Staff Recommendation – “Illuminations” by Turiya Alice Coltrane

If a musically contemplative evening is what you’re after, why not delve into this 1974 collaboration with Alice Coltrane and Carlos Santana? With the parallel feel of experimental free jazz, 70s rock and Indian classical music, this album runs the gamut between serene and chaotic and is best listened to the entire way through.

Alice, who had been a musical collaborator in the jazz world with her husband John Coltrane, continued producing spiritually charged music after his death. Coltrane and Santana intersected at this time in their lives with a special interest in the spiritual traditions of the Indian subcontinent, having been separately involved with religious music through Christian churches earlier in life. Accordingly, a meditative chant kicks off the album, which sways back and forth with free jazz wanderings of guitar, harp, horns, violins, piano, and percussion. It finds its way to an energetic rock burst and meets with classical Indian stylings complete with tabla, winding its way down to a resolution.

The album is more typical of how Coltrane’s style would develop than Santana’s, as she would delve further into the world of experimental and spiritual free jazz during her career.

This album is available on vinyl in the Music Library LP nook, at call number JLP COLT-A ILL. LPs can be listened to at the Music Library with our own turntables and headphones, or can be checked out for one week to enjoy at home. If you’re interested in further explorations of her work, another album, Universal Consciousness, is right next door.

Happy listening,

Mike Romano, Music Circulation Assistant

New Script Database

The UArts Libraries has signed up for a database we hope you all will enjoy: 
New Play Exchange is “the world’s largest digital library of scripts by living writers. Designed and built with the needs of the entire new play sector in mind, the New Play Exchange serves writers, producers, directors, artistic directors, literary managers, dramaturgs, publishers, agents, actors, professors, students, and even fans of the theater.”
 
To access this resource, visit the Online Resources portion of our homepage, library.uarts.edu, click the link to E-books, and scroll down to the second to last option where you’ll find New Play Exchange
 
If you are on the campus network, you will be taken directly into the database. From off-campus, simply enter your UArts credentials and you’ll be able to gain access. 
 
You can search this resource by play, people, or organizations: 
 
 
The options by which you can limit your search results are awesome! Though too numerous to list here, some limiting options include by age, genre, gender, sexual identity, race, ethnic identity, and more. 
 
Results will include abstracts for plays, as well as full text plays. To limit results to only full text scripts, click the Full scripts available for download option under the Script Availability limiter on the right hand side: 
 
 
When you find a script in full text you like, you can quickly download it:
Please note: our institutional license does not include the option to create reading lists, but as I just mentioned you can just download the ones you like, or even save the website URLs to visit them again later.
 
Questions?
 
Don’t hesitate to contact me, Jim Cowen, your library liaison to the Brind School of Theater Arts! 
 
Enjoy!

Staff Recommendation: Parable of the Sower

Butler, Octavia E. Parable of the Sower.

Greenfield Open Stacks PS3552 .U827 P37 2016

Science fiction makes us aware of our sight’s present limitations, highlighting the gap between what is and what could be. Octavia E. Butler’s sci-fi centers around survival as a result of dark radical shifts in future society. Parable of the Sower, published in 1993 but set in 2020s America, forces reflection onto its readers—especially when read in 2018.

The book is composed of journal entries by protagonist Lauren Olamina, a teenager born with hyperempathy, sharing the physical pain of others she witnesses. The world around Lauren is collapsing due to corporate greed, climate change, racism, hostile police presence, gun violence, and walls. Following the brutal loss of her family and neighborhood, she is forced to navigate an altered world on her own in an attempt to walk north from California with no true destination, excruciatingly hindered by her hyperempathy.

Lauren’s beam of hope in this dystopia is her development of a new belief system called “Earthseed.” Its ultimate mantra is to accept Change in order to grow—the idea that Change is the lasting truth no matter how extreme. “God is Change; Embrace diversity or be destroyed.”

Butler wrote the ideas behind Earthseed out of the American fear of the unknown, and the potential for history to repeat itself over time. As a Black writer in a world that washes over people of color and racial politics in sci-fi, Butler’s books embed race into the narrative, just as it is embedded into reality. Parable of the Sower makes us reconsider the current state of our country, placing us in a state of anxiety alongside an acceptance to move forward with empathy and power.

I absolutely recommend picking up and checking out this book at the Greenfield Library Open Stacks (call # PS3552 .U827 .P37 2016.) There is also a graphic novel adaptation of Butler’s awesome book Kindred, which can be found as an eBook through EBSCOHost. Happy reading and reflecting!

~ Recommended by Victoria Schenck, Greenfield Library Circulation Assistant 

Student Recommendation: Cop Rock

Cop Rock: The Complete Series

Music Library MD962

Cop Rock, a true gift from the 90s. Steven Bochco and William M. Finkelstein have created a gritty police drama that also happens to be an American musical.

To give you an idea, the pilot opens with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) bursting into a home during a drug raid. Once all suspects have been apprehended and are being put into handcuffs, a beat drops and the ensemble of suspects break into a song expressing to the LAPD the amount of power they hold on the streets.

Being a product of its time, Cop Rock is very self-aware of tensions around police brutality, racial profiling, and analyzing the line of right and wrong. It touches on issues and conversations that we are still having to this day. Thematically, the show is a true drama, but the absurdism seeps in through the songs leading Cop Rock to float closer to a dark comedy. The pilot episode gives us a courtroom scene where the jury breaks into a gospel number to deliver their verdict.

In 2002 TV Guide ranked this show as #8 on their list of “50 Worst TV Shows of All Time”. After 11 episodes ABC canceled the show due to its critical and commercial failure. Cop Rock is infamous for being one of TV’s biggest failures in the 90s, but, thanks to a faculty request, we have it at UArts, ready to be checked out of the Music Library.

Cop Rock is a true gem in my book.  If you’re into films such as The Room, or Rocky Horror Picture Show, then Cop Rock is for you. Find it in the UArts Music Library, call # MD962.

~ Recommended by Briana Gause, UArts Music Library Work Study Assistant

New @ the UArts Libraries: LIBRARIZINE

LIBRARIZINE is a new zine created by + about the UArts Libraries. The first issue was introduced at the libraries’ open house in August, and features an interview with Lillian Kinney, the University Libraries Archivist. The library plans to put out a new issue 2-3 times a year, at the start of the fall, spring, and possibly summer semester. Our goal is to help promote the libraries and all of the interesting things going on here, as well as the libraries’ zine collection.

 

You can pick up a copy of LIBRARIZINE at the circulation desk of the Greenfield Library or the Visual Resources and Special Collections.

If you are interested in submitting items (or suggestions) to LIBRARIZINE, or in using the libraries’ zine collection, please contact Laura Grutzeck, the Visual Resources & Special Collections Librarian at lgrutzeck@uarts.edu.