Interview with Theramin Virtuosa Lydia Kavina

Last week I chatted over the phone with a charming and expansive thereminist – the world’s leading theremin player, actually – Lydia Kavina, an incredible performer, a composer, and an advocate for the strange instrument her great uncle Lev Termen created in 1928 – as well as for the ideas behind it. The interview is […]

Riga Through A Hailstorm: On The Reporter’s Red-Eye Life

Thursday, 16 July It’s the first time I’ve heard an entire airplane applaud a safe landing, and I’m sure I didn’t sleep through any turbulence. After an early flight out of Edinburgh and over five hours in London’s wifi-less Luton Airport, what I’m convinced is hell’s mop closet, I’m safely in Riga, Latvia, ready to […]

The Skinny on Latvia’s Positivus

A few days ago I was sitting on cool sand, watching the sun like an electric arcade coin drop from a sorbet sky into the waters of Riga Bay, off the Baltic Sea, black as a pint of Imperial Baltic porter, some accident of algae and tidal patterns.  This was minutes before one of the secular […]

The Beers and Other Boozes of Riga – From Black Balsam to Baltic Porters

Öö, Põjahla – 10.5% ABV, €5.00 (pub price) (Estonia)  I found Öö at Vest, about a 20 minute walk from my hotel, the Tallinik.  I knew I couldn’t go wrong with the craft beer selection here – the place is a craft kitchen and coffee shop catering to polite bikers, foosball players, even people seeking a haircut […]

Sketchy, Doubtful, Incomplete Jottings on T in the Park: Music, Anthropology, a Festival-Camper’s Pro-Tips

Strathallan Castle sits aloof above its new tenants, the Tennent’s carting and swilling masses camped in colorful tents swathed in mist and and smoke from portable grills.  It’s noon on Friday, and campers are still pitching, and soundcheck rumblings aside, the music has yet to begin.  Shod in Bass boatshoes instead of (I see now) […]