Time’s Up leader to head Grammy effort on women

Tina Tchen will head The Recording Academy's new task force focused on inclusion and diversity. (File photo: AP)
Updated 07 March 2018
0

Time’s Up leader to head Grammy effort on women

NEW YORK: The body that administers the Grammy Awards on Tuesday named a leader of the Time’s Up anti-harassment movement to lead a task force on better including women.
The Recording Academy named Tina Tchen, a chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama, to head the effort after controversy over women’s low representation at the music industry’s latest awards.
Tchen is the co-leader of the legal defense fund of Time’s Up, a campaign launched in January by Hollywood women to combat sexual harassment across industries in the wake of dozens of abuse allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein.
“The music industry faces numerous challenges — from combating long-held biases to making sure women are represented and respected within the community,” Tchen said in a statement.
Tchen heads of the Chicago office of law firm Buckley Sandler LLP. She had also led the White House Council on Women and Girls started by the Obama administration to incorporate female welfare into federal government decision-making.
A number of female artists voiced dismay that not more women won or were nominated at the January 28 Grammys, where funk revivalist Bruno Mars was the night’s big victor.
Adding fuel to the controversy, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow, asked by a reporter why more women were not winning, said that female musicians needed to “step up.”
Portnow, who faced calls by female executives to resign, hailed Tchen’s appointment.
“In this moment, the Recording Academy can do more than reflect what currently exists; we can help lead the industry into becoming the inclusive music community we want it to be — a responsibility that the Board and I take seriously,” he said in a statement.
The Recording Academy said that the task force, whose other members are yet to be announced, will make recommendations on how better to bring in “under-represented communities,” including in the telecast gala and in deciding the awards themselves.


Ancient musical instruments get an airing in Athens

Updated 21 June 2018
0

Ancient musical instruments get an airing in Athens

  • The phorminx, the kitharis, the krotala and the aulos — string and wind instruments reconstructed by musical group Lyravlos — echoed among marble statues in Athens’s National Archaeological Museum.
  • Music was an integral part of almost every aspect of ancient Greek society, from religious, to social to athletic events.

ATHENS: Hymns sung to the Greek gods thousands of years ago resonated from ancient musical instruments in Athens on Thursday, transporting a transfixed audience to antiquity.
The phorminx, the kitharis, the krotala and the aulos — string and wind instruments reconstructed by musical group Lyravlos — echoed among marble statues in Athens’s National Archaeological Museum as part of World Music Day celebrations.
A family of musicians, Lyravlos have recreated exact replicas of the ancient instruments from natural materials including animal shells, bones, hides and horns.
Music was an integral part of almost every aspect of ancient Greek society, from religious, to social to athletic events. Today only some 60 written scores of ancient Greek music have survived, said Lyravlos member Michael Stefos.
Stefos said they interpret them as best they can, relying on the accuracy of their recreated instruments.
“Joking aside, ancient CDs have never been found,” he said.
Their performance included a hymn to the god Apollo, pieces played at the musical festival of the ancient Pythian Games in Delphi and during wine-laden rituals to the god Dionysus.
Michael’s father Panayiotis Stefos, who heads the group, travels to museums at home and abroad studying ancient Greek antiquities and texts in order to recreate the instruments.
“Usually each instrument has a different sound. It is not something you can make on a computer, it will not be a carbon copy,” said Stefos.
The difference with modern day instruments?
“If someone holds it in their arms and starts playing, after a few minutes they don’t want to let it go, because it vibrates and pulsates with your body,” he said.
French tourist Helene Piaget, who watched the performance, said it was “inspiring.”
“One sees them on statues, on reliefs, and you can’t imagine what they might sound like,” she said.
World Music Day is an annual celebration that takes place on the summer solstice.