Seabourn suggests how to spend your down time.
HARD LIGHT, ELIZABETH HAND
Cass Neary, the nihilistic, crime-solving photographer in Hand’s arthouse mysteries, is aging well, or at least burning out in style; she describes herself in her newest outing as “the ghost of punk, haunting the twenty-first century in disintegrating black-and-white.” Having won legions of fans in Hand’s previous books, Generation Loss and Available Dark, Neary tries to return to her old loves and her old vices,but instead descends through the underbelly of London’s avant garde — passing dealers in art, rock and narcotics on her way down — into the dim beginnings of human art in the Ice Age. Hand’s knack for poetic detail is as good as her anti-heroine’s eye for images.
MUSEO PICASSO MÁLAGA - MÁLAGA, SPAIN
Since the 1500s, the pillars and arches of the Buenavista Palace have looked over this Spanish city; within the last 20 years it has been rebuilt as a temple to Modernist master Pablo Picasso. Málaga is where the painter was born, and the museum displays more than 200 paintings, ceramics, sculptures, drawings and engravings from his family’s collection, as well as other Modernist works. With new windows, airy rooms and structural additions, the complex is an artwork in itself, winning a 2005 Design Award from the American Institute of Architects. It rests at the base of Gibralfaro Hill in the old town, below the Moorish Alcazaba and next to a Renaissance cathedral and Roman theater, on Calle San Agustín — the same street where Picasso’s father worked as curator of the city’s museum.
SING ME HOME, YO-YO MA & THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE
Yo-Yo Ma has become something between a force of nature and an industry unto himself, so it’s good to hear him constantly finding new ways to bring his cello to ever more expressive heights. He’s teamed up with dozens of master musicians — from America’s Jeffrey Beecher (double bass) and Spain’s Cristina Pato ( gaita) to Lebanon’s Hadi Eldebek ( oud) and China’s Wu Man ( pipa) — to perform pieces by arrangers and composers from 22 countries, drawing on international traditions to create a “new musical language.” This is a bold experiment, even moreso since the album goes along with a featurelength documentary. Luckily, it works. Experiments can sometimes be clinical; star soloists like Abigail Washburn, Toumani Diabete, and Bill Frisell elevate these pieces out of the realm of novelty and into something more like pure musical expression.