Four conversation between Nonesuch Chairman Emeritus Bob Hurwitz and artists, presented last October for In Our Time, a series of online discussions he conceived for the New School's College of Performing Arts and UCLA, are now available to watch here. Hurwitz speaks with four artists whose creative lives and work have left an indelible mark in music, and arts and culture globally: Caetano Veloso, Julia Bullock, Laurie Anderson, and Cécile McLorin Salvant.
Four conversation between Nonesuch Records Chairman Emeritus Bob Hurwitz and artists, presented last October for In Our Time, a series of online discussions he conceived for the New School's College of Performing Arts and UCLA, are now available to watch below. Hurwitz speaks with four artists familiar to readers of the Nonesuch Journal whose creative lives and work have left an indelible mark in music, and arts and culture globally: Caetano Veloso, Julia Bullock, Laurie Anderson, and Cécile McLorin Salvant.
"In Our Time is a series of conversations about what it means being an artist in this moment," Hurwitz said at the series' start. "The 'moment' has evolved since I first began planning the series: it was at first the pandemic moment; then it became the economic catastrophe and jobless moment; then it became the George Floyd/Black Lives Matter/racial injustice moment; then it became the fire/hurricane/global warming moment; and now it’s the election/Supreme Court and democracy under fire moment—and many moments in between. All of these moments are still with us, they keep piling on."
The wide-ranging conversations touch on practical considerations: What it means for a musician accustomed to constantly performing for audiences suddenly going for months without being front of the public. What it means being away from the fellow musicians who are such an important part of their life. What it means in terms of the daily rhythm of life; what it means economically. And what it might mean in terms of current and future creative work.
The series begins with Caetano Veloso, who has been called “one of the greatest songwriters of the century” by the New York Times, and is among the most influential and beloved artists to emerge from Brazil, where he began his musical career in the 1960s. He has more than fifty recordings to his credit, including fifteen on Nonesuch.
American classical singer Julia Bullock, who combines versatile artistry with a probing intellect and commanding stage presence, has, in her early 30s, already headlined productions and concerts at preeminent arts institutions around the world. Her discography includes the Grammy-nominated first recording of John Adams's opera Doctor Atomic released on Nonesuch in 2018. Committed to integrating community activism with her musical life, Bullock is also a prominent voice for social consciousness and change.
Laurie Anderson is one of America's most renowned—and daring—creative pioneers. Her work, which encompasses music, visual art, poetry, film, and photography, has challenged and delighted audiences around the world for more than thirty years. Her first album with Nonesuch Records, Life on a String, was released twenty years ago, followed by Live in New York, a reissue of Big Science, Homeland, Heart of a Dog, and her 2018 Grammy-winning collaboration with Kronos Quartet, Landfall.
Cécile McLorin Salvant is a composer, singer, and visual artist, and a 2020 recipient of the MacArthur fellowship, or "Genius" grant. The late Jessye Norman described her as "a unique voice supported by an intelligence and full-fledged musicality, which light up every note she sings." Salvant has developed a passion for storytelling and finding the connections between vaudeville, blues, folk traditions from around the world, theater, jazz, and baroque music. She is an eclectic curator, unearthing rarely recorded, forgotten songs with strong narratives, interesting power dynamics, unexpected twists, and humor. Details of her Nonesuch debut album will be announced soon.