Legend has it that Johann Sebastian Bach composed the Baroque masterpiece known as the "Goldberg Variations" for an insomniac ambassador to be played on sleepless nights by the diplomat's teenage harpsichordist, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg (1727-1756).
The clarinetist Andy Biskin had Bach's work in mind when he playfully named his latest composition "Goldberg's Variations." But the only person losing sleep in this case was the composer himself.
The models and movie stars filing past the phalanx of flashbulbs at the New Museum last week had not come to see the latest exhibition of contemporary art or next fall's fashions. They had been invited to the book launch party for "The 72 Names of God: Technology for the Soul," the latest publication from the Kabbalah Centre International.
In March 1953, Maurice Wilkins of the King's College London announced the departure of his colleague Rosalind Franklin in a private letter to his friend Francis Crick, a scientist at the rival Cavendish Laboratory. "Our dark lady is leaving us next week," Wilkins wrote.
Think of the East Village, and the names Charlie Parker, Allen Ginsburg and even Emma Goldman come to mind. At least to the mind of Philip Hartman, a filmmaker and restaurateur who recently founded the Federation of East Village Artists "to honor the historic role of the East Village as the cradle of the city's, if not the world's counterculture," according to the group's press release.
The Klezmatics ended months of discord and accusations of gender discrimination last week when five members of the popular and provocative klezmer sextet agreed to settle with the group's former fiddler and founding member Alicia Svigals.
The settlement, which Svigals put "in the high five figures," ended a dispute among one of today's most popular klezmer bands, whose blend of traditional Eastern European music with rock and jazz helped spark the klezmer revival in the late 1980s.
Just after the attacks of 9-11, as the intifada simmered outside, Peter Cole, a poet and publisher living in Jerusalem, sat down at the breakfast table to read the morning e-mail from New York. One message contained a verse by the great scholar Gershom Scholem, and it represented one of the first translations of Scholem's poetry into any language.
Sima Ariam is a good shot. Armed with nothing more than a Pentax automatic camera, she's prowled parties and public appearances waiting for the moment to strike. Then - click! - in the split second when her subjects unconsciously drop their public persona Ariam captures something she sees as more than a superficial image.
For those who were spared the horrors of the Holocaust, the events that made up the Nazis' Final Solution persist as a collage of black-and-white images - documentary photographs taken by the Nazis to record their horrific achievements or film footage taken by the Allies as evidence of the tragedy they encountered at liberation. Even Steven Spielberg's cinematic rendering, "Schindler's List," preserved the duotone palette of historical Holocaust memory.
"A rabbi walks into a bar..." Laughter usually follows; it's practically guaranteed if the rabbi brings along seven comedians who've earned their chops writing for shows like "Saturday Night Live" and appearing on the downtown alternative comedy circuit.