Cultural convergence

There seems to be a cultural convergence happening here. Or maybe I’m just noticing because four of my favorite things are involved — music, books, film and hockey.

It started last night with a George Winston concert. Perhaps because he records on the Windham Hill label, Winston gets placed in the “New Age” category. (Question: Since “New Age” has been with us for decades, is it still “new”?) Or it could simply be that Winston invokes such a variety of styles in his solo piano work (plus a bit of solo slack key guitar and even solo harmonica) that he would otherwise fall into “unclassifiable.” I’ve been a fan for a number of years but seeing him live is another experience altogether. It is simply impossible for any recording to truly reproduce the overtones and harmonics he achieves with his sustains.

Thjis morning a moderated a session of the Festival of Books on Peter Orner’s Underground America: Narratives of Undocumented Lives. Tomorrow I moderate sessions by Hampton Sides (Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin), NPR’s Deborah Amos (Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile, and Upheaval in the Middle East) and Kurt Kemper of Dakota State University on “College Football & World War II.” I’m also hoping to attend a few sessions in my down time.

I have hopes (slim but still there) of making it down to Sioux City to catch a couple games in the USHL Fall Classic. I’ve gone too long without live hockey and am in need of a fix. As if that weren’t enough to attract my attention, this is also the weekend of the first Reel Dakota Film Festival. Unfortunately, for both events their schedule and mine don’t coincide very well.

I’m not going to complain, though. Even though I may not be able to attend everything I’d like, it’s nice to see so much going on.

You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?

Steven Wright

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