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.
Mike Romano, Music Circulation Assistant
Released in 1999 and holding a 94% audience approval rating, this Miyazaki film was hailed as “The ‘Star Wars’ of animated features!” by the New York Post. Princess Mononoke brings together the world of the spiritual and the realities of man. Similar to Pan’s Labyrinth, and Miyazaki’s later movie Spirited Away, this film exists in a world where fantasy and reality push against each other as humans seek to destroy the old ways to make way for new.
At the center of the story is a young man named Ashitaka, who makes his way to a mining village after being cursed by a dying animal god. There he meets Lady Eboshi, whose desire to acquire more iron for the village has put her in direct conflict with the nature gods that inhabit the land nearby who are lead by Princess Mononoke, a human girl raised by the wolf god. As his curse spreads, Ashitaka seeks to find a balance between these two opposing forces before both are destroyed by their own short sightedness.
This incredible film asks the questions; ‘Can Man and Nature coexist?’ ‘Is it possible to stand in the middle of conflict, or must we choose sides?’ ‘Who is really the villain?’ ‘Is there a place for those who are different?’With beautiful animation and subtle storytelling, Hayao Miyazaki asks us to come to our own conclusions through the actions of Ashitaka, Lady Eboshi and Princess Mononoke.
You can find this DVD at the Greenfield Library, stop by the circulation desk and ask for call # GD1475
~ Recommended by Lauralee Martin, Greenfield Library Work Study Assistant
This fascinating book reveals a variety of cross sections for the reader to gaze at, appreciate, and ponder. The Velasco brothers take the reader through the history and theory of these artistic cutaways, while delving into their aesthetic and edifying qualities. From grand 19th century buildings, to modern transportation vehicles, and through wild rain forests and the human body itself, the book covers a lot of ground and explores the myriad ways in which these cross sections can be beautiful and educational. Large colorful prints of the cutaways dominate the book and are a reason, in and of themselves, to pick it up and start learning!
This book is available for check out at the Greenfield Library. Just stop by the circulation desk and ask for call # T11.8 .V85 2016
Mike Romano – Circulation Assistant
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is heart-wrenching, thoughtful, and compelling. Starr, a high school student, is the lone witness to the shooting of one of her childhood friends, Kahlil. While dealing with the trauma of this experience, the incident gets national attention, flooding hashtags and news stations. She is caught between two worlds: her predominantly black neighborhood and her predominantly white private school. Tension from bothsides ignites, with Starr under pressure as the only one able to get Kahlil justice. This book is an absolute must read for it’s empathic perspective and political relevance.
This book is available in the Greenfield Library open stacks at call #PZ7.1 .T448 H3 2017
Recommended by Alyssa Winscom, Greenfield Library Work Study Assistant
Asterios Polyp, a graphic novel by David Mazzucchelli is a dynamic story that holds the reader’s interest from page one. It follows the titular Asterios, a middle aged architect who has his fair share of bad character traits, as he reinvents himself from nothing after his New York apartment goes up in flames. Weaving in and out of present, past, and introspection, this witty and engaging story shows it’s never too late to change. Mazzucchelli, who is also known for his work on multiple marvel titles such as Batman: Year One and Daredevil: Love’s Labors Lost turns every page into a masterpiece of engaging and exciting illustration. Even if you’re not acquainted with graphic novels, Asterios Polyp is a powerful and unique experience that is sure to make you think.
This book is available in the Greenfield Library open stacks at call #741.50924 M459a 2009
~ Recommended by Angela Smith, Greenfield Library Work Study Assistant