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The Anatomy of a Performance
Alan Gilbert: Yeah, well this was a special concert for \r\nme obviously because it was the first one as a music director, and it \r\nwas live on television, and the way the rehearsal schedule went we \r\ndidn't have that much time to prepare it, so we were not as played into \r\nthe program as I would ideally want to be. I'm not making excuses. I'm\r\n just saying that this was the situation. So when I went out on stage I\r\n was in a way trying to skip a step. I love the experience of playing a\r\n piece over and over on tour because it does improve. It develops, it \r\nmatures, and we had a wonderful experience doing that in January and \r\nFebruary. I did a tour with the orchestra. This was several months \r\nafter the opening, and one of the pieces we played was the Second \r\nSymphony of Sibelias. I like to keep working, and I like to keep \r\nrefining and perfecting things, and when we finally came back to New \r\nYork and played it in Carnegie Hall, it really was possible to give a \r\nperformance that was based on comfort and experience.
This one we\r\n hadn't played, and I tried in my mind to kind of play a mental trick \r\nand just pretend that all that development had happened, and sometimes \r\nthat actually works very well, and with an orchestra like the New York \r\nPhilharmonic that can really deliver in the moment and be poised, it can\r\n work.
\r\nFor me emotionally, I was also trying to stay calm. I don't really get \r\nnervous for concerts. Some people find that interesting to hear. They \r\nthink, "Oh, do you get nervous in concerts?" I don't so much get \r\nnervous, and even in this concert, which was highly scrutinized and \r\nimportant‚—being the first one and all—I wasn't so nervous, but I was at\r\n the same time trying to make sure that I was calm, and I wasn't taking \r\ntempos too fast. Sometimes when you're not aware of it, if you're keyed\r\n up, and if the stakes are high, tempos tend to come out faster. I was \r\ntrying to really just settle down and make as expressive a case for the \r\nmusic as I can. And the Berlioz is a great piece as far as that goes. \r\nIt's a great piece by any measure, but it's so colorful, and it has a \r\nkind of combination, I think. You know, some people have called Berlioz\r\n the kind of "most German" of the French composers, and I find that \r\nactually interesting and rather telling because he has the kind of \r\nimpressionistic, pastel, refined quality of sound in his music. And I \r\nthink you hear that right at the beginning, and that's one of the \r\nexcerpts that we've just looked at.
It starts out with this \r\namazing lightness and delicacy. You can imagine a kind of Monet \r\npainting where the colors kind of bleed into each other, and it's very \r\nveiled and lovely. And then there are moments in the piece where there \r\nhas to be an incredible precision and a rhythmic drive. There are very \r\nfew composers who I think really encompass this incredible range of both\r\n rhythmic precision with tonal fantasy. As a conductor you try to show \r\nthe time as clearly as possible, but there are moments in this piece \r\nwhere it doesn't work simply to be precise. You have to embody the \r\nevanescence of the sound, the kind of lightness of texture.
It's \r\nvery interesting how just the simple quality of your body; if you hold \r\nyour hands like this, or if you relax them, it effects the sound \r\ninstantly. The players read that, and they sympathetically create that \r\nkind of sound. I find it very difficult. I think all conductors find \r\nit very difficult to have the right kind of connection and horizontal \r\nlightness in sound while at the same time determining points along the \r\nway that are the temp. That's to me the challenge of Berlioz, and \r\nreally what I was trying to accomplish is to have both sides of his \r\nmusic.
Recorded on June 18, 2010
Interviewed by David Hirschman
The conductor describes what he was thinking and feeling during his first performance with the New York Philharmonic.
Join The Daily Show comedian Jordan Klepper and elite improviser Bob Kulhan live at 1 pm ET on Tuesday, July 14!
Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.
- Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
- Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
- The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
Study findings<p>For the study, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-020-05970-4" target="_blank">published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine</a><em>, </em>Flentje and her team evaluated survey responses from nearly 2,300 individuals who identified as being in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. Most of the participants were white, while nearly 19 percent identified as a racial or ethnic minority. Multiple genders were represented with cisgender women (27.2 percent) and men (24.6 percent) making up a majority of the participants. Sixty-three percent had been assigned female at birth. For the most part, participants identified their sexual orientations as queer (40.3 percent), gay (36.5 percent), and bisexual (30.3 percent).</p><p>The JGIM study participants were recruited from the 18,000-participant <a href="https://pridestudy.org/" target="_blank">PRIDE Study</a> (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality), which is the first large-scale, long-term national study focusing on American adults who identify as LGBTQ+. It conducts annual questionnaires to understand factors related to health and disease in this population. </p><p>Participants filled out an annual questionnaire (starting in June 2019) and a COVID-19 impact survey this past spring. Flentje noted that on an individual level, some people may not have experienced a big change in anxiety or depression levels, but for others there was. Overall, depression increased by a <a href="https://patient.info/doctor/patient-health-questionnaire-phq-9" target="_blank">PHQ-9 score</a> of 1.21, putting it at 8.31 on average. Anxiety went up by a <a href="https://www.mdcalc.com/gad-7-general-anxiety-disorder-7" target="_blank">GAD-7</a> score of 3.11 to an average of 8.89. Interestingly, the average PHQ-9 scores for those who screened positive for depression at the first 2019 survey decreased by 1.08. Those who screened negative for depression saw their PHQ-9 scores increase by 2.17 on average. As for anxiety, researchers detected no GAD-7 change among the study participants who screened positive for anxiety in the first survey, but did see an overall increase of 3.93 among those who had initially been evaluated as negative for the disorder. </p>
Risks among gender and sexual minorities<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fc3fd1ae68b77bbbf58a6995638d6d65"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EnUqDjCqg0A?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The LGBTQ+ community is a vulnerable population to mental health concerns because of their fear of stigmatization and previous discriminatory experiences.</p> <p>Previous research by the Human Rights Campaign has found "that LGBTQ Americans are more likely than the <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/general+population/" target="_blank">general population</a> to live in poverty and lack access to adequate medical care, paid <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/medical+leave/" target="_blank">medical leave</a>, and basic necessities during the pandemic," said researcher Tari Hanneman, director of the health and aging program at the campaign.</p> <p>"Therefore, it is not surprising to see this increase in anxiety and depression among this population," Hanneman said in the release. "This study highlights the need for <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/health+care+professionals/" target="_blank">health care professionals</a> to support, affirm and provide <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/critical+care/" target="_blank">critical care</a> for the LGBTQ community to manage and maintain their mental health, as well as their physical health, during this pandemic."</p>
What should health care providers do?<p>The authors of the study recommend that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders in members of that community—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.</p><p>As cases of COVID-19 continue to mount, the sustained social distancing, potential isolation, economic precariousness, and personal illness, grief, and loss are bound to have increased and varied impacts on mental health. Effective treatments may include individual therapy and medications as well as more large-scale coronavirus support programs like peer-led groups and mindfulness practices. </p><p>"It will be important to find out what happens over time and to identify who is most at risk, so we can be sure to roll out public health interventions to support the mental health of our communities in the best and most effective ways," said Flentje.</p>
What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.
- When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
- A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
- Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".