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This week’s front page editor

Adam Bychawski

Adam Bychawski is an editorial assistant at openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Music breaks through borders. OpenDemocracy delivers a musical feast of great reviews, music-news and new music.

Cornelius Cardew lives

A pioneering, charismatic composer who searched sincerely for the truth of art, life and politics died on 13 December 1981. Cornelius Cardew's integrity and creative restlessness ensure that he remains an inspiration, says Virginia Anderson

(This article was first published on 5 May 2006)

Cornelius Cardew: a life unfinished

Cornelius Cardew, born on 7 May 1936, became one of the most influential and original modernist English composers of his generation. His sudden death on 12 December 1981 left an immense body of creative work and a huge vacuum in the lives of his contemporaries, but also the sense of a promise unfulfilled. On what would have been his 75th birthday, some who knew and worked with Cardew - Keith Rowe, Eddie Prevost, Robert Wyatt, and the composer's biographer John Tilbury - reflect on a protean figure.

(This article was first published on 13 December 2007)

Bob Dylan's revolution in the head

The love of millions for Bob Dylan's work ensures his place in post-1960s musical and popular culture. As Dylan turns 65, David Hayes offers a restless birthday tribute.

(This article was first published on 24 May 2006)

Michael Jackson: crossing over

A gifted musician born of black American culture whose work reached beyond. Why did he matter? KA Dilday reflects on Michael Jackson's journey.

Mardi Gras, 2007

"The carnival that keeps us sane after all this madness." Listen to Jim Gabour report from New Orleans's big parade.

Oil and 'gasolina' in Kurdistan

In one part of Iraq, the daily struggle for survival is waged against a pulsating Spanish-Jamaican musical beat celebrating the joys of – well, what, exactly? Spencer Ackerman reports from Irbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Rice and beans with collard greens: the America of Ray Barretto, 1929-2006

Ed Morales pays tribute to the "Nuyorican" master of Latin Jazz, Ray Barretto.

Listening to Istanbul

Fatih Akin's new film, "Crossing the Bridge", allows Istanbul's music and musicians to reveal the city's fascinating and contradictory character – paradoxically without escaping risks of a Eurocentric perspective.

The making of the Man in Black

James Mangold’s film portrayal of Johnny Cash in "Walk The Line" gives insight into the musician’s transition to artistic maturity, but for Charlie Devereux, the story it omits is just as interesting.


What do you get when you pair a Hungarian writer-photographer with a Pakistani musician? Answer: sublime photographs of the Danube, a narrated short story, set to the sound of the tabla and atmospheric Punjabi vocals, all presented in a multimedia slideshow format. Yep, only on openDemocracy!

How it feels: Martin Scorsese's Bob Dylan

“No Direction Home” is a compelling film portrait of Bob Dylan which leaves the great musician as addictively elusive as ever, writes Rob Cawston.

New Tango

Astor Piazzolla is widely regarded as the most important tango musician in the latter half of the twentieth century. His creation "New Tango/ tango nuevo" changed the face of traditional tango music. Tony Staveacre, who recorded Piazzolla's last live session, pays tribute to the man "who took no prisoners".  

Part 2: 'Pro-gumbo': culture as anarchy

Part 2 of The new information ecosystem: cultures of anarchy and closure

Hairiness sounds like this: an Arts & Cultures exclusive

openDemocracy presents an exclusive advance audio preview of ‘Lycanthropy’, Patrick Wolf’s debut album. Click below to listen.

God Save the Queen - The Pistols' Jubilee

Twenty-five years ago, punk exploded into Britain’s last royal jubilee. Has that extraordinary moment itself become a subordinate part of the national heritage, or is the radical anger that inspired it still germinating beneath the thrones of power?

Rock of Sages

Monuments have toppled all over the world, but Bob Dylan stays on his feet – indefatigable, protean, transcending his every generation. openDemocracy’s North Americas editor asks whether the source of his endurance lies precisely in the fact that he started old?

Love's Repair

A prophetic thirty-year old song illuminates a deep truth: that the language of our hearts and our public life is in urgent need of regeneration. And that can only come from within.

Listening but not hearing: the Ken Burns version

The documentary history of jazz by Ken Burns is the work of a raw enthusiast, unbalanced in judgment, flawed by hero-worship, and tone-deaf to unorthodox streams of the great river. A respected jazz critic acknowledges its merits... and makes its silences audible.
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