— Cultural Sources of Newness

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Tag "Keith Jarrett"

The man standing in line in front of me at the Jeu de Paume theater in Aix en Provence tonight bought the last ticket to the concert “Leçon de jazz d’Antoine Hervé: Keith Jarrett.” I was about to turn away in disappointment, but the young woman at the ticket counter disappeared for a moment, then came back with a few slips in her hand: I was in luck, she said, the prefect would not be using his official box tonight so I could buy one of the best tickets in the house. So I was soon ensconced just to the left of the stage, overlooking the piano that awaited Antoine Hervé. The house was indeed completely sold out—to hear a famous French jazz pianist play and explain the art of Keith Jarrett.  As a great lover of Keith Jarrett ever since a friend gave us a recording of the Köln concert (and since hearing about the story behind that 1975 concert), I was ready to experience a magical evening.

Theatre du Jeu de Paume, Aix (photo ABA)

Theatre du Jeu de Paume, Aix (photo ABA)

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Some of our research projects pay close attention to the places in which new ideas are created, so that we can understand the cultural features in the context. For example, my colleague Ignacio Farías has spent many hours, days, weeks observing the flow and interactions between people and materials in artists’ studios and architects’ offices; and over the course of two and a half years I studied what happened when artists created their works in an unconventional context, namely a consulting company (a first essay on what I learned there appeared in the fifth catalogue for the residency program; more articles are under review for publication in journals).

We take our work seriously, and it is definitely fun to interview such diverse and interesting people and watch them at work. But it is not funny. So it was wonderful to come across a  BBC radio 4 program during my holiday break from work that bridges the gap between the serious world of research and the lighthearted mood characteristic of the festivities of New Year’s eve. The interviews reveal what happened in what I would call a highly unusual space for a cultural source of newness: a motel nightclub in Houston, Texas.    

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