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INTERVIEW: Opiuo Talks Red Rocks Syzygy Orchestra, Collabs With Lettuce & DeVotchKa Members

first_imgOn April 21st, the progressive New Zealand electronic producer Opiuo (also known as Oscar Davey-Wraight) headed to the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre for a sold-out, co-headlining show with Colorado’s own SunSquabi. After 2017’s performance with the Opiuo Live Band, the boundary-pushing producer was ready to take it up a notch, with the show serving of the debut of his Syzygy Orchestra, which draws its name from Opiuo’s most recent EP, Syzygy 01.With this monumental performance behind him, Live For Live Music got the chance to talk to Opiuo about the performance, the work that went in ahead of time to make it all happen, plans for the future, collaborations with members of Lettuce, and more. You can check out the interview below, and head to Opiuo’s website for more information and future tour dates.Ming Lee Newcomb: Recently, you headlined the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre. For your show, you brought together a 20-piece orchestra, dubbed the Syzygy Orchestra, and performed with them. Can you talk a little bit about what inspired this wild collaboration?Opiuo: I’ve been a massive fan of orchestras my whole life. It’s a realm of musical creation I had no idea about, so I thought why not take on the challenge, especially somewhere as special as Red Rocks. The mix of century-old organicness with brand-new electronic power, I was so intrigued.MLN: Once you realized that you wanted to move forward with the collaboration, you handpicked an orchestra to work with specifically for the show. What was that process like of choosing the Syzygy Orchestra?Opiuo: I worked alongside the concertmaster, Tom Hagerman, and chose the most impactful instruments for a show like this. Ones that work together at a size of twenty people, allowing us to replicate and reinvent electronic sound in a beautifully organic way. It was super fun. It was like creating my own movie soundtrack. The instruments just jumped from the pages!MLN: You worked with one of the members of DeVotchKa to score the show. How did that process work, and how did you decide which songs you’d perform at Red Rocks? Were there any songs you knew you wanted to do from the get-go, or any songs you wanted to do but ultimately didn’t translate well?Opiuo: I was introduced to Tom [Hagerman] via my manager. We spoke on the phone, then I flew to Denver to sit and meet in person. It’s very important for projects like this to work with people I connect with on a personal and musical level—and Tom was exactly that. We gelled right away. I had already been working on the show for some time, so I had arranged the music into a coherent set.I definitely spent weeks working out which songs to play, and even asked my fans online, without giving too much away. I knew it’s super important to get it right. And yeah, some songs I would have loved to play, but they did not translate that well. Then, me and Tom spent months sending the files and music back and forth until we were both happy with the final product. It was such an enjoyable and interesting experience.MLN: What was the transition like, shifting from the role of a lone DJ on stage to the conductor of twenty or so people?Opiuo: The transition was surreal. It kind of felt like it was something I had done before. It felt natural, even though the show flew by, and I didn’t really remember many specifics. I was so focused on doing the role I had to and doing it well. It was super refreshing to be up there, performing in a completely different manner. I loved it.Opiuo with the Syzygy Orchestra – Red Rocks Amphitheatre[Video: OPIUO]MLN: Now that the show has passed, what were your favorite moments from your Red Rocks performance?Opiuo: When we finished the 4th Movement, the crowd was nearly completely silent. They seemed to all be emerged deep in the sound and in the moment. Then seconds later they erupted into screams and cheers. It’s moments like those that you know everyone is paying attention and along for the ride, right there with you. It felt very special.MLN: Ahead of the Red Rocks show, you released a brand-new EP called Syzygy 01. Given that you’ve always been such a boundary-pushing producer, how do you think your sound has evolved with this latest album?Opiuo: I went on some journeys to places like New Orleans and recorded real horn sections. I’d often been a sampling guy, but going there and experiencing a place like that had a huge impact on the music. It was so much fun to watch songs come to life before my eyes.MLN: On this new EP, you also worked with members of Lettuce. Can you talk about those collaborations, and what it was like working them?Opiuo: Benny Bloom from Lettuce, Russ Liquid, and TJ Norris are absolute pros! They smashed the role of horn-section extraordinaires. We recorded five songs in four hours. I was so lucky and fortunate to have them lace my music with style and grace. Something I want to do more of in the future.MLN: Given the name of your new EP, can we expect a Syzygy 02 coming out soon? Or can you share anything about new music you might be working on?Opiuo: You might be onto something here… That’s all I will say right now!MLN: Having just finished up an extensive North American tour and an incredibly busy start to 2018, what are your plans for the rest of the year. Any shows or festival sets that you’re really looking forward to?Opiuo: I’m excited to spend the middle part for the year bouncing around the globe making people dance to my funkadelic adventures. Lots of new music, and a special project which I shall announce in due time. Plus, I just try to be the best human I possibly can every day, encourage everyone to follow their dreams, to believe in themselves, support their friends, and to spread positive vibes far and wide!For more information on Opiou’s upcoming projects and performances, head to his website.last_img read more

Activists take aim at planned Lamu coal plant in Kenya

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享BBC:Campaigners in Kenya who fear their country is turning its back on its green goals are hoping to stop construction of a coal plant that would increase greenhouse gas emissions by 700%.At least two-thirds of Kenya’s electricity is currently generated by renewable resources and it has pledged to reduce its small carbon footprint by nearly a third over the next decade. But the planned power station to be built by Chinese contractors with borrowed money would increase emissions by a factor of seven – and Kenya would have to import the coal.China has made a commitment to reduce its reliance on coal, but at least a quarter of the hundreds of coal fired power stations being built or planned to be built around the world are being financed by China. Critics say that by building these plants China is outsourcing its fossil fuel use by providing a market for its coal and encouraging it use in other countries.The new plant will sit alongside an ambitious new $25.5bn (£20bn) development on the Kenyan coast at Lamu – an historic 700-year-old fishing and trading town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project includes a vast 32-berth container port, an oil terminal, road and railway links, and a “resort city”. The first phase of the port building project is almost complete. The work is yet to start on the road and rail links, leaving the prospect of a state-of-the-art container port for some of the world’s largest ships isolated on a remote stretch of coast near the Somali border.The country is currently producing a large surplus of electricity and the new power station is predicted to increase its capacity by 44%. “We are wondering why they want to implement this project because we have signed a green agreement at Paris – our president signed that,” said Raya Famau Ahmed, who is campaigning against the plant. But down here they want to implement this disastrous project and we are really worried.”More: Row over Chinese coal plant near Kenya World Heritage site of Lamu Activists take aim at planned Lamu coal plant in Kenyalast_img read more

Asset management roundup: Natixis rebrands, BMO signs cost code

first_imgNatixis Global Asset Management has changed its name to Natixis Investment Managers to better highlight its multi-affiliate business model.Natixis Asset Management, a Paris-based affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers, is also rebranding and will be renamed in 2018.All other affiliates of Natixis Investment Managers – of which there are 26 – will retain their current brands.In conjunction with the name change Natixis Investment Managers launched a platform around a new brand, Active Thinking. It has also established the Natixis Investment Institute, which will take advantage of new developments in data analysis and visualisation to study the relationships between investor sentiment and investment decision-making. H2O Asset Management, an affiliate of Natixis IM, recently announced it had acquired a stake in Poincaré Capital Management, a global equity asset manager based in Hong-Kong.Aktia joins forces with UniversalFinnish fund manager Aktia Asset Management and fund platform Universal-Investment have formed a partnership to bring Aktia AM funds to Germany and other European countries.The first product available in Germany will be a frontier markets local currency fund. Aktia, an emerging markets specialist, said it intended to launch a range of emerging markets funds for European investors.Katja Müller, member of the board of directors and head of sales and relationship management at Universal-Investment, said her company was experiencing “increasing demand from international players” to join the distribution platform.Universal-Investment has launched more than 600 mutual funds with a combined volume of €27bn.BNP secures Caple for SME platform BNP Paribas Asset Management has acquired a 10% stake in Caple, an originator of loans to small- and medium-sized companies (SMEs), as part of an initiative from the manager’s private debt and real assets investment group.BNP Paribas has establihsed an open architecture platform to source loans across multiple origination channels in Europe, including banks and fintechs, and distribute them to institutional investors such as pension funds and insurance companies.Caple is one of the partners the manager will tap for loans for its platform, which will focus on senior unsecured fixed-rate loans of between €500,000 and €5m.SME Advanced Solutions, as the platform is called, will initially target SMEs in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, and plans to broaden out more widely within Europe after that.BMO commits to cost transparency for LGPS clients BMO Global Asset Management has signed up to the UK local government pension scheme’s voluntary code of transparency. The code aims to provide a standardised method of reporting investment costs. There were 23 signatories listed at the time of writing.Berenberg questions performance-fee-only pricing Analysts at German private bank Berenberg have questioned the potential value of so-called “fulcrum fees” – management charges that vary according to performance. Fidelity and Allianz Global Investors have recently begun introducing such a pricing model on some equity funds. Last month Fidelity announced it had introduced a variable management fee across its entire equity offering, which would see charges fall if funds underperform.Berenberg’s analysts focused on Allianz’s US equity fund, which bases its performance-based fee on rolling 12-month returns, and suggested that there was unlikely to be much difference between the old and new pricing models after all costs had been factored in.The analysts claimed that, under this model even a passive fund based on the S&P500 index with a beta of more than 1 – implying slightly more volatility than the S&P500 itself – would have generated performance fees in 74% of 12-month periods in the past 25 years.“Applying the same approach on a three-year rolling basis (i.e. the methodology that Fidelity plans to adopt) implies performance fee generation in 67% of all 12-month periods,” the analysts added.Once other fund charges were applied, this passive fund could have a total expense ratio of around 80bps, which was in line with the current average for active equity mutual funds in the US. The costs would be higher still if the strategy delivered any alpha, the analysts said.last_img read more

Nike posts big loss for three months to end-May

first_imgSports footwear and apparel giant Nike swung heavily into loss in its March-to-May 2020 quarter, reflecting the impact of COVID-19. On a more positive note, the company said that, as of June 25, “approximately 90 percent” of Nike-owned stores were open worldwide, with retail traffic improving week-over-week. There is also anecdotal evidence of an upturn in running activity during the lockdown, while recreational team sports have been on hold – a trend from which Nike and other running shoe and apparel manufacturers will presumably hope to draw benefit in future, particularly if it is sustained as lockdowns ease. President and chief executive John Donahoe said the company was “continuing to invest in our biggest opportunities, including a more connected digital marketplace.” read also:Emenike: Players offer coaches, NFF officials bribe Digital sales were said to have increased by 75 percent in the most recent quarter, accounting for around 30 percent of overall revenue. Donahoe served notice in early February, following a visit to China, that sales and production there had been affected by measures introduced to prevent the spread of the virus. Donahoe has only been in his current position since January. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… The Oregon-based company said its fourth-quarter results were “significantly impacted by physical store closures” across the globe. It said product shipments to wholesale customers were down “nearly 50 percent”, resulting in lower total revenue and higher inventory. However, in line with an upsurge of e-commerce generally, Nike’s digital business was said to be accelerating “in every market.” All told, the net loss for the three months to May 31 reached $790 million (£642 million/€702 million), compared with net income of $989 million (£804 million/€879 million) a year earlier. Revenues plunged by 38 per cent from $10.18 billion (£8.28 billion/€9 billion) to $6.31 billion (£5.1 billion/€5.61 billion). Meanwhile, in a development that may be of direct concern to the sport, Nike said that what it refers to as “demand creation expense” dipped 19 percent to $823 million (£669 million/€732 million), “as retail and brand marketing spend was shifted as sporting events were cancelled or delayed due to COVID-19.” Promoted ContentWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?8 Shows You Didn’t Want To Watch At The EndWhat’s Up With All The Female Remakes?8 Things To Expect If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More8 Scenes That Prove TV Has Gone Too Far8 Best 1980s High Tech Gadgets5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year10 TV Characters Who Were Destined To Become Iconic11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table Toplast_img read more

NFL must suspend Myles Garrett for season so undisciplined Browns get the message

first_imgBaker Mayfield showed the maturity of a franchise quarterback as he tried to put a spin on Myles Garrett hitting Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with Rudolph’s dislodged helmet. “The reality is, he’s going to get suspended,” Mayfield said after his Browns defeated their rival from Pittsburgh 21-7. “We don’t know how long, and that hurts our team. We can’t do that. We can’t continue to hurt this team. It’s inexcusable.” The corresponding punishment should be taking Garrett, the team’s top defensive player, off the field for the remainder of the 2019 NFL season. It would be a harsh reaction, but perhaps it’s what’s needed for the Browns’ players to finally learn from their actions.It does not matter what Rudolph’s role in the incident was. It doesn’t matter what Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey did in retaliation. The Steelers and Bengals have been down this road, too, but nothing this ugly has happened. This sets a precedent, and the NFL should take full advantage of the opportunity to ensure it never happens again. VIDEO: Steelers-Browns game highlightsThink about what happened. Garrett took off the helmet of a player who had suffered a scary concussion just six weeks earlier against the Ravens, and then hit that player in the head with it. Rudolph could have been seriously injured. For a league that’s trying to preach player safety, there is no justifiable scenario other than Garrett serving a multiple-game suspension. Four games is not enough. Oakland’s Vontaze Burfict was suspended for the remainder of the season after a much less egregious, yet still dangerous, offense in Week 4. Burfict has a longer track record, but Garrett had developed a reputation this season for roughing the passer and dirty plays. His actions Thursday cannot be excused by claiming emotion or “heat of the moment.” That’s simply not good enough. Myles Garrett, 2019 dirty playsWeek 1: Punched Titans TE Delanie Walker after whistleWeek 2: Ended Jets QB Trevor Siemian’s season on late hitWeek 11: Struck Steelers QB Mason Rudolph over head with [email protected] should suspend him for the rest of season #Browns pic.twitter.com/Uf3hi5K4L7— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) November 15, 2019Thursday’s win should have been a proud moment for a Browns team that took its lumps while starting out 2-6 but appeared to be turning a corner to possible playoff contention heading into the final six games of the season. Now, they will likely be without Garrett, who had 10 sacks in 10 games, for some or all of that run.”I made a mistake, I lost my cool and I regret it. It’s going to come back to hurt our team,” Garrett said after the game (video via Cleveland.com).Garrett’s actions, however, are just a symptom of a organizationwide condition that has plagued the Browns all season. IYER: Helmet swing adds to the chaos in ClevelandThe reality is Cleveland is an undisciplined football team under first-year coach Freddie Kitchens. It had eight penalties for 121 yards Thursday; for the season, it has 87 penalties for 822 yards, a record-breaking pace. The flags have contributed greatly to the losing record, and there have been four ejections this season. The lack of discipline came out at the worst possible time against Pittsburgh. Why would Garrett do something like that? AFC North games get dirty, but the Browns can’t pin this on the Steelers being the antagonist. Not this time. Not when receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson left the field earlier in the game with concussions after helmet-to-helmet hits. Certainly not when Garrett ripped off Rudolph’s helmet.No, Rudolph shouldn’t go looking for a fight with his helmet off, but Garrett hit him with that helmet on national television. Maybe that ends up on a few posters and Twitter profiles as people, with a warped sense of pride, try to say the rivalry is back. Nobody should be proud of those actions. When you have to ask the question “What if he was killed?” and actually mean it, without being overly dramatic, then that’s a problem.MORE: How the Browns beat the Steelers If Garrett is suspended for the year and the Browns don’t make the playoffs, then the incident will be the epitaph for their season. It was cheap, dirty and a reflection of an immature team that could not handle beating its rival for the first time in a long time. Garrett is responsible, but so is Kitchens, the front office and an organization that simply cannot tolerate such behavior. This isn’t a social media outburst by former safety Jermaine Whitehead, or former wide receiver Antonio Callaway being suspended for a second time this season. Those players are easy to cut. Garrett is a No. 1 overall pick and one of the faces of the franchise, and he just committed an act that is on the short list of the most heinous things ever done during a NFL game. It’s indefensible. The reality also is the Browns are going to have to live with that ugliness the rest of the season. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll learn from it. Mayfield, for his part, stepped up and said the right things afterward. The incident does hurt the team. It is inexcusable. It does take away from what could have been a season-altering victory for an organization that has been punched in the mouth since 1999.  The Browns finally punched back on the field for 59 minutes, and then Garrett undid it all with one swing of the helmet. It landed on Rudolph’s head, but it’s another self-inflicted knockout by Cleveland. The NFL can’t take all the emotion out of its decision, but there is only one solution here, just one action it can take to make the problem go away.That’s making sure Garrett doesn’t return until 2020.last_img read more

Clear Lake School Board approves “Return to Learn” plan with students in classrooms five days a week (VIDEO)

first_imgCLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake School Board Wednesday night approved a “Return to Learn” plan that will have students going to school five days a week and will require the use of masks in most situations. A virtual option will be available to students, but mandatory attendance would be required.Superintendent Doug Gee says the school district is in a good position to start with all the kids back in the classroom and be able to move things online if the situation warrants.  “My thought would be to have them all come back, and if we have to shift into a hybrid or a virtual we do that, but let’s get them all back. Then we’d have the ability to if we start getting a lot of kids that are testing positive or being quarantined, then we can shift into a hybrid or a continuous virtual learning plan.”Gee says masks use will be required for students and staff while in the classroom. He says the school district has used CARES Act funding to purchase two bandanna type face coverings for each student and staff member.  “Due to some of the latest things that are being talked about and recommended, I would tend to lean more toward requiring them, and requiring them for all. Any time we can get them off of them and they can be socially distanced and the kids can not have to wear them, we would do that.”Gee says a survey of parents showed that a majority wanted their kids to attend classes in person this fall.  “I got more from what I read, more parents that really wanted and needed their kids back in school from that standpoint. Most of them wanted them back normally, and usually the ones that wanted to be virtual had some at-risk situations at home.”Gee says the recommendation from the American Association of Pediatrics is that kids need some sense of normalcy in being back in the classroom. “They’ve come out very boldly and said our kids, especially our young kids, need to be in school and socializing with their peers. There are far more harmful effects happening to them by not doing that as opposed to COVID. Even the zero to 10 especially, the symptoms are not there and they aren’t transmitting.”Gee says they will ask parents to check students’ health prior to sending them to school each day.  “Right now the guidance from the Department of Public Health is that it’s really not worth the time that it takes to do the temperature screening by your staff. What we’re going to encourage parents to do is every day to take your kid’s temperature, if it’s above 100.3 that they would keep them home. If they are showing any kinds of signs or symptoms of COVID that they would keep them home, check in with the office.”Gee adds that if they receive any new guidance from public health officials regarding school that it will be worked into the “Return to Learn” plan.You can watch Wednesday night’s school board meeting belowlast_img read more