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The Library at Night – University of Virginia
October 27 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pmFree
Drawing inspiration from Alberto Manguel’s The Library at Night (a series of essays on the idea of the library), Colin McAllister’s captivating recital takes the listener on a literary, musical and historical journey through time and place. For several of Manguel’s essays (e.g. The Library as Imagination, The Library as Space, The Library as Oblivion) Colin interweaves music alongside readings from the book, historical vignettes and visual imagery in an engaging concert-length presentation. The compelling selection of music includes masters of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque polyphony, the first “Golden Age” of the guitar, sensual rhythms from Latin America and a newly commissioned work, Spines, by award-winning composer Christopher Adler. Join us for an unforgettable evening in The Library at Night and experience a feast for the ears, eyes and mind.
We believe that the Library of Alexandria was lodged in the Museum, the House of the Muses, daughters of the goddess Memory. All libraries inherit this inspired generosity of being lodged –and at the same time lodging– the nine muses and their arts. Libraries are not the exclusive realm of books: they hold images, maps, scores, scientific instruments and words in a myriad forms. In the sixth century, Saint Benedict maintained that unless prayer and chant were performed “as in the presence of angels” (as the Psalmist says) we create a “zone of dissimilarity”, a remoteness from true things that not only makes us dissimilar to them, but also to ourselves and to what it means to be human. All readers, all performers at their best, read and perform to bridge this remoteness. Conjuring up timeless music among timeless books in his “Library at Night”, Colin McAllister has succeeded in bringing to life the library’s relationship to all nine muses, “as in the presence of angels.” Alberto Manguel, New York, 25 January 2016