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ON THE COVER: Robbert Dijkgraaf at the Institute for Advanced Study

photographed by Tom Grimes.

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fEbRuARy 2013 PUBLISHER J. Robert Hillier, FAIA EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lynn Adams Smith CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jorge Naranjo ART EDITOR Jeffrey Edward Tryon GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Matthew DiFalco Johanna Wirtz CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Stuart Mitchner Linda Arntzenius Ellen Gilbert Anne Levin Ilene Dube Nancy Plum Gina Hookey Jordan Hillier ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Robin Broomer

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elcome to the first issue of Princeton Magazine in 2013 and the first to appear in a Consolidated Princeton. Best wishes to Mayor Liz Lempert and the Princeton Council as they work toward building a unified Princeton and lead our town to exciting new challenges and opportunities. Our cover story on the new director of the Institute for Advanced Study, Robbert Dijkgraff and novelist Pia de Jong reminds me of how Princeton continues to attract accomplished people from all over the world. It’s a pleasure to see images of this family of five occupying historic Olden Farm, the official residence for the director, from which they can enjoy the expansive views and walks on the nearby trails of the Institute Woods. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and war correspondent Chris Hedges and his wife, actress Eunice Wong have high-profile careers that take them into New York, but they too have decided to raise their young family in Princeton, due in part, no doubt, to the quality and variety of schools available here. Which brings me to our story about the amazing art galleries housed in many local schools and the regional artists that they showcase, along with their students and faculty. Two other stories in this issue have common threads connecting mathematics, technology, and music. Our Vintage Princeton article celebrates the life of Milton Babbitt, the Princeton composer who was trained as a mathematician and worked with RCA in the 1950s to develop the programmable Mark II Synthesizer. You can also read about the Princeton Laptop Orchestra that, today, is bringing high tech music to an entirely new level, both on the ground and “in the cloud.” Now, let me tell you about some exciting new things happening here at Witherspoon Media Group. We have successfully launched our inaugural issue of Urban Agenda, New York City, a magazine that brings the arts, entertainment, food, and fashion to our readers who enjoy spending free time in Manhattan. We are publishing Urban Agenda six times a year and the next issue will be available in February. For additional information visit As we begin our fifth year of publishing Princeton Magazine, we continue to receive positive feedback from our readers. So many of you have told us how much you enjoy reading the stories and learning about the town through its people. We are committed to enhancing the quality of the magazine with high standards of writing and photography, but doing so without subscription fees becomes more challenging with every issue. To live up to your expectations and our own quest for excellence, we are transitioning to a subscription based distribution. We are offering our loyal readers a modest subscription rate of $10 for one year or $15 for two. You can purchase a subscription to Princeton Magazine or Urban Agenda by emailing, calling 609.924.5400 ext. 30 or visiting either magazine’s websites. Many thanks to our readers and advertisers for their continued support.

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The image below, a detail from Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Good Government in the City (1338-1840) is reproduced on the inside front cover in fit.

MAKING IT FIT by Stuart Mitchner


our books have landed on my desk recently, all four coincidentally associated with this issue’s cover feature on Robbert Dijkgraaf, the new director of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). The smallest and most pertinent of the arrivals is a densely packed, vest-pocket-sized 124-page paperback volume whose intention is “to fundamentally change how architects and the public think about the task of design” by demonstrating how “buildings, landscapes, and cities should be designed to fit: fit the purpose, fit the place, fit future possibilities.” The title, not surprisingly, is fit: an architect’s manifesto (Princeton Univ. Press $19.95) and the author is Dean Emeritus of Princeton University’s School of Architecture Robert Geddes, who designed the Institute’s dining hall, West Building, and Birch Garden quad (1968-1971). The next book, Marina von Neumann Whitman’s memoir, The Martian’s Daughter (Univ. of Michigan Press $30), contains an intimate view of John von Neumann, one of the Institute’s shining lights, along with an account of the author’s teenage years in Princeton when dinner guests at the Westcott Road house included the likes of Edward Teller, Eugene Wigner, and Arthur Koestler. Although the third book, War on the Waters: The Union & Confederate Navies, 1861-1865 (Univ. of North Carolina Press) is a long way from the subject and theme under




discussion, the author, Princeton University historian James M. McPherson played a key role in formulating and brokering the compromise that helped convince the Planning Board to approve the Institute’s embattled plan for construction of housing on land adjacent to the Princeton Battlefield. An image from the battle itself — General Hugh Mercer being fatally bayoneted by British soldiers — illustrates the cover of the fourth book on my desk, Maxine N. Lurie and Richard Veit’s New Jersey: A History of the Garden State (Rutgers Univ. Press $27.95), a collection of “new perspectives” on the state’s history. Visible in the background of the cover image is the Thomas Clark House, the bare trees behind it intimating the presence of the present-day Institute Woods.

THE BATTLE OF THE BATTLEFIELD It’s hard to imagine a more formidable challenge to the architectural aesthetic of “making it fit” than the property where the Institute wants to build faculty housing. The Battlefield Society considers the IAS-owned land to be part of the same historic landscape as the self-contained Battlefield Park and consequently off-limits to the building of

structures other than monuments like the Portico donated by the Institute that marks the grave of British and American soldiers killed in the battle. Assuming the IAS withstands the Battlefield Society’s continuing opposition to the Planning Board-approved project, the eventual architect faces a daunting challenge. Even in a less volatile environment, careful attention would necessarily be paid to the standard issues of design and sustainability. In this case, the Institute’s opponents will undoubtedly be lobbying for standards according to their sense of the historical significance of the location.

TRANSPARENCY Geddes talks about “transparency as even more a social requirement than a visual one” in the context of his design for the IAS, “admittedly not a populist institution.” The then-director Carl Kaysen asked architects of the new dining hall to include “social transparency” as a “planning requirement.” Geddes describes how the design “responded” with “walkways, balconies, and stairways (enabling its members to see others coming and going),” even including “the arrangement of tables in the dining hall.” Admirers of the Birch Garden quad will understand the effectiveness of “the interpenetration of inside halls and outside gardens.” In his 1966-76 Director’s Report, Kaysen said the dining hall had contributed to “enlarging and humanizing” the “non-academic life” of the IAS. Marina von Neumann Whitman offers a teenager’s view of Institute society before the changes described by Geddes: “Occasionally my father would take me to

the ritual four o’clock tea in the Institute’s vast and elegant common room, where the resident geniuses would gather daily for cookies and conversation.” Even taking into account her impressionable age, Marina’s image of a “vast and elegant common room” of “resident geniuses” suggests a certain grandiose insularity that was apparently addressed in the “social transparency” of the design described by Geddes and the need to “increase awareness of the overall makeup of the Institute and to encoursage casual interaction among its members.” There are glimpses of the mixture of science and society in von Neumann Whitman’s account of the cocktail party celebrating the completion of her father’s six years of work designing and building ENIAC, the first computer to use a stored program. The centerpiece of the party was “an ice-carved model of the computer” which von Neumann “dubbed the MANIAC” but which “later was given a less playful designation as the IAS machine.” The building where the big machine was stored is now “shared by a fitness facility and a pre-school for the offspring of visiting members of the Institute” — who also happen to be among those on the faculty the IAS hopes to accomodate in the disputed housing development.

Under the compromise worked out by McPherson, the Institute would set up a screen of trees on the immediate west side of the housing and allow public access to the land between the development and the park under a conservation easement that would preserve 14 acres in perpetuity. The plan also advocates that the Institute put up a walking path with interpretive signage, in effect adding those 14 acres to the Battlefield Park. One of the people speaking out on the Institute’s behalf, in a letter to Town Topics, was none other than Robert Geddes, who pointed out how the housing plan would maintain the Institute’s “walkable community” and “provide landscape screening along its border with the Battlefield Park...Altogether, the Institute’s proposal commemorates our historic past, and sustains our living community.” DiStiNctive SelectioNS of In other words, a good, if not a perfect, fit.


Design Redefining

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LIVING IN TWO WORLDS The multidimensional life of Robbert Dijkgraaf and Pia de Jong by Linda Arntzenius • photography by Tom Grimes

Mathematical physicist Robbert Dijkgraaf and novelist Pia de Jong are celebrities in their native Holland where word of Dijkgraaf’s appointment as ninth director of the Institute for Advanced Study made the evening news on Dutch television. Dijkgraaf is one of those rare scientists able to explain the most recondite aspects of quantum and string theory to a lay audience. De Jong is a popular newspaper columnist and a leading voice in Dutch-language fiction. Together with their three children, the couple took up residence in Princeton’s historic Olden Farm last summer. It hasn’t taken them long to settle in. In this day and age, it’s difficult to move in an absolute sense,” laughs Dijkgraaf, likening the experience to a quantum mechanical particle in two places at the same time. Here and there: Princeton and Amsterdam. Modern communication and travel made the decision to come to Princeton an easy one, says de Jong: “It’s not a case of giving anything up, living in two worlds is an enrichment for the whole family.” Dijkgraaf’s appointment to the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) prompted an avalanche of jubilation from scientists and non-scientists alike. Vartan Gregorian, head of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and an Institute trustee, praised his “rigorous intellect.” Edward Witten commended his “outstanding contributions to our understanding of quantum fields and strings and their relations to problems of gauge theory, geometry and quantum black holes.” Social scientist Joan Wallach Scott and Princeton University President Emeritus Harold Shapiro lauded his appointment. Dijkgraaf is no stranger to Princeton or the Institute. He was a researcher at Princeton University from 1989 to 1991 and then a member in the Institute’s School of Natural Sciences. Describing the latter as “a magical, transformative place” that played a crucial role in his professional life, Dijkgraaf remembers the easy contact he had with Edward Witten, already the towering figure in string theory. “We had a very casual conversation and then I went back to the Netherlands and had a thought about it. I emailed him with my idea. He wrote that he liked my idea, to which he’d given further thought, and that if I considered his contribution worthwhile, we should FEBRUARY 2013 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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write a paper together.” Dijkgraaf jumped at the opportunity. He finished the paper, came to Princeton and then learned what he calls a very valuable lesson. Witten pointed out a troubling minus sign in Dijkgraaf’s calculations. “From that minus sign I learned that there is no issue so small that a great mind is not bothered by it and also that if something sticks out, as this did, it’s not to be ignored but to be focused on.” The minus sign that Dijkgraaf, eager to finish the paper, regarded as a nuisance, turned out to be “a door that led to a very positive outcome.” He and Witten spent a week working on it; attention to every detail is something that Dijkgraaf believes is quintessential to the Institute. “The beginning of a research project is often very modest, like trying to find the beginning of a roll of scotch-tape. You need peace and quiet to think and an atmosphere conducive to that kind of thinking. That’s what the Institute supplies.” Similes and metaphors pepper

Dijkgraaf’s conversation. Expressing different aspects of the Institute, one moment he likens it to “the eye of a hurricane; a quiet place at the center of great activity,” and the next to “a symphony orchestra with very many instruments. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses and you shouldn’t force everyone to play the violin.” For those of us who gave up trying to understand physics after Newton, Dijkgraaf holds out hope. “Pictures help our imagination and understanding and if you want to explain a difficult issue it’s important that you use a visual or literal metaphor,” he says, acknowledging, however, that “a metaphor can go some but not all of the way, ultimately you must resort to mathematical formulae.” Dutch television viewers have grown to love Dijkgraaf’s ebullient personality as when he elucidated the Big Bang in a 45-minute program in the series De Wereld Draait Door (The World Keeps

Turning). Invited back to explain (the notoriously difficult to picture) quantum mechanics, he resorted to sleight of hand. “I decided that the way to explain quantum mechanics was to explain things that cannot happen in real life: magic.” He demonstrated quantum entanglement by “magically” changing the colors of distant balls simultaneously and quantum tunneling by “magically” getting a coin to go across a solid sheet of glass. Quite an undertaking given that the show was live, had an audience of over a million viewers, and Dijkgraaf had only a few hours to practice his magic tricks. Clearly, he’s a hard act to follow. Dijkgraaf has been held up as an example for other scientists because of his efforts to communicate science to a general audience and for the time he’s put in to cultivating the next generation of scientists, including the very young through a children’s website he conceived and launched ( and several popular children’s books.

Dijkgraaf and De Jong at home in Olden Farm with (from left) Matthijs (14), Jurriaan (16), and Charlotte (12).




Magic Tricks and Juggling Commitments

On coming to Princeton, Dijkgraaf relinquished his prestigious position as president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, a position he held since 2008 and was well suited for with both subjects in his background. Founded in 1808 as an advisory body to the Dutch government, the Academy not only promotes science and scholarship, it encourages scientists and scholars to contribute to cultural, social and economic progress. As its leader, Dijkgraaf brought scholars from a wide variety of disciplines together on important scientific and public policy issues such as climate change. At the Institute, Dijkgraaf will continue in the distinguished professorship he’s held at the University of Amsterdam since 2005, write a monthly column in Holland, and pursue his own research. Given the size and non-hierarchical nature of the Institute, he feels confident of being able to switch between leadership and research modes, especially when, as he points out, the top seminars are taking place in the building next door. Born in Ridderkerk in 1960, Dijkgraaf grew up an only child in a suburb of Rotterdam. His father, who worked in the port there, was fascinated by history. His mother had a talent for art. Although there was no great aptitude for mathematics or physics on either side of the family, Dijkgraaf was encouraged to pursue his imagination wherever it led. He describes himself as a hyperactive child given free rein in a secure environment. With friends after school, he created his own laboratory and library. “We even made cartoon movies with a movie camera and designed a whole cartoon studio when we were 12 years old,” he recalls. Physics came later, at about 15 or 16. As Dijkgraaf tells it, he was searching for a topic for a presentation in his high school English class when he bought an issue of Scientific American. So fascinated was he by its contents, he sought out issues going back to the 1950s. It was a moment that, according to Dijkgraaf, “opened up the world.” Not only that, it augured his future career. As it happened, the issue of Scientific American that Dijkgraaf bought had a “picture” of quarks on the cover. Besides being fascinated by the content of the articles, Dijkgraaf was struck by the fact that most were written by groups of authors, often from various countries. “The thought of people from China, India and the United States, working together was another of those moments in life

when a whole new vista becomes visible,” he says. “Science is much more collaborative that the rest of the academic world and this social aspect is very important to me. Even if you are not working directly with others, you are part of a chain of knowledge connected to what has been done previously and passing your contribution on. The artist is much more on his own than the scientist. Perhaps this is what makes physics such a joy for me.” Hooked on physics, Dijkgraaf borrowed books on relativity and quantum theory. He created his own notes with elaborate drawings of electron clouds. His enthusiasm was dampened as a freshman

at university, however, when he was told that before he could study relativity theory and quantum mechanics he must first study classical mechanics. By the time he earned his bachelor’s in 1982, Dijkgraaf was more interested in drawing and painting than in science. “He did astonishing work,” says (then girlfriend) de Jong, who encouraged him to apply to the prestigious Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. And then a strange thing happened. “The moment I was in art school, I felt liberated to read and enjoy physics again,” he recalls. “It was like having put out a fire and finding it start up again.” In art FEBRUARY 2013 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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school, says Dijkgraaf, it was more important to produce one’s own work than to cram for exams. When he returned to science, he had a new attitude: “I wasn’t thinking about getting good grades I was thinking about enjoying myself and adding to the subject.”

Creativity and the Blank Page

“Art and physics merge into one in my mind,” says Dijkgraaf. “Like scientific research which is open ended, an artist approaches a blank canvas as something inviting, an open space to explore.” He went back to the University of Utrecht for a master’s degree (1986) and then a doctorate (1989) in mathematical physics and credits his supervisor Gerard ’t Hooft, the 1999 Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics, for allowing his students to follow their interests. Dijkgraaf’s philosophy in scientific outreach, policy, academic leadership or research, emulates this exploratory open-ended attitude to process. “I often feel that in the academic world if we only take a small percentage of the creativity that we have in our research and we spend it on the way we reach out to other people or lead our institutions that would be very refreshing,” he says.

Vision for the Institute

The challenge for the Institute in the long-term, says Dijkgraaf, is not to expand but to maintain the “human scale” that makes it possible for the entire Institute community to lunch together, something he appreciates, coming as he

does, from the University of Amsterdam with some 75,000 students. “The trend is always to grow and grow, but the Institute is an exception to this rule, as to so many others. If it were to grow it would break apart and the parts would be less than the total. The challenge is to adapt to the modern world. The Institute is a place of theoretical research and deep ideas.” “This place is radical, it stands for intellectual freedom, nobody tells anybody here what he or she should work on,” says Dijkgraaf, adding that such freedom “can be frightening because if you can do anything you want you have to be very thoughtful in picking your research. Cutting-edge researchers here are always confronted with a blank page and to adopt an attitude of exploration one needs a safe environment in which mistakes are allowed.” Small in comparison to its impact, the Institute stands for certain qualities that Dijkgraaf would like to see more of in the academic world at large. Qualities that he sees as being under threat: “All over the world there is a virus of certain management structures of evaluations and more accountability, often with the best intentions, but which can stifle research. I feel that the Institute provides a counterbalance to these growing rules and regulations and desire for immediate short-term outcomes. To have a place that recognizes these as threatening to creativity and to academic liberty is very special. In that sense, the Institute is unique. It has been lucky from the beginning with its founders and first faculty.”

The 2012 Holiday Card featured original artwork by the Institute for Advanced Study’s new director Robbert Dijkgraaf.

Among its first faculty is, of course, Princeton’s most famous resident, Albert Einstein, whose personal modesty and openness to the work of others, says Dijkgraaf, played an important role in defining the Institute. “The Institute has a grand history but it doesn’t weigh you down,” he says. “Einstein played an important role in creating an atmosphere that is open to the work of new generations. He had an enormous impact on the world but instead of creating a group of disciples, which he could easily have done, he was open to new ideas, even those with which he disagreed; even encouraging Oppenheimer when he created a place for young physicists here.” Oppenheimer famously told Institute members that they had “no excuses” when it came to work. As far as Dijkgraaf is

“Science is much more collaborative that the rest of the academic world and this social aspect is very important to me.” concerned the remonstrance is equally valid for the Institute itself, which he expects should take a leading role with respect to the many challenges confronting the world of higher learning today, such as collaboration across disciplines and across national boundaries. “From the beginning, the founders set it out as a place for research without any regard to race, creed, or gender (no trivial thing back then),” says Dijkgraaf, “and it has one great asset, its financial and intellectual independence.” Like the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland (Dijkgraaf’s image), the Institute must keep moving forward in order to maintain its fundamental and timeless values. “We want to continue that tradition and bring those values to the way research is done now, which is different from 80 years ago.”

Olden Farm

Just in from school, the Dijkgraaf children—Charlotte (12), Matthijs (14) and Jurriaan (16) switch easily from Dutch to English as the family has fun with Princeton Magazine photographer Tom Grimes, sent to capture them en famille at Olden Farm, the historic




Princeton home that is the traditional residence of Institute directors. Dijkgraaf cuts tomatoes for a simple meal. Pia playfully demonstrates the juggling that is symbolic of their busy lives. The home is a beguiling mélange of antique pieces (some that belonged to Einstein including his Bechstein piano next to Dijkgraaf’s spinet) and modern artworks produced by Dijkgraaf. Its rural setting is a far cry from Amsterdam where they lived in one of the city’s most famous houses, a tall narrow 17th century edifice on a canal, where the children were born and where de Jong began her writing career, precipitated by an experience that bonded this close-knit family. For over a decade, de Jong has fielded requests to write the story of the time when her youngest child Charlotte (now a lively pre-teen attending John Witherspoon Middle School) was born with myeloid leukemia. Now she thinks might be the right moment for a novel based on the experience. “When our daughter was born, the oncologist told us to prepare ourselves. ‘This baby is going to die,’ he told us. Robbert asked him how he could be so sure and the oncologist told us that of all the infants with this condition all had died except one. Robbert asked about the one child who had not died. It turned out that this child was in the United States with very young parents who had no health insurance. He had no medical treatment and yet survived. Robbert said: ‘we are not going to do anything.’ I started to pack my bags and the oncologist said ‘what are you doing?’ Charlotte was just two weeks old. We had

to sign a lot of papers but we took her home. I quit my job and Robbert took care of us.” De Jong envisions that her book will be center on the power of intuition. “I was totally sure that we were doing the right thing. I never had any doubt. I felt intuitively that I knew what was needed. I held her close to my body, I fed her when she wanted to be fed and I kept her with me all of the time.” A story of survival, it’s also one of setting boundaries. De Jong turned their Amsterdam home into a fortress of sorts, protecting her young sons and newborn like a lioness against the negative energy of any who would question their actions, but open to all who brought love and support and positive energy. Speaking of the experience for this interview, de Jong reflects on what was a very difficult time for the young family, especially as they did not know what the outcome would be. “We expected she might die and tried to prepare for that but after about half of year of waiting and watching, we began to see a change. She became livelier and started growing. When she was a year old, she was recovered. Charlotte’s case has been shared in the medical literature and is now an inspiration for new treatment protocols.” Although de Jong had written poetry as a child and had even told her parents that she was going to be a writer one day, it was only after Charlotte’s recovery that she started writing seriously. “The experience totally changed me. It was a big thing for all of us. Now as long as we are a family together we can go through

anything. This little girl transformed us.” Since then, de Jong has built a career as a novelist and weekly columnist for the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. Her critically acclaimed 2008 debut novel, Lange Dagen (Long Days), received the Golden Owl Literature Readers Prize and her second novel, Dieptevrees (Depth Fear), published in 2010, was praised for its strong, elegant prose. Besides her novels, which have yet to be translated into English and which she describes as being “on the dark side,” she’s written short stories and two children’s books. Like her husband, de Jong had no concerns about the value of the move for her children. When they first visited Olden Farm, even though their parents had warned that it was just a scouting visit and that there was only a slight chance that they would move, the children immediately ran upstairs and began choosing their bedrooms. “Our kids are amazing,” says de Jong. “People told me that they would adjust by Christmas but they settled in immediately.” Dijkgraaf nods: “On the second day of their being here, Jurriaan, on his own initiative found out about soccer at the high school and the next day I had two boys wearing Princeton High School jerseys proudly defending the Princeton colors. That’s how quickly they settled in.” Linda Arntzenius was formerly Publications Officer at the Institute for Advanced Study and is consultant on an oral history project there. Her pictorial history, Images of America: Institute for Advanced Study was published by Arcadia Press in 2011.


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THE ROMANCE OF THE PINES by Linda Arntzenius

f mention of the New Jersey Pine Barrens immediately conjures up thoughts of a bleak landscape haunted by some horned and winged monstrosity known as the “Jersey Devil,” a new exhibition opening this month at Morven will cause you to think again. The Pine Barrens: A Legacy of Preservation features 32 stunning photographs of this beautiful and unique landscape by Princeton native Richard Speedy. It also tells the story of the region’s preservation through an unprecedented use of the executive order by New Jersey Governor Brendan T. Byrne. The New Jersey Pinelands that encompass the Pine Barrens cover over a million acres of Southern New Jersey, a land of pine and oak forests, streams and rivers, farms and hamlets, above an underground reservoir of pure sandfiltered water. If the Cohansey Aquifer’s over 17 trillion gallons were above ground, the entire State of New Jersey would be one giant lake about ten feet deep. The reservoir supports the state’s blueberry and cranberry industries and provides drinking water for hundreds of thousands. And yet, for many New Jerseyans, the region remains an undiscovered delight where, as Speedy attests, “within an hour or so of Princeton, you can be floating down a stream on a twoand-a-half-day journey in which you will not see another human being.” Speedy, who grew up on the banks of Princeton’s Lake Carnegie, began photographing the Pine Barrens in the early nineteen seventies:




“For many years I thought the Pine Barrens were a sandy no-man’s land until a family friend, Tom Maloney, suggested a spur of the moment trip,” he recalls. “I had just come back from film school in Santa Barbara and was working in New York City; we threw a couple of sleeping bags into the back of Tom’s four by four and off we went. I thought ‘holy cow, this place is amazing.’ But, of course, I got busy building my photography career.” After becoming a noted landscape and lifestyle photographer, producing awardwinning images for ad campaigns and catalogs for commercial clients like Sony, Johnson & Johnson, Bennetton, and Lenox, Speedy turned to projects of more personal interest such as the Pine Barrens, compelled to make others aware of “this amazing resource of water and beauty.” While some of the photographs on show, all of which were printed by Speedy in his Hopewell studio, come from those early explorations, most were taken on trips made in the last four years when Speedy would again throw a sleeping bag into a four by four and venture into the interior of the Pine Barrens. After scouting locations and camping out for the night, he’d rise to catch first light. “There’s something pristine about early morning, my favorite time for photography.” Pressed to choose a favorite season, Speedy

plumps for fall, when the temperature and the colors are changing and the Pine Barrens becomes a poetic canvas “of mists and mellow fruitfulness.” Looking at Speedy’s images it’s hard to imagine that back in the 1960s and 1970s this ancient and unsullied land was threatened by suburban sprawl. In 1967, Princeton author John McPhee, who would become one of the nation’s most prominent nonfiction writers, published his fourth book, The Pine Barrens. This year marks the 45th anniversary of McPhee’s study of the region’s unique ecology and history. Threatened by proposals for a combined jetport, industrial park and new city of a quarter million people, the Pine Barrens, McPhee concluded, seemed “headed slowly toward extinction.” It would be hard to overestimate the impact of McPhee’s book. Speedy read it as did State Governor Brendan Thomas Byrne. Born in 1924 and raised in West Orange, Byrne was so moved that he undertook to save this land from development. On February 8, 1979, his Executive Order 71

established the Pinelands Planning Commission, a successor body to a review committee he’d already created. In his second term as governor, he passed the Pinelands Protection Act authorizing a comprehensive plan for the 1.1 million acre Pinelands National Reserve. The Brendan T. Byrne State Forest (formerly Lebanon State Forest) is named for the 47th Governor of New Jersey (1974-1982) who was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2011. Citing McPhee, Governor Byrne has said: “If there’s one person without whom there wouldn’t be a Pinelands Act it would have to be John McPhee. I got to know John because his brother was in my class in both college [Princeton University] and law school [Harvard]. … When I got to be governor, John and I were part of a tennis group that played on the next court from Scott McVay’s court in Princeton. When we finished playing tennis, we would discuss whatever topics seemed appropriate...Certainly, if I had not read The Pine Barrens, I would not have had the kind of interest in the Pinelands that I developed...” To present Byrne’s achievement in this short space does little justice to a long and complex process. Byrne faced serious opposition not only from powerful outside interests but often from members of his own staff. Morven’s exhibition

honors his leadership, sustained today by groups like the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and Pinelands Preservation Alliance. Byrne described the preservation of the Pinelands (about 20 percent of the land mass of the State of New Jersey) as his greatest achievement: “The Pinelands was on nobody’s particular political agenda; it was on no political party’s agenda,” he said in 1987 at a discussion of The Pinelands Protection Act at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics. Speedy recalls meeting Governor Byrne at Morven, then the governor’s residence, at a reception for New Jersey artists. “There were about 150 people there and Byrne spoke to each and every one of them. We connected over the Pine Barrens. There were some pretty scary plans in the works and what he did benefitted everyone.” The Morven exhibition relates an encouraging story of preservation as Speedy’s lens reveals a watery landscape in turns mist-filled,

eerie and still; burgeoning with plant life in a palette of greens, blues, and purples; glittering in sunlight; and dreamily romantic. “Richard’s images capture many aspects of this ecosystem,” comments Morven Curator of Collections and Exhibitions Elizabeth G. Allan. “The diversity of this land is breathtaking.” The Pine Barrens: A Legacy of Preservation opens January 25 and continues through April 14 with a public reception on January 24 from 5:30PM to 7:30PM at Morven Museum and Garden, 55 Stockton Street, Princeton. Admission: $6, adults; $5, seniors and students; free for Friends of Morven. The Pine Barrens by John McPhee will be available for purchase. For more information and hours, call 609.924.8144 or visit: For more on Richard Speedy, visit: Photographs by Richard Speedy from the exhibition The Pine Barrens: A Legacy of Preservation.

february 2013 PrINCeTON MaGaZINe

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Teaching 9/11 The New Jersey State Museum’s 9/11 Collaborative Learning Program Helps Both Students and Teachers Better Understand History There are many challenges for educators when it comes to teaching students about the terrorist attacks that changed the country forever, including the fact that the anniversary arrives every year so soon after school starts. Now teachers have a comprehensive tool to help them teach 9/11 throughout the year with both a video and curriculum packet developed by the New Jersey State Museum and professional educators to meet common core and NJ State educational standards. The pilot for the 9/11 Collaborative Learning Program was unveiled this past September at Keyport High School and was attended by Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Anthony Gardner, Executive Director of the NJ State Museum. Students there were able to learn about that fateful day through first-person testimonials from 9/11 family members and Ground Zero volunteers presented in the Museum’s Remember 9/11: Reflections and Memories from New Jersey- the first comprehensive exhibition to tell the story of the terrorist attacks from the New Jersey perspective on view through July 2013. “We are now teaching some students who have no personal memories of the 9/11 attacks” explains Gardner, who championed the program and who lost a brother in the World Trade Center collapse. “That’s why it’s important to have educational programs like this one to make sure the next generation understands what happened and never forgets the lives that were lost, the sacrifices people made and the spirit of service that lives on.” He goes on to point out that nearly 700 New Jerseyans - the second highest casualty toll after New York - perished at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Andrew Lois, one of the Keyport High School educators who taught the lesson, said he felt students gained a very human understanding of the events of the day and the aftermath of the attacks. “As years progress, students’ memories of this event seems to get increasingly hazy,” according to Lois. “Through this program, they learned about how people reacted, but also how people, particularly those from New Jersey, rushed to help and to contribute in any way they could. In light of the recent tragedy by natural disaster on the Jersey shore, that lesson of service is proven valuable.”

The New Jersey State Museum’s 9/11 Collaborative Learning Program features powerful artifacts and information from the Museum’s current To learn more about the 9/11 Collaborative Learning Program interactive exhibit, Remember 9/11: Reflections and Memories from New Jersey that are both thought provoking and heartbreaking, and exhibit, as well as other State Museum and Planetarium including twisted World Trade Center impact steel and clothing worn offerings, please visit by first responders.


Have an Out of This World Birthday Party at the Planetarium!



Go on an adventure with Big Bird and Elmo as they soar through the stars to learn about the Earth and the Moon in the show One World, One Sky. Discover what it takes to voyage into space as actor Ewan McGregor narrates the show Astronaut. Experience these and other spectacular full-dome sky presentations viewed in reclining seats and 7.1 Surround Sound! For a complete list of shows, descriptions and downloadable coupon visit: NEW JERSEY STATE MUSEUM


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M U S I C | B O O K S | T H E AT R E | L E C T U R E S | S P O R T S

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7 8PM Musicians Angelika Kirchschlager,

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3 10AM YWCA Flea Market benefiting the Princeton YWCA; 59 Paul Robeson Place, Princeton.

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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4 7PM Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lecture featuring Dr. Anthony B. Pinn, Director of Graduate Studies at Rice University; Princeton Theological Seminary.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1 7:30PM 10,000 Maniacs headlined by Natalie Merchant perform at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ.

8PM From the Eastman School of Music, the JACK Quartet puts a modern spin on the classical string quartet; Wolfensohn Hall, Institute for Advanced Study (also, on Saturday, February 2).

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2 10:30AM Celebrate Groundhog Day at the Watershed Reserve in Pennington by visiting several groundhog burrows with a Naturalist and playing a game about hibernation.




Ian Bostridge, and Julius Drake perform selections from Hugo Wolf’s Spanisches Liederbuch; Princeton University, 87 Prospect Avenue.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8 7PM Princeton University women’s ice hockey vs. Colgate University; Hobey Baker Rink, Princeton.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9 10AM Create homemade Valentine’s Day cards at this Valentine’s Day Workshop; The Arts Council of Princeton.

7-8:30PM The College of New Jersey’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences presents a lecture on “Gender Debates in the Muslim World.” The lecture will be led by Columbia University Professor of Anthropology Lila Abu-Lughod.

6:30-9:30PM Boheme Opera performs Don Pasquale at The College of New Jersey’s Center for the Arts.


8PM The Garland Magic Broadway Pops,

7-9PM Scholar-led book discussion on

Richardson Auditorium.

the Pulitzer Prize Winning novel, Slavery by Another Name by Douglas Blackmon; Princeton Public Library.


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6 7:30PM Rufus Wainwright performs at McCarter Theatre Center.

8PM Princeton University Jazz Faculty recital, Composing in the Moment; Princeton University, 87 Prospect Avenue.

3PM The NJSO provides orchestral accompaniment to a big screen showing of Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains; State Theatre of NJ, New Brunswick.

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TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12 7-9PM Narrative historian and awardwinning novelist Daniel Stashower discusses his book The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War; Princeton Public Library.

7:30PM Two dozen of the very best string players in the country take to the stage when East Coast Chamber Orchestra & You perform Mozart and Bartók; Richardson Auditorium.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13 NOON to 1PM Renowned local architect Michael Graves discusses his work as part of the Spotlight on the Humanities Architecture Series; Princeton Public Library.

7:30PM Pianist William Hobbs presents “The Art of the Etude” including Lowell Liebermann’s Four Etudes on Brahms Songs, Op. 88 (a New Jersey premiere); Franz Liszt’s Trois Etudes de Concert; and Sergei Rachmanioff’s Nine Etudes-Tableaux, Op. 29; Bristol Chapel on the campus of Westminster Choir College, Princeton.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14 7:30PM A powerful blend of traditional and modern Celtic music and dance comes together in Lord of the Dance; McCarter Theatre Center.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15 4:30PM The Fund for Irish Studies Lecture Series hosts John Kelly as he discusses, “The Lessons of the Irish Famine”; Princeton University, 185 Nassau Street.

7-9PM Free screening of the Wes Anderson film, Moonrise Kingdom, starring Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, and Bill Murray; Princeton Public Library.

8PM A concert of cosmopolitan world music performed by the international group, Pink Martini; Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16 8PM Sideband, Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk) performs at the West Windsor Arts Center, Princeton Junction.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21 8PM Chamber Orchestra, English Concert, performs its acclaimed Handel interpretations, among others; Richardson Auditorium.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22 7PM Princeton University men’s hockey vs. Brown University; Hobey Baker Rink, Princeton.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28 1-6PM The Mercer County Economic

8PM BAMA Theatre Company (alumni from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival) perform Twelfth Night; State Theatre of NJ, New Brunswick.

FRIDAY, MARCH 1 7PM New Jersey Devils vs. the New York Islanders; Prudential Center, Newark, NJ.

SATURDAY, MARCH 2 11AM-9:30PM The 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (through Sunday, March 10).

7:30PM Princeton University Concert Jazz

Summit will be held at the Conference Center at Mercer County Community College.

Ensemble performs alongside the Julliard Jazz Orchestra; Princeton University, 87 Prospect Avenue.

7PM The Women in Church and Ministry lecture, “Justice Notes,” presented by Dr. Emilie M. Townes, Professor of African American Religion and Theology at Yale University Divinity School; Princeton Theological Seminary.


7-9PM Princeton Symphony Soundtracks


presents Mahler’s Song of the Earth directed by Rossen Milanov. Milanov will also discuss the inspiration behind The Song of the Earth.

5PM David Joselit, Carnegie Professor of Art History at Yale University lectures on “How to Occupy an Image”; Institute for Advanced Study.

5 -8PM Princeton ArtWalk in downtown Princeton. This ArtWalk highlights all of the great visual arts resources available in Princeton. FEBRUARY 2013 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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CHRIS HEDGES The News is Not Good By Ellen Gilbert

Photography by Benoit Cortet

“The presidential election exposed the liberal class as a corpse. It fights for nothing. It stands for nothing. It is a useless appendage to the corporate state. It exists not to make possible incremental or piecemeal reform, as it originally did in a functional capitalist democracy; instead it has devolved into an instrument of personal vanity, burnishing the hollow morality of its adherents.” —Chris Hedges





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hris Hedges doesn’t mince words. The 56-year old American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and war correspondent has (obviously) some very strongly-held ideas about the world, and he makes them known in his books, online postings, printed articles, lectures, and appearances as a talking head on TV programs. His outlook is bleak: we are going to hell in a handbasket and things are only getting worse. While many Americans heaved a sigh of relief at President Obama’s reelection, there was nothing to rejoice about as far as Hedges was concerned. Describing himself as stepping “outside of the system,” he voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. The argument that Obama had been a disappointment during his first term but was better than the alternative held no water for Hedges. “Voting for the ‘lesser evil’—or failing to vote at all—is part of the corporate agenda to crush what is left of our anemic democracy,” he observed in the days following the election. “And those who continue to participate in the vaudeville of a two-party process, who refuse to confront in every way possible the structures of corporate power, assure our mutual destruction.”

Hedges’s steely perspective is in stark contrast to the loving joyfulness evident when he talks about his family: his wife, the actress Eunice Wong, and their two young children; and two older children from a previous marriage. Wong closely collaborates with Hedges in his work (“she wrote the first five pages of my last book”), and a Latin dedication to her in Empire of Illusion, speaks to their intimacy. Translated, it says, “This sun once set will rise again: when our sun sets night follows and endless sleep. Kiss me now a thousand times.” Hedges reports that his determination to make the world a better place to live has largely to do with his children. His father, Rev. Thomas Hedges, had a lot to do with it, too. Christopher Lynn Hedges was born on September 18, 1956 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. He went to Colgate University, Harvard Divinity School, and the Starr King School for the Ministry at Harvard. He attended a private boarding school before college, but is quick to point out that he was there on a full scholarship. Hedges describes both of his parents as “activists,” role models whose influence was clearly not lost on him. His parents’ social consciousness, his father’s ministry, and Hedges’s own religious training, made for a powerful combination. When the older Hedges learned that there was no association for gay students at Colgate, he prevailed on his son to found one—Chris’s heterosexuality

Four of the twelve books Hedges has authored or coauthored. In addition to writing a weekly column for Truthdig, he has also written for Harper’s Magazine, The New Statesman, The New York Review of Books, Adbusters, Granta, Foreign Affairs, and other publications.




notwithstanding. While the younger Hedges was baffled by some of his father’s traditions, he says that he now understands what he was up to. Asked why he routinely spent the day after someone died with their grieving family, the elder Hedges said, “I make the coffee.” A no less significant influence has been Hedges’s almost 20 years as a war correspondent, reporting on some of the most hellish conflicts in recent history. “During the five years I spent as a war correspondent in El Salvador and Nicaragua, I stood in too many mud-walled villages looking at the mutilated bodies of men, women and children, murdered by U.S.-backed soldiers, death squads and paramilitary units,” he writes. “I heard too many lies spewed out by Ronald Reagan and the State Department to justify these killings.” Having seen “the worst that man is capable of,” he is both sorrowful and angry. Despite this (or, perhaps, because of it), he says that he remains at heart a journalist; “reporting keeps you honest.” Feeling stifled, he left his post at the New York Times, where his reporting earned him and his colleagues a Pulitzer Prize. That was almost a decade ago. These days, he has little love for the paper which, he says, lost its “intellectual depth” under Bill Keller’s stint as Executive Editor. Literary allusions abound in Hedges’s conversations and writing. “Writers like Proust and Shakespeare not only ask questions, but portray nuances and the incongruities of life in a way researchers can’t,” he observes. In addition to Proust, his particular favorites include James Baldwin and Herman Melville. “No American masterpiece casts quite as awesome a shadow as...Moby Dick,” he has written. “Mad Captain Ahab’s quest for the White Whale is a timeless epic—a stirring tragedy of vengeance and obsession, a searing parable about humanity lost in a universe of moral ambiguity.” In Empire of Illusion, Hedges talks about the “tragedy of post-literary

"My children are my greatest joy, says Hedges, shown here romping with his four-and-a-half-year-old son, Konrad. "After years in which I have witnessed too much violent death and suffering, they are the balms to my soul." Hedges also has two older children from a previous marriage.


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society” that has “lost the capacity to explore and explain human existence.” Dickens, the Iliad, and Winwood Reade’s The Outcast sustained him during the years he was covering wars. Being raised in a church gave him “a different vocabulary,” he says, and trained him to “ask difficult questions.” These days, Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute, and blogs on (“we want to challenge conventional wisdom”). He also teaches regularly in a nearby prison, where there are “four or five students so hungry to learn, but they know the odds against them. It breaks your heart.” Hedges’s latest book, Days of Destruction Days of Revolt, with graphics by cartoonist Joe Sacco, is a savage indictment of what Hedges and Sacco describe as “sacrifice zones” created by corporate interests: Pine Ridge, South Dakota; Camden, New Jersey; Welch, West Virginia; and Immokalee, Florida. He describes the preparation for the book as ”emotionally grueling,“ and half jokingly suggests that his next book, which will be about “the consequences of political paralysis, coupled with irrevocable decline,” will be called America: The Farewell Tour. In addition to Empire of Illusion, and Days of Destruction, his other books include Death of the Liberal Class, and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. Hedges is happy to live in Princeton,

though he and Wong would prefer New York City, with its “unmatched cultural life.” In more-affordable Princeton, though, he has access to a major academic library at the University for the considerable research that goes into each of his books, and a quiet atmosphere in which to work. He reports that he and Wong do not socialize, do not own a television set, and spend a good deal of time reading and rereading great books. They appreciate the presence in Princeton of Labyrinth Books, McCarter Theatre, and that there is a good ballet school for their four-and-a-half-year-old. Despite the fact that he went to boarding school, Hedges cites his desire for his children to be grounded in a good liberal arts education as the reason why he didn’t send his older children to private schools, and has no plans to do so with his younger two, when they are ready. Hedges’s writing also appears in periodicals, including Harper’s, the New Statesman, the New York Review of Books, and the Nation. A recent article about legal crusader Bryan Stevenson appeared in Smithsonian. Stevenson is Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), an Alabama-based, private, nonprofit law organization he founded that focuses on social justice and human rights in the context of criminal justice reform in the United States. Hedges is clearly moved by what Stevenson is doing (“such people are

rare”), and the similarities between the two crusaders are striking: both in their 50s, consumed by their work, products of Harvard. When Hedges asked Stevenson if his work “is a ministry,” Stevenson said that he “would not run from that description.” The Occupy Wall Street movement has given Hedges, who has maintained a longstanding friendship with Ralph Nader, hope. “We may feel powerless in the face of the ruthless corporate destruction of our nation, our culture, and our ecosystem,” he writes in Days of Destruction, adding, however, that “we are not. We have a power, as the ‘Occupy’ encampments demonstrated, that terrifies the corporate state.” Besides the softness that shines through whenever Hedges’s family is the subject, it is possible to see at least a few minor chinks in his steely armor. In conversation, he offhandedly allows that if the presidential race had been a really close one, he would have voted for Obama; that the night he spent sleeping outdoors in an “Occupy” encampment in Cambridge, Massachusetts was really uncomfortable; and that he doesn’t drop quotations from Proust when he’s among the 20-year olds who populate that movement. Still, he is determined to pursue the truth as he sees it. “Everybody wants to be liked,” he says, “but once you need the adulation of groups, you’re morally crippled.”

"Nothing I write is published before it goes through her hands," says Hedges of his wife, the Canadian actress Eunice Wong. Wong and Hedges share a snuggle with 18-month-old Marina, and Konrad.




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usic purists may think the epitome of performance rests with a 1700s Stradivarius violin, but like all art forms, music is continually evolving, and in this 21st century of high technology, the wheels of musical evolution spin even faster. Medieval composers wrote in neumes, Bach improvised on a harpsichord, and over the past 60 years, composers have incorporated more and more technology into performance. It was only a matter of time before technology became performance, and nowhere is this more evident than with the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk), based at Princeton University. Considered the “grand-daddy” of laptop orchestras worldwide, PLOrk integrates human creativity, mathematics and technology, both on the ground and “in the cloud,” to create a revolutionary form of music-making.

Rebecca Fiebrink and Jeff Snyder show off some of their software and the music it has been used to create.


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PRINCETON AS A LEADER IN ELECTRONIC MUSIC The use of electronics in performance dates back to the mid-20th century, when musique concrète, championed by such composers as Olivier Messiaen and Pierre Boulez, employed phonographs and tape recorders to store and manipulate sounds. The genre known as “electronic music” produced sounds on the synthesizer, first developed by RCA in the early 1950s, and it was through this genre that Princeton University took the lead, thanks to the ground-breaking music of Milton Babbitt, J.K. Randall, Paul Lansky and others. In the 1970s, composers created ensembles of electronic and amplified instruments, and in the past few decades, computers have become partners with composers in creating musical works. PLOrk was founded in 2005 by Princeton faculty member Dan Trueman, professor of Music at Princeton and now-retired faculty member Perry Cook of the Computer Science department. According to current director Jeffrey O. Snyder, also technical director of the electronic music studios, “electronic music had traditionally been performed by fewer than three people, and PLOrk sought to explore the possibilities of what would happen if this music were performed by a larger group.” Currently, PLOrk is

directed by Trueman, with Associate Directors Snyder and Rebecca Fiebrink, assistant professor of Computer Science. PLOrk is offered as a University spring course cross-listed between the Departments of Music and Computer Science, with credit offered through Computer Science. The Spring 2013 catalog titles the class “Computer and Electronic Music through Programming, Performance and Composition,” with a description that “the music and sound programming language ChucK (developed at Princeton), will be used in conjunction with Max/MSP, another digital audio language, to study procedural programming, digital signal processing and synthesis, networking, and human-computer interfacing.” This may sound a bit mystifying to the average musician, but over the past seven years the PLOrk class has been a big hit, growing to as many as forty students. The current directors have scaled that number back a bit to twenty-five, dividing the class further into smaller groups for performances. According to Snyder, students come to the class with a variety of backgrounds—some “really great musicians” with no programming background and others excelling at computer skills but unable to read music. Ideally, claims Snyder, “some background

Fiebrink and Snyder are wired in through laptops, speakers and gaming consoles.




in both music and computer” works best, but even those adventurous students with no experience in either can succeed.

SO HOW DOES THIS ALL WORk? With both technology and a student roster which changes every year, PLOrk is a fluid and continually evolving musical experience. Students in the class learn electronic and performance techniques to allow them to write software and build instruments. Students work on pieces composed before the class has begun (some by previous students and some commissioned from outside composers) as well as newly composed works. Pieces previously written can arrive fully notated, with exact instructions, or as software or “live coding” environments through which students create their own outcomes, often incorporating software “bugs” into the performance. Especially important is making the performance musical, regardless of the technology. Audiences attending laptop orchestra concerts will notice a difference between these performances and those of full-sized orchestras in the number of performers onstage. While symphony orchestras number up to 100 players, divided into specific sections and led by a conductor, a laptop orchestra can incorporate a new set

PLOrk on stage in May 2009, with Matmos, So Percussion, and Riley Lee (photography by Lorene Lavora).

of performing tools for each concert. According to Snyder, despite the ensemble’s name, the laptop computer is not always the principal instrument. He notes that “performances employ a number of electronic instruments, including mobile phones, iPads, video game controllers, ‘Wii-motes’ and joysticks, as well as electronic versions of traditional instruments.” Key to the performances are the omni-dimensional speakers (also created at Princeton) through which each performer can, as Trueman explained in a recent PLOrk video, “emulate the way acoustical instruments radiate sound.” Each player controls his or her “acre of sound,” and the laptopists in the orchestra use the computer to derive acoustical qualities which blend with other instruments and devices. A conductor can “direct” the sounds and effects, or the ensemble can play conductor-less. A recent PLOrk video (available on YouTube) showed players using Wii devices like handbells, creating a wide range of sounds not unlike bells in rhythmic precision, but with the characteristic “blips” associated with video games. Audiences will be particularly amazed to see the same “Wii-motes” used to play video tennis and baseball using data to control sound. A New York Times review of PLOrk’s April 2008 performance of Trueman’s “Silicon/Carbon: An Anti-Concerto

Grosso” with the American Composers Orchestra described the resulting sound as “something like a shimmering moment from a John Adams orchestral score stretched out indefinitely.”

THE INTERNATIONAL WORLD OF LAPTOP ORCHESTRAS The success of PLOrk has been clear from the outset. In 2008, Trueman and Cook were awarded a grant from the MacArthur Foundation to support PLOrk, and the Laptop Orchestra was well on its way. In its less than ten-year history, PLOrk has performed in numerous prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, and has collaborated with such esteemed performers and ensembles as tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, American accordionist and composer Pauline Oliveros, experimental electronic duo Matmos, and the American Composers Orchestra. Two years ago a professional version of PLOrk, known as Sideband, began at the University. Featuring Trueman, Fiebrink and Snyder, as well as several graduate student composers, Sideband has appeared at music festivals in Toronto, Baton Rouge and New York City. According to Snyder, the focus of Sideband is to “approach the concept of a laptop orchestra with less emphasis on pedagogy and explore how far the idea can go musically.” Sideband functions

year-round with a more permanent membership than the changing roster of PLOrk and plans to release its debut album in 2013. Laptop orchestra activity is by no means limited to Princeton University. In the past five to ten years, they have sprung up both nationwide and across the world. In the United States, these ensembles can be found at not only the usual high-tech university suspects such as Stanford, but also at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie-Mellon University and the Gulf South of Louisiana. Internationally, orchestras have been established in Japan, Turkey, Germany and England, whose Royal College of Music laptop orchestra aims to make music through the “use, abuse and misuse” of technology. These diverse orchestras communicate and collaborate through symposia and conferences held worldwide. So will the laptop orchestra take the place of the traditional symphonic ensemble? Just as technology has found a place in the visual art world, the laptop orchestra has clearly found a niche in the scholarly and performing arenas, as evidenced by the growth of ensembles and conferences worldwide. Like the myriad of fine musical ensembles in Princeton, the Princeton Laptop Orchestra is firmly ensconced in the local musical community, with the fascinating possibility of collaborations on the horizon.


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n New York and Philadelphia, we may visit galleries in renovated industrial lofts. Here in the burbs, many of our galleries can be found in educational institutions. High schools, both public and private, and even one pre-K through middle school in the region, operate fine art galleries to showcase some of the best regional artists, as well students and faculty. By bringing art into people’s lives, school galleries seek to inspire reflection and serve as a catalyst for community exchange. “We believe in the power of art to stimulate creative thinking, aesthetic appreciation and 48



openness to new ideas”—these words from the web page of the Marguerite & James Hutchins Gallery at the Lawrenceville School sum it up for all the school galleries in the region. Princeton High School’s Numina Gallery was the first student-run gallery in the country, according to its website. When it opened in 2000, the Numina took advantage of an unused storage room.The space has since grown to a larger area, thanks to grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge and Robert Wood Johnson foundations.

Connie Bracci-McIndoe, Valle d'Aosta, 24"x24"x3," clay and wood. Connie Bracci-McIndoe and Ken McIndoe Sculpture & Paintings exhibit at the Gallery at Chapin.

Numina Gallery exhibits professional artists—Judith K. Brodsky, Mel Leipzig, Rex Goreleigh, Ricardo Barros, Miriam Schaer, and Raphael Ortiz, founding member of the International Fluxus Movement, have all been shown—as well as students and art educators. There are collaborations with the Arts Council of Princeton, such as an exhibit of paper cutouts last year by Sara Schneckloth, in conjunction with an exhibit on drawing curated by Marsha Levin-Rojer at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts. Numina is Latin for sacred space, and what makes the space sacred are those white walls, say the curators.

“It represents purity, and it’s the center of the school, where artists can display their work and get feedback,” says Veronika Bychkova, student curator of the gallery. “It’s also sacred space for those who don’t necessarily produce art but enjoy their peers’ art,” says junior curator Jane Robertson. Veronika and Jane met in a watercolor class at the Arts Council of Princeton. Student members form a committee that meets to decide upon shows. They hang the art and prepare the wall text. “Labels are the hardest part,” says Veronika. For the senior show at the end of each year, students include their artist FEBRUARY 2013 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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statement to hang with the work. “Hanging takes the longest and hurts your fingers. It can take two days, especially if we have to repaint the walls.” Artwork is hung at eye level, and to assure it lines up a string is run across the wall. The works are usually not framed, although some donated frames are occasionally used. Works on paper are hung by pins, and originals are sometimes scanned for exhibition. Faculty adviser and English teacher Scott Cameron helps with lighting—“I do the going up and the coming down part”—and with maintaining the website and e-mail marketing, but students write press releases and arrange for gallery

sitters. They learn about budgeting for shows, contracts and insurance, transporting art, promotions, managing the opening reception, and fundraising. Bake sales raise funds, and the gallery recently held a Lord of the Rings movie marathon with games and food over two days to generate revenue. During last year’s show of Ghana native Mike Gyampo, a Trenton resident with a studio at Grounds For Sculpture, Numina profited from the commission on a major purchase. Gallery openings at Numina are like openings in professional galleries, with cheese and veggie and fruit platters, as well as high school favorites such as chips, brownies and candy, but in lieu of

Visitors to the gallery at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart.




wine there is juice, soda and water. Music is integral. Veronika’s interest in art began in seventh grade, when her family visited Ukraine. The family came to the U.S. in 1997 when Veronika was 3, but visiting the homeland she discovered her mother’s notebooks filled with doodles. “I started to copy from it and fell in love with the art process,” says the aspiring architect, who is applying to college. Beginning Feb. 1, the gallery will showcase a kids’ collaborative between elementary and high school students. March 1, Numina is planning a community exhibition opening. Artists

interested in submitting can write to for a prospectus. April 19 is the senior show, and the student show is May 31. ———————————————— The Anne Reid ’72 Gallery at Princeton Day School was created in 1978 by Art Department Chair Arlene Smith. Smith’s daughter, Chris, and Anne Reid had been PDS friends and teammates. While at Skidmore College, Anne was killed in a car accident, and her father donated money for the gallery to memorialize her. Jody Erdman, director of the gallery for the past 10 years, was also a friend and classmate of Anne Reid. Erdman previously worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Sotheby’s Auction House in New York and taught painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. “Our mission is to offer a diverse, challenging and inspiring program,” says Erdman. “We perceive the visual arts as an essential component of education and a commitment to our community. We feel the arts contribute to the intellectual development and social growth of our students, and the gallery provides the community with a place to come within the school.” Gallery Club students host receptions, and students work with Erdman to “create new ideas so the gallery can stay relevant,” she says. They recently created a book from Peter Lighte’s exhibition and provided live entertainment for another event. Students give gallery talks and take the photos that are used on the website. The year’s exhibitions include a mix of painting, photography, video, sculpture, woodworking, ceramics, installation and textile arts. “Since journal taking and developing ideas is a goal throughout all three divisions of the school, the gallery may exhibit napkin drawings, maquettes, journals, rough drafts, studio installations and final pieces to show the process of creation,” says Erdman. In 2007 PDS built a new arts wing, with six art studios, an atrium and exterior courtyard, and the gallery moved to the new “white cube,” with room for a director’s office, more storage, movable walls and improved lighting.

February 11–March 7, Wabi-sabi—ceramics and sculpture by PDS art faculty Stephanie Stuefer and Chris Maher. April 1–April 24, Imagine the Possibilities —sketches and finished works of three-time Caldecott winner David Wiesner. May 6–May 22, Student Exhibition: paintings, drawings, printmaking, sculpture, installation, architecture, photography, and film. ————————————————

Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart’s Considine Gallery, located in the lobby and adjacent corridors, offers two exhibits of professional artists in the autumn and winter and an all-school student exhibit in the spring. The objectives of the gallery are to make art a part of everyday life to stimulate aesthetic appreciation, and to encourage reflection, contemplation and dialogue. Founded in 1984, the gallery is named for Norbert Considine, a founder of the school. “It provides an opportunity for students to interact with regional artists,” says Gallery Director and art

Priscilla Snow Algava, Inner LIstening, 22" x 28" clay monoprint, 2012. From the series LIFE DANCE: A retrospective.


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(top) Gallery Director, Gill Pattison at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart. (bottom) Celia Reisman, Snow Soccer, oil on canvas, 30" x 40" 2010. Image from Anne Reid '72 Art Gallery, PDS.




(top) Dana Stewart talks to students at Chapin about his sculpture during his April 2012 exhibit. Photography by Richard Trenner. (bottom) Dan Finaldi, In the Shade, from “People in my Life” oil, 36” x 48.” The Gallery at Chapin.


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teacher Phyllis Wright. “The girls use the art to write poetry, and in the upper school I use it as an interdisciplinary teaching tool, both to teach about technique and as a catalyst for writing.” In selecting exhibits, Wright looks for art that is appropriate for a young audience. She avoids artwork with a political message, but is interested in social justice themes. Among the local artists she has exhibited in the past are Libby Ramage, Eva Mantell and Dan Fernandez, in an exhibit titled Artists, Educators, Alchemists; and Heather Barros in Faces and Places. A key component of the exhibits is the Art Chat, in which artists give lectures and workshops. In addition to student art exhibits, there is a faculty show every three years. “As a teacher, it helps me to explain certain concepts and give real life examples,” says Wright. The gallery is partly funded by the 20 percent commission taken on artwork sold. Wright selects artists she discovers through group shows. Receptions, often combined with musical events, are attended by friends of the artists, Stuart

parents and faculty, and others who may be curious about the school. Through March 31: Emerging Forms: Mixed Media Works by Joy Barth and Eva Ruis. gallery/index.aspx ———————————————— The Lawrenceville School’s Marguerite & James Hutchins Gallery also exhibits faculty in October and students in January. In addition, “I bring in artists who provide students and the community with work in media that runs the gamut,” says Gallery Director Jamie Greenfield. “All of these shows offer students the opportunity to meet the artist at the opening reception, and sometimes the artist does a gallery talk. Students enrolled in art courses are required to attend the opening receptions, and we try to incorporate the exhibits in our curricula, either bringing classes in to write about the work or otherwise respond to it in their own work.” Students may choose to help in the gallery as their extracurricular commitment.

Visitors to the gallery at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart.




February 7-28, Priscilla Snow Algava March 25-April 20, Darren McManus: Paintings May 3-25, Alumnae Exhibition to honor 25 years of coeducation In addition, the Hutchins Rotunda Gallery, run by the curator of the permanent collection, has separate exhibitions: Through February 25, Home on the Canal: Bridge & Lock Tenders’ Houses on the Delaware and Raritan Canal the_ arts/visual_arts/hutchins_ gallery.asp ———————————————— Before becoming the curator of the Gallery at Chapin School, Dallas Piotrowski exhibited her paintings of threatened and endangered animals there. “I still have the pictures the students drew

(top) Darren McManus, Cycles of Material Matter #2, 2009, Acrylic on beveled wood, 23.5" x 50." (bottom) Hutchins Gallery at the Lawrenceville School.

to thank me,” says Piotrowski, who was invited to be curator seven years ago. Students see a new show every month in sculpture, painting, ceramics, quilts and fine art by artists from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. “These are top-of-the-line artists whose work leaves a lasting impression on students,” she says. “The students get so excited when artists come to talk and answer questions.” Students at Chapin, pre-K through 8th grade, are too young to be involved in hanging shows, but some aspect of a show, such as abstraction or perspective in landscape, may be incorporated into the curriculum. Take-away activities include collage, cutouts or mosaics. As a founding member of the Trenton Artists Workshop Association and a longtime member of Artsbridge, Piotrowski has connections to a wealth of regional artists. The schedule is planned two years out. “I think the galleries are a wonderful way to teach the children to understand and appreciate art,” says Piotrowski. “I can already see how they are developing their opinions in what they like in art and don’t.” In fact, Piotrowski, who has noticed that school gallery curators such as Erdman, Wright and Greenfield are all artists as well, is planning an exhibit of school gallery curators in April 2014. Chapin Gallery receptions are held the first Wednesday of the month from 5 to 7PM, and gallery hours are by appointment.

Feb. 1–28, Connie and Ken McIndoe, Sculpture and Paintings April 1–30, Tom Kelly, Paintings ———————————————— Mariboe Gallery at the Peddie School Through Feb. 8: Shanti Grumbine’s Kenosis project involves the erasure, excision, and reconfiguration of the New York Times to elicit a sacred experience of the everyday. March 22–April 17: Andrew DeCaen ———————————————— Silva Gallery at the Pennington School February 11–March 14: Statistics and Satire: A Math and Art Connection. April 3–26: Recent Work. Jackie Christiaens Austin. -art/index.aspx ————————————————


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Princeton Magazine To run: March, 2013





There’s a curious thing about the man credited with creating much of Princeton’s architectural character. Charles Steadman, a 19th century Renaissance man of sorts, wasn’t a trained architect.





P RI N C E T O N T H E O L O G I C A L S E M I N A R Y ’ S M I L L E R C H A P E L

nown for several of the town’s symmetrically pleasing, white clapboard houses in Greek Revival and Victorian styles, as well as such public buildings as Princeton Theological Seminary’s Miller Chapel and the first Whig and Clio buildings on the Princeton University campus, Steadman was an accomplished carpenter and real estate developer who used pattern books and taught himself to build and design. But whether he actually did design all of the buildings associated with his name is a matter of conjecture. “He was a real estate developer here. He did a lot of work and had a lot of contracts,” says Wanda Gunning, who has served on the historic preservation committees of both Princeton Borough and Princeton Township, and is an acknowledged authority on Steadman. “But he also bought designs, apparently, and he wasn’t necessarily an original architect.”

The best way to tell a Steadman house is to find their original contracts. “Some of them survive,” says Gunning. “And sometimes there are contemporary references to them in books or letters.” In addition to Drumthwacket, the New Jersey governor’s mansion, one of the most popular examples of Steadman’s oeuvre is a house on Morven Place, built in 1830. It is known to be the real thing, because the original contract still exists. What no one disputes is Steadman’s work as a builder. He is credited with Palmer House on the Princeton University campus, and the old Mercer County Courthouse in Trenton. He built Nassau Presbyterian Church after commissioning architect Thomas Ustick Walter, a “starchitect” in his day best known for the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, as designer. Steadman, who had earned $1.50 a day as a carpenter for the church only a decade before, acted as both builder and underwriter for what was then known as the First Presbyterian Church. He also laid out the interior, according to

Princeton University: The Campus Guide by Raymond Rhinehart. Steadman built the east wing of the original Nassau Inn, on Nassau Street, in 1846. Then a boarding house known as the Mansion Inn, it was razed in 1937 to make room for the development of Palmer Square. But Steadman is best known for the houses he built—and sometimes designed—in the town’s Mercer Hill and western sections. There are the stately homes on Library Place and Mercer Street, some of which were moved from previous locations and expanded over the years. More modest homes line Edgehill and Alexander streets. Many of these were rentals. “A very popular thing to do in a college town at that time was to rent to the mothers of students,” says Gunning. “Mothers of Princeton students would come and stay for four years in the Steadman houses. There were a lot of widowed and single women living in those rentals.” By about 1879, Steadman owned more houses than any other man in Princeton, according to research done when the Historical Society of Princeton led a tour of nine of his houses in 1974. He even named a local thoroughfare after himself. Steadman Street is now part of Library Place. Not much is known about Steadman’s life before he came to Princeton at the age of 23. Born in Massachusetts in 1790, he quickly established himself, after moving south, as a respected citizen of Princeton. He worked as a carpenter, became a partner in lumber and dry goods concerns, and began his ventures into real estate. He was the first warden and vestryman at Trinity Church. Besides being a member of the local fire company, he found time to be a director of the Princeton Bank, and a trustee of the Princeton Preparatory School. He married three times and died in 1868. Advertisements for Steadman’s buildings in the local newspaper described them as “competent, practical, pleasing.” In the January 2, 1852 issue of the Princeton Press, nine houses on William, Stockton, Mercer and Edgehill streets were on the market. “All of the above are nearly new,” the ad read. “If not sold before Tuesday the seventeenth of FEBRUARY 2013 PRINCETON MAGAZINE

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72 L I B R A R Y P L A C E

T HE J O H N F . H A G E M A N H O U S E






95 M E R C E R S T R E E T ,




February, they will be offered at public sale that day at Joline’s Hotel. Terms Easy. Enquire Charles Steadman.” Today, Steadman houses are a prized commodity. “I can’t think of the last time one came on the market,” says Willa Stackpole, a longtime agent with Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Real Estate on Nassau Street. “In the old days, the first thing you’d do is drive a buyer down Alexander Street to see them. They’re the best houses to live in because they have beautiful center halls, and usually have double parlors. The rooms are perfect rectangles, and a lot of people don’t know that a perfect rectangle is what a room should be. He was a genius and he wasn’t an architect—that’s what’s so amazing about him.” Gunning says the interesting thing about Steadman’s buildings is that the architecture changes. “It’s not exactly Greek Revival. The earlier ones are a little more Federal, and then he graduates into being more Victorian, like two small cottages on Edgehill Street that have

fishscale shingles and so on. So he evolved with the times,” she says. Among the more prominent examples of Steadman’s output is the house at 72 Library Place, Woodrow Wilson’s first residence in Princeton, built in 1836. Wilson moved there in 1889 while a professor of jurisprudence at his alma mater, Princeton University (he would serve as president of the University from 1902 to 1910). Then there is 14 Alexander Street, said to have been home to T.S. Eliot while he was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study. Eliot traveled from that house to Stockholm to accept the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948. Steadman is said to have designed the houses at 40 and 42 Mercer Street for his two daughters in the 1830’s. Later, number 42 was the home of Miss Fine’s School for girls (later to become part of Princeton Day School). And legend has it that Jennie Jerome, who would become the mother of Winston Churchill, stayed at 42 while visiting her brother at Princeton University. “People do love to see these houses,”

says Gunning. “They are surprised to see how small some of the rooms are. The good ones generally have higher ceilings than the earliest nineteenth century houses. They’re usually a little boxy and square. The windows are usually well placed for the light, and most of the detail carving is on the exterior except for the staircases, which are quite often very nice. In his better houses, the carving is very crisp. The windows and door trim kind of pop out at you. He actually had people working in a shop, turning out these moldings. He even pre-fabbed houses and shipped them off to Virginia and California.” The true architectural lineage of some of Steadman’s houses may never be known. But whether he designed them or not, the homes that he built transformed Princeton from a brick and stone village into a New-England-style town of wood and classical influences. “They don’t build anything like them anymore,” says Stackpole. “You just can’t beat them.”


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(exterior) by amessé photography

Great Expectations

the Ryland inn Whitehouse, nj by leslie mitchner

images by amessĂŠ photography & andrew wilkinson

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(left) photography by mike dempsey; (interiors) by amessé photography


t was with trepidation that I headed in the dark to the newly reopened Ryland Inn. The adventure was not off to a good start when my friend and I took a wrong turn looking for Old Highway 28 off Route 22. She had been to the inn long ago during daylight hours but that was of no use to us now, and I had always meant to go but never made it during the Craig Shelton years. We were both familiar with the legend and wondered if we would be disappointed as we at last pulled into the drive in front of the huge white house, walked under the new portico, and into the impressive foyer. The Legend and The heriTage

Craig Shelton was the first New Jersey chef to win a James Beard Award (Best Chef Mid Atlantic). That was nearly thirteen years ago and nearly a decade after the Ryland Inn opened in a centuries old farmhouse on extensive acreage in Whitehouse. The restaurant, which was Shelton’s creation, was a culinary palace to which diners made pilgrimages, and their great expectations for formal presentation of fine French-influenced cuisine were never disappointed. His lead started other chefs along the same path in a collective effort to bring greater sophistication to dining in the Garden State. Until a water main burst in mid winter 2007 and the structure of the building was discovered to be unsound, the reputation of the Ryland Inn continued to build to new heights. Then it




all went dark as Shelton battled endlessly with insurance companies and banks to save his investment and realize his dream of adding a luxury hotel and other guest services. In the end, he lost all but his reputation. The story was headed toward an unhappy ending indeed. Jeanne and Frank Cretella, appreciating that heritage, eventually stepped in as rescuers, however, and heroically changed the plot line. This couple has over the decades established a hospitality empire by taking moribund enterprises and turning them into destination spots. Only slightly daunted by the challenges they faced and able to get banks to trust them because of their successful track record, they reconceived everything top to bottom and worked with a trusted construction company to restore, rebuild, and expand. The work—which has been planned in a series of major phases, with the opening of the restaurant taking priority—will, in fact, go on well into 2015. According to the legend, Shelton suggested his own successor, Executive Chef Anthony Bucco, to the Cretellas. Everyone who has written about the preview opening of the restaurant in September and reviewed it since then would say that this was an inspired choice. Chef Bucco, a graduate of the New York Restaurant School, was not exactly an unknown when he was hired. For someone so young, he brought extensive experience into the kitchen—at Provence in Manhattan; Stage Left and then the highly touted Catherine Lombardi in New Brunswick; as well as

Restaurant Latour in Hamburg, NJ. His approach to food, like the restoration of the inn itself, hints at the past but then takes a different, updated direction. New Jersey Monthly has just given the Ryland Inn a four star rating—only the second time it has ever accorded any restaurant such high acclaim. expecTaTions reaLized and surpassed I had to remind myself as we entered that we were in horse country. The past of this historic farmland in Hunterdon County is hinted at everywhere in the décor. Although just a few miles from Bridgewater Commons and super highways, quaint reminders of earlier times abound—walls covered with equestrian prints and at your place setting, framed tray-shaped pictures of farm buildings and more horses. The main dining room has a country club feel to it, with subdued colors, wainscoting, banquette seating, and huge windows along a terrace that must reveal beautiful views in daylight during warmer seasons. Soon there will be herb and vegetable gardens (part of next year’s plans) that will supply the kitchen. The cozy piano bar through which you pass on your way to your table has comfortable seating in oversized clubby leather chairs, while the main bar in a larger room is more angular, and spectacularly “with it.” Up to this point, you feel you are in familiar but impressive high-end restaurant territory. But then the plot takes some fresh twists. The old Ryland Inn menu is still posted online and makes a telling contrast to the

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(above) Composition of Beets with Bitter Chocolate, Grapefruit, Goat Cheese Mousse. (below left) Red Snapper Crudo with Jicama, Jalapeno, Asian Pear, Mint Oil. (below middle) Eggnog Cheesecake “Truffle” with Raisins, Graham Cracker Sponge, Spiced Rum Ice Cream. (below right) Lemon Curd with Earl Grey Meringue, White Chocolate, Gingersnap Ice Cream.





(above left) Executive Chef Anthony Bucco. (above right) Berkshire Pork Tenderloin with Cauliflower Textures, Golden Raisins, Apple Jack Reduction. (below) Foie Gras Torchon with Cocoa Nibs, Butternut Squash Crisps, Medjool Dates.

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(portraits and details) photography by andrew wilkinson; (interiors) by amessé photography

current one. On it you will find steamed mussels, escargots, boeuf bourguignon, braised lamb shanks, bouillabaisse, and Hudson Valley Foie Gras, among other, now more or less standard but undoubtedly delicious selections. The “modern flair” that the restaurant touts today is everywhere evident in the current presentation. And who knows if Shelton would have eventually followed a similar path? In the Beginnings section of the menu you will find Grilled Spanish Octopus with Cranberry Beans, Feta Cheese, Pine Nuts, and Salsa Verde, as well as Torchon of Foie Gras with Pistachio Tuile, Pear Gel, and Gewürztraminer Sabayon. The octopus and Foie Gras, the potato soup, steak tartare, fluke, beet salad and gnocchi may seem like old friends, but they have all been taken to a different place that the Cretellas and Chef Bucco have made their own. The same is true of the main selections, which are divided as “Sources from the Pasture and the Air” and “Responsibly Sourced from the Sea.” You may think you have tasted red snapper, organic Irish salmon, monkfish, venison, pork loin, and lamb; but you have never had them like this. Desserts and side dishes are similarly well known yet full




of surprises. One characteristic nearly all of them share and that I am not the first to comment on is that nearly every dish offers unusual and successful contrasts of textures, flavors, and ingredients. The other is that the line chefs under the tutelage of Bucco and Craig Polignano, Chef de Cuisine (pictured together above), seem to have developed food whisperer talents—the ability to sense exactly when something should be removed from the heat and the precise moment when ingredients should be combined. This is a talent many aspire to but very few achieve. My friend and I ordered some dishes à la carte but also sampled the tasting menu. We started with the best Jack Daniels Manhattan ever, moved on to bread fresh baked on the premises with sea-salted butter and a hint of rosemary, an amuse bouche, an amazing scallop combination that resembled no scallops I have ever had before, terrific octopus, red snapper cooked to perfection, a beet salad, risotto with truffles made with Acquerello Carnaroli rice that was superior to the many dozens of risottos I have made myself and eaten in restaurants across the country, a quail dish, ribeye steak, and venison before ending the meal with a superb panna

cotta in papaya gel and a less successful tasting of Black Forest cake. We agreed that the ribeye, although cooked perfectly, had too little flavor and that we had had better New Zealand venison elsewhere, and we concurred that the quail had the food whisperer touch but lacked the textural contrast that made so many other dishes worthy of the four-star rating. The attempt, we were told, was to have one dish on the menu that could be called “comfort food”; but that is not what we came to the Ryland to eat. Like the food fetishists around us, and James the headwaiter, we found it fun to discuss what worked and what did not. This is, after all, still a work in progress—and it is to be hoped will continue to be. Hospitality Jeanne Cretella has been quoted elsewhere as saying, “You want people when they come in to feel like you know who they are. . . . You want your guest to connect with everyone [on staff], not just the person who meets them at the door.” It is one thing to have a talent for business, for renovation, for hiring, and everything else. It is quite another to have the gift of generosity. All of the money that has been put into this revival

could have ended up in a far different and somewhat intimidating place. Just the opposite is true. At least on the night we ate there, guests were comparing experiences across tables—“what did you think of the scallops?” James seemed genuinely to want to know our reactions to each dish we ate and added his own assessments of them. Although another review said that the wait staff needed more training, we found everyone who served our table to be disciplined in the best possible way and friendly—willing to help but not about to move in with us. A very good time was had by all and clearly everyone’s great expectations were being realized and then some. The Ryland Inn, 111 Old hIghway 28, Off Of ROuTe 22, whITehOuse, nJ 08889, Is Open Tuesdays ThROugh sundays 5:00-9:00pm. The phOne numbeR Is 908.534.4011. mORe InfORmaTIOn Is avaIlable aT www.RylandInnnJ.cOm, IncludIng menus, RecIpes, and InfORmaTIOn abOuT bOOkIng specIal evenTs.

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(above) Studio 317, one of four composition studios at the C-PEMC, circa 1970. Clockwise from the center front, Vladimir Ussachevsky (seated), Milton Babbitt, Bülent Arel, Pril Smiley, Mario Davidovsky, Alice Shields, Otto Luening. Images courtesy Wikipedia; ColumbiaPrinceton Electronic Music Center.

the Musical genius of Milton BaBBitt by Jordan Hillier


ong before electronic music become associated with contemporary artists like David Guetta, Deadmau5 (Joel Thomas Zimmerman), and electropop DJ Calvin Harris, it was pioneered and championed as a field of classical music by Princeton composer Milton Babbitt whose complex, modernist work influenced generations of musicians and scholars. Born on May 10, 1916 in Philadelphia, Pa. Babbitt grew up in Jackson, Mississippi where he studied the violin from an early age. Well-versed in the popular songs of the day, he wrote his own renditions, winning a song writing contest when he was just 13. As Babbitt grew older, his education became more and more focused on music. While a student of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania in 1932 and looking to ultimately become a mathematician like his father and his brother, he realized his love for music and became a student of composition at New York University. There, he studied with Marion Bauer and Philip James. Soon after, he was asked to join Princeton University’s composition faculty where he continued to study with renowned composer and professor Roger Sessions. Babbitt extended the 12tone method pioneered by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg earlier in the 20th century. His 1946 dissertation on the mathematics of the 12-tone system is considered groundbreaking. At Princeton, Babbitt spurred the growth of the University’s music department; his students worked in genres ranging from the avant-garde to the Broadway stage. Besides Princeton, he taught at the Juilliard School in New York City for almost four decades, at the Berkshire Music Center, the new-music academy as Darmstadt, Germany, and the New England Conservatory. His private students included Stephen Sondheim.




In the 1950s Babbitt began working with RCA to develop a new electronic instrument, the programmable Mark II Synthesizer. The huge machine (seven feet high and 20 feet wide) was housed and used in a studio aptly named the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, founded by Babbitt, Roger Sessions and Columbia professors Vladimir Ussachevsky and Otto Luening. Luminaries in the field of electronic and avant garde music visited, worked, or studied there, including Edgard Varèse and Luciano Berio. Babbitt composed numerous pieces for the synthesizer. He enjoyed the freedom from restrictions of having live performers. He liked that he could send a composition anywhere in the world and not wonder about the quality of its performance. However, he always appreciated excellent and committed performers. As demonstrated by compositions such as “All Set” (1957) for jazz ensemble and “Philomel” (1964) for synthesizer and soprano, Babbitt enjoyed combining musical genres. His electronic and orchestral compositions were extremely complex and although much of it has been described as challenging, it’s also been lauded as exciting and brilliant. Babbitt believed that serious music should be pursued with as much intellectual rigor as mathematics, philosophy or physics. In 1982, he was recognized by a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his “life’s work as a distinguished and seminal American composer.” In 1986, he received a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.” After a long and accomplished career, Babbitt died in 2011 at the age of 94. He is remembered in Princeton not only for his contribution to American music and scholarship, but for his sparkling wit on topics as diverse as philosophy and horse racing. The legacy of his music lives on.

| the last word the police department. To have governing body members adjust their natural bias in serving as advocates of various lobbying groups with which they are affiliated and move toward the broader view of protecting the interest of the taxpayers generally. Of course, these are not isolated issues; they are all linked.

RogeR MaRtindell Interview by Anne Levin

You seem especially concerned about the police. There’s a strange reluctance on the part of government body members to get involved in police oversight, and that’s bad for the community. Police is the biggest item in the municipal budget and the police are the most frequent contact point between local government and residents, so it’s natural to focus on that department. To my amazement, our municipal culture is to give very little oversight to the police and to bend over backwards to give the police whatever they want, frequently without regard to consequences. This has led to various problems in the Borough and the Township. Recently, officers have been indicted. Others have been fired or resigned under a cloud. Tell us about your legal practice. It’s small town and general – employment and matrimonial law, real estate, litigation, that sort of thing. I speak Spanish, so I have a lot of clients who are Spanish-speakers. Many of them present issues that are more social service than legal in nature. But I enjoy it all and, more particularly, protecting the underdogs in our community against unscrupulous landlords, employers, and government agents.


he newly formed Princeton Council is minus one longtime public servant. Roger Martindell, who joined Princeton’s Borough Council 23 years ago, ended his tenure when the new, consolidated governing body went into effect the first of this year. Born at Princeton Hospital, raised on Library Place and educated for some years at Miss Mason’s School (now The Lewis School), Martindell went to Harvard and then Rutgers Law School before returning to Princeton to practice law. Politics is in his DNA. His mother, Anne C. Martindell, is a former New Jersey State Senator and United States Ambassador to New Zealand. His grandfather was a member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Chief Justice of the Allied Appeals Court in West Germany after World War II. Martindell practices law out of a comfortably cluttered office on East Nassau Street. He first became a member of Borough Council when a slot opened after a member resigned. He was voted in again eight times. In the most recent election, the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) did not endorse him. Martindell ran outside the column in the spring primary, but didn’t earn enough votes. How do you feel about leaving the Council? I’ll miss it. I enjoy the work. I think I have governmental experience and legal training to contribute. I think I could have a constructive


fEbRuARy 2013

impact on the newly consolidated community. I might get back into local politics. Meanwhile, I’ve been traveling more, visiting friends around the country. What kinds of changes have you seen in Princeton over the decades? The town is a bit bigger and more impersonal. People are less inclined to proceed on a handshake. It’s a little more bureaucratic and acerbic. Princeton—and that includes the relationship between town and gown —reflecting a national trend that way. How important is the town/gown relationship? Princeton University has to look after the interests of Princeton University, principally. But the University also has a special responsibility to support the town. And it’s a two-way street. There is more that can be done on both sides to improve relations. Success will depend not merely on the personal relationship of the mayor and university president; but should be built on more institutional and rigorous negotiating protocols to which both sides subscribe for the long term. What do you see as the most important issues facing the newly consolidated Princeton? I’ll list them: To keep control of municipal taxes. To improve town and gown relations. To have more professional administration of local government. To have more careful oversight of

What do you love about the law? I like helping people. I like speaking truth to power. I like challenging the insensitive and unproductive institutions that were set up to help people but don’t. To some degree, I’m a libertarian, and to some degree I’m a left-wing ‘60’s radical. I was Maced and tear-gassed during the police riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago while with my mother, who was very anti-Vietnam War. And I still get choked up when I think about what the Ohio National Guard did to the students at Kent State. The rule of law is meant to circumscribe government’s authoritarian tendencies. What will you miss most about serving on Council? I’ll miss solving problems that affect members of my community – being useful! What will you miss least? I won’t miss the sloppy thinking, doublespeak, and chicanery that’s too often in politics. But Princeton is blessed with an active body politic. Civic involvement is our religion. The performance of civic theater forms our rituals. We’ve made local government and civic life an outlet for a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise be contributing to society, and that’s good.


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