space-efficient houses are becoming the way of the future. Small House Living showcases an inspiring collection of homes measuring less than 90m2 from around New Zealand. Family homes, baches and apartments are included in the line-up; all of them demonstrating ingenious ways to reduce space and cut costs within a design-enriched environment. Small House Living is a book in tune with the current preoccupation with creating affordable housing solutions. Anyone interested in living well with less will find inspiration in the compact yet highly considered homes featured.” (Syndetics summary)
Overdrive cover Architects’ Houses, by Stephen Crafti (eBook)
Architects’ Houses offers an insight into how contemporary architects live in the homes they have designed specifically for themselves and their family: from warehouses to apartments, from an entirely new build to a substantial renovation. In the absence of a ‘client’ and a formal brief, architects can be truly adventurous, exploring groundbreaking, unconventional ideas and materials in designing their own houses. Architects’ Houses also explores the things that didn’t quite go to plan. Their insights and journeys will appeal to those looking for fresh ideas that go beyond the traditional offerings by architects.” (Overdrive description)

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Classical Music

This week, The Rite of Spring with a rather hypnotic cover, some Romantic piano music, Czech (and French) cello, and a symphonic master.

ClassicalrecentNov15a1 Le Sacre du Printemps (1947 version), Stravinsky. Performed by MusicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis conducting.
“Destined to become the ultimate reference recording of Stravinsky’s iconic work, Currentzis and MusicAeterna give the music the authentic Russian treatment – stripping back the Western European symphonic traditions of the past century, to return to the intended Russian folk origins of the piece. The musicians used scatting and singing in order to practice the rhythms and phrasing of the folk tunes entailed in Le Sacre.” (amazon.com)
ClassicalrecentNov15a2 Four Impromptus, Piano Pieces, Hüttenbrenner Variations, Schubert. Performed by Steven Osborne.
“British pianist Steven Osborne shines in lyrical new performances of seven of Schubert’s greatest late works for piano, Four Impromptus D935 and Three piano pieces D946. Rounding out this program are the extended Huttenbrenner Variations of 1817 named for Schubert’s close friend and fellow pupil of Salieri, Anselm Huttenbrenner.” (amazon.com)
ClassicalrecentOct15b2 String Quartets, op. 18, Beethoven. Performed by the Jerusalem Quartet.
“‘Only now have I learnt how to write quartets properly.’ So wrote Beethoven in 1801, having just finished his first set of string quartets at the surprisingly advanced age of 30. The competition of Haydn and Mozart must have been intimidating for the young composer. Performed here by the Jerusalem Quartet, these six String Quartets Op.18 already display much boldness and originality, from the dramatic echoes of Romeo & Juliet in No.1, to the astonishing programmatic finale of No.6, ‘La Malinconia’” (amazon.com).
ClassicalrecentOct15a3 Violin Sonatas, Telemann. Performed by Arsenale Sonoro.
Including four world premier recordings, this compilation of seven sonatas for violin and continuo (and one fantasia for solo violin) features the group Arsenale Sonoro, with Boris Begelman on violin.

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September Arts eNewsletter

Welcome to the first Arts newsletter for Spring! We have lots of great selections for you to enjoy during the transitional weather.

Library News

Art

This selection zig-zags between pop and cult culture, modernism and minimalism, to advice for practising artists. Curiosity and the lure of materiality makes Magnificent Obsessions (on the objects artists are drawn to collect) a fascinating read and well worth picking up.

Syndetics book cover Mark Wallinger / Sally O’Reilly.
“Painter, sculptor, and video artist Mark Wallinger has created some of the most intelligent and irreverent work of the last 25 years. Winner of the Turner Prize in 2007, Wallinger is well known for his 50-meter sculpture of a white horse standing in the English countryside and a multipart work, Labyrinth , made for the 150th anniversary of the London Underground. Like all titles in this series, the book has 100 color illustrations and a new interview with the artist.” (Adapted syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Magnificent obsessions : the artist as collector / editorial coordination, Lincoln Dexter.
“This unique and revealing book probes the aesthetic and psychological dimensions of collecting and shows how objects can influence and reflect their owners’ work. A lead essay examines the reasons why artists collect, attempting to understand the relationship between the objects artists amass and the works they make, and contributions by or on each of the artists reflect on the personal significance of collecting habits.” (Adapted syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Drawing and painting : materials and techniques for contemporary artists / [Kate Wilson]
“Bursting with practical techniques, engaging artist profiles and inspirational galleries, Drawing & Painting combines an authoritative category killer approach with a contemporary aesthetic guaranteed to appeal to all artists.” (Adapted syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Māori art : history, architecture, landscape and theory / Rangihiroa Panoho ; with photographs by Mark Adams & Haruhiko Sameshima.
“This book presents a unique focus on Maori art by exploring the connection between the traditional and contemporary, and the place of Maori art within an international context. Maori Art provides a framework for looking at Maori art in a new way and fills a gap in Maori art history – while there are myriad surveys of Maori art there is currently very little critical writing on Maori art and artists.”(Adapted syndetics summary)

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Craft

Draw creative energy from this delightful collection of new books including knitting designs for every season and clever sewing projects. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book cover Sew organized for the busy girl : tips to make the most of your time & space : 23 quick and clever sewing projects you’ll love / Heidi Staples.
“Fit sewing into your busy lifestyle with practical tips that will help you put hours back on the clock Heidi Staples, a creative mom of three, will help you organize your sewing space and works-in-progress so they are ready to roll at a moment s notice. Revive your creative life and make the most of your time with easy-to-implement advice. Stitch up 23 projects, ranging from handcrafted quilts to home decor, children’s gifts, and attractive storage cases. With an arsenal of time-savers, you ll finally finish those projects while enjoying a little “you” time at the sewing machine.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Learn to crochet, love to crochet / Anna Wilkinson ; photography by Laura Edwards.
Anna Wilkinson encouraged a new generation of crafters to take up knitting with her debut book, Learn to Knit, Love to Knit. Anna is now set to popularise the creative craft of crochet in the same way with the companion book, Learn to Crochet, Love to Crochet. The book is made up of a collection of twenty garments and accessories that will add ‘wow’ to your wardrobe but also, through making each project, you will learn the fundamentals of crochet. While the ten Learn to Crochet projects guide you through the most basic crochet techniques, the ten Love to Crochet garments provide all the inspiration and know-how you need to really master this highly versatile craft. By making your way through the book you’ll have an enviable wardrobe of handmade garments.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Knit wear love : foolproof instructions for knitting your best-fitting sweaters ever in the styles you love to wear / Amy Herzog ; photography by Karen Pearson
“In Knit Wear Love , Amy Herzog guides us through picking a base pattern that not only works for our inherent shape, but also suits our size and style–all with the skill of a top-notch teacher and designer and the honesty and humor of a BFF. Known for her uncanny ability to simplify what might initially seem complex, Herzog masterminded for Knit Wear Love an easy mix-and-match pattern system that allows us to choose among the eight key sweater forms; eight fashion styles; a trove of customization details; ten sizes; and three gauges of yarn. The result? Sweaters we can knit with confidence, wear with pride, and love for many years to come.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The quilter’s practical guide to color / Becky Goldsmith.
“Did you know that the biggest struggle for quilters of all types is color selection? Unlock the secrets to winning color combinations from best-selling author Becky Goldsmith of Piece O Cake Designs. Learn how every quilt has a foreground and a background, how to use clear versus gray colors plus other essentials that will shake up your design process. Quilters of all skill levels will appreciate Becky s practical, easy-to-understand advice. Put your newfound knowledge to the test with 10 pieced and appliqued projects designed to focus on specific aspects of color. Includes visual examples to explain all color topics.”” (Syndetics summary)

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Design

This month’s picks feature a variety of graphic design best-of compilations. On the architecture side, Open Source Architecture reconsiders architecture as a collaborative process.

Syndetics book cover Collector’s edition : innovative packaging and graphics / Stuart Tolley ; photography by Ivan Jones.
“This global survey of graphic design innovation brings together over 170 examples from the worlds of music, book publishing, and magazines that have been released as collector’s, limited, or deluxe editions. It includes a broad spectrum of work, formats, and genres, ranging from editions of albums by international recording artists including Coldplay and Radiohead, to ultra-rare and expensive publications such as ‘The Vatican Secret Archives’, handbound in the Vatican studio and produced in an edition of just thirty-three copies (three of which were reserved for the Pope). Each section also includes interviews with designers such as Stefan Sagmeister and Stanley Donwood to gain their views and insights on why the materiality and tactility of printed packaging are more important than ever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Logo design / ed. Julius Widedmann.
“A good logo can glamorize just about anything. This sweeping compendium gathers diverse brand markers from around the world to explore the irrepressible power of graphic representation. The catalog explores how text, image, and ideas distil into a logo across events, fashion, media, music, and retailers. Featuring work from both star names and lesser-known mavericks, this is an excellent reference for students and professionals in design and marketing, as well as for anyone interested in the visuals and philosophy behind brand identity.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Open source architecture / Carlo Rotti with Matthew Claudel.
Open Source Architecture is a visionary manifesto for the architecture of tomorrow that argues for a paradigm shift from architecture as a means of supporting the ego-fueled grand visions of “starchitects” to a collaborative, inclusive, network-driven process inspired by twenty-first-century trends such as crowd-sourcing, open access, and mass customization. The question is how collaborative design can avoid becoming design-by-committee. Authors Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel navigate this topic nimbly, considering the applications of open-source architecture not only conceptually but also in practice. Open Source Architecture is an important new work on the frontlines of architectural thought and practice.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The Parthenon enigma / Joan Breton Connelly.
“Since the Enlightenment, the Parthenon–the greatest example of Athenian architecture–has been venerated as the definitive symbol of Western democratic values. Here, Joan Breton Connelly challenges this conventional wisdom, drawing on previously undiscovered sources to present a revolutionary new view of this peerless building. Reaching back across time to trace the Parthenon’s story from the laying of its foundation, Connelly finds its true meaning not in the rationalist ideals we typically associate with Athens but in a vast web of ceaseless cultic observances and a unique mythic identity, in which democracy in our sense of the word would have been inconceivable.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Classical Music

This month we have a great selection of new classical music, featuring a number of piano pieces.

ClassicalrecentSep15a2 Piano Sonatas, volume 5, Beethoven. Performed by Angela Hewitt.
The sonatas in this volume are number 2, 5, 24 and 31. “Angela Hewitt has been much praised in her earlier recordings of Beethoven’s piano sonatas and now turns her passion and scholarship to four more works spanning the composer’s career, the Piano Sonatas Ops.2, 10, 78 and 110. As ever, Angela’s accompanying notes provide fascinating insights into both the music and her performances.” (amazon.com)
ClassicalrecentSep15a3 Symphony No. 1, Bruckner. Performed by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Japp van Zweden.
“A new installment in Jaap van Zweden’s successful series devoted to Bruckner’s symphonies. Among the versions issued by Bruckner, the conductor has chosen the so-called Linzer, dated 1866.” (amazon.com)
ClassicalrecentAug15b2 Symphony No. 10, Philip Glass. Performed by the Bruckner Orchester Linz, conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.
This is the first available CD recording of Glass’ 10th symphony (first performed in 2012, recorded here in September 2013). Included on this disc is the Concert Overture (2012), commissioned for the bicentennial of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, which Glass therefore called “An homage to the Tchaikovsky… What I was looking for is a kind of energy found in the Tchaikovsky, a kind of sweeping flow of music” (cover).
ClassicalrecentAug15a4 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Will Todd. Performed by Opera Holland Park.
“11-year-old Alice lives in the not terribly exciting town of Grimthorpe. On a boring Wednesday in the summer holidays Alice’s family, wandering around town, gets caught in a downpour. They rush into the nearest shelter, which turns out to be a pet shop – much to Alice’s parents’ delight. Alice is lost in a daydream of exotic holidays…Suddenly she is jolted out of her reverie by one of the animals – a white rabbit – who starts talking to her… Opera Holland Park’s production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a family opera by composer Will Todd and librettist Maggie Gottlieb, comes to CD for the first time after two critically praised runs in 2013 and 2014.” (amazon.com)

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Arts Newsletter – March 2015

Library News

Art

These recent additions to our library collection have a contemporary and urban focus. Of particular note is John Tusa’s “Pain in the Arts” highlighting the political controversies the arts continually face and the battles it continues to fight. Despite economic downturns and political agendas he argues for the sake of excellence and the value of art and its place in our society.

Syndetics book cover Weak messages create bad situations: a manifesto
“Weak messages create bad situations. Strong messages create good situations. Turner Prize-nominated artist David Shrigley is here to help.
Shrigley has exhibited at the Tate Modern in London, at the MoMA in New York, and in Paris, Berlin, Melbourne and beyond. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2013 and lives and works in Glasgow.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)
Syndetics book cover Art in time : a world history of styles and movements / project editor, Tom Melick.
“An essential guide to art styles and movements and a history of world art from the present day to Greek antiquity, this book places the reader in the art historian’s seat, offering an opportunity to work backwards from our own time and reconnect the dots, or even find new dots to connect.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)
Syndetics book cover Talk about street art / Jérome Catz ; translated from the French by Anna Hiddleston-Galloni.
“Graffiti and street art have long been part of our visual culture. The artist’s engagement and state of mind are important components of street art; the book covers topics such as anonymity, the art form’s dangerous nature, codes of conduct, and ideological engagement, as well as the interface of street art with contemporary art, pop surrealism, toy art, and music and sport. Street art is found on every continent, and the book gives focus to each country and its own modes of expression and specificities.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)
Syndetics book cover Comics unmasked : art and anarchy in the UK / Paul Gravett, John Harris Dunning.
“Paul Gravett and John Harris Dunning look beyond the notion of comics as pleasure reading to focus on their inherently anarchic nature. Combing the British Library’s extensive comic collection not only to explore the full potential of the medium they have also singled out the critical points in history in which the art form challenged the status quo. Comics Unmasked explores the political and social issues raised by British comics and their creators over the last century, from violence and drugs to class and sexuality.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)
Syndetics book cover Pain in the arts / John Tusa.
“Over a distinguished career in cultural leadership, management and journalism spanning almost 30 years, John Tusa has amassed a unique experience of the arts world, the political controversies it faces and the battles it continues to fight. Tusa addresses the controversies in the arts that must be resolved so urgently today, including the ever-flowing arguments on whether they should be useful before they are excellent. He gives guidance on how the arts can survive in the downturn and explains why the case must always be made that they deserve special treatment.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

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Craft

Welcome to this eclectic mix of new craft books, featuring many clever and creative ideas! Experiment with different types of wool and learn how to embellish old fabrics transforming them into beautiful scarves, soft toys and more. Read about fantastic ways how to make beautiful things that work for you and your family. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book cover Felt so good : 70+ felted and plain wool designs for you and your home / by Tone Rørseth ; translated from the Norwegian by Margaret Berge Hartge.
“A wonderful collection of designs for clothing, accessories, and items for your home from Norwegian designer Tone Rørseth. Wool is a wonderfully versatile material, which makes these designs easily accessible for crafters of all levels. The book presents instructions for felting wool, as well as a guide to purchasing different types of ready-made felt. Included are several projects made from upcycled wool sweaters, mittens, and hats, including handbags, dog sweaters, and wrist warmers. Rørseth’s designs are whimsical and fun, and most can be made in an evening or a week-end. She has even included a section dedicated to holiday decorations such as garlands, tree ornaments, and table decor.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Beautiful wreaths & garlands : 35 projects to decorate your home for all seasons & occasions / Cathering Woram.
“Get inspired to decorate your home with these charming wreaths and garlands. Whether you are looking for something to make from all of the plants you gather in your garden or to use scraps of paper and fabric you have collected, you will be sure to find a project for every occasion and celebration innbsp;Beautiful Wreaths and Garlands.nbsp;In five chapters on natural, fabric, paper, mixed-media, and holiday wreaths and garlands, Catherine Woram shows you how to make a succulent wreath so you can bring nature indoors, a scented herb garland to hang in the kitchen, a wreath made of paper leaves cut out of vintage books, a delicate pine wreath to hang above your table at Christmas, and many more simple ways to make your home look really special.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Craft a creative business / Fiona Pullen.
“A complete must-read guide for anyone wanting to turn their hobby, craft or art skills into a successful business. Covering everything you ever wanted to know, Fiona gives clear, simple advice on the importance of identifying markets, focusing on a USP, assessing the competition, making sure the price is right and setting goals. The book includes sections on product photography, branding. and legal matters. The book has particular emphasis on online selling, with detailed information onmarkets, blogging, using social media and the importance of analytics and SEO (search engine optimisation). Information on offline selling is included too, with notes on on selling at craft fairs, trade fairs and markets, selling through retail outlets, running courses and workshops, and featuring work in the media.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Crochet ever after : 18 crochet projects inspired by classic fairy tales / Brenda K. B. Anderson.
“Shows and movies based on fairy tales are incredibly popular, and crafty crocheters now have a book of fabulous projects that pay homage to their favorite stories. Little Red’s hood with integrated infinity scarf will stay put when she’s being chased by the Big Bad Wolf. Sleeping Beauty now has just the right nightie to wear while waiting for Prince Charming to wake her up. Gretel can take her snacks to go with her cupcake purse. Plus the Evil Queen will know exactly who the hottest in the land is when she gazes into her Mirror, Mirror on the Go makeup case. Heroines, fairy princesses, witches, and big bad wolves are all accounted for in this fanciful collection of crochet accessories, toys, bags, kids’ clothes, and more.” (Adapted from Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Chunky knits : 31 projects for you & your home knit with bulky yarn / Ashley Little.
“Here’s the secret of bulky yarns – they knit up quickly. This attractive book features more than 25 patterns that use bulky- or superbulky-weight yarn, and the great thing about them is that they are not the usual suspects. Yes, there are hats, mittens, and scarves and shawls, but there are also a delicate-looking lace capelet, a scalloped necklace, and even a lacy lampshade covering. Knitters looking for instant gratification will find it in smaller projects: braided wall art, jewelry, and round, cabled sachets.” (Booklist)
Syndetics book cover Playful : fun projects to make with + for kids / Merrilee Liddiard ; photographs by Nicole Hill Gerulat.
Playful : fun projects to make with + for kids is a charming collection of 26 unique, modern projects for parents (and other adults) to make for young children as well as an exciting assortment of projects that kids preschool age and up can make alongside an adult. Divided into five categories–Dress Up, Toys, Paper Crafts, Repurposing and Art–the low-skill/high-style/low-cost projects include fair maiden and knight dress-up smocks, a tiger pinata, a parade of paper puppets, a convoy of trucks, a dollhouse made out of cardboard and bright duct tape, an art table, a cloth trapeze doll and wooden pencil holders. Templates for artwork shown on projects are included with step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions. Authored by Merrilee Liddiard and photographed by Nicole Gerulat, this enchanting book is sure to inspire many happy hours of making–as well as make-believe–among adults and the children they love. (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

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Design

This month’s selection of new Design & Architecture books features topics ranging from logo design to responsive web design to architectural wonders that will shape the future of our planet. There are plenty of inspiring books to choose from for budding graphic designers, as well as plenty of interest to those fascinated by architectural design and history.

Syndetics book cover Logo design love : a guide to creating iconic brand identities / from David Airey.
“In Logo Design Love , David shows you how to develop an iconic brand identity from start to finish, using client case studies from renowned designers. In the process, he reveals how designers create effective briefs, generate ideas, charge for their work, and collaborate with clients. David not only shares his personal experiences working on identity projects, he also uses the work of many well-known designers such as Paula Scher, who designed the logos for Citi and Microsoft Windows, as well as work from leading design studios. In Logo Design Love , you’ll learn best practices for extending a logo into a complete brand identity system, why one logo is more effective than another, how to create your own iconic designs and much more.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Art deco mailboxes : an illustrated design history / Karen Greene & Lynne Lavelle.
“Mailboxes and their chutes were once as essential to the operation of any major hotel, office, civic, or residential building as the front door. In time they developed a decorative role, in a range of styles and materials, and as American art deco architecture flourished in the 1920s and 1930s they became focal points in landmark buildings and public spaces: the GE Building, Grand Central Terminal, the Woolworth Building, 29 Broadway and many more. While many mailboxes have been removed, forgotten, disused, or painted over (and occasionally repurposed), others are still in use, are polished daily, and hold a place of pride in lobbies throughout the country.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover There’s not an app for that : mobile user experience design for life / Simon Robinson, Gary Marsden, Matt Jones.
There’s Not an App for That will make your work stand out from the crowd. It walks you through mobile experiences, and teaches you to evaluate current UX approaches, enabling you to think outside of the screen and beyond the conventional. You’ll find special sections on “challenging your approach”, as well as a series of questions you can use to critique and evaluate your own designs. [This book] provides you with new and innovative ways to think about mobile design and includes future mobile interfaces and interactions, complete with real-world, applied information that teaches you how today’s mobile services can be improved.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Responsive web design with Adobe Photoshop
“For a couple of decades now, designers have used Photoshop to mock up Web page designs. However, that work generally results in a static graphic of the page, which has to be translated by a developer into the components of a Web page. Our multi-device world has shown us that this approach to web design is increasingly problematic. Modern web designers are adopting a new approach: creating flexible web pages whose layout can adapt to suit the screen on which they are displayed. This is “Responsive Web Design” [RWD]. This new book is aimed at the visual Web designer who’s accustomed to working in Photoshop. In addition, Rose will introduce methods for taking HTML back into Photoshop for further refinement.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Design museum: fifty modern buildings that changed the world
“The history of modern architecture is as diverse as it is beautiful, varying wildly from region to region and era to era. Here Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum, explores 50 of the most significant and striking buildings in the world, from the modernist aesthetic of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye to the eye-catching flair of Beijing’s CCTV Headquarters. Contents include: Villa Savoye, Poissy Rockefeller Center, New York Eames House, Los Angeles Montreal Biosphere, Montreal Pompidou Centre, Paris Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao Beijing Olympic Stadium, Beijing Selfridges, Birmingham… and many more.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Make your own luck : a DIY attitude to graphic design & illustration / Kate Moross ; foreword by Neville Brody.
“From art school student to designer for Nike, Topshop, and Google, Kate Moross has lived the life that young graphic artists dream of. But it hasn’t always been a smooth ride, and in this informative memoir and guide Moross offers true insider’s tips on how to make it in a highly competitive field. Written in an approachable, forthright, and refreshingly honest tone, Make Your Own Luck features chapters on how to thrive in art school, developing your own style, how to self-promote, and when to consider working for free. Irreverent and packed with helpful tips for designers of all stripes, Make Your Own Luck is certain to become an indispensable guide for anyone interested in graphic art as a vocation or hobby.” (Syndetics summary)

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Classical Music

This week we (well, I really) discovered what a musical wizard Hindemith was.

ClassicalrecentMar15a1 Serenades, Johannes Brahms. Performed by Gewandhausorchester with Riccardo Chailly conducting.
“Following the award-winning set of the Brahms symphonies, Riccardo Chailly turns his ‘rare talent for transforming music ripe for discovery’ to Brahms’s Serenades. For Chailly, ‘all music must aspire to be “new music” again’. This recording renews these unjustly neglected works in performances of ‘trademark clarity’ (Gramophone Record of the Year 2014)”—Cover.
ClassicalrecentMar15a2 Sonatas for…, Paul Hindemith. Performed by various solo instrumentalists, with Alexander Melnikov (piano).
“Hindemith composed more than 30 sonatas for the most diverse instruments – all of which he was capable of playing himself! This fascinating selection of works written between 1935 (when he became persona non grata in Nazi Germany) and 1948 (the brilliant Cello Sonata for Piatigorsky) is played by some of today’s finest soloists, with the guiding spirit of Alexander Melnikov at the piano. How often does one hear a sonata for Althorn? Especially one published along with a poem by the composer?”—Cover.
ClassicalrecentMar15a3 Symphony No. 1 and Cockaigne Overture, Edward Elgar. Performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with Vasily Petrenko conducting.
“Elgar’s First Symphony was a personal triumph for the composer, who said, ‘I hold that the symphony without a programme is the highest development of art.’ Wonderfully scored, opulent and highly personal, it was the culmination of many years of creative struggle with the symphonic form. ‘… almost terrifying in its greatness,’ commented one dignitary at the premiere in 1908; ‘the greatest symphony of modern times, by the greatest modern composer,’ said conductor Hans Richter”—Cover.

We have also recently received:

Horn Concertos, and Horn Quintet, Mozart. Performed by Pip Eastop (natural horn).
Piano Works, Clara and Robert Schumann. Performed by Imogen Cooper.
Piano Concerto, and Piano Concerto no. 3, Scriabin and Medtner. Performed by Yevgeny Subdin (piano).

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Arts and Crafts Newsletter: June 2014

Welcome to the latest Arts and Crafts Newsletter. This month’s picks are a beautiful selection of inspirational titles to keep your creative side burning as the days get cooler.

Library News

Art

Stunning new art books for winter reading include Brancusi, Indiana, and Warhol.

Syndetics book coverCitizen Warhol / Blake Stimson.
“From his life to his work, Andy Warhol is an enigma. The leading figure of the pop art movement, Warhol created paintings, films, performance art, and his famous studio, the Factory, in New York City. Fans, aficionados, enthusiasts, experts, and critics alike have tried to make sense of Warhol, creating a wealth of knowledge and speculation. Blake Stimson builds on this project in this gorgeously illustrated book, which brings new attention to the philosophical and creative influences behind Warhol’s life and work.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverThe essential Robert Indiana / Martin Krause, John Wilmerding.
“Decoding Robert Indiana’s work for a new generation, this revelatory book explores previously unknown autobiographical elements in the work of the Pop artist and printmaker. Famously proclaiming himself to be “an American painter of signs,” Robert Indiana has created an enormous body of work, much of it boldly colored abstractions. In this incisive new examination of the artist, based on ongoing conversations with Indiana, art historian Martin Krause sifts through autobiographical clues within the artist’s work and finds a wealth of affecting and affectionate references to Indiana’s childhood, literary heroes, and the cultural icons of his generation.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBrancusi New York, 1913-2013 / text by Jérôme Neutres.
“The pure, abstract sculptures made by Constantin Brancusi have had a large and enthusiastic audience in New York ever since they were first shown on American soil at the 1913 Armory Show. The numerous American collectors, muses, friends, and exhibitions that enabled his success had a profound influence on the eccentric Romanian artist who lived in Paris… Over the last one hundred years his effect on the city’s art scene has never waned. Through stunning archival images and text by art curator Jerome Neutres, Brancusi New York tells the story of the mutually beneficial relationship between the sculptor and the Big Apple.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

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Craft

Find lots of inspiration and practical ideas in our latest library craft books. Start your crafting adventure reading about artists who are enjoying sharing their knowledge and ideas with young crafters about knitting, crocheting, sewing, stitching and hand weaving – without spending a fortune! A fantastic way to learn how to make beautiful things that work for you and your family, satisfy your creative urge and have fun!

Syndetics book coverStitch and structure / Jean Draper.
“Diagrams, drawings and easy-to-follow instructions take the reader through each technique; beginning with recording information for translation into stitch, then moving on to constructing with threads and linear structures and making experimental textiles and structures using stitched fabrics.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverKnitting with giant needles : simple projects to knit and crochet / Hanna Charlotte Erhorn.
“Enjoy quick and easy knitting and crocheting using giant knitting needles and thick yarns with Knitting with Giant Needles. Use a few relaxing hours on the sofa to catch up with the latest trend of knitting with giant needles and create beautiful and unique accessories for your wardrobe and home in no time. You can choose from 35 gorgeous, inspirational projects to fill your weekends, from scarves and shoulder bags to cushions and blankets. You can even choose from variations of the projects to ensure you get your perfect crafty creation, ideal for creating individual accessories or gifts. Whether you are an experienced knitter or just starting out, step-by-step knitting pictures show basic techniques, making knitting easy for everyone.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverBoycraft : loads of things to make for and with boys (and girls) / Sara Duchars & Sarah Marks ; illustrations by Nicola Kent.
“Duchars and Marks note, “There are plenty of craft books out there for girls, but even the ones that don’t have pink frilly cupcakes on the cover are often full of handbags, fairy wings and princess tiaras.” No such items are on display in this book, which targets “boys and tomboys” with lots of messy, spooky, and recycled crafts; boys will like the can-do attitude of this book. A particular standout is the totally enthralling papier-mache landscape that truly does look like it will offer days of fun. American readers will have to overlook some British English, a small quirk. A larger concern is the haphazard arrangement of the projects. In the sewing chapter, for example, making a large stuffed animal is followed by instructions for making the simpler giant beanbag chair, which is followed by instructions for simplest-of-all beanbags, sequenced in the exact opposite of skill-building order. And directions are far from comprehensive; trying to make the bird feeder Duchars and Marks offer will lead to heartbreak. Still, these low-key projects will inspire outdoorsy kids who might not otherwise be interested in a crafts book.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverWise craft : turning thrift store finds, fabric scraps, and natural objects into stuff you love / Blair Stocker.
“Stocker, a blogger who had a career in apparel and textile design before staying home to raise children, offers 60 projects in four seasonal chapters, with holiday nods going out from May Day (sheet music and paper bag floral cones) to Halloween (naked zombie Barbies, painted delightfully white). Most undertakings require only an open mind as a skill set, though a bit of sewing (patchwork jeans from thrift store shirts or the picnic blanket fashioned from men’s apparel) or crochet (glass fishing bobbers as casual decor or tree ornaments) skills will help. Even the most gifted repurposer should find inspiration in the woven chair back, crafted from yarn and a lucky side-of-the-road find (a set of mid-century modern dining chairs). “Sometimes,” says Stocker, “what seems blah at first glance just needs an open mind and a little love to be completely transformed.” A keeper for thrift-store divas and dumpster divers.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverMade by yourself : 100% handmade designer DIY projects for the home, from furniture to accessories / Peter Fehrentz.
“DIY is all the rage and handmade objects guarantee individuality and sustainability–and for this reason they have once more become highly sought-after. Made by Yourself’s ideas for furniture and small decorative crafts are 100% individual, while the step-by-step instructions, sketches, and patterns guarantee that they are surprisingly easy and fun to make. The many different kinds of materials–stone, wood, paper/cardboard, glass/porcelain, metal, plastic, textiles and leather–combined with the imaginative ways they fit into their environment make this both a practical and atmospheric book filled with sophisticated and creative ideas.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe art of tinkering : meet 150+ makers working at the intersection of art, science & technology / Karen Wilkinson & Mike Petrich.
“ Every day, there is something new and wildly wonderful out there that someone has made by hand a city built out of 100,000 toothpicks, a musical instrument that’ s powered by the ocean, or a pop-up book that lights up, too. In “The Art of Tinkering,” you will be introduced to the individuals behind these and many more marvellous works, find out how they create, and get inspired to start tinkering yourself. “The Art of Tinkering” is a collection of exhibits, artwork, and projects that celebrate a whole new way to learn, in which people create their own knowledge through making and doing, working with readily available materials, getting their hands dirty, collaborating with others, problem-solving in the most fun sense of the word, and, yes, oftentimes failing and bouncing back from getting stuck. Each artist featured in “The Art of Tinkering” goes through this process, and lovingly shares the back story behind their own work so that readers can feel invited to join in on the whimsy. The stories, lessons, and tips in The Art of Tinkering offer a fascinating portrait of today’s maker scene. (Adapted from Syndetics)

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April Arts Newsletter

Welcome to our April Arts Newsletter – a variety of books overflowing with ideas to warm your imagination as the season chills.

Library News

Art

Our latest Art selections take a look at still life, line drawing, urban street art, and maps.

Syndetics book coverNature morte : contemporary artists reinvigorate the still-life tradition / Michael Petry.
“Current twists on the still life reflect the tradition’s ongoing obsession with death in this survey featuring the work of John Currin, Renata Hegyi, Gabriel Orozco, Cy Twombly, and many others. For Petry (Installation Art in the New Millennium), director of London’s Museum of Contemporary Art, these images are considered nature morte (”dead nature”), as exemplified by the volume’s amusing lenticular cover of an exploding floral arrangement. After discussing the “mortal edge” present in the past five centuries of the still life, Petry traces broad historical changes alongside artistic developments, with selected contemporary works organized into chapters dedicated to “Flora,” “Food,” “House and Home,” “Fauna,” and “Death.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWalk the line : the art of drawing / Marc Valli & Ana Ibarra.
“Drawing has always been a fundamental skill and good drawing skills allowed artists to grasp the reality around them. At the turn of the millennium, however, the general impression was that with the wide availability of computers, scanners, digital cameras and image software, drawing would dwindle into a marginal activity. In fact, the opposite happened: the enthusiasm for digital imagery died down and the ability to draw has become a treasured skill. In the art world, attitudes to drawing have also changed. Drawing became a way of making a statement as an artist, of showing masterly skill something that up to then had been most commonly associated with painting. After centuries in the shadow of its more illustrious fine art relatives, drawing started to be appreciated for its own sake, as an art discipline, an end in itself, an art form.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArt of D*Face: one man and his dog
“D*Face has been a leading figure in urban art for well over a decade. A contemporary of Banksy, he was at the forefront of the urban art movement, and has had a constant presence throughout its meteoric rise into popular culture. This long-awaited monograph shows the development of his career as an artist to date, encompassing his continuing street work, and the path that led him from the early beginnings of the street art genre to multiple sell-out solo exhibitions around the world. Containing previously unseen images of his working process and studio, as well as firsthand anecdotes, and the stories behind his extraordinary work, the book provides an insider’s view of one of Britain’s most important urban artists.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverA map of the world : according to illustrators & storytellers / edited by Antonis Antoniou, Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann, and Hendrik Hellige.
“Maps help us understand the world. This book features the most original and sought-after map illustrators whose work is in line with the zeitgeist. Drawing a map means understanding our world a bit better. For centuries, we have used the tools of cartography to represent both our immediate surroundings and the world at large–and to convey them to others… A new generation of designers, illustrators, and mapmakers are currently discovering their passion for various forms of illustrative cartography. A Map of the World is a compelling collection of their work.” (adapted from Amazon.com)

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Craft

It’s been an exiting time for our crafty library team, cataloguing and sorting out all these cool and ‘delicious’ craft books, which are packed with inspiring knitting, quilting, crocheting and sewing projects. If you are ready for an artistic journey then start here.

Syndetics book coverOnce upon a knit : 28 Grimm and glamorous fairy-tale projects / Genevieve Miller. “Iconic fairy-tale characters from storybooks, movies, and television inspire this collection of magical knitting patterns perfect for modern knights, villains, and princesses. Once again, Genevieve Miller taps a wide range of contributors (from knitwear designers to students) to create a collection of 28 wearables, accessories, and toys that can be knit for adults or kids. Inspired by the recent resurgence of fairy-tale and fantasy characters, these projects draw from classic stories as well as pop-culture phenomena featuring romantic, feminine costumes. Projects range from kid- and teen-friendly animals hats to an Alice in Wonderland beret to a crystal-embellished vest fit for a Snow Queen, adding a little dress-up fun to knitters’ everyday wardrobes.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverMade for you : homemade gifts to give / Jenny Occleshaw. “Helps you create gifts for your friends, family and loved ones using your sewing, beading, knitting, crochet, felting and embroidery skills. This book features projects that are divided into the following sections: Gifts for children, ladies, gents and the home. It is suitable for experienced crafters and newcomers alike.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book cover “How to show & sell your crafts : how to build your craft business at home, online, and in the marketplace / Torie Jayne. “Online marketplaces like Etsy have opened up a new world for crafters who want to make money from their work, and UK-based Jayne, whose aesthetic is part English country house, part “put a bird on it” quirk, enlists the help of a number of successful craft entrepreneurs for this collection of tips for making a living selling creations. Though the title is presented as a book on showing and selling crafts, it comes across as more of a lifestyle manual, with cutesy projects taking the place of practical advice. Some of Jayne’s suggestions are a little odd-does it really matter if you cover your storage boxes with floral wallpaper, or if the chair you sit in to work is “stylish”?-but her tips on branding will be helpful to those who are new to marketing their wares. Those who have already mastered the basics and are looking to take their fledgling businesses to the next level may prefer Kari Chapin’s Grow Your Handmade Business, which focuses less on making your workspace pretty and more on selling handmade goods as a livelihood. VERDICT Crafters who are just starting out may find some handy tips here, but only if they’re willing to wade through all the style-related fluff to find the nuggets of wisdom.” (Library Journal)

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Design

New in Design is a breathtaking look at Victorian Architect William Burges, back-to-basics refuges for those yearning the quiet life, Alice Rawsthorn’s look at where design meets life, and some furniture and lighting eye candy.

Syndetics book coverWilliam Burges and the high Victorian dream / J. Mordaunt Crook.
“William Burges (1827-81) was arguably the greatest of all Victorian architects. But he was more than just the creator of a modest number of fabulous, and fabulously expensive, buildings. He dreamed of hundreds more, designed dozens, and in addition created some of the most remarkable furniture and jewellery of all time. He was an art-architect. Rich, clever, well connected and short lived, he was uncompromising, profoundly learned, skilled in every process of design and explosively inventive. A brilliant talker, pungent critic and hilarious companion, he was one of Victorian London’s great eccentrics and networkers, though he was bewitched by the Middle Ages. . His furniture, fabric and jewellery designs and his unrealised projects were also hugely influential, and the former are now enthusiastically collected. This book was a landmark in Victorian studies when first published in 1981 and is now completely revised and re-illustrated substantially in colour.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRock the shack / [edited by Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten, and Sofia Borges ; text and preface by Sofia Borges].
“For the first time in the history of mankind, more people live in cities than in the country. Yet, at the same time, more and more city dwellers are yearning for rural farms, mountain cabins, or seaside homes. These kinds of refuges offer modern men and women a promise of what urban centers usually cannot provide: quiet, relaxation, being out of reach, getting back to basics, feeling human again. Rock the shack is a survey of such contemporary refuges from around the world — from basic to luxury” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverHello world : where design meets life / Alice Rawsthorn.
“Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives. When deployed wisely, it can bring us pleasure, choice, strength, decency and much more. But if its power is abused, the outcome can be wasteful, confusing, humiliating, even dangerous. None of us can avoid being affected by design, whether or not we wish to. It is so ubiquitous that it determines how we feel and what we do, often without our noticing. Hello World explores design’s influence on our lives. From the macabre symbol with which 18th century pirates terrorised their victims into surrender, to one woman’s quest for the best possible prosthetic legs and the evolution of the World Cup ball, it describes how warlords, scientists, farmers, hackers, activists and professional designers have used the complex, often elusive process of design to different ends throughout history. At a time when we face colossal changes, unprecedented in their speed, scale and intensity – from the deepening environmental crisis, to giant leaps in science and technology – Hello Worldexplains how design can help us to make sense of them and to turn them to our advantage.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverSo far / David Trubridge.
“David Trubridge’s first major international breakthrough came at the 2001 Milan Furniture Fair when his now famous Body Raft was picked up for manufacture by Cappellini, the hugely influential Italian furniture company. Since then he has gone on to produce and sell furniture and lighting throughout the world, and his work has become a staple of design magazines and publications everywhere. He believes that his life and work are one and the same, and consequently this very personal book is a fascinating and insightful look at the progress of his career, his thoughts on the creative process, and crucially his passionate interest in attempting to develop a work practice that is as environmentally sustainable as possible. Beautifully produced, and full of photographs, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in art, design, architecture and creativity.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

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Classical Music

New in Classical Music is a look at the birth of Opera, the letters of Leonard Bernstein and Stacy Horn’s Imperfect Harmony.

Books:

Syndetics book coverThe birth of an opera : fifteen masterpieces from Poppea to Wozzeck / Michael Rose.
“Rose (Berlioz Remembered) draws from a series of BBC radio programs he co-created with Hanns Hammelmann, which aired from 1955 to 1971 and focused on the genesis of 15 operas from the 17th to the 20th centuries. He excerpts contemporary sources such as letters from composers to librettists, as well as the views of conductors, opera house managers, critics, and other luminaries, while filling in the historical context… Accompanying engravings and photographs are illuminating and the bibliography is a useful blend of historic and recent titles.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverThe Leonard Bernstein letters / edited by Nigel Simeone.
“This book boasts an impressive assortment of 650 letters to and from the maestro, spanning the years 1932, when Bernstein was a precocious teenager studying piano, and 1990, the year of his death…Bernstein was one of the most articulate and witty writers on the contemporary music scene, and his posthumous prose collection Findings contains ample evidence of his literary prowess. This talent is very much on display in this volume. Simeone has chosen letters that highlight Bernstein’s musical activities rather than strictly personal ones, and the list of correspondents forms a who’s who of musical, literary, artistic, and political luminaries in the second half of the 20th century.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverImperfect harmony : finding happiness singing with others / Stacy Horn.
“Horn (Cyberville), in her reflective memoir of her decades-long participation in the Choral Society of Grace Church in lower Manhattan, delves into works the choir and others like it have sung over the centuries… Horn eloquently traces the evolution of ensemble singing, from monks chanting in the Middle Ages and the blossoming of church music in the Renaissance through the golden age of the 19th century. She also discusses many of the works that endure today, such as those by Purcell, Handel, Bach, Haydn, and Mozart…She writes movingly about how singing about death and simply breathing together bring a transcendent feeling of harmonious belonging.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

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Arts Newsletter: February 2014

Welcome to the first Arts Newsletter of 2014. This month we have a splendid mix of items focussing on the contemporary and classical. One of the many highlights is a particularly exciting new book in the crafting section, Knit Your Own Zoo. Make sure you get your photos into our Seaweek Display.

Library News

Art

For February, a festival of fabulous new art books:-

Syndetics book coverContemporary art in the United Kingdom / [edited by Black Dog Publishing ; contributors, Nicolas Bourriaud … [et al.]].
“The fifth title in Black Dog Publishing’s Artworld series, Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom showcases the wealth of contemporary art being produced in the United Kingdom today. Diverse in content and style, Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom features work from artists including, Gavin Turk, Tracey Emin, Fiona Banner, Bob and Roberta Smith, Chris Ofili and Mark Quinn, alongside the work of emerging British artists today. Exploring the phenomenon of the YBA, looking at pre and post-YBA; alongside the growing influence of art fairs such as Frieze and prizes such as the Turner Prize; Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom provides a comprehensive a complexion of the contemporary art scene from all four corners of the British Isles.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverNature morte : contemporary artists reinvigorate the still-life tradition / Michael Petry.
“Current twists on the still life reflect the tradition’s ongoing obsession with death in this survey featuring the work of John Currin, Renata Hegyi, Gabriel Orozco, Cy Twombly, and many others. For Petry (Installation Art in the New Millennium), director of London’s Museum of Contemporary Art, these images are considered nature morte (”dead nature”), as exemplified by the volume’s amusing lenticular cover of an exploding floral arrangement. After discussing the “mortal edge” present in the past five centuries of the still life, Petry traces broad historical changes alongside artistic developments, with selected contemporary works organized into chapters dedicated to “Flora,” “Food,” “House and Home,” “Fauna,” and “Death.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverQueen: art & image
“This publication, in association with the National Portrait Gallery in London, follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II documented in photographs and portraits by some of the most important 20th century artists.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

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Craft

Enjoying crafting? Start this New Year with lots of inspiring ideas and smart choices found in this fabulous collection of new library books. Have fun with yarn and fabric and make use of treasured possessions to create your own piece of history. Look at some enchanting knitting designs of unique accessories, as well as, innovative jewellery, quilting and stitching projects for you and the family. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverThe sparkle factory : the design and craft of Tarina’s fashion jewelry and accessories / Tarina Tarantino.
“The cover photograph of celebrity jewelry designer Tarantino will give readers a good idea as to whether her aesthetic suits their tastes. Those whose reaction to her candy-pink hair and bright, oversize, kitschy jewelry is “I love it!” will enjoy this book, while those who think it looks like the aftermath of an unfortunate incident in a costume jewelry factory aren’t the intended audience. Tarantino provides a peek at the steps she took to get her business off the ground, the places she looks to for ideas, and simple projects that reflect her fun-loving credo. The photography is gorgeous; even the images of basic supplies look like still lifes with rhinestones. Furthermore, the projects themselves are easy enough for most crafters to attempt successfully. Verdict? Part collection of projects, part feel-good inspiration, Tarantino’s print debut will appeal to those who believe that there’s no such thing as too much sparkle.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverFun with yarn and fabric / Susanna Zacke & Sania Hedengren ; photos by Magnus Selander ; translated by Ellen Hedström.
“A translation of a Swedish crafting book by two authors who are apparently quite prolific in their homeland, this slim volume is wonderfully illustrated with beautiful full-color photographs by Magnus Selander in the Swedish minimalist style that is beloved in the U.S. To this bare stage, the authors add pops of color in the form of eye-catchingly cheerful crocheted projects, including an unusual- and if not quite the “easy” of the title, at least simple-African Flower stole; covers for a car’s headrests; and a stunning Large Granny Squares bedspread. There are also a handful of knitted and embroidered designs, although many of those rely on purchased embroideries. What Zacke and Hedengren don’t offer are detailed instructions, beyond a handful of stitches in the back; one project, a necktie cross-stitched with a phrase, begins, “Think of what you want to write. Cross-stitch patterns for letters can be found online.” Since the materials used are Swedish (and not sourced) and the text is awkwardly translated at times, readers are advised to enjoy the lovely photographs and project ideas and to glean inspiration from them. Full-color photographs.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverChildren’s spaces : from zero to ten / Judith Wilson ; photography by Debi Treloar.
“A brilliant book for design-conscious parents and kids alike! Children’s Spaces helps you to plan all the practical aspects of children’s rooms and provides plenty of affordable ideas and inspiration when it comes to their design and decoration. Judith Wilson looks at rooms for children between birth and ten years old, with chapters on babies’ rooms, rooms for girls, rooms for boys, and shared bedrooms. There are also chapters on sensible storage and areas that children and adults share – bathrooms, play areas, eating areas and outside space. Children’s Spaces contains a wealth of inspiration drawn from the homes of real families, with real kids, which amply proves that children and great design can happily co-exist without compromising on style.” (Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverWoolbuddies : 20 irresistibly simple needle felting projects / Jackie Huang ; photographs by Antonis Achilleos.
“Wool felting is surprisingly easy; all crafters need to get started is a felting needle, a piece of soft foam to use as a felting pad, and some colorful scraps of wool roving. Huang, who began felting so he could make toys for his daughter, has a background in animation, which is apparent in the expressive faces of his creations. The projects are arranged by level of difficulty (simple, moderate, and challenging), and full instructions are presented along with accompanying photographs. Beginners will appreciate the introduction, which provides the basics in a clear, concise, easy-to-follow manner. Verdict? There are many felting books that focus on creating small animal toys, but few contain projects with as much verve as those in this book. Felters will love making these little woolbuddies, and children will enjoy playing with them.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverKnit your own zoo / Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne ; photography by Holly Jolliffe.
“Knitting patterns for 25 wild animals. There is something here for everyone, with instructions for knitting spots, stripes, fur, scales, trunks, wings and beaks! The animals are surprisingly easy to make. It will only take a few evenings to create yourself an exotic pet or reproduce your favourite species. These knitted animals in miniature are much easier to look after than the real things – they don’t need feeding, they won’t make a mess and they take up hardly any room!” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

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Design

This selection of recent architecture books ranges from the first book ever published on new Auckland urban spaces, to an A – Z overview of architects; there are also themes from history to sustainability.

Syndetics book coverAuckland, new city spaces / design and production by Diana Curtis. “The first book ever published on new Auckland Urban Spaces, featuring descriptions, plans and photographs of 16 major urban spaces in Auckland City -all which have made a positive contribution to the development of a new urban fabric for the City. Projects include; Queen Street, Aotea Square, Lorne Street, Auckland Art Gallery, Elliott & Darby Streets, St Patrick’s Square, Fort Street area, Britomart Precinct, Taurarua Judges Bay, Queen’s Wharf, Te Wero, Karanga Plaza, North Wharf, Jellicoe St, Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter Playspace, Victoria Skatepark & Victoria park Tunnel. Practices responsible for these areas include; Boffa Miskell, Architectus, Isthmus, Reset Urban Design, Ted Smythe & Associates, Cooper/Cheshire Architects, Taylor Cullity Lethlean/Wraight + Associates and Archimedia. This is an important book which all those interested in Auckland, urban spaces and urban planning should include in their collection.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArchitects from A to Z / Paul Cattermole, Simon Forty.
“From Alvar Aalto to Peter Zumthor, from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century, this comprehensive overview introduces readers to the major names, schools and structures in the field of architecture. Each entry focuses on a seminal architect and one of their career-defining works. Arranged alphabetically, the book is easy to use, and the large superbly reproduced full-colour photographs allow one to examine the details of the buildings it celebrates.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe solar house : pioneering sustainbale design / Anthony Denzer
“The Solar House explores the development of solar residential architecture over the course of the twentieth century and up to the latest designs today. The solar house is often understood as a product of the 1970s, and few people are aware of the influential experimental solar houses which were constructed during the previous four decades, beginning with the work of masters of twentieth-century architecture such as Richard Neutra, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Paolo Soleri, Louis Kahn, Pietro Belluschi, Edward Durell Stone, and Harwell Hamilton Harris, and continuing with more recent innovations.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRock the shack / [edited by Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten, and Sofia Borges ; text and preface by Sofia Borges].
“For the first time in the history of mankind, more people live in cities than in the country. Yet, at the same time, more and more city dwellers are yearning for rural farms, mountain cabins, or seaside homes. These kinds of refuges offer modern men and women a promise of what urban centers usually cannot provide: quiet, relaxation, being out of reach, getting back to basics, feeling human again. Rock the shack is a survey of such contemporary refuges from around the world — from basic to luxury” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

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Classical Music

Here are our latest classical music books and CDs — featuring the correspondance of Leonard Bernstein, as well as performances of works by composers Vaughan Williams and Richard Strauss. Plus, Stacy Horn traces the evolution of ensemble singing, from monks chanting in the Middle Ages and the blossoming of church music in the Renaissance, through to the golden age of the 19th century in her book, “Imperfect harmony : finding happiness singing with others“. We love how she puts the experience of ensemble singing: “a transcendent feeling of harmonious belonging”:-)

Books:

Syndetics book coverThe Leonard Bernstein letters / edited by Nigel Simeone.
“This book boasts an impressive assortment of 650 letters to and from the maestro, spanning the years 1932, when Bernstein was a precocious teenager studying piano, and 1990, the year of his death…Bernstein was one of the most articulate and witty writers on the contemporary music scene, and his posthumous prose collection Findings contains ample evidence of his literary prowess. This talent is very much on display in this volume. Simeone has chosen letters that highlight Bernstein’s musical activities rather than strictly personal ones, and the list of correspondents forms a who’s who of musical, literary, artistic, and political luminaries in the second half of the 20th century.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverImperfect harmony : finding happiness singing with others / Stacy Horn.
“Horn (Cyberville), in her reflective memoir of her decades-long participation in the Choral Society of Grace Church in lower Manhattan, delves into works the choir and others like it have sung over the centuries… Horn eloquently traces the evolution of ensemble singing, from monks chanting in the Middle Ages and the blossoming of church music in the Renaissance through the golden age of the 19th century. She also discusses many of the works that endure today, such as those by Purcell, Handel, Bach, Haydn, and Mozart…She writes movingly about how singing about death and simply breathing together bring a transcendent feeling of harmonious belonging.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

CDs:

vaughnwilliamsSymphony no. 5 ; Symphony no. 8 / Vaughan Williams. (CD)
“[This] release combines two highly contrasting works to provide a disc which is both moving and uplifting. Symphony No.5 is a generally tranquil work with music influenced by Ravel, with whom Vaughan Williams had studied, and is scored for very traditional forces. Symphony No.8 is dedicated to Sir John Barbirolli and was premièred by the Hallé in 1956.” (Summary courtesy of amazon.co.uk)

alsosprachzarathustraAlso sprach Zarathustra / Richard Strauss. (CD)
“This masterful live recording of Strauss’s ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ is sure to please. The Berlin Philharmonic, as always, play to an exceptionally high standard under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel (a young conductor proving he is growing exponentially in his abilities). This popular piece is moody, atmospheric, and rich – well worth a listen.” (Summary by Emily)

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NZ Festival

An Invitation to a Special pre-Wellington Arts Festival Event

NZFestivalblogsmall
Wellington City Libraries are pleased to invite you to a special pre-festival event on Friday 14th February at 1.00 pm on the ground floor, Central Library, Victoria Street.

Join us to hear New Zealand Festival Artistic Director, Shelagh Magadza (you may have heard her talk to Lynn Freeman on National Radio) about organising this year’s festival and the highlights we can expect. She will also talk about the history of Wellington’s Art Festivals, and some of the wonderful entertainment they provided, a fabulous chance to remember. She will answer any questions you may have.

This event is FREE and will begin at 1.00 pm.

The Festival begins on Friday 21st February and ends on 16th March, with Writers Week beginning on Friday 7th March until Wednesday 12 March.

Arts Newsletter: January 2014

Welcome to the first Arts Newsletter of 2014! Here are our latest picks from around the library

Library News

Art

In art our selection this month has been described as, “as varied as Wellington’s summer.” A Map of the World: according to illustrators & storytellers is particularly fascinating.

Syndetics book coverDamien Hirst : relics / curator, Francesco Bonami ; essays by Francesco Bonami, Abdellah Karroum, Michael Craig-Martin ; and an interview by Nicholas Serota.
“A groundbreaking work, this catalog accompanies the largest exhibition ever realized on Damien Hirst, surveying the oeuvres of the highly acclaimed British artist. Published on the occasion of Relics, Hirst’s first retrospective exhibition in Doha, Qatar, this richly illustrated book offers a different perspective on the work of one of the best-known artists working today. Tracing Hirst’s career from his emergence on the art scene in the Young British Artists movement to his present status as one of the most controversial and highly regarded artists of his generation, this volume offers a complete overview on his wide-ranging practice, which includes installation, painting, sculpture, and drawing and challenges the boundaries between art, science, and popular culture.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAmerican mirror : the life and art of Norman Rockwell / Deborah Solomon.
“In this well-paced, insightful biography of the iconic illustrator for the Saturday Evening Post, art critic Solomon (Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell) reveals an enormously complicated man whose wholesome vision of America was not merely commercial kitsch, but art that sprung from an emotional life fraught with anxiety, depression, and self-doubt. This sympathetic portrait depicts a repressed and humble Rockwell-a fastidious realist whose style and obsessions clashed with the values of modernism… Though Solomon opts to simplify and quickly dismiss criticism of Rockwell (such as Dwight Macdonald’s), her substantive narrative captures the abundant complexities of this unusual artist, and reclaims him as a master storyteller.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArt now. Vol. 4 / [edited by Hans Werner Holzwarth].
“Think of this tome as a global go-round of the world’s most influential galleries: if it’s hot in the art world today, it’s in this book. Emerging artists are featured alongside established greats like Chuck Close, David Hockney, or Brice Marden. A to Z entries on more than 100 artists include images of important recent work, an introductory text, and a short exhibition history with bibliographical information. The illustrated appendix collects contact details for the galleries representing the artists as well as auction results of the last few years” (adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverA map of the world : according to illustrators & storytellers / edited by Antonis Antoniou, Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann, and Hendrik Hellige.
“Maps help us understand the world. This book features the most original and sought-after map illustrators whose work is in line with the zeitgeist. Drawing a map means understanding our world a bit better. For centuries, we have used the tools of cartography to represent both our immediate surroundings and the world at large–and to convey them to others… A new generation of designers, illustrators, and mapmakers are currently discovering their passion for various forms of illustrative cartography. A Map of the World is a compelling collection of their work.” (adapted from Amazon.com)

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Craft

Also varies was our eclectic mix of new craft books, featuring clever and creative ideas to help you kick off the New Year. Experience the contemporary culture of crafting, learn new techniques and create something adorable.

Syndetics book coverVintage quilt revival : 22 modern designs from classic blocks / Katie Clark Blakesley, Lee Heinrich, Faith Jones.
“Vintage Quilt Revival is a resource for quilters of any age or style who love to use today’s modern colors and fabrics. With fresh quilt layouts, detailed instructions on foundation piecing, and a wide variety of traditional blocks and modern projects, Vintage Quilt Revival is at the forefront of the burgeoning interest in the “traditional-made-modern” movement.
Join the authors and make 20 traditional quilt blocks. Use them to sew a sampler quilt or explore the authors’ tips and modifications for making the blocks fresh and appealing and use them to create quilts with a modern flair. Projects range from full-size quilts to a pillow, table runner, bag, and zipper pouch. Learn bits of quilting history throughout the book and see design tips on how to take traditional quilt blocks and piecing techniques and give them a modern spin. If you’re already knowledgeable about piecing, basting, quilting, and binding, this book is an essential addition to your library.” (Summary adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverWoolbuddies : 20 irresistibly simple needle felting projects / Jackie Huang ; photographs by Antonis Achilleos.
“Wool felting is surprisingly easy; all crafters need to get started is a felting needle, a piece of soft foam to use as a felting pad, and some colorful scraps of wool roving. Huang, who began felting so he could make toys for his daughter, has a background in animation, which is apparent in the expressive faces of his creations. The projects are arranged by level of difficulty (simple, moderate, and challenging), and full instructions are presented along with accompanying photographs. Beginners will appreciate the introduction, which provides the basics in a clear, concise, easy-to-follow manner. Verdict? There are many felting books that focus on creating small animal toys, but few contain projects with as much verve as those in this book. Felters will love making these little woolbuddies, and children will enjoy playing with them.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverMake your own lampshades : 35 original shades to make for table lamps, ceiling lights, and more / Elizabeth Cake.
“Lighting is one of the most important elements of a room’s decorating scheme. It is functional but it can also create drama, warmth, atmosphere and a sense of fun. This fabulous new book with 35 wonderful projects from lampshade designer Elisabeth Cake shows how a beautiful and unique lampshade can completely transfer a room.” (Adapted from Publisher’s Description)

Syndetics book coverKnit your own zoo / Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne ; photography by Holly Jolliffe.
“Knitting patterns for 25 wild animals. There is something here for everyone, with instructions for knitting spots, stripes, fur, scales, trunks, wings and beaks! The animals are surprisingly easy to make. It will only take a few evenings to create yourself an exotic pet or reproduce your favourite species. These knitted animals in miniature are much easier to look after than the real things – they don’t need feeding, they won’t make a mess and they take up hardly any room!” (Adapted from Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverHome / Beci Orpin.
“Home will appeal to fans of Beci and to those who loved her previous publication, Find and Keep. Filled with 25 creative projects, each individually imagined by Beci, and designed especially for the home environment, Home will make you fall in love with your house, all over again. Similar to Find and Keep, Home is filled with inspiration and crafty ideas, along with projects designed by Beci, but this time specifically created for you home. The book is separated into three spatial areas: Living Space, Working Space and Sleeping Space. Each chapter is filled with photos and quirky illustrations from Beci, along with solid ideas on how to beautify your home, Beci style. At the end of each chapter there is a collection of projects created by Beci especially for this book, each with a varying level of difficulty, but definitely something for everyone. Try your hand at making cushions, or creating your own duvet cover. Be inspired to design your own wall art, or perfect your workspace with carefully designed space-saving techniques that are both beautiful and functional. Enter the world of Beci’s Home and be inspired to make and create objects and artwork that will enhance your living space and make your house feel all brand new again.” (Summary adapted from Amazon.co. uk)

Syndetics book coverThe collage workbook : how to get started and stay inspired / Randel Plowman.
“The author of The Collage Workbook has been making at least one small collage per day for many years and has chronicled his work since 2006 on the blog acollageaday.com. Plowman covers design basics, tools, and techniques before inviting readers to make their own mixed-media found-object artworks using 50 short exercises. Hundreds of examples of inspiring collages are included. A companion website to the book, thecollageworkbook.blogspot.com, provides links to sources for public-domain imagery and a place for readers to share work. Verdict? This book will help readers see creative possibilities in mundane and unusual places.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

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Design

The latest selection of recent architecture books ranges from the first book ever published on new Auckland urban spaces to interior design and more!

Syndetics book coverAuckland, new city spaces / design and production by Diana Curtis. “The first book ever published on new Auckland Urban Spaces, featuring descriptions, plans and photographs of 16 major urban spaces in Auckland City -all which have made a positive contribution to the development of a new urban fabric for the City. Projects include; Queen Street, Aotea Square, Lorne Street, Auckland Art Gallery, Elliott & Darby Streets, St Patrick’s Square, Fort Street area, Britomart Precinct, Taurarua Judges Bay, Queen’s Wharf, Te Wero, Karanga Plaza, North Wharf, Jellicoe St, Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter Playspace, Victoria Skatepark & Victoria park Tunnel. Practices responsible for these areas include; Boffa Miskell, Architectus, Isthmus, Reset Urban Design, Ted Smythe & Associates, Cooper/Cheshire Architects, Taylor Cullity Lethlean/Wraight + Associates and Archimedia. This is an important book which all those interested in Auckland, urban spaces and urban planning should include in their collection.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBritish stuff : life in Britain through 101 everyday objects / by Geoff Hall and Kamila Kasperowicz.
“Using essential British design items and everday objects, “British Stuff” acquaints one with the ins and outs of modern UK life. Through the everyday objects that are part of the fabric of conetmporary life in the UK, this fascinating full-color photographic compendium introduces Britain in a new way. Containing a wealth of iconic British design staples as well as the treasures of everyday life–from the Mini and the Anglepoise lamp to M&S underwear and the Argos catalog–this guide is a must-have for anyone who wants to understand British culture from the inside out, complete with all its idiosyncrasies and quirks.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverDecorating with style : speedy tips, savvy tricks & cool ideas to transform your home / Abigail Ahern ; photography by Graham Atkins-Hughes.
“According to the internationally renowned interior designer, the most successful homes always have an element of the unexpected. Proving that style has nothing to do with money and everything to do with confidence, Abigail goes back to basics to help you determine your own style, then demonstrates how to take interiors to the next level by mixing and layering different styles and eras; injecting intrigue into a room with some maximalist lighting or a decorative rug; playing around with scale, colour and texture to create an enchanting, idiosyncratic vibe. Packed with original ideas, beautiful photography, speedy updates and easy DIY projects – that transform affordable furniture and accessories into something you’d see in a designer showroom – this hip, hands-on guide offers all the tips, tricks and inspiration you need to create a stylish home.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

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Classical Music

Here is a selection of our latest classical music books and CDs — featuring the correspondance of Leonard Bernstein, as well as performances of works by composer Richard Strauss, and — cornerstones of the Russian repertoire — Mussorgsky and Prokofiev.

Books:

Syndetics book coverThe birth of an opera : fifteen masterpieces from Poppea to Wozzeck / Michael Rose.
“Rose (Berlioz Remembered) draws from a series of BBC radio programs he co-created with Hanns Hammelmann, which aired from 1955 to 1971 and focused on the genesis of 15 operas from the 17th to the 20th centuries. He excerpts contemporary sources such as letters from composers to librettists, as well as the views of conductors, opera house managers, critics, and other luminaries, while filling in the historical context… Accompanying engravings and photographs are illuminating and the bibliography is a useful blend of historic and recent titles.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverThe Leonard Bernstein letters / edited by Nigel Simeone.
“This book boasts an impressive assortment of 650 letters to and from the maestro, spanning the years 1932, when Bernstein was a precocious teenager studying piano, and 1990, the year of his death…Bernstein was one of the most articulate and witty writers on the contemporary music scene, and his posthumous prose collection Findings contains ample evidence of his literary prowess. This talent is very much on display in this volume. Simeone has chosen letters that highlight Bernstein’s musical activities rather than strictly personal ones, and the list of correspondents forms a who’s who of musical, literary, artistic, and political luminaries in the second half of the 20th century.” (Adapted from Library Journal)

CDs:

musorgMusorgsky, Prokofiev (CD)
Steven Osborne has become one of the most valuable pianists recording today…Now he turns to further cornerstones of the Russian repertoire in this recording of Musorgsky’s ‘Pictures from an Exhibition’ (a work which has been in Osborne’s concert repertoire for many years), and two sets of Prokofiev’s miniatures. Musorgsky’s masterpiece is one of the most popular programmatic works of the 19th century. Yet it is also a great pianistic challenge, with the spectacular textures of the climactic movement ‘The Great Gate of Kiev’ requiring the highest technical accomplishments. (summary courtesy of amazon.co.uk)

alsosprachzarathustraAlso sprach Zarathustra / Richard Strauss. (CD)
“This masterful live recording of Strauss’s ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ is sure to please. The Berlin Philharmonic, as always, play to an exceptionally high standard under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel (a young conductor proving he is growing exponentially in his abilities). This popular piece is moody, atmospheric, and rich – well worth a listen.” (Summary by Emily)

couperinTrois leçons de ténèbres / Couperin ; [with works by] Marais [and] Sainte-Colombe. Ravishing second release on The King’s Consort’s new classical label, VIVAT, features world-renowned British soprano Carolyn Sampson and outstanding Norwegian mezzo Marianne Beate Kielland in entrancingly evocative French Baroque music. (Summary courtesy of amazon.com)

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New Arts newsletter for June

Welcome to our June Arts newsletter! Something to look forward to this month is the Te Papa Warhol: Immortal exhibition starting on June the 1st and lasting nearly two months. If you are interested in the artist and his works, as well as other’s who have been inspired by him, check out our online catalogue. there might be some things that will catch your eye!

Library News

Art

From the street to surrealism: an eclectic selection of amazing new art books for May 2013.

Syndetics book coverNew street art / Claude Crommelin (ClaudeLondon).
“Street art is part of every cityscape. By street art, we mean the crazy and wonderful stencils, paste-ups, paintings and little sculptures that decorate our urban landscape, catching our eyes and surprising us with their beauty, humour or pithy comment on society. It is, however, ephemeral and the work can disappear very quickly or be damaged by the elements or vandalism. Through his website, ClaudeLondon has documented thousands of works by artists active in the city.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverDrawing Surrealism / Leslie Jones ; with contributions by Isabelle Dervaux, Susan Laxton.
“An exhibition catalogue for a show at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art and the Morgan Library and Museum, this volume features a text by LACMA curator Jones and two accompanying essays by Dervaux and Laxton. The publisher describes it as the “first large-scale loan exhibition to focus on drawing as a prevailing form of expression for surrealist artists.” …” (CHOICE) (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe books that shaped art history : from Gombrich and Greenberg to Alpers and Krauss / edited by Richard Shone and John-Paul Stonard.
“Written by some of today’s leading art historians and curators, this new collection provides an invaluable road map of the field by comparing and reexamining canonical works of art history. From Émile Mâle’s magisterial study of thirteenth-century French art, first published in 1898, to Hans Belting’s provocative Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image before the Era of Art, the book provides a concise and insightful overview of the history of art, told through its most enduring literature …” (adapted from amazon.com description)

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Craft

In this month’s splendid selection of new books we offer you inspiring ideas and techniques to make fabulous handmade projects for your home and family. Enjoy experimenting with contemporary and traditional crafts such as, felting, quilting and knitting using timeless knitwear designs, as well as, recycling and repurposing materials for your beach house, caravan or home. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book coverThe crafty minx at home : 50+ handmade and upcycled projects for beautiful living / Kelly Doust.
“The Crafty Minx is about making gorgeous things from pre-loved, remnant and vintage items. It is written especially for non-crafters who are desperate to be more creative but don’t know how, and shares the delicious rewards of living with and giving away beautiful handmade objects. Kelly Doust shares her practical tips to help make your own delectable crafts from discarded materials, and a positive impact on the environment in the process. Including over 75 projects which give traditional crafts a modern makeover – from brightly patterned summer beach bags and cotton apron tops to cosy lambs’ wool throws and cashmere-covered hot water bottles, or a soft toy for a friend’s new baby – this book is broken down into the four seasons of the year for easy inspiration, and to carry you through the year creatively. Bringing you stories about great vintage finds and new ways of looking at the treasures within our own homes. No matter where you live or what your circumstances, discover just how easy it is to be a crafty minx” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverKirstie’s vintage home / Kirstie Allsopp.
“Transform your home from shabby to chic, with the help of Kirstie Allsopp. Looking to the past for inspiration and embracing vintage style to create something unique and beautiful, Kirstie continues her love affair with everything handmade.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFabric surface design / Cheryl Rezendes ; photography by John Polak.
“Sensational sewing projects demand fabulous fabrics! Fibre artist Cheryl Rezendes shows you how to create an astonishing array of surface designs, simply and safely, using textile paints and printing ink. She covers a wide variety of techniques: stamping, ancient Japanese Shibori, silkscreen, soy wax and flour resist, image transfer, marbling, nature printing, foils and metal leaf, and more. Step-by-step photos illustrate every technique, and Rezendes shows you lots of innovative ways to combine and layer techniques for stunning results.” (adapted from the Syndetics summary).

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Design

This month we have an interesting selection of books that are well worth a look at. A personal favourite this month is Rock the Shack. This book is full of innovative and stylish solutions for simple architechure on a pared down level that features great examples of fancy shacks and beautiful hideaways. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverRock the shack / [edited by Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten, and Sofia Borges ; text and preface by Sofia Borges].
“For the first time in the history of mankind, more people live in cities than in the country. Yet, at the same time, more and more city dwellers are yearning for rural farms, mountain cabins, or seaside homes. These kinds of refuges offer modern men and women a promise of what urban centers usually cannot provide: quiet, relaxation, being out of reach, getting back to basics, feeling human again. Rock the shack is a survey of such contemporary refuges from around the world — from basic to luxury” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverHello world : where design meets life / Alice Rawsthorn.
“Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives. When deployed wisely, it can bring us pleasure, choice, strength, decency and much more. But if its power is abused, the outcome can be wasteful, confusing, humiliating, even dangerous. None of us can avoid being affected by design, whether or not we wish to. It is so ubiquitous that it determines how we feel and what we do, often without our noticing. Hello World explores design’s influence on our lives. From the macabre symbol with which 18th century pirates terrorised their victims into surrender, to one woman’s quest for the best possible prosthetic legs and the evolution of the World Cup ball, it describes how warlords, scientists, farmers, hackers, activists and professional designers have used the complex, often elusive process of design to different ends throughout history. At a time when we face colossal changes, unprecedented in their speed, scale and intensity – from the deepening environmental crisis, to giant leaps in science and technology – Hello Worldexplains how design can help us to make sense of them and to turn them to our advantage.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverAt the water’s edge : summer escapes for easy living / Sally Hayden ; photography by Earl Carter.
In At the Water’s Edge, Sally Hayden celebrates the timeless allure of houses by the water and the relaxed, informal simplicity of summery style. The book is packed with evocative images of beautiful places and spaces that conjure up those few precious weeks of the year when we leave real life behind to enjoy rest and relaxation close to nature. The first section, Inspiration, focuses on the key elements of easy waterside side, including colour palettes, fabrics, furniture, accessories and display. In the second section, Homes, Sally explores stunning real-life coastal homes that capture the spirit of living by the water. At the Water’s Edge is not only a glorious treat for the eyes – it will also inspire you to emulate the laid-back, barefoot chic of summery, waterside style all year round, wherever you live.” (Syndetics Summary)

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Classical Music

Welcome to the Classical Music Recent Picks for June. This month we look at a varied collection of new material. Three albums that appeal across all genres (Solo piano and Rachmaninov, Symphony and Suks, Lied and Mahler). And we have a couple of reads that are sure to give you food for thought – A man who made choirs cool again without the help of Glee; a broad overview of Opera and it’s history; and a biography of a not-quite classical singer, Julie Garland, who is a fascinating woman nevertheless. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverA history of opera / Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker.
“Abbate (In Search of Opera) and Parker (music, Kings College London; coeditor, Cambridge Opera Journal) are both distinguished musicologists who have made important contributions in the field of opera studies, so it is not surprising that this impressive volume contains profound insights at every turn. The writing, which is lively, witty, and accessible throughout, is deliberately pitched to the broader opera-loving public; there are no illustrative musical examples or passages rife with technical jargon. (Library Journal) (Courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverJudy Garland : a biography / Anne Edwards. Praised as “undoubtedly the best of the many books on Judy Garland” by no less a critic than John Lahr (the son of Bert Lahr, the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz), Anne Edwards’s biography attempts to present a complete picture of the late actress, and not just the boozing, drug-addicted caricature of a woman that is central to lesser biographies. From Edwards’s account we learn, for example, that Garland saw it as her duty to provide for her family financially, a generosity that her mother Ethel exploited with disastrous results. A student of great poets—Shelley, Keats, and Browning in particular—she often tried her own hand at verse; surviving poems are reproduced here. Above all Judy Garland sought to please, whether it was an audience or a studio head, and therein lies her powerful and heartbreaking story. (courtesy of Amazon.com)

summerstalepragueA summer’s tale [sound recording] ; Prague / Josef Suk. Super Audio CD in surround sound. Two symphonic poems by Suk are performed here by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiri Belohlavek, who also brought us the highly acclaimed recording of the composers First Symphony and Ripening, which was Disc of the Month in BBC Music Magazine. A Summers Tale is a highly personal work, rich and imaginative, not to mention brilliantly orchestrated in late romantic style. The work followed the heartfelt and sorrowful outpouring of the Asrael Symphony of 1905 06, composed in memory of his father-in-law, Antonin Dvorak, and wife, Otilka. In the words of the composer: After wild fleeing I find consolation in nature. (Summary courtesy of Amazon.co.uk)

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Arts newsletter for May

Welcome to our Art newsletter for May. We hope you enjoy our selection, it has got something for everyone!

Library News

Art

Autumn art books, April 2013 : new glossy and gorgeous ones to grace your coffee table:-

Syndetics book coverFlorence at the dawn of the Renaissance : painting and illumination, 1300-1350 / edited by Christine Sciacca.
“Florence and the Renaissance have become virtually synonymous, bringing to mind names like Dante, Giotto, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and many others whose creativity thrived during a time of unprecedented prosperity, urban expansion, and intellectual innovation. With more than 200 illustrations, Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance reveals the full complexity and enduring beauty of the art of this period, including panel paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and stained glass panels. The book considers not only the work of Giotto and other influential artists, including Bernardo Daddi, Taddeo Gaddi, and Pacino di Bonaguida, but also that of the larger community of illuminators and panel painters who collectively contributed to Florence’s artistic legacy… ” (abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLate Raphael / edited by Tom Henry and Paul Joannides.
“From 1513 until his death in 1520, Raphael experienced an intense period of activity, producing a rich variety of work, from the frescoes for the Vatican Stanze to the series of tapestries on the Acts of the Apostles. Published to accompany an exhibition of 90 works at the Museo del Prado, the book’s contributors examine the great variety of the work of Raphael and his two most important pupils, Giulio Romano and Gianfrancesco Penni… (abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMidnight to the boom : painting in India after independence : from the Peabody Essex Museum’s Herwitz Collection / Susan S. Bean ; with Homi K. Bhabha … [et al.].
“At midnight on August 15, 1947, India declared its independence from British rule. India’s anticolonial movement-synonymous with Mohandas Gandhi, peaceful resistance, and civil disobedience-is celebrated here, but the book also reveals the movement’s dark side, namely, the coinciding partition into India and Pakistan, remembered for its violent riots and upwards of a million deaths. Editor Bean (curator, South Asian & Korean art, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA) explores how these transformative moments brought political, social, and economic change to India and Indian artists, particularly painters, who responded by experimenting with content, style, and new artistic techniques… (abridged from Syndetics summary)

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Craft

Welcome to this month’s selection of irresistible books on knitting, weaving and embroidery, as well as, beautifully finished accessories for your home. Satisfy your creative urge, experiment a little with new ideas and learn great techniques through the numerous step-by-step instructions and, if you fancy a pot of tea, take a look at the gorgeous collection of colourful tea cosies, created by J. Occleshaw. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverKnit a monster nursery : practical and playful knitted baby patterns / Rebecca Danger ; [photography by Brent Kane].
“Knit up a delightful collection of fun yet practical monster themed projects your little ones are sure to love. From the creative mind behind the best-selling “Big Book of Knitted Monsters” comes an adorable collection of more than 16 knitted toys, clothing, accessories, and nursery decorations that you’ll love knitting for the little one in your life. Stitch a roomful of fun and practical items – suitable for both boys and girls, and for knitters of all levels – including an irresistible monster mobile, baby blankets, blocks, booties, bookends, rattles, hats, and more!” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

Syndetics book coverKnits at home : rustic designs for the modern nest / Ruth Cross ; with photography by Ben Anders.
“One of the trademarks of Ruth Cross, the knitting design company British knitting designer Ruth Bridgeman founded in 2004, is the use of traditional stitches – garter, stockinette, seed and cables – to create texture on items not normally covered with wool, such as vases or furniture. But the traditional nature of Ruth Cross designs is also one of the book’s weaknesses. While the book includes 22 projects, ranging from sachets to rugs, it offers nothing the enterprising knitter could not achieve on his or her own with existing stitch dictionaries. Another weakness is the narrow palette of grey, cream, and black used in almost every project. Such limits are a barrier to inspiration from the otherwise excellent photographs. Still, for the knitter who wants to incorporate his or her craft into her home decor, this book offers a one-stop shop for is pretty patterns for pillows, throws and wall hangings. And the real value of the book lies in the author’s organic approach to knitting, building one stitch on top of another to achieve texture, while her mantra that knitting should always be fun will serve knitters of all levels well. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.” (Publisher Weekly) (courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverKnitted letters : make personalized gifts and accents with creative typography-based knitting projects / Catherine Hirst and Erssie Major.
“This is a knitting book full of great ideas for knitting with typography. It’s suitable for all knitting skill levels. The introduction includes how to customize projects, information about yarn and gauging and fairly complete diagrams for a beginning knitter. My favourite stranded projects include the Slab Serif collegiate looking children’s backpack, the French press cozy with the word CAFE in a stenciled inspired font (pictured on the cover) and calligraphic black letter e-reader cover with the words “ex libris”. There are a lot more projects than that, including some great children’s projects. The 3D letters pictured on the cover are more involved with more seaming and shaping, and more advanced knitters would have fun with those. As well as the LOVE pillows, there are also bookends that are the letters A and Z for witty knitty fun.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk review)

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Design

To follow is a selection of some of our most recent design themed books with a strong emphasis on home spaces and living solutions.

Syndetics book coverSo far / David Trubridge.
“David Trubridge’s first major international breakthrough came at the 2001 Milan Furniture Fair when his now famous Body Raft was picked up for manufacture by Cappellini, the hugely influential Italian furniture company. Since then he has gone on to produce and sell furniture and lighting throughout the world, and his work has become a staple of design magazines and publications everywhere. He believes that his life and work are one and the same, and consequently this very personal book is a fascinating and insightful look at the progress of his career, his thoughts on the creative process, and crucially his passionate interest in attempting to develop a work practice that is as environmentally sustainable as possible. Beautifully produced, and full of photographs, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in art, design, architecture and creativity.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverThe design book : 1000 new designs for the home and where to find them / Jennifer Hudson.
“The Design Book brings together the best in contemporary design for the home, presenting a huge range of striking new products: tables and chairs, sofas and beds, storage, kitchens and bathrooms, tableware, textiles and surfaces, lighting, electronics and more. In-depth interviews with twelve key designers explore pivotal projects and approaches to design. Web addresses of designers and manufacturers are given for every object, along with full captions and colour illustrations, making every design easy to source.” ( Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverCreating shade : design, construction, technology / Chris van Uffelen.
“Protection has always been the most genuine function of architecture. This necessity has led to an impressive creative outburst of amazing technological developments for all kinds of roofs without walls. These come in all forms and sizes, in a wide variety of materials concrete, fabrics, fiberglass, wood or plants, to name a few. These shadow-providing devices range from elegant sun blinds and canopies, to fancy pergolas and luxury tents as well as small pavilions in public parks, wide covered piazzas, and even entire buildings shielded by independent overlapping roofs. With texts, facts, drawings and photos the presentation of the projects focusses on the design as well as on the constructive aspects and technical features.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

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Classical Music

Welcome to May and our recent picks for Classical Music! This month features cross-genre books, with how music can help change your life, to how music is found in nature, a lovely new score with Karakia and Maori round-songs, and the skill of singing in choirs. I hope you enjoy the selection!

Syndetics book coverYour playlist can change your life : 10 proven ways your favorite music can revolutionize your health, memory, organization, alertness, and more / Galina Mindlin, Don DuRousseau, Joseph Cardillo.Your Playlist Can Change Your Life
“This distinctive book comes from the coordinated efforts of Mindlin (psychiatry, Columbia Univ.), Don DuRousseau (executive director, PEAK Neurotraining Solutions), and Joseph Cardillo (Be Like Water: Practical Wisdom from the Martial Arts), who propose that readers can use music to relieve anxiety, increase alertness, feel happier, and sharpen memory. (Library Journal) (Courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPorowhita = Circle songs : two new karakia and twelve new round songs in Māori and English for classrooms, choirs and communities / Sean O’Connor.
“These fourteen new compositions offer classrooms, choirs and communities a chance to rediscover ’round’ singing and its unique musical and social dynamic. Round singing invites equal participation, a balance of following and leading, and a development of heightened musical and social awareness through interwoven melody and rhythm, creating harmony. Weaving together Te reo and English with voices and movement, standing in the circle, singing of the circle of the year, and of proverbs, awakenings and karakia that carry simple but beautiful wisdom.”–Book cover. (Courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverSing with the choir for dummies / performance notes by Adam Perlmutter.
Want to sing along with the choir? Then this is the right book for you! This book/CD pack features 15 songs, fully arranged for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, and a professionally recorded choir on the CD. Pick your part and sing along! (Book cover) (Courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverMadame Butterfly [videorecording].
Story of a beautiful young geisha who sacrifices her family, her religion and, ultimately, her life for her American naval officer husband. (Courtesy of Syndetics)

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Arts Newsletter for April 2013

Welcome to our April Arts newsletter. It looks like Summer is out and Autumn is slowly creeping in on us. Days are shorter, colder, and the bad weather is settling in. What to do with these week-ends when you can’t get out of the house? Reading, obviously! We have a great selection of Arts’books this month and there are also a few things happening in town that you might be interested in, check WellingtonNZ.com events’ page with Art exhibitions such as ‘Moving On Asia: Towards a New Art Network 2004–2013’ and ‘Len Lye: Kaleidoscope’ at the City Gallery.

Library News

Art

Fabulous art books for autumn reading : including a very large and beautiful new book on Klimt:-

Syndetics book coverManet : portraying life.
“Depicting the Paris of his day, Edouard Manet (1832-1883) captured the nineteenth-century urban experience, legitimizing ‘modern life’ as an artistic subject. His detached, frank mode of looking and his subversive handling of both paint and subject-matter shocked his contemporaries, and eventually established his reputation as the father of modern painting. This remarkable book explores Manet’s portraiture, a significant yet often neglected aspect of his work, including examples from throughout his career…”–P. [2] of cover.

Syndetics book coverGustav Klimt : the complete paintings / Tobias G. Natter (ed.) ; directed and produced by Benedikt Taschen.
“[This] publication … places particular emphasis upon the voices of Klimt’s contemporaries via a series of essays examining reactions to his work throughout his career. Subjects range from Klimt’s portrayal of women to his adoption of landscape painting in the second half of his life. The cliché that Gustav Klimt was a man of few words who rarely put pen to paper is vehemently dispelled: no less than 231 letters, cards, writings and other documents—all known Klimt correspondence—are included in this monograph. This wealth of archival material, assembled here for the first time on such a scale, represents a major contribution to Klimt scholarship” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverInventing abstraction, 1910-1925 : how a radical idea changed modern art / [organized by] Leah Dickerman ; with contributions by Matthew Affron … [et al.].
“In 1912, in several European cities, a handful of artists–Vasily Kandinsky, Frantisek Kupka, Francis Picabia and Robert Delaunay–presented the first abstract pictures to the public. Inventing Abstraction, published to accompany an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, celebrates the centennial of this bold new type of artwork. It traces the development of abstraction as it moved through a network of modern artists, from Marsden Hartley and Marcel Duchamp to Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich, sweeping across nations and across media…” (adapted from amazon.com description)

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Craft

Enjoy this delightful mix of craft books with projects, ideas and tips for all the crafts enthusiasts to create and get great pleasure from the wonderful results. I hope you find this book selection a source of inspiration and fun!

Syndetics book coverThe new jewelers : desirable, collectable, contemporary / Olivier Dupon.
“In this beautiful new book, Olivier Dupon introduces the finest modern jewelers practising today. Featuring 108 both up-and-coming and established designers, the book is divided into nine categories inspired not by traditional jewelry typology, but by style and look. Rough stones appear with exquisitely faceted gems; organic forms vie with geometric structures; feathers and leather take their place next to platinum and diamonds. The book showcases fine jewelry, fashion jewelry, luxe jewelry, conceptual jewelry, and much much more. Over 800 mainly colour photographs display the jewelry alongside portraits of the designers at work, shots of sketches and works in progress, studios and boutiques. Complete with short, informative profiles and useful contact details for the designers, as well as a listing of recommended shops, this publication offers a wealth of inspiring material and is a must for any aficionado of jewelry, design or craft.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrystal jewelry inspiration from the Create Your Style ambassadors / compiled by Karin Van Voorhees.
“Tapped by Swarovski for their expertise, innovative work, and sophisticated design sense, this book stages an elite corps of jewellery makers, industry opinion leaders and innovators. This book is not juast a showcase of their work, but also a glimpse into their world. Meet some of the most creative jewellery designers in the world and join their sparkling community”. ( Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverMastering peyote stitch / [Melinda Barta].
“”With interest in beadweaving on the rise, Mastering Peyote Stitch provides a much-needed look into the most integral technique-peyote stitch. With 15 styles in all, beading geniuses will finally have an accessible, easy-to-understand guide to one of the fundamentals of beadweaving, brought to you courtesy of Beadwork Editor Melinda Barta. In the “Peyote Basics” chapter, you will learn the basics of creating flat peyote bands, then advance to circular and tubular variations, eventually learning to fashion dimensional jewelry pieces. Once you’ve mastered the basics, Melinda dives into designing dimensional jewelry pieces. Additional chapters cover combining peyote with other popular beadweaving techniques (right-angle weave, herringbone, and bead embroidery) and creating unique edgings and embellishments for finished pieces. Melinda, together with Beadwork’s Designers of the Year, including Jean Campbell, Lisa Kan, Carole Ohl, Melanie Potter, Jean Power, Cynthia Rutledge, and Sherry Serafini, demonstrates a range of styles in 15 beautiful jewelry projects. “– Provided by publisher (courtesy of Syndetics)

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Design

We have selected for you an ecclectic array of design books that we hope you will enjoy!

Syndetics book coverProfessor Jonathan T. Buck’s mysterious airship notebook : the lost step-by-step dirigible drawings from the pioneer of steampunk design / by Keith Riegert & Samuel Kaplan ; illustrated by Jonathan Buck.
“Gives both the beginning and more experienced artists hundreds of step-by-step instructions to help them develop their own steampunk future filled with moving gears, brass knobs, steam boilers and other cool devices.
Part step-by-step how-to-draw guide, part thrilling steampunk adventure story. At the end of the 19th century, a brilliant inventor, Professor Jonathan T. Buck, crafted a beautiful steam-powered airship for an expedition to South America’s Amazon River Basin in search of a magnificent lost city — hidden from terrestrial explorers for centuries by its surrounding dense forests. But something mysterious happened in the heart of the jungle — Buck, his crew and the Air Paddle Steamer Claire vanished. More than a century later, an expedition sent to look for any trace of the Claire vanished and its crew discovered a single, discarded trunk lodged high in the forest canopy. Inside was this notebook: a riveting — firsthand account that reveals not only just how Buck drew up the plans for his airship, but what fate befell the expedition. Professor Jonathan T. Buck’s Mysterious Airship Notebook is unlike any adventure story before. Part drawing guide, part historical saga, this book will transport readers to a world before modern technology, when steam power, gadgets, gases and gizmos took us into the skies”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beautiful edible garden : design a stylish outdoor space using vegetables, fruits, and herbs / Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner ; photography by David Fenton and Jill Rizzo ; floral arrangements by Studio Choo.
“Have you ever noticed that just when the weather is perfect for inviting friends over for a barbecue, the tomato plants start looking like hell? While many people would love to have a vegetable garden at home, not everyone has the space or desire to replace their backyard with unsightly raised beds and rows of corn. They want a balance: the ability to grow organic fruits and vegetables, but also have their garden be a place of year-round beauty that is appealing and enjoyable. Written by a landscape design team that specialises in blending edibles and ornamentals in the garden, The Beautiful Edible Garden proves that it’s possible for gardeners of all levels to reap the best of both worlds. With a fresh approach to garden design and glorious colour photographs, it’s perfect for readers who want a garden space that is both attractive and productive”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBrooklyn makers : food, design, craft, and other scenes from the tactile life / Jennifer Causey ; foreword by Eric Demby.
“A creative renaissance blooms in Brooklyn. At its heart is a thriving community of artisans producing a remarkable variety of handmade goods. In Brooklyn Makers, photographer Jennifer Causey captures the spirit of this homegrown movement by documenting thirty of the borough’s most celebrated craftsmen. This eclectic mix of established and up-and-coming makers includes bakers, ceramic artists, clothing designers, florists, distillers, and more. With an eye for small details, Causey’s charming photographs reveal each artisan at work in their own space. Her lively interviews reveal what inspires them, keeps them motivated, and their thoughts on the city where they live and work”– Provided by publisher. (courtesy of Syndetics)

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Classical Music

This month’s Classical finds seem to have a bit of a biographical theme running through them. I hope you enjoy rediscovering a familiar topic, or being enthralled by a new one.

Syndetics book coverBenjamin Britten : a life in the twentieth century / Paul Kildea.
“In the eyes of many, Benjamin Britten was our finest composer since Purcell (a figure who often inspired him) three hundred years earlier. He broke decisively with the romantic, nationalist school of figures such as Parry, Elgar and Vaughan Williams and recreated English music in a fresh, modern, European form. With Peter Grimes (1945), Billy Budd (1951) and The Turn of the Screw (1954), he arguably composed the last operas – from any composer in any country – which have entered both the popular consciousness and the musical canon”. (amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverMusic in 1853 : the biography of a year / Hugh MacDonald.
“This is a fascinating book that features very fine archival research about the major musical events and personalities that dominated the musical scene in Europe in 1853. The book’s chief virtue is in showing the intricate interplay among the major composers and performers of the period, relationships that are not always apparent in single biographies of composers”. (CHOICE)

Syndetics book coverRichard Wagner : the sorcerer of Bayreuth / Barry Millington.
“Richard Wagner (1813-1883) is one of the most influential – and also one of the most controversial – composers in the history of music. Over the course of his long career, he produced a stream of spellbinding works that challenged musical convention through their richness and tonal experimentation, ultimately paving the way for modernism. This book presents an in-depth but easy-to-read overview of Wagner’s life, work and times”. (amazon.com)

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Arts enewsletter for February

Welcome to our February 2013 Arts newsletter. We hope you will enjoy the items our librarians have selected for you. Remeber that if you see something missing from our collection, you can fill in a suggestion to buy online. March is NZ Book Month and we have a wealth of recources about New Zealand art and artists. Check our Art Resources’page and our New Zealand Artists’database.

Library News

  • Free author talk with Alina Suchanski – 19 March
  • March Madness! Get 2 Music or Doco DVDs for the price of one…
  • March Madness! Get 24 free CD issues…
  • Law for Lunch is back with a great range of topics & speakers

    Art

    From Impressionism (and fashion) to Damien Hirst : new art books for February 2013:-

    Syndetics book coverArt of the 20th century / Ruhrberg … [et al.] ; edited by Ingo F. Walther.
    “The quintessential roundup of art from 1900-2000.
    Who could possibly have forecast on New Year’s Eve 1899 that, one hundred years later, painting and sculpture would be only options, not prerequisites? The term “art” has been defined and redefined so many times over the last 100 years that it has gained entirely new social, political, and technological meanings. Ranging across the full spectrum of disciplines available, including photography and new media, and thematically chaptered to highlight relationships between works and movements, this readable and encyclopaedic masterwork does just what it says on the cover. Whether you want Surrealism or Land Art, Fluxus or Bauhaus, this is your be-all, end-all guide to art of the 20th century. An undertaking as immensely ambitious as this one deserves to be owned by everyone.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

    Syndetics book coverDamien Hirst / edited by Ann Gallagher ; with contributions by Ann Gallagher … [et al.].
    “Born in Bristol in the UK in 1965, Damien Hirst is one of the most controversial and highly regarded artists of his generation. This illustrated survey is a fitting tribute to Hirst’s ground-breaking achievements”. (Syndetics summary)

    Syndetics book coverImpressionism, fashion & modernity / edited by Gloria Groom, with contributions by Heidi Brevik-Zender … [et al.].
    “This volume is the first to explore fashion as a critical aspect of modernity, one that paralleled and many times converged with the development of Impressionism, starting in the 1860s and continuing through the next two decades, when fashion attracted the foremost writers and artists of the day. Although fashionable subjects have been depicted throughout history, for many artists and writers, including Charles Baudelaire, Sté́phane Mallarmé, Émile Zola, Gustave Caillebotte, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, fashion became integral to the search for new literary and visual expression.”–Book jacket. (Syndetics summary)

    Syndetics book coverSalvador Dalí : the making of an artist / Catherine Grenier ; [translated from the French by David Radzinowicz].
    “This extensive volume uncovers Dali’s influences, artistic development, and legacy, offering unprecedented access inside the world of the man behind the mustache. Through astute analysis of Dali’s work and how the events of his time converged with his drive to become a legend, this volume examines one of the most significant contributors to twentieth-century art… The author offers insight into this undisputed genius, charting Dali’s progression as an artist and controversial public figure, and demonstrating his influence on contemporary artists such as Warhol, Koons, and Murakami.” (adapted from amazon.com description)

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    Craft

    Take a look at this eclectic mix of new craft books, featuring clever and creative ideas to help you kick off the New Year. Experience the contemporary culture of craft with gorgeous crochet and embroidery projects, passed down through the generations, from mothers to daughters and learn new techniques. And, if you like to add dimension or shine to stitchery, designer Yasuko Endo provides all the basics and plenty of inspiration in her book ‘Bead embroidery stitch samples’. Enjoy the challenge!

    Syndetics book coverSimple crochet : with more than 35 vintage-vibe projects for your handmade life / Sara Sinaguglia.
    Crafter and blogger Sara Sinaguglia has created 35 easy-to-make crochet projects for everyday life. From cushions, coasters and bags to toys, scarves and pot holders, bring a little of Sara’s stylish vintage vibe into your crafting life. (Syndetics summary)

    Syndetics book coverCrochet workshop : learn how to crochet with 20 inspiring projects / Erika Knight.
    Crochet Workshop is the perfect book for the beginner. Under Erika Knight’s guidance even those who have never picked up a crochet hook before will soon be making gorgeous projects and all the while learning new techniques and adding to their skills. (Syndetics summary)

    Syndetics book coverHomespun vintage : 20 timeless knit and crochet projects / Jane Crowfoot.
    The craft skills that have traditionally been passed down through the generations from mother to daughter are as popular as ever, boosted by the current vogue for all things vintage. Drawing inspiration from the interiors and fashions of the 20th century, this book is packed full of knit and crochet projects which will fit perfectly into any vintage-inspired interior. (Syndetics summary)

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    Classical Music

    The festive season is over, work and school have gone back for another year and its time to put your nose to the grindstone. What better time to take a moment to get inspired and motivated by music! Here are a few selections to help you on your way to musical enlightenment.

    Syndetics book coverHow to read music / [James Sleigh & Mike Sheppard].
    “If you want to learn how to read and write music, this is the book you have been waiting for! Written in plain English and using a minimum of jargon, it’s supplemented by audio material and other extras all available at www.hybridpublications.com This means that you get lots of examples of how things should sound plus many other online bonuses, all clearly flagged on the relevant page in the book”. (Syndetics summary)

    Syndetics book coverConducting business : unveiling the mystery behind the maestro / Leonard Slatkin.
    “Conducting an orchestra is something that is seen as well as heard, but it is quite misunderstood. People may wonder, “What does this person actually do for a living?” This most mysterious of jobs is brought to life in this book. Drawing on his own experiences on and off the podium, Leonard Slatkin tells tales of some of the most fascinating people in the musical world, including Frank Sinatra, Leonard Bernstein, and John Williams. He takes the reader to soundstages in Hollywood as well as great concert halls and opera pits around the globe. Slatkin recounts his controversial appearance at the Metropolitan Opera, his creation and direction of summer music festivals, and a shattering concert experience that took place four days after 9/11. Discussions of work in the recording studio and life on the road as well as health issues confronting the conductor provide an insider’s glimpse into this private world.–From publisher description”. (Syndetics summary)

    Syndetics book coverEverything you ever wanted to know about classical music but were too afraid to ask / [Darren Henley and Sam Jackson].
    “This is a richly informative, light-hearted guide to the ins and outs of classical music. The book dives underneath the sheet music to bring the world of classical music to life. Henley offers insights into the composition of an orchestra, the workings of its instruments, and the lives of its composers”. (Syndetics summary)

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Arts eNewsletter for January

Welcome to our January Arts eNewsletter. We have a selection of books that will take your fancy, we hope. Also, chek out Wellington’s Summer City 2013 events. Concerts, movies, and more you won’t want to miss!

Library News

Art

Six new books on six very different painters : Jan 2013’s picks for summer art reading:-

Syndetics book coverJohn Everett Millais / Jason Rosenfeld.
“John Everett Millais (1829 – 1896) was one of the most significant English painters of the nineteenth century, successful and respected during his career, honoured as the first painter to be created a baronet, he remains, as recent exhibitions of his work have demonstrated, equally well known today. Whilst his substantial contributions are rarely, if ever, denied, in past art historical accounts of Millais’s long career there has been an unfortunate tendency to superficially distinguish between the early promise of his Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces and the perceived commercial and traditionalist orientation of his later works. In this new study of the artist’s life and work Rosenfeld argues that such readings are far from accurate, demonstrating that the development of Millais’s art was at the forefront of contemporary painting throughout his life. … In Rosenfeld’s words, it is a ‘consistently relevant and inventive Millais’ that emerges in this book” (adapted from amazon.com description)

Syndetics book coverKeith Vaughan / Philip Vann and Gerard Hastings.
Keith Vaughan (1912-77) was a major figure in post-war British art who is known for his searching portraits of the male nude and his association with the Neo-Romantic painters. This book provides for the first time a definitive, illustrated account of his life and work, exploring his wide-ranging achievement as a modern British artist. … A fascinating essay by Gerard Hastings provides a close-up examination of Vaughan’s gouache technique. (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMark Rothko : the decisive decade, 1940-1950 / Bradford R. Collins, editor ; [essays by] David Anfam … [et al.].
“The first publication dedicated exclusively to Mark Rothko’s art during the critical formative period of the 1940s. Examining the development and artistic exploration of one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century, this unprecedented volume presents the works of American artist Mark Rothko from the 1940s, a time when his most essential development as a painter occurred, dramatically and in a very compact space of time. During this period, Rothko moved from expressive figurative and surrealist canvases to more abstract multiform subjects and finally to his signature abstractions–luminous rectangles of color suspended in space.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Craft

Enjoying crafting? Start this New Year with lots of inspiring ideas and smart choices found in this fabulous collection of new library books. Take a look at some vibrant crochet designs as well as, various innovative quilting and patchwork projects for you and the family. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverFind & keep / Beci Orpin.
“Be inspired with Beci Orpin’s beautfiul new book Find and Keep. This gorgeous ideas and craft book features all of Beci’s favourite things, from wall murals such as life-size paper Christmas trees, to embroideries and herb gardens and picnic fare. Discover where Beci gets her inspiration from and follow her in her studio, at home and out and about as she gathers ideas for her projects. Learn how these ideas come to life and then apply them yourself with 25 make-at-home projects that cover a wide range of crafty mediums, from collages to cushions and t-shirts to teacups. With simple step-by-step instructions and tips and beautiful page design by Michelle Mackintosh, these cool crafty ideas are new and fresh and bound to appeal to fans of Beci’s work and crafting in general. So, get inspired, get creative and go find, make and keep!” (Adapted from amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverFun family crafts / Kelly Doust.
“Demonstrates how to make crafts with children that can be used around the house, with a list of materials, instructions, and tips on tasks that are most suitable for children for each project.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA passion for quilting : 35 step-by-step patchwork and quilting projects to stitch / Nicki Trench.
“With bags, quilts, blankets, pillows, table runners and more, A Passion for Quilting is filled with innovative quilting and patchwork projects to try. With 35 eye-catching designs to sew, every stitcher will fall in love with the projects in A Passion for Quilting. With something for everyone, Nicki Trench employs quilting, appliqué, embroidery and patchwork techniques to create items to make for the home, or to give as personal gifts to family and friends. Divided into four chapters, start by making Blankets and Quilts using colourful blocks and vintage fabrics. Take the picnic quilt out on a summer day or decorate your baby s crib with the cot quilt made with vintage fabrics. Carry Out is next, packed with projects for people who love bags. The glamour purse is covered with pretty yoyos while the beach bag is great for storing all your vacation essentials. Accessories and Gifts has book covers, needle cases, cushions and more that are certain to put a smile on the face of the recipient. In the final chapter, Kitchen and Dining Room, there are trivets, tea towels and chair seat covers to add colour to your culinary spaces. At the back you will find a handy techniques section explaining all the stitches you ll need to complete the projects. With creative ideas to inspire both beginners and more experienced stitchers, you are sure to find the perfect project to feed your crafting addictions!” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk summary)

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Art Newsletter for November

Escape from the day-to-day routine and delve into our Art’s selection this month. We have books and CDs that will inspire you! We also have an array of databases that you can access for free (with your library card) like Vogue Archive, Oxford Art Online, and the New Zealand Artists Database, and many more.

Art

This month: Banksy, Grimwood & Slinkachu + Cezanne, Symbolism & NZ art:

Syndetics book cover240 : two hundred and forty years of New Zealand painting / Gil Docking, ; with additions covering 1970-2010 by Michael Dunn ; and 1990-2010 by Edward Hanfling.
“This landmark book on New Zealand artists and their work was first published in 1971, extended to 1990 by art historian Michael Dunn and now again to 2010 by art historian, writer and lecturer Edward Hanfling… In total, this new edition features more than 200 paintings… “–Ubsbooks.co.nz. (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBehind the canvas : an insider’s guide to the New Zealand art market / Warwick Henderson.
“A look at the world of collecting art with a focus on the New Zealand art market. Written by an accomplished art dealer and gallery owner.”–Publisher information. (from Syndetics summary)

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Craft

This month’s splendid selection of new books offers inspiring ideas and tips how to make fabulous Christmas decorations for your home and handmade gifts for your family and friends. A perfect opportunity to experiment with projects featuring contemporary and traditional crafts such as, timeless knitwear designs, beautiful embroidery with beads or encaustic painting using paper as a canvas. And, if you are thinking about turning your hobby into your own successful crafts business, read about the nuts and bolts of business plans and where to find professional support. Enjoy the challenge!

Syndetics book coverLittle Christmas decorations to knit & crochet / Sue Stratford and Val Pierce.“Previously published in the highly successful ‘20 to Make’ series as ‘20 to Make Mini Christmas Knits’ by Sue Stratford and ‘20 to Make Mini Christmas Crochet’ by Val Pierce, this book provides 40 delightful projects (20 knitted and 20 crocheted), with some designs knitted in different colourways to provide ideas and inspiration for how they could be adapted to match your chosen colour scheme or style. There are mini Christmas stockings, holly leaves, reindeer, snowmen, snowflakes, a Christmas fridge magnet, a star, a candy cane, Christmas bells, an angel and much more. Full instructions and materials lists are provided, and each project is simply photographed so that the reader can see the design clearly. There are plenty of ideas for ways of displaying the projects and these mini decorations will appeal to those looking for items they can create quickly, using up ends of yarn.” (Abridged summary from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe twelve knits of Christmas / Fiona Goble.
From a partridge in a pear tree to twelve drummers drumming, Goble brings the popular verse to life as knitters of all skill levels create each of the twelve characters featured in the charming holiday song. The characters make perfect gifts, stocking stuffers, ornaments, or toys for children as you teach them the words to this classic song. (Book Cover)

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Classical Music

You’ll find below our most recent classical music purchases for this month, enjoy!

Cover ImageThe Chopin album. (CD)
“World-renowned pianist Lang Lang turns to the composer who has accompanied him throughout his career on his latest recording, The Chopin Album. The record is entirely devoted to Chopin’s solo piano pieces and includes well known pieces such as “The Minute Waltz” and the “Grande Valse Brillante op. 18 in E-flat major”. The DVD features ‘My Life With Chopin’ which includes 50 minutes of exclusive footage showing Lang Lang’s career from age 12 to today”. (summary from Amazon.co.uk)

Cover ImageAs it is. (CD)
“A fresh approach to one of contemporary composition’s most iconoclastic and inventive figures, ‘As It Is’ is issued to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Cage. Early Cage is the subject here, strikingly original songs and piano pieces from the 1930s and 1940s. Songs in which Cage set words by writers whose vision was as independent as his own – James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and e e cummings. They are performed by the Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov – who championed Cage’s work in Russia and later had a close working relationship with him – and his compatriot, vocalist Natalia Pschenitschnikova.
As Paul Griffiths writes, “The music exists in singing that has a raw, living edge, and it exists in piano tone that can be utterly simple and utterly remarkable. There is also a third presence, that of the producer, bringing forward the extraordinary resonances that come from Lubimov’s piano, with preparation or without.” With Manfred Eicher producing, the recording was made in December 2011 in Zürich. Lubimov grasps both the playfulness of the music and its message of freedom.
Lubimov previously included Cage’s In a Landscape on his 2002 debut recording for ECM New Series, Der Bote, a disc of piano elegies. Among his other acclaimed recordings for the label are works by Scriabin, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Schnittke, Arvo Pärt, and Valentin Silvestrov. Earlier this summer his double album of Debussy’s Preludes and other pieces attracted huge praise and was BBC Music Magazine’s ‘Recording of the Month’ in July. Natalia Pschenitschnikova has appeared on two previous ECM discs of Giya Kancheli as a flautist.
Personnel: Alexei Lubimov (piano, prepared piano), Natalia Pschenitschnikova (voice)”. (summary from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverRobert Schumann : the life and work of a romantic composer / Martin Geck ; translated by Stewart Spencer.
“Robert Schumann (1810-56) is one of the most important and representative composers of the Romantic era. Born in Zwickau, Germany, Schumann began piano instruction at age seven and immediately developed a passion for music. When a permanent injury to his hand prevented him from pursuing a career as a touring concert pianist, he turned his energies and talents to composing, writing hundreds of works for piano and voice, as well as four symphonies and two ballets. Here acclaimed biographer Martin Geck tells the fascinating story of this multifaceted genius, set in the context of the political and social revolutions of his time. The image of Schumann, the man and the artist, that emerges in Geck’s book is complex. Geck shows Schumann to be not only a major composer and music critic-he cofounded and wrote articles for the controversial Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik-but also a political activist, the father of eight children, and an addict of mind-altering drugs. Through hard work and determination bordering on the obsessive, Schumann was able to control his demons and channel the tensions that seethed within him into music that mixes the popular and esoteric, resulting in compositions that require the creative engagement of reader and listener. The more we know about a composer, the more we hear his personality in his music, even if it is above all on the strength of his work that we love and admire him. Martin Geck’s book on Schumann is not just another rehashing of Schumann’s life and works, but an intelligent, personal interpretation of the composer as a musical, literary, and cultural personality.” (summary from Amazon.co.uk)

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