News & Notes talks business, George Colligan, classical meditation

We redesign, dance explodes, Colligan triumphant, Corbell mixes sex and transcendence

Amanda Snyder (1894-1980, "Going Home," relief print/Portland Art Museum

Amanda Snyder (1894-1980, “Going Home,” relief print/Portland Art Museum

Um, who changed the furniture?

Yes, ArtsWatch did a little remodel, you know, just to show that we could and to make the site work better. Who knew we had this much sizzle and pop!?!

A little guide to the site: 1) most of the changes are at the bottom (technical term: footer); 2) there you will find an easy way to subscribe to Bob Hicks’ delightful and weekly eNewsletter: do it now!; 3) we still have links, but they are grouped together in “Arts Resources”: just click it; 3) Oregon ComposersWatch is down there, too, a click away.

We still want you to become a paying member of the club! Just click “Membership” at the very top or the banner ad with our name on it, and you’ll find out how easy it can be to support Oregon’s premier multi-arts journalism nonprofit.

Speaking of clicking: Click on an ad of any and all of our sponsors. Without them, we wouldn’t be here. (Seriously, thanks guys!)

Now back to our regularly unscheduled programming.****

If you’ve been missing out on the Dance Wave that is washing over Portland, last weekend’s concerts (and our reviews of them) are a good way to enter the ocean.

In the future, we’ll be talking about how to expand, support and fund this creative moment in the history of dance here, but for now, enjoy it while you can!


colliganendlessmysteries 2Portland State University prof and jazz pianist extraordinaire George Colligan released a new CD at the very end of last year, The Endless Mysteries, with drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Larry Grenadier, and the New York Times’s astute jazz critic Nate Chinen liked what he heard.

“Mr. Colligan, who turns 44 next week [Editor’s note: he already has—happy birthday, Mr. Colligan!], favors an earthy, assertive style, putting him in a lineage that includes McCoy Tyner, John Hicks and Mulgrew Miller. But he has other affinities, as he shows in a pair of spontaneous inventions provoked by the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., which claimed the daughter of a friend and sometime band mate. “Thoughts of Ana” is a softly chiming solo reflection, with a touch that brings Mr. Jarrett to mind; it leads into “Outrage,” which borrows a page from the Cecil Taylor playbook.”

Chinen employed an unorthodox spelling of Oregon—”Oregan”—which we will forgive under the circumstances. Maybe we should just declare open season on that last vowel, anyway, depending on how we want to inflect it?


I enjoyed musician/zazen sitter/music admin guy (Classical Revolution PDX) Christopher Corbell’s Classical Music Kama Sutra in PDX Magazine. Here’s the first of his suggestions for his classical music-loving colleagues.

Take your instrument to a crowded public area such as a downtown park or street corner. Play and observe, as you do, each person who crosses the field of your music; feel gratitude for them, howsoever they engage with you. Your gratitude creates a flow of loving energy that feeds your music. Bloom; unfold.

Personally, I like how upfront he is about the spiritual dimension of music, both playing and appreciating, because I don’t hear a lot people talking about it this openly, except in the most cursory or abstract way.


The featured photo is a reproduction of a relief print by Amanda Snyder (1894-1980), an Oregon artist and early modernist. The image comes from the Portland Art Museum’s digital collection.

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