Arts & Culture

Ferdinand Pauwels / CC LICENSE VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Protestant churches are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year. The 16th Century movement sparked by Martin Luther split the Roman Catholic Church, ushered in Protestant denominations, and helped to forge the modern world in Europe.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Scott MacKay spoke with Brown University Historian Tara Nummedal about the Reformation that split Christianity centuries ago and created Protestant denominations.  

Is The Violin The Devil's Favorite Instrument?

Oct 31, 2017
Louis-Léopold Boilly / Wikimedia Commons

For centuries classical music composers have been inspired by witches, ghosts, death and the devil. They’ve returned again and again to one instrument in particular to help conjure these spooky themes: the violin.

So what’s the link between Satan and one of the most popular instruments in the world? Music historian Robert Riggs actually devotes an entire chapter to the subject in his book “The Violin.”

Riggs finds the connection actually dates back to medieval times with the separation of sacred and secular music.

RIPR

In this multi-part series, "Striking a New Chord: A 15-Week Journey To Learning An Instrument," RIPR’s Morning Edition host Chuck Hinman follows a beginning adult ensemble class for violin, viola, cello and bass in Bristol, RI.


Mark Turek / Courtesy of Trinity Rep

Trinity Rep continues its season with "Skeleton Crew." The play is set in Detroit but could be almost anywhere USA. Rhode Island Public Radio's Bill Gale says it's a production with many strong points and some problems too.


Mark Turek / Courtesy of Trinity Rep

Trinity Rep is opening its season with Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” the powerful drama concerning the downside of the American Dream. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale has the review.

Ximena Conde / RIPR FILE PHOTO

Ancient Chinese caves are part of an exhibit at Bryant University exploring archeological sites and art from the northwest region of China. The area is a cultural and religious melting pot because of its proximity to the Silk Road, which connected China to the West. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Ximena Conde visited the exhibit and brings us this audio postcard.

Maggie Cady / Courtesy of The Contemporary Theater

Homer’s epic poem “The Iliad" spins a tale of combat, warriors and a private vendetta, set during the mythical war between the Greeks and the Trojans. In a production at the Contemporary Theater Company in Wakefield, “The Iliad" gets a somewhat unusual treatment. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale says this Iliad will challenge the way you think about war.


Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash leads a songwriting master class and performs from her repertoire, including the acclaimed 2014 album "The River & The Thread," Wednesday at the Granoff Center at Brown University. The sold-out evening also features Cash's longtime collaborator and husband, John Leventhal, who served as producer, arranger, co-writer and guitarist on "The River & The Thread." 


Debi Cornwall

"Welcome to Camp America: Beyond Gitmo" is a photographic exhibit now at the Carriage House Gallery at the Brown University Center for Public Humanities. For this month’s Artscape, the visual artist Debi Cornwall talks to Rhode Island Public Radio's Chuck Hinman about making pictures at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.   

Peter Goldberg / Gamm Theatre

The Gamm Theatre is dashing through Oscar Wilde’s ever-popular comedy with a point, “The Importance of Being Earnest” while the Wilbury Group is tangling with Harold Pinter’s “The Caretaker.”   Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale has seen them both.

Sarabande Books

An author’s first book is a special event, at least for the author, and even more so when it gains national recognition. That’s the happy situation for Shawn Wen, a former employee of RIPR. Wen has written an unconventional biography of Marcel Marceau, the acclaimed mime artist who died in 2007. The book is called A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause. Wen was in Providence recently to give a reading, and said it was a homecoming, of sorts. 

Alan Levine / CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

If you tune into 95.5 FM today, you’ll hear Christian rock, a far cry from the edgy, alternative music WBRU broadcast on 95.5 for decades. The station sold the signal to Christian broadcaster Educational Media Foundation this year. RIPR’s John Bender hung out with some of the WBRU DJs, reporters, and producers right before the switch.


Engraving by Mason & Maas, from a drawing by John Pole, M.D. (Library of Congress) / New Bedford Historical Society

Massachusetts has declared September 16th Paul Cuffee Day, with a proclamation from Governor Charlie Baker. On Saturday, Lee Blake, of the New Bedford Historical Society,and members of four other historical organizations, will commemorate the 200th anniversary of Cuffee’s death in Westport.        

This is a story about a young woman who became addicted to drugs, ran afoul of her mob-connected suppliers and was murdered in a motel room.

Joannie Hinman

On Sunday, the 20th annual Rhythm and Roots music festival in Charlestown closed out with some great music, some wet weather and then a double rainbow.

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