Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 2:23 PM
Amy O'Neal is a choreographer who recently took on a daunting task: an entire performance without a single note of music.
Related ArticlesFinding Hope, With The Cranberries' Help
The Irish pop group's music gave a gay teenager the courage to come out to his religious family.
Weekends on All Things Considered continues its "Why Music Matters" series with stories of music fans, told in their own words. Today's story is about Amy O'Neal, a choreographer who took on the challenge of dancing in complete silence.
"I had to do a performance a couple years ago where I couldn't use any music," O'Neal says. "I had 15 minutes without sound. I felt like, OK, well, I need to have some kind of circumstances to deal with — so I asked people to bring me different outfits to wear. I would end up changing out there and sort of embodying whatever outfit it was that they had brought in."
O'Neal says that although she liked the idea at first, seeing video of her performance was a rude awakening.
"When I saw the video I was like — oh my god, why are you doing that? You're just doing that because you're nervous about it being quiet," O'Neal says. "These questions came up: Is music a crutch for me? Why do I have to have it? Why can't I just be up there alone?
"There's an inherent tension and beauty in silence," she adds. "Things really aren't ever silent — there's always something, whether it be your breath or somebody coughing. But then, when music happens, everything sort of becomes alive."
"Why Music Matters" is produced by Anna Boiko-Weyrauch with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in collaboration with the Association of Independents in Radio and KEXP-FM in Seattle. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]
This article is filed in: 89.7 Host Notes
Wisconsin Democrats hope to unseat Republican Governor Scott Walker in a recall election. In the Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Zimmerman, a lifelong Democrat, says he is "appalled." The recall, he writes, "epitomizes the petty, loser-take-all vindictiveness of contemporary American politics."
Our Place In The Universe
Are we the end product of cosmic cataclysms? Ask the dinosaurs.
Fuentes Criticized Power Before It Was Fashionable
Mexican author Carlos Fuentes died Tuesday at age 83. He was a prolific novelist whose work was read by everyone from the Mexican elite to the working class, making him one of the country's most influential social critics. Host Michel Martin speaks with OC Weekly columnist Gustavo Arellano about Fuentes' influence, both in Mexico and abroad.
How Facebook Can Live Up To The Hype
Facebook needs more users — and it needs to figure out how to make more money off of each user.
Weekly Standard: Obama's JPMorgan Account
President Obama has disclosed that he has $500,000-1,000,000 in assets in a JPMorgan Chase account.
News updates from WGBH