Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Coming up TODAY on KUCI 88.9fm at 9:00am - Eric Ebel, Senior Program Manager, NAMM | The NAMM Foundation

 



Eric Ebel currently manages several of NAMM’s Market Development / NAMM Foundation programs, including Music Educator and Music Advocacy programming, The Day of Service, Roomful of Pianos, and The Grand Rally for Music Education at the annual NAMM Show. Since joining the NAMM team in 1997, Mr. Ebel has had diverse experiences with the trade association. 

Before his current position, Ebel was show manager for NAMM’s “Music and Sound Expo” and was senior trade show sales representative for NAMM’s world-renowned international trade shows. For the past 40 years, he’s held various positions within the music industry ranging from products specialist and sales director for an international percussion manufacturer, professional touring musician, faculty at the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles, and percussion specialist with the United States Marine Corps Far-East band. He maintains a moderate performance schedule with various commercial agencies based in Southern California.


https://www.namm.org/

NAMM Foundation Day of Service Returns to Anaheim School District — Musical Workshops and $10,000 Donation to Sunkist Elementary Kicks off NAMM Show Festivities



NAMM Foundation Day of Service Returns to Anaheim School District

— Musical Workshops and $10,000 Donation to Sunkist Elementary Kicks off NAMM Show Festivities


WHAT: The NAMM Foundation and its members will return for a musical Day of Service in Anaheim, CA, Tuesday, January 23. Happening two days before The NAMM Show, the world’s largest global gathering of the music industry, the hands-on service event supports the organization’s year-round efforts to provide every child in the district with the opportunity for a well-rounded education that includes music.

Sunkist Elementary (K-6) has been chosen as this year’s host location for a day of high-energy, mixed genre, constructive musical learning opportunities. In addition to serving the community and students, NAMM will present a $10,000 check to support the continued growth of music making in Anaheim.



Workshops include:

· Music and Movement - "Move to Mariachi," led by Lynn Brinckmeyer and Marcia Neel

· Ukulele and Singing, led by Lenny ‘Ukulenny’ SanJose

· Guitar and Songwriting, led by Jess Baron, GITC (Guitars in the Classroom)

· HipHop, led by Scott Burstein (Music Will)

· Drumming, led by Mike DeMenno (Remo)



WHO: NAMM President & CEO John Mlynczak; NAMM Executive Committee Members as well as additional NAMM member volunteers, including Tom Sumner (Yamaha Corp. of America), Chris White (White House of Music), Whitney Brown Grisaffi (Ted Brown Music), and more.



WHEN: Tuesday, January 23, 2024, 8:30AM - 12:00 PM


WHERE: Sunkist Elementary School

500 Sunkist Street, Anaheim, 92806

Learn more about The NAMM Foundation by visiting nammfoundation.org / #supportmusic




Jeanne O’Keefe

The Lippin Group for NAMM

jokeefe@lippingroup.com

818-399-2464

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

UCI welcomes Year of the Dragon with annual Lunar New Year celebration 9:00am-6pm Monday, Feb. 5

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

https://news.uci.edu/2024/01/22/uci-welcomes-year-of-the-dragon-with-annual-lunar-new-year-celebration/

Contact: Cara Capuano
949-501-9192
ccapuano@uci.edu
Jan. 22, 2024



UCI welcomes Year of the Dragon with annual Lunar New Year celebration

EVENT: UCI will celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year – heralding the Year of the Dragon – with cultural games, hands-on arts and crafts, food, musical and dance performances, an academic discussion, a dragon parade, a lion dance and more.

WHEN/WHERE: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, with activities and performances beginning in the UCI Student Center’s Pacific Ballroom ABC (bldg. 113, grid D5 on campus map: https://parking.uci.edu/maps/documents/UCI-MainCampusMap-REV081120-23.pdf). A discussion with author and lawyer James Zimmerman on his book The Peking Express: The Bandits Who Stole a Train, Stunned the West, and Broke the Republic of China will take place at 1 p.m. in the Student Center’s Moss Cove. The Lunar New Year Festival will start at 3:30 p.m. across the street (Pereira Drive) at the Irvine Barclay Theatre (bldg. 1, grid D5 on campus map).

INFORMATION: Media planning to attend should contact Cara Capuano at 949-501-9192 or ccapuano@uci.edu. Attendance is free and open to the public. Hourly parking is available in the Student Center Parking Structure, located near the intersection of Pereira Drive and West Peltason Drive on campus. Parking is complimentary for media who RSVP in advance. Information on the event can be found here: https://www.socsci.uci.edu/files/announcements/240205_lny/2024.html.



HIGHLIGHTS:

9-11 a.m. – Cultural activities and performances

UCI Student Center, Pacific Ballroom ABC



UCI’s Department of East Asian Studies hosts a variety of cultural activities, including origami, Chinese arts and crafts, a Japanese karuta game, kimono and hanbok try-ons, and traditional Korean games, followed by musical and dance performances by UCI student groups.



1-3 p.m. – Fireside chat with author James Zimmerman

UCI Student Center, Moss Cove



Join the UCI Long-U.S. China Institute for a fascinating discussion with author James Zimmerman, who will take the audience on a thrilling journey through his book The Peking Express: The Bandits Who Stole a Train, Stunned the West, and Broke the Republic of China, the remarkable true story of train-robbing revolutionaries and passengers who got more than they bargained for.



3:30-6 p.m.* – Lunar New Year Festival

Irvine Barclay Theatre



*The feeding of the lions begins at 3:45 p.m.



UCI’s Lunar New Year Festival creates an atmosphere of pure enchantment, in which captivating performances and traditional customs come to life – from the enthralling dragon parade and lion dance to the cherished wishing tree; energetic beats of UCI Hansori, Hikari Taiko Drummers and KKAP UCI; and delicious food from local vendors. There will be welcoming remarks by UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman and Bill Maurer, dean of the School of Social Sciences, as well as a special event designation presented by California State Treasurer Fiona Ma.



BACKGROUND: UCI’s Lunar New Year celebration is possible through the generous support of the UCI Long-U.S. China Institute and its partners – the School of Social Sciences, the School of Law and The Paul Merage School of Business – in concert with the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, the School of Humanities, the School of Social Ecology, UCI Libraries, the Center for Critical Korean Studies and the Department of East Asian Studies. Additional key sponsors include South Coast Plaza, Charlie and Ling Zhang, the Long Family Foundation, Eugene and Carol Choi, Disney, and the Office of Vice Chancellor Brian Hervey.



###

For UCI breaking news, visit news.uci.edu.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Debbie Gibson, Britt Lightning, Kelsy Karter, Sylvia Massy, and Laura Karpman among those to be honored at the 2024 She Rocks Awards. She Rocks Alumni Susanna Hoffs to co-host.




The Women’s International Music Network presents 12th annual event celebrating women in music on January 25, 2024 in Anaheim, CA. Tickets on sale now. This year’s awards take place on January 25, 2024 at the Ballroom at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA and is open to the public.


ANAHEIM, Calif., November 8, 2023 – The Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN) reveals Debbie Gibson, Laura Karpman, Britt Lightning, Kelsy Karter and Sylvia Massy as the first announced honorees at the upcoming 2024 She Rocks Awards. Susanna Hoffs will co-host this event that recognizes women who stand out as innovators and role models in the music industry. The 12th annual live awards show, which is now an official NAMM-sponsored event, will take place on Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center Ballroom in Anaheim, CA. Tickets to attend are on sale now here.

Debbie Gibson made history at 16 with her Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper “Foolish Beat,” becoming the youngest artist to write, produce, and perform a number one hit—she is still the youngest female to hold that record for over 30 years. She’s sold over 16 million albums and showcased her talent in 17 musicals, from Broadway’s Les Misérables to the West End’s Grease. In 2019, Gibson joined NKOTB on The Mixtape Arena Tour and judged Nickelodeon’s “America’s Most Musical Family.” Her 2020 single “Girls Night Out” reached No. 4 on both the U.S. Billboard and U.K. MusicWeek charts. In 2021 she guest-starred on “Lucifer,” and released her first pop album in 20 years, The Body Remembers, which quickly rose to No. 2 on the Apple Pop Sales Charts. In 2022 she embarked on a U.S. solo tour, celebrating the 35th anniversary of her debut album Out of the Blue, and released her first full-length holiday album, Winterlicious. She recently announced a book deal with Gallery for her upcoming memoir. And in 2024 Gibson will celebrate 35 years of her #1 album Electric Youth.

Boasting one of pop’s most beloved voices, Susanna Hoffs was born and raised in Los Angeles with an ever-present soundtrack of ’60s music. Co-founder of the Bangles, a seminal band with three platinum-selling albums, Susanna has recorded four solo albums, including her latest, The Deep End, produced by Peter Asher. After working together in the Austin Powers films, Susanna and Matthew Sweet released three volumes of their acclaimed Under the Covers series. Susanna has collaborated with Rufus Wainwright, Tom Petty, Chris Martin, Mike Campbell, Jack Antonoff, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, Aimee Mann, Andrew Bird, Jon Brion, Maya Rudolph, and many others. In 2023, she released her first novel This Bird Has Flown, hailed by The New York Times called it the “smart, ferocious rock-star redemption romance you didn’t know you needed.” NPR called it “a love story — and a valentine to music.” Susanna was honored at the She Rocks Awards in 2015.

Britt Lightning is the lead guitarist for the all-female Platinum selling 80’s rock band Vixen. She is also the Musical Director at Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp, which helps change lives through music and allows people to live their rockstar fantasies and jam with their musical heroes. During COVID Britt hosted and helped to produce over 200 online Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp masterclasses with legendary artists including Roger Daltrey (The Who), Alice Cooper, Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) and more. Britt has toured with 25-time Grammy Award winning artist Alejandro Sanz, pop artists Rachel Platten and Jason Derulo, and continues to tour with Vixen while working on their upcoming studio album.

Kelsy Karter is an Australian singer, songwriter, musician and the frontwoman of Kelsy Karter & The Heroines, a four-piece Australian/British rock & roll band. She is famously known for pranking the world in 2019 with a fake tattoo of Harry Styles on her face for the promotion of her breakout hit “Harry.” In 2020, after the release of their debut album Missing Person, Rolling Stone Magazine called Kelsy “a beacon for female rock stars.” Kelsy and her band have spent the past several years touring the world as headliners, support and festivals, most recently in 2023 supporting Billy Idol across the US. They are currently working on their second album.

Producer Sylvia Massy is best known for her work with Tool, System of a Down, Skunk Anansie, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Taylor Hawkins, Johnny Cash, Prince, Jason Isbell and more. She’s received over 25 gold and platinum record awards throughout her career. Sylvia is a vintage audio equipment expert and owns the world’s largest vintage microphone collection. Sylvia’s book “Recording Unhinged” is an Amazon best-seller. She’s an accomplished Fine Artist and Illustrator, Author, Educator and relentless Entrepreneur. But to her many friends, she’s just Sylvia, the Radiant Being.

A bold, incandescent talent, composer Laura Karpman creates powerful, imaginative scores that push the boundaries of storytelling. Her award-winning music, spanning film, television, theater, interactive media and live performance, reflects an audaciously creative, prodigious fresh spirit. Her accolades are many, and include multiple Emmy’s, a GRAMMY and a Critic’s Choice Award. Laura was elected the first female Governor in the Music Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This year is perhaps her most prolific to date, with six film and TV projects alone — Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed (Max), 61st Street (The CW), and American Fiction (MGM/Amazon), while being a leading composer across the Marvel Cinematic Universe with her projects What If? (Disney+), Ms. Marvel (Disney+), and the latest feature from the studio, The Marvels (Disney).

The She Rocks Awards is the premier event during the NAMM Show, bringing together industry professionals, music icons, artists, fans and the media. The annual event honors women who are groundbreakers, innovators and have displayed exceptional leadership within the music and audio industry. Past honorees of the She Rocks Awards include The Go-Go’s, Dionne Warwick, Nancy Wilson, Lzzy Hale, Gloria Gaynor, Linda Perry, Melissa Etheridge, Pat Benatar, Judy Collins, The B-52s, Colbie Caillat, Chaka Khan, Ronnie Spector, Orianthi, The Bangles, and many more, plus a collection of trailblazers and role models from all walks of the music and audio industries.

The 2024 She Rocks Awards will take place on Thursday, January 25, 2024 at The Anaheim Convention Center Ballroom in Anaheim CA at 7:00 p.m. This celebratory evening includes live music, awards and speeches, celebrity appearances, a fabulous silent auction, amazing gift bags and so much more! Tickets to the event which include dinner, and are now on sale. The She Rocks Awards is open to the public; a NAMM Show badge is required to attend the She Rocks Awards. Find out more and purchase tickets at sherocksawards.com.

The 2024 She Rocks Awards is sponsored by NAMM (presenting), PRS Guitars, Positive Grid, Monster Energy, Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Foundation, Reverb.com, Roland, Taylor Guitars, Exploration.io, Martin Guitar, Fishman, D’Addario, Ernie Ball, Freeman, Shure, Berklee Online, M.A.C Cosmetics, 108 Rock Star Guitars, Sennheiser, Earthquaker Devices, WRiiG, dw Drums, Cuccio, DiGiCo, Guitar Girl Magazine, The Hollywood Times, Music Connection, AXS TV and more. For information regarding She Rocks Awards sponsorship opportunities, please contact info@thewimn.com. For information regarding She Rocks Awards sponsorship opportunities, please contact info@thewimn.com.

More 2024 She Rocks Awards honorees will be announced soon. Learn more about the She Rocks Awards and get tickets at sherocksawards.com.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Dr. Romie Mushtaq shares new book - The Busy Brain Cure The Eight-Week Plan to Find Focus, Tame Anxiety, and Sleep Again





The Busy Brain Cure

The Eight-Week Plan to Find Focus, Tame Anxiety, and Sleep Again


Noted neurologist and Chief Wellness Officer Dr. Romie Mushtaq reveals the hidden connection between insomnia, anxiety, and adult ADD/ADHD – and gives you a science-backed plan to heal burnout and your Busy Brain in just 8 weeks.

Do racing thoughts keep you from falling asleep at night? Is it impossible to focus, even on tasks that used to stimulate you? Are you mindlessly stress-eating throughout the day?

These are signs that you have a “Busy Brain,” a term coined by triple-board certified physician Dr. Romie Mushtaq to describe a brain riddled with anxiety, insomnia, and ADD/ADHD.


Have the boundaries between your job, sleep, and personal life disappeared? Are you wearing stress as a badge of honor or resigned to feeling stuck in the hustle culture? The reality is that chronic stress kills. Just ask Dr. Romie Mushtaq who suffered from career burnout and underwent life-saving surgery. And as a brain doctor, she should have known better. Dr. Romie embarked on a global journey to research and heal the negative impact of the stress responses on our brains, bodies, and teams. The solution led to this eye-opening book for professionals eager to break the relentless cycles of stress, anxiety, and burnout.

While traditional medicine treats anxiety, adult-onset ADHD, and insomnia as separate issues, Dr. Romie identifies them as symptoms of a “Busy Brain.” Busy Brain results from chronic unchecked stress and burnout.The Busy Brain Cure is an integrated approach to heal the root cause of ADD/ADHD, anxiety, and insomnia, while also transforming the conversation on mental health and workplace wellness.
In this book, you’ll learn how to:

  • Overcome the stimulant-sedative cycle, reducing dependence on caffeine by day and sleep aids at night.
  • Heal your Busy Brain without resorting to fad diets or cleanses. Embrace comfort food choices that combat stress, and move away from the toxic diet culture.
  • Use the 8-week brainSHIFT Protocol for better sleep, increased energy, and sustained focus.
  • Heal the root cause of attention deficit disorder (ADD), anxiety, and insomnia without addictive medications.
Based on twenty years of clinical research and experience, this book introduces a simple and easy to implement 8-week plan to heal the root cause of burnout.The Busy Brain Cure is for everyone from executives, leaders and athletes to entrepreneurs, high-achieving professionals and parents who want evidence-based strategies to improve their mental well-being. Dr. Romie combines her expertise and research in brain science with ancient wisdom, compelling storytelling, and her distinct humor will help laugh, heal, and tame your Busy Brain.


Dr. Romie is a board-certified physician, award-winning wellness speaker, and the founder of “brainSHIFT at Work.” She brings together over 20 years of authority in neurology, integrative medicine, and mindfulness to not just deliver programs, but create cultural change. She is on a mission to transform mental health and wellness in the workplace and currently works with Fortune 500 companies, professional athletes, & global associations. Dr. Romie is also the Chief Wellness Officer for Evolution Hospitality, where she scaled a mindfulness & wellness program to over 7000 employees. Her expertise is featured in the national media such as NPR, NBC, TED talks, and Forbes.

--
When you try to relax, do you have random and racing thoughts in your brain? Do you have trouble focusing on your to-do list? Have the usual stress management techniques stopped working for you? Dr. Romila “Romie” Mushtaq, ABIHM, is a triple board-certified physician in neurology, award winning speaker, and nationally renowned expert. She entered neurology at a time when less than 5% of the brain doctors in the U.S. were women and proudly identifies as a STEMinist in stilettos. With over 20 years of authority in neurology, integrative medicine, & mindfulness - and uses these skills to transform teams and cultures and has a solution for us today.


"Here is a program that dismantles the toxic diet culture and honors cultural diversity of foods while using a protocol to reduce stress eating. The Busy Brain Cure uses researched microhabits known as brainSHIFTs that are simple and easy to implement for busy professionals and parents to help improve your ability to focus and daytime energy." —Kanchan Koya, PhD, Harvard-trained doctor in biomedicine, and Chief Spice Mama and founder of Radical Vitality

“A great workplace culture starts and ends with team members feeling cared for and supported. One of the best investments an organization can make is in tools and resources that help associates manage stress, find better work-life balance, and prioritize mental well-being. By incorporating practices from The Busy Brain Cure into our corporate health and wellness initiatives, we’ve been able to equip and empower our people with science-based programs that heal the root cause of burnout and help boost engagement." —Ann Christenson, chief human resource officer of Aimbridge Hospitality

---------------


Website: https://drromie.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drromie/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrRomie
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drromie/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrRomie
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC05grQ3WOYK_BX7hxTIvt7w ?view_as=subscriber

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Janeane will be in conversation with Director and Writer, Jakub Piatek, about his new film, PIANOFORTE




PIANOFORTE

A film by Jakub Piatek











IN SELECT THEATERS DECEMBER 1, 2023

RELEASING ON VOD JANUARY 9, 2024



SYNOPSIS:

During the preliminary round, there are 160 of them. Then, about 80.
Then 40. At last, only 10 lucky ones make it to the final. These are the contestants in the legendary International Chopin Piano Competition, held every five years in Warsaw, Poland. PIANOFORTE follows an eclectic group of young musicians from around the world who have prepared since they were children for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Offering a rare behind the scenes look backstage at the triumphant highs and crushing lows of competition, filmmaker Jakub Piatek captures the intense pressure these musicians face in an experience that combines tears of exhaustion and despair with the ecstatic joy of playing. 
PIANOFORTE is both a testament to the power of remarkable music and an intimate coming-of-age portrait of young pianists navigating the rigors of competition, intense practice sessions, new friendships, lots of drama, and even more nerves.



DIRECTOR & WRITER:

Jakub Piatek


PRODUCER:

Maciej Kubicki

LOGLINE 

The world’s most talented young pianists compete in the International Chopin Piano

Competition, held every five years in Warsaw, Poland. A rare behind the scenes look at the triumphant highs and crushing lows of competition, Pianoforte is both a testament to the remarkable power of music and an intimate coming-of-age portrait.

 

SYNOPSIS

During the preliminary round, there are 160 of them. Then, about 90. Then 45. At last, only 12 lucky ones make it to the final. These are the contestants in the legendary International Chopin Piano Competition, held every five years in Warsaw, Poland. PIANOFORTE follows an eclectic group of young musicians from around the world who have prepared since they were children for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Offering a rare behind the scenes look backstage at the triumphant highs and crushing lows of competition, filmmaker Jakub Piatek (PRIME TIME, 2021 Sundance Film Festival) captures the intense pressure these musicians face in an experience that combines tears of exhaustion and despair with the ecstatic joy of playing. PIANOFORTE is both a testament to the power of remarkable music and an intimate coming-of-age portrait of young pianists navigating the rigors of competition, intense practice sessions, new friendships, lots of drama, and even more nerves.

 

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT 

by Jakub Piątek 

My family has no musical roots and I didn't attend music school. At primary school, I was asked to join the school choir on account of my height. When my teacher heard me sing at rehearsal, she told me to learn the lyrics but only lip-synch to songs, without uttering a single sound. I developed an interest in classical music much later, only a few years ago. It is this fascination with a rather inaccessible world that I wanted to retain in my film: to tell the story of a few young people from the perspective of an amateur who experiences music through emotions.

The Chopin Piano Competition. The unique “piano Olympics” held every five years attracts incredible media attention, hitting several million streams of the concerts performed during the Competition. The event itself has an organic narrative arc. Almost 160 people selected, out of 500 candidates, enter the race. A few days later, twelve pianists make it to the final. There's only one winner. Sounds a bit like real life. Yet here, the actual award immediately guarantees their place in the pantheon of great pianists.

Record deals, the best concert halls and orchestras. Still, these young artists prepare for the Competition at great sacrifice. According to research, when a pianist plays a concert to an audience, their brain looks like a supernova. This act is one of the highest brain activations: both hands, the sense of hearing, emotions, feet, memory, everything at top performance level. Our protagonists are young, ultra-talented pianists who started preparing for the Competition at the age of four to six, following different paths to get to the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. Hao took a 30-hour round trip to attend lessons with his piano teacher. It was only last year, at the age of 18, that he saw the ocean for the first time.

 At some point, Alex, one of our protagonists, says, “People perceive us as magical creatures who move from town to town, from continent to continent, and live on sound.”As I got to know that community, I became naturally interested not in what happened on stage, but rather what had brought them there. What sacrifice? How much work? At what cost? I also wanted to find out what happened later, several minutes after a concert, when they got offstage. First of all, however, I wanted to see them as young people with their dilemmas and emotions. On the brink of adulthood.

The process began with about fifty in-depth online conversations with the qualified pianists. Then I accompanied the selected pianists during the Preliminary Round for the Competition, a few months before the event. At that time, I chose our characters. I wasn't guided by the piano rankings, but by my documentary interest and intuition. In a way, making the film was a bet with the Competition itself. The night when Stage One results were announced may have seen our selected characters go home. Statistically, we should have had 1.5 characters in the final, and yet we had so many more. I had a similar deal with our characters. We were in it together, no matter where they'd end up: the final or the plane home. That sort of trust between crew and subjects laid the foundation for this film. This is why I focus on the backstage and the private sphere, unavailable to the Philharmonic audience. This approach is similar to the one used in the 1960 classic short documentary The Musicians by Kazimierz Karabasz, the crucial part being a rehearsal of a brass band made up of tram drivers, not the concert itself. It is during rehearsal that we are human; while on stage, we become magical, mythical creatures

Jakub Piątek - Director



Born in 1985, he graduated from the Polish National Film School in Łódź. Before studying directing, he worked as a journalist and culture manager. His debut film, "Mother" (2009), produced by Wajda Studio, was screened at more than fifty international festivals and received several awards. In 2014 he completed the documentary "One Man Show", which premiered in Krakow FF and DOK Leipzig. In 2018, he made a short feature film "Users" (premiere in Krakow and Slamdance). In 2021, his full-length feature debut "Prime Time" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and it is available on Netflix platform in all regions. In 2021 he started teaching fiction directing (Polish National Film School).


Filmography:


"Pianoforte", feature documentary, 2023

"Dead End", Netflix series (ep. 3-6), 2022

"Prime Time", feature fiction, 2021

"Users", short fiction, 2019

"Sensory Analysis", short documentary, 2016

"One Man Show", medium-length documentary, 2014

"Mother", short documentary, 2009







Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Coming up 1/9 at 9:00am - Veera Hiranandi's forthcoming, January book-- AMIL AND THE AFTER--follow up to her moving bestseller The Night Diary

AMIL AND THE AFTER by Veera Hiranandani

Praise for AMIL AND THE AFTER

★ “A quietly brilliant, deeply insightful story of living in uncertain times.” –Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

"A splendid historical fiction tale of bravery and determination." —School Library Journal, starred review

"A powerful blend of important themes and everyday triumphs and sorrows." —Kirkus, starred review

"...explores the benefits and costs of assimilation and the complexity of being both white and a religious minority in America then—and now." —Publisher's Weekly, starred review




Author’s Letter for Amil and the After
I’m thrilled to share my sequel to The Night Diary with you! When I began Amil and the After, I wasn’t sure what this new journey would look like. At first, I was just so happy to be with these characters again. I didn’t realize how much I missed them. As I developed the story, however, I thought about how I had changed since writing The Night Diary and how that would change the sequel’s perspective.

The first big decision I made was to shift the point of view. This time, I wanted to focus more on Nisha’s twin brother, Amil. I partly did this because my young readers had so many questions about him after reading The Night Diary. I also thought it would be wonderful to include his drawings as a way of expressing himself like Nisha did with her diary. This was my attempt to make the story new while keeping it familiar.

The Night Diary, which tells the story of these same characters when they first flee their home shortly after the Partition of India, is about survival. But this book is about what happens after--after we survive and experience something life-changing and traumatic. When I started writing, we were in the second year of the Covid pandemic. In a different way, I was asking myself the same questions—how do we heal after a traumatic experience as individuals and as a society? How are we forever changed in both good and bad ways?

Many of the things that happened in both The Night Diary and Amil and the After are based on the Partition experiences of my father, my grandparents, and my aunts and uncles. I’ll never know exactly how they felt, but I believe we all carry the resilience, pain, and joy of our ancestors. Ultimately, this is a story about hope and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

From acclaimed author Veera Hiranandani comes AMIL AND THE AFTER (Kokila; on sale January 23 2024; ISBN 9780525555063; $17.99; ages 8-12), the highly anticipated companion novel to the Newbery Honor book The Night Diary. Filled with hope and the idea of finding joy after tragedy, the novel picks up where The Night Diary left off following the aftermath of the Partition of India, the greatest human migration in history. Through Amil’s story, young readers will learn of the complicated physical, emotional, and psychological impact that comes from being forced to leave your home—an experience many kids globally still experience today.

At the turn of the new year in 1948, Amil and his family are trying to make a home in India, now independent of British rule. Both Muslim and Hindu, twelve- year-old Amil is not sure what home means anymore. The memory of the long

and difficult journey from their hometown in what is now Pakistan lives with him. And despite having an apartment in Bombay to live in and a school to attend, life in India feels uncertain. Nisha, his twin sister, suggests that Amil begin to tell his story through drawings meant for their mother, who died when they were just babies. Through Amil, readers witness the unwavering spirit of a young boy trying to make sense of a chaotic world, and find hope for himself and a newly reborn nation.

Veera Hiranandani says, “This book is about what happens after—after we survive and experience something life-changing and traumatic.” She wrote this book during the second and third years of the COVID-19 pandemic and found herself asking, “How do we heal after a traumatic experience as individuals and as a society? How are we forever changed in both good and bad ways?” Amil’s story addresses those hard to answer questions.

The experiences in AMIL AND THE AFTER were largely inspired by Hiranandani’s own family history. Her father, grandparents, aunts, and uncles made a similar journey as Amil’s family, forced to leave their homeland and make a new life in India following the partition.

In an author’s note, Hiranandani shares, “Writing historical fiction based on my family background is a way for me to understand something that’s a part of me even though I never experienced it directly. I’d like to think that something like the partition will never happen again, but unfortunately, we, as humans, keep finding ways to divide ourselves and attack marginalized communities. We may not all be the same, but we are all connected by our humanity. When we do harm to each other, we harm to ourselves. Conversely, when we support and help each other, we make our own lives better.”

Similar to how The Night Diary is told through letters written by 12-year-old Nisha, who is more confident in communicating her thoughts through her words, AMIL AND THE AFTER is told in part through Amil’s drawings. Several of Amil’s black and white illustrations appear throughout the book, showcasing Amil's growing artistic skills and revealing his emotional state as the story moves forward.

As she did with The Night Diary, in AMIL AND THE AFTER Hiranandani once again shines a light on a piece of global history rarely discussed in American classrooms. Powerfully told through both prose and illustrations, readers will be moved by the hope, courage, and determination reflected in Amil’s story.

AMIL AND THE AFTER

By Veera Hiranandani
On sale January 23, 2024 ISBN: 9780525555063


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Veera Hiranandani, author of the Newbery Honor–winning The Night Diary, earned her MFA in creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of The Whole Story of Half a Girl, a Sydney Taylor Notable Book and a South Asia Book Award finalist, and How to Find What You're Not Looking For, winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award and the New York Historical Society Children's History Book Prize. A former editor at Simon & Schuster, she now teaches in the Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA Program.


Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Wednesday January 3rd at 9:00am PT - Voidopolis by Kat Mustatea - combines digital art, literature, and interpretation in an augmented reality book that quite literally degrades as you read it


VOIDOPOLIS

By Kat Mustatea

LISTEN to today's show


Afterword by Charlotte Kent and Arielle Saiber

Kat Mustatea

Combining digital art, literature, and interpretation, VOIDOPOLIS is a time-sensitive, augmented reality book that quite literally degrades as you read it, so apropos for our time span, and tentative connection with each other.

You can watch Kat give a TED Talk about her unique practice here


Shortlisted for the 2023 Lumen Prize,

Winner of the Arts And Letters ‘Unclassifiable’ Prize For Literature

Winner of the Dante Prize, Dante Society London /Ars Electronica Prize Shortlist

Chautauqua Janus Prize For Literature Finalist


A hybrid digital artistic and literary project in the form of an augmented reality book, which retells Dante's Inferno as if it were set in pandemic-ravaged New York City.



A first-of-its-kind augmented reality book from MIT Press, Voidopolis is a unique and deeply affecting artwork that speaks as much to our existential moment as it does to the fragility of experience, reality, and our connection to one another. Kat Mustatea is a transmedia playwright and artist known for language and performance works that enlist absurdity, hybridity, and the computational uncanny to dig deeply into what it means to be human. Her TED Talk, about puppets and AI, takes a novel approach to the meaning of machines making art.


A hybrid digital artistic and literary project in the form of an augmented reality book, which retells Dante's Inferno as if it were set in pandemic-ravaged New York City. Voidopolis is a digital performance about loss and memory presented as an augmented reality (AR) book with a limited lifespan.


The book loosely retells the story of Dante's Inferno as if it were the dystopic experience of wandering through New York City during the pandemic; instead of Virgil, however, the narrator is guided through this modern hellscape by a caustic hobo named Nikita.Voidopolis is meant to culminate in loss. It features images that are created by digitally “wiping” humans from stock photography and text that is generated without the letter “e”—in homage to Oulipo

author Georges Perec's A Void, a 300-page novel written entirely without the letter—by using a modified GPT-2 text generator.


The book, adapted from a series of Instagram posts that were ultimately deleted, is likewise designed to disappear: its garbled pages can only be deciphered with an AR app, and they decay at the same rate over a period of one year, after which the decay process restarts and begins again. At the end of this decay cycle, only the printed book, with its unintelligible pages, remains. Each July 1, the date the project first started on Instagram, the book resets again, beginning anew the cycle of its own vanishing.




CREDITS: Voidopolis by Kat Mustatea, 2023 The MIT Press Leonardo Series | Book design and algorithmic decay: Studio Process | Afterwords: Charlotte Kent, Arielle Saiber | App Design: DOTDOT Studio | FUNDING: The MIT Press Fund for Diverse Voices | Open Austria Art and Tech Lab | The US Embassy in Vienna | Café Royal Cultural Foundation Literary Grant | An Art Company



AWARDS: Lumen Prize Shortlist 2023 | Winner of the Arts And Letters ‘Unclassifiable’ Prize For Literature | Winner of the Dante Prize, Dante Society London | Ars Electronica Prize Shortlist 2021 | Chautauqua Janus Prize For Literature Finalist 2021



SELECTED EXHIBITS: Ars Electronica, Linz (AT) | International Center of Photography Bookstore, New York (USA) | Stanley Picker Gallery, London (UK) | New Images Festival Official Selection, Paris (FR) | Pittlerwerke, Leipzig (DE) | Electronic Literature Organization, Bergen (NO) | The Grid: Exposure Festival, San Francisco (USA) | New Media Artspace, New York (USA) | Annka Kultys Gallery, London (UK)

Coming up April 10th 9:30am - Dr. Greg Chasson, author of FLAWED: Why Perfectionism is a Challenge for Management (on sale April 16)

LISTEN to today's show Dr. Greg Chasson , author of FLAWED: Why Perfectionism is a Challenge for Management Drawing on his work as a ren...