Arts & Culture

• Check out our list of New Hampshire museums, galleries, performance venues & independent bookstores, sorted by region.

• Visit our NHPR Arts & Culture Facebook page to connect with us and share your arts events!

• You can also find art exhibits, book readings, live music and more on our Public Events Calendar.

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Music Interviews
3:58 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Three Poetic Traditions Inspire A Mideast Symphony

Mohammed Fairouz recently premiered his Symphony No. 3: Poems and Prayers, a choral symphony set to Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic texts.
Samantha West Courtesy of the artist

For his third symphony, the 26-year-old American composer Mohammed Fairouz decided to incorporate text in three languages. Poems and Prayers, which had its debut Thursday in New York, features passages in Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic.

The symphony was commissioned by Northeastern University, where Fairouz teaches. The idea was to write something exploring the conflicts in the Middle East, so for inspiration, Fairouz delved into the region's poetry — both ancient and modern.

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Books
3:41 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

'Plotto': An Algebra Book For Fiction Writing

iStock Photo

It's been said that there are only seven basic plots in fiction. Pulp novelist William Wallace Cook would beg to differ.

According to Cook, there are a whopping 1,462 plots, all of which he laid out in his 1928 book, Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots.

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All Things Considered
5:13 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Stories of Love and Commitment from Dave Isay and StoryCorps

No doubt many of us are rushing out the door to grab a last minute Valentine’s Day gift for our significant others.

Our guest has a suggestion: hold off on the chocolates and flowers, and spend a little time talking to that loved one. 

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Music Reviews
4:09 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Dr. Dog: A Standout Among Stereotypes

Dr. Dog's sixth studio album is titled Be the Void.
Chris Crisman

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 6:16 pm

Sometimes I wonder: Do the members of young indie-rock bands know that they're walking stereotypes? There's the scruffy dude who's obsessed with everything vintage and analog, the Pavement-worshiping, whiny-voiced lead singer, the rhythm section that knows its way around every oddity recorded by The Kinks. That's pretty much how I pegged the Philadelphia sextet Dr.

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Author Interviews
12:01 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Networking Tips From The Ultimate Networker

Random House

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 8:36 am

"Relatively few people should start companies," Reid Hoffman says bluntly. And he should know. As a co-founder of popular social networking website LinkedIn and an influential Silicon Valley angel investor, he has engineered several startup success stories — and now he has distilled his business wisdom into a book, The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career.

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Music Interviews
12:01 am
Tue February 14, 2012

The Chieftains: For 50 Years, Irish Music For The World

Barry McCall

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 8:53 am

Paul McCartney, Madonna, Doc Watson and Luciano Pavarotti have at least one thing in common: They've all collaborated with Irish folk band

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Music News
6:10 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

The Ballad Of The Tearful: Why Some Songs Make You Cry

Adele won the song of the year category at this year's Grammy Awards for her tear-jerker "Someone Like You."
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 5:45 pm

Note: A number of listeners responded to this story and said the definition of appoggiatura was incorrect. Music commentator Rob Kapilow has a second opinion here.

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Three Books...
1:32 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

3 Biting Books For Those Bitter On Valentine's Day

Nate iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 10:54 am

For those who find themselves alone this Valentine's Day, or who reject the holiday altogether, you might not want to read about star-crossed lovers pining for each other and — even worse — winding up together in the end. So here are three alternatives to comfort you this Feb 14. Each novel is just the right length to read in a single night with a box of drugstore-bought chocolates. And although these tales are indeed reflections on love, the characters they follow are skeptics.

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Friday Journal - Feb 17
12:00 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Heavenly Sight

The Blind Boys of Alabama
Burnt Pixel via Flickr/Creative Commons

Since the time of Aristotle, blind seers have been regarded as bearers of special insight. Host David Marash brings us the stories, music and this insight from the blind gospel tradition that transformed American song and gave it soul.

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Best of Public Radio - Feb 25
11:57 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Bob Marley and The Wailers - Live Forever

Photo: Structures:NYC Flickr/Creative Commons

BOB MARLEY - LIVE FOREVER is a free one-hour program with live music from and stories about his last concert.  Songs recorded live at Pittsburgh's Stanley Theater in Sep 1980 include "Exodus," "Could You Be Loved," "Redemption Song," "No Woman, No Cry," "Jamming" and more.  Rita, Damien and Rohan Marley are interviewed, as well as Marcia Griffiths, biographer Vivien Goldman, and Doug Gebhard - a former journalist who covered the 1980 Pittsburgh show and is now a priest. These interviews discuss the concert, Marley's philosophies and influential moments from his life. 

Best of Public Radio - Feb 18
11:54 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Langston Hughes - I Too Sing America

Photo: Jack Delano Library of Congress

Langston Hughes, an enduring icon of the Harlem Renaissance, is best-known for his written work, which wedded his fierce dedication to social justice with his belief in the transformative power of the word. But he was a music lover, too, and some of the works he was most proud of were collaborations with composers and musicians.  Hosted by Terrance McKnight, WQXR host and former Morehouse professor of music, I, Too, Sing Americawill dive into the songs, cantatas, musicals and librettos that flowed from Hughes’ pen.

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The Record
6:20 am
Sun February 12, 2012

One Grammy Award You Won't See On TV

Syl Johnson poses for a portrait circa 1972. A box set collecting much of his work has been nominated for two Grammys.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

The 54th Grammy Awards will be handed out Sunday — not all of them during the evening telecast. The winners of the lower-profile categories are announced earlier in the day, and Weekend Edition host Rachel Martin spoke to Ken Shipley, who's nominated for two of those: Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes.

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The Record
9:15 pm
Sat February 11, 2012

Whitney Houston: Her Life Played Out Like An Opera

Whitney Houston performs in 1988.
David Corio Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:32 pm

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The Record
12:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

What The Grammys Say About Pop Music Now

Skrillex at the Sasquatch Music Festival in May.
C Flanigan FilmMagic

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 9:34 am

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Movie Reviews
4:30 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

'Chico And Rita' And All That Jazz

Havana Heat: The title characters meet cute and swing hard in Chico and Rita, an animated love story with an infectious Latin groove.
GKIDS

In the 11 years since the Oscars introduced an award for Best Animated Feature, the category has been dominated by children's movies, often with computer-animated pandas, penguins and ogres at their center. This year's a little different. Two of the animated films are subtitled, and one is definitely aimed at adults: the Spanish film Chico and Rita, an animated love story steeped in jazz.

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Winter Songs
4:01 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Winter Songs: Paul Simon, The Bard Of Bad Weather

Paul Simon.
Mark Seliger

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 3:22 pm

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:46 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Honey, Please Pay Attention

Photo by annstheclaf via Flickr Creative commons

Maintaining a healthy and happy relationship is challenging for any couple…perhaps more so when one, or both, partners suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?  ADHD is an increasingly common diagnosis among school age children and can be tricky to identify in previously undiagnosed adults.  Symptoms are often similar to those of depression, anxiety, and even bipolar disorder.

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Feb 11 - Best of Public Radio
10:02 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Zydeco Nation

Long Beach Bayou and Blues Festival
Photo: Clotee Pridgen Allochuku Flickr / Creative Commons

Zydeco Nation is an hour-long, music-rich documentary that tells the story about an epic chapter in modern American history. Starting during World War II, French-speaking Louisiana Creoles began moving across the country to Northern California in search of both jobs and freedom.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:13 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Super Bass: Can You Hit This Note?

Composer Paul Mealor is searching for a voice that can hit a low E --circled in this fragment from his latest piece, De Profundis.
Paul Mealor

Calling all basses: Decca Records is on the hunt for someone who can sing a low E, nearly three octaves below middle C. The note is featured in a new piece called De Profundis (Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord — Psalm) by the Welsh composer Paul Mealor.

I'm really attracted to the depths of the human spectrum," Mealor tells NPR's Robert Siegel. "We're seeking to find the person that can sing the lowest note ever written in choral music — and not just that note, but the solo in this piece for bass solo and choir. So we're looking for someone very special."

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Books
12:01 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Dickens At 200: A Birthday You Can't 'Bah Humbug'

Born in 1812, English writer Charles Dickens was born 200 years ago on Feb. 7.
Rischgitz Getty Images

Tuesday marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens — the great 19th century English novelist who gave us stories of pathos and comedy, and colorful portraits of the people of London, from the poor in the back streets, to the rich in the parks and avenues.

Lots of Dickens' phrases — like "Bah humbug" and "God bless us, every one!" — have slipped into our minds and our memories. And along with the words, the characters, too — from hungry orphan Oliver Twist to Little Dorrit to cruel Mr. Murdstone.

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The Record
12:01 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Get To Know The Song Of The Year Nominees: Bruno Mars, 'Grenade'

Bruno Mars.
Andreas Laszlo Konrath Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 12:59 pm

This Sunday the annual Grammy Award winners will be announced. One of the biggest categories is Song of the Year, which goes to a songwriter. Every day this week, we'll give you a little intel on one of the nominees. Today, Bruno Mars' "Grenade."

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The Exchange
10:00 am
Fri February 3, 2012

The Accordion Family

For centuries, that transition between teen-hood and adulthood has been accompanied with a newfound independence, where young men and women leave the roost, go to college, buy a house and raise a family.  But according to author Katherine Newman, high unemployment rates, the rise of short-term employment, longer life expectancies and the high cost of living have forced many a young adult back home to live with mom and dad.  They are called 'Accordion Families' and depending on the culture, they're met with a variety of acceptance.  Today we look closer into this new phenomenon called Accord

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Music Reviews
3:11 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Ani DiFranco: Embracing Stability, Remaining Outspoken

With more than a dozen studio albums to her credit, Ani DiFranco has a strong handle on outspoken, politically charged music. Her latest is Which Side Are You On?
Shervin Lainez Courtesy of the artist

For any Ani DiFranco fan amazed by her one fine album a year between 1995 and 1999, the many albums she put out in the '00s just weren't up to par. So her new record, Which Side Are You On?, comes as a surprise and a tremendous relief.

The first words out of her mouth are the most striking she's uttered on record in over a decade. The opening track, "Life Boat," is sung in the voice of a homeless woman who's pretty jaunty, considering:

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Book Reviews
4:47 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

S'il-Vous-Plait: Raising Your 'Bebe' The French Way

Barnesandnoble.com

When her first child was born, Pamela Druckerman expected to spend the next several years frantically meeting her daughter's demands. In the U.S., after all, mealtimes, living rooms and sleep schedules typically turn to chaos as soon as a baby arrives. That's the reason one friend of mine used to refer to his child as a "destroying angel."

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The Record
1:18 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

'Soul Train' Creator Don Cornelius Dies At 75

Don Cornelius posing for a portrait in 1973 in Los Angeles.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 1, 2012 11:30 am

The host and executive producer of Soul Train has died. The Los Angeles police department is reporting that Don Cornelius was found dead at his home in Los Angeles this morning from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:49 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Philip Glass!

Photo by mae noelle, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Composer Philip Glass turns 75 today. His birthday is being celebrated with festivals and performances around the globe and the premiere of his 9th symphony at Carnegie hall tonight. Glass is easily the most famous composer of his generation.  How many other composers have received commissions from the Metropolitan Opera and inspired a knock-knock joke? Philip Glass began playing works to tiny, often hostile audiences back in the 1960’s.

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Word of Mouth
10:16 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Word of Mouth for 01.28.12

Photo by urbanmkr, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: "Ready for Liftoff: 3...2...None?"

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The Exchange
10:00 am
Fri January 27, 2012

The Little Known True Story of "Oppo" Research

We talk to the co-authors of a new book who spent years in the field of  political “opposition research”.   They’re the folks that dig up the dirt and unveil the skeletons on candidates for Presidential on down to the local school board.  It’s a story that involves shady characters, clandestine meetings and piles of documents, all aimed at bringing down your opponent and winning elections.

Guests

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:54 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Books to get you through 'til Sunday

Historian Simon Schama calls it another example of British television’s “cultural necrophilia”. Well then, bring out your dead…the Downton Abbey miniseries now airing Sunday nights on PBS has invigorated public television, revved up sales of cloche hats and maxi skirts, and has publishers scrambling to appeal to readers who devour period dramas.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:59 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Ancient Sound, Modern Virtuoso

 To the average American, Chinese music might evoke a stereotype, the atonal, plucky sounds of soundtracks to martial arts films, or the ambience in Chinese restaurants. But like Chinese culture, the traditions of Chinese music reach back thousands of years and pull from myriad styles that reflect the diverse landscape of the worlds most populous nation. And weaving through much of it is the distinctive strain on the pipa, the ancient, four stringed instrument sometimes referred to as the Chinese Lute.

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