SALASTINA MUSIC SOCIETY; BRAHMS: Complete String Sextets- Part One

Some speak often of lofty things, while others just make them happen. Such is the latter case of the Salastina Music Society. Headed and co-founded by the incomparable Maia Jasper and Kevin Kumar, the Salastina Music Society brings to the culture of our times, the timeless classical works of the worlds greatest composers, in a quaint, intimate setting, absent of pompousness or pretension. On this relaxed evening, The Hollywood Sentinel had the pleasure to attend the Salastina Music Society special performance of Brahms: Complete String Sextets- Part One, held at the Calvary Presbyterian Church in South Pasadena, California.

A minimalist church, sparsely ornamented, moderately lit, and painted in several neutral Earth tones, filled with a near capacity crowd of predominately older, yet some younger, astute, affluent and educated crowd, were treated to an opening introduction by Brian Lauritzen, the familiar voice to many in Los Angeles, from Classical KUSC’s 91.5FM who took the podium to introduce and host the event, opening the first twenty minutes with a charming back story of Brahms personal life, and anecdotes concerning the radio producers critique of Johannes’ tones, moods, and melodies within his four movements of his string sextet works. A likable personality with a friendly voice, Brian directed the sextet to play segments of each piece as discussed, which proved to be whimsically entertaining, allowing some as I, reminiscence of days back in college during music theory class.

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The DJ and music producer departed, and The Salastina Music Society then tuned their stringed instruments once more, delving immediately into the ‘four piece movement of Brahms,’ beginning with ‘Allegro ma non troppo.’ ‘Andante’ was next, followed by the short ‘Scherzo: Allegro Molto,’ and lastly, the longer ‘Rondo” Poco Allegretto e Grazioso. ‘Andante’ here proved to be my favorite, a dark, brooding piece full of mournful passion, mounted with a stirring climax of redemptive hope. Masterfully performed, The Salastina Music Society are world class performers comprised of Peter Myers, Hana Hwon Kim, Clive Greensmith, Merideth Crawford, Kevin Kumar, and Maia Jasper.

Playing Violin, Maia Jasper (co-founder and co-artistic director of Salastina) has played on scores with Academy Award winning composer Alexandre Desplat (one of my favorites), and Danny Elfman, among others. With honors from Yale, she is a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra among more. Hailing from Stanford and Columbia University, Salistina Co-founder and co-artistic director Kevin Kumar (violin and viola) has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic among others. He also has scored works for numerous motion pictures. Merideth Crawford (viola), who also has a BA in English Literature, regularly performs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic among more, while not teaching. Clive Greensmith (cello) has performed with Midori, The London Symphony Orchestra, and London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra among others. Peter Myers (cello) has served as musical director for the American Contemporary Ballet, and also played with Midori among others. Hana Hwon Kim (violin) from South Korea, holds a Masters Degree, and began studying in London at the age of 13. She is a member of the Gaia String Quartet in Los Angeles.

Lacking arrogance, the charming, gracious and kind co-founders Maia Jasper and Kevin Kumar thanked the crowd for their attendance, meeting and greeting many of the concert goers after the performance. A brief and casual reception for all followed, served with white wine, strawberries, coffee, tea, chocolates, and other treats.

Lending to a perfect night, The Salastina Music Society delivers concert goers top flight, world class entertainment of the greatest calibre in the world of classical music, in quaint, intimate performances very rare of this great quality. Maia Jasper, Kevin Kumar, Merideth Crawford, Clive Greensmith, Hana Hwon Kim, and Peter Myers are masters of their craft, and seeing and hearing them perform live is captivating, allowing one to momentarily forget all else in the world and become immersed in the greatness of their passion for the music, their expert skill, and the refined taste of their repertoire. Indeed, a must see group for any aficionado or mere curioso of the classical world. For more information on this outstanding group, and for tickets to their upcoming performances in the Southern Californian area, visit their official website here: http://www.salastinasociety.org/

– Bruce Edwin

This content is copyright, 2015, 2016, The Hollywood Sentinel / Bruce Edwin, all world rights reserved.

Starpower Management Produces New Comedic Webisode; Hollyweird!

Michael Lohan; father of one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Lindsay Lohan,​ ​makes his webisodic acting debut, starring in the brand new comedy written and produced by Bruce Edwin, ​”​Hollyweird!​”​​ ​also starring Moira Cue.

Michael Lohan, recently on Dr. Phil concerning issues with his estranged wife Kate Major, was a former Wall Street broker. Regularly in the spotlight, Michael Lohan opened up a large, private rehab center several years ago, in response to the illegal and unethical conduct he observed, rampant in the rehabilitation industry. Michael Lohan is now helping many men, women and children detox from drugs and alcohol through his facility, with addicts traveling from around the world to see him, and his clinical experts. ​”​Hollyweird!​”​ is Michael Lohan’s webisodic debut.

Moira Cue, a multi-media artist who is a singer/songwriter, actress, writer, and fine artist, has paintings in the collection of stars including Madonna, among more. Regularly walking the top Hollywood red carpets, Moira Cue’s music has appeared in the motion picture “Pool Time” as well as “Hollyweird!” Moira has also appeared in the films “The Extra” and “Visitor From Planet Omicron,” among more. Moira Cue co-stars opposite Michael Lohan in the debut webisodic comedy, ​”​Hollyweird!​”​ created by Bruce Edwin.

​”​Hollyweird!​”​ is the new, ongoing webisode, about living and working in Hollywood. Partly scripted, and part documentary, the online comedy will be distributed free online by www.TheHollywoodSentinel.com, News Blaze dot com, and on YouTube, among other outlets. Written by Starpower Management CEO and Hollywood Sentinel founding publisher Bruce Edwin, ​”​Hollyweird!​”​ will give viewers a funny, and always surprising rotating cast of characters including real working agents, managers, producers, directors, casting directors, publicists, musicians, fashion models, and T.V. and film stars, among more.

Michael Lohan & Moira Cue

​”​Hollyweird!​”​ writer and producer Bruce Edwin began his Hollywood career in the 90’s, with the publication of his own rock music and film publication; subnormal magazine. After graduating from Columbia College of Chicago with a B.A. in motion picture, Bruce later founded Starpower Management LLC in Chicago, and later Los Angeles, representing Michael Jackson guitarist David Williams, among many other fashion models and celebrities. In addition to ​”​Hollyweird!​”​ Bruce Edwin is also currently in pre-production on numerous feature films. Bruce Edwin is additionally beginning production next year on a series of Public Service Announcements to instruct how to keep children more safe from abuse and child trafficking in Hollywood.

Award winning Cinematographer and Director Jessica Gallant shot and directed Episode #1 of ​”​Hollyweird!​”​ Jessica Gallant has shot 35 feature films, and four feature length documentaries. Praised by world renowned Hollywood trade publication Variety, for her exceptional color lensing, Jessica is known for her dynamic shots and beautiful compositional techniques.

For photo, press and interview requests with Michael Lohan, Moira Cue, Bruce Edwin, and Jessica Gallant, contact the publicity department at: Hollywood Sentinel Public Relations; Tel / Fax: 310-226-7176 or E-mail: StarpowerManagementLLC​ at ​gmail​ dot ​com

Modern Master Ed Moses: Discusses Art With The Hollywood Sentinel

Ed Moses is a remarkable figure in contemporary art who keeps getting better and better. His recent show “Ed Moses: Now and Then” closed August 29 at the William Turner Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, California, and included new works from 2015 which had never been seen by the public before.

Although I attempted to record our interview on my iPhone, the recording inextricably stopped several seconds after it started. Mindful of the art groupies, friends, patrons and others who were waiting to get a piece of Ed’s attention, I stopped trying to erase videos and manage my storage settings and decided to keep talking, and do my best later on to remember what we’d said to each other.

“I like your shoes.”

That was the first thing Ed said to me, as crowds were filtering in, getting cocktails or organic hot dogs from the patio. The rest of the conversation, though I recall with some accuracy what was said, I could not place in chronological order.

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“Hot pink shoes for a hot day,” added his friend, an art consultant who lives in Beijing and Los Angeles. I’d gotten dressed for a workout and didn’t have time to change into something more upscale, but no one was dressed to impress; rather for comfort and freedom. “I know it’s too hot for long sleeves,” said one man, dressed a bit like Marcel Marceau in black pants and a black and white horizontally striped cotton top, “but we rode bicycles.” Another woman introduced herself to me as “the world’s most prolific collector of dog art.” My sweatpants and hot pink Nikes? No problem.

Although the atmosphere was decidedly laid back, there was an implicit understanding everyone pretended not to think about that something serious was nonetheless happening. After all, these paintings sell for upwards of $60,000. Ed Moses is considered by more than a few people the best and/or most important painter living in Los Angeles today. He is, however, far from pompous. “Yes, sit down,” he invited me, “and I’ll tell you all the lies you want.”

“Your recent work has gotten less pretty,” I postulated, “And more brutal, so it’s more compelling.”

“I like that,” he said.

We talked about the backs of the paintings. I said they tell a story a hundred years from now when the painting has traveled to various museums or through a chain of ownership, and he agreed that they can reveal more than the front of a painting. To a person who loves painting with a passion the back of a painting represents the “inner life” of the painting; it could be the fetishistic attachment of the artist to that which is not on display or for exhibit turned outward in a display of introspection, defiance, or vulnerability; it could be what separates the mere art aficionado from the fanatic, just as a weekend tourist in Napa Valley might conspicuously smell and swill the wine in the glass, but a sommelier will know how far to fill the glass, when to decant, and when the bouquet is open. “You can say I said whatever you want.” he told me, when I told him I was going to have to rely on a mental recording of the conversation. But the things he actually said were delightful.

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He talked about Kauffman and Reinhardt; Paris in 1958; UCLA; and (if I understood correctly) an image of a woman or cat exhaling flames. He talked about soaking his canvases with water before applying brushstrokes and using ground glass. He talked about the white with black piping patent leather wedge sandals of a woman in the crowd, and the reflections of the paintings on the high gloss gallery floor.

A way of seeing tantamount to a way of being: the antithesis of what Reinhardt would call the disreputable practices of artists-as-artists. He complimented an observation that the paintings were about painting rather than meaning after the phrase no meaning came out of his mouth and I’d chimed in, excitedly. He had just finished telling me that there were no mutations in his paintings, but futations, and I’d asked what a futation was. “It doesn’t mean anything.” “It has no meaning.”

Fire? No. Pounding nails? Yes.

“You can make it about whatever you want. Whatever it is to you, it’s right,” he said.

I see two closely related themes in Moses’ work; the (concrete, absolute, sui generis yet organic) brushstroke, and the (abstract, man-made, egoic and ephemeral) cycle of creation and destruction. There were references to Japanese screens and printmaking and its historical influence in 20th century; European painting; patterns of lace; assemblage and deconstructivism; slick use of color and quasi-Scientific symbols of protons. There were dual impulses to allow and shape the flow of paint and a merging of liquidity and time.

Ed Moses was born in 1926 and will be 90 years old next April. I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to meet and speak with Ed in person along with seeing the new work, and would like to express my special thanks to Ed for his generous kindness, as well as William Turner for hosting the exhibit and Stephen Volenec for his encouragement to do the interview.

This story is copyright 2015, The Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved. The offices of The Hollywood Sentinel do not endorse any advertising or links that may be found on or in connection with this story.

Moira Cue art and literature editor of The Hollywood Sentinel and President of Moira Cue Multimedia. A fine artist, writer, actor, and singer, Moira Cue has appeared on stage at the Viper Room, Key Club, and The Mint among more. Contact Moira at www.TheHollywoodSentinel.com.