In the spring of 2013 the cicadas in the Northeastern United States will yet again emerge from their seventeen-year cycle—the longest gestation period of any animal. Those who experience this great sonic invasion compare their sense of wonder to the arrival of a comet or a solar eclipse. This unending rhythmic cycle is just one unique example of how the pulse and noise of insects has taught humans the meaning of rhythm, from the whirr of a cricket's wings to this unfathomable and exact seventeen-year beat. In listening to cicadas, as well as other humming, clicking, and thrumming insects, Bug Music is the first book to consider the radical notion that we humans got our idea of rhythm, sync...
(Applause Books). David Rothenberg's multilayered life thrust him into Broadway's brightest lights, prison riots, political campaigns, civil rights sit-ins, and a Central American civil war. In his memoir, Fortune in My Eyes , his journey includes many of the most celebrated names in the theater: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, Sir John Gielgud, Peggy Lee, Alvin Ailey, Lauren Bacall, Christine Ebersole, and numerous others. He produced an Off-Broadway prison drama, Fortune and Men's Eyes , which reshaped his life. John Herbert's chilling play led directly to the creation of the Fortune Society, which has evolved into one of the nation's most formidable advocacy and service org...
'The peacock's tail makes me sick!' said Charles Darwin. That's because the theory of evolution as adaptation can't explain why nature is so beautiful. It took the concept of sexual selection for Darwin to explain that, a process that has more to do with aesthetic taste than adaptive fitness. Survival of the Beautiful is a revolutionary new examination of the interplay of beauty, art, and culture in evolution. Taking inspiration from Darwin's observation that animals have a natural aesthetic sense, philosopher and musician David Rothenberg probes why animals, humans included, have an innate appreciation for beauty - and why nature is, indeed, beautiful.
Hand's End offers a new philosophy of technology as the fundamental way in which humans experience and define nature—the tool as humanity extended. Rothenberg examines human inventions from the water wheel to the nuclear bomb and discusses theories of technology in the thought of philosophers including Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, Marx, Heidegger, Spinoza, Mumford, and McLuhan.
David Rothenberg is one of our most eloquent observers of the interplay between nature, culture, and technology. These nineteen pieces exemplify what has been called Rothenberg's "amiable" mix of interests, styles, and approaches. In settings that range from wildest Norway to his own front porch in upstate New York, Rothenberg discusses the Hudson River School of painters, the hazy provenance of Chief Seattle's famous speech, ecoterrorism, suburbia, the World Wide Web, and much more. He asks if we can save a place less obtrusively than by turning it into a park. He muses on the plight of a pacifist beset by a swarm of mosquitoes. He ascends Mt. Ventoux with Petrarch and Mt. Katahdin with Thoreau. In Always the Mountains, Rothenberg dares us to "enjoy the fundamental uncertainty that grounds human existence," to wean ourselves from the habit of simple answers and embrace the world's vastness.
"The accompanying audio disc features eleven original compositions by Rothenberg, none previously released on CD. Included are a duet with clarinet and white-crested laughing bird and a duet with clarinet and Samchillian TipTipTip Cheeepeeeee, and electronic computer instrument played by its inventor, Leon Gruenbaum. Also featured are multicultural works blending South Indian veena and Turkish G-clarinet with spoken text from the Upanishads; a piece commissioned by the Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival with readings of texts by E.O. Wilson accompanied by clarinet and electronics; and improvisations based on Tibetan Buddhist music, Japanese shakuhachi music, and the image of a black crow on white snow."--BOOK JACKET.
The richness and variety of birdsong is both a scientific mystery and a source of wonder. David Rothenberg has a unique approach to this fascinating subject - a musician and a philosopher, he is not satisfied with the conventional wisdom. Combining the latest scientific research with a deep understanding of musical beauty and form, he questions whether the standard explanations of territoriality or sexual selection account for so many species' astonishing inventiveness and devotion to singing? Could birds in fact sing just because they like to? Whether playing the clarinet with the white-crested laughing thrush in Pittsburgh or jamming in the Australian winter breeding grounds of the Albert's lyrebird, Rothenberg touches the heart and soul of birdsong.