PBS NewsHour

FULL EPISODE

April 18, 2021 - PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode

April 18, 2021 - PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode

AIRED: April 18, 2021 | 0:26:35
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>> Sreenivasan: ON THIS EDITION

FOR SUNDAY, APRIL 18: RECENT

SHOOTINGS RE-IGNITE GUN AND

POLICE REFORM DEBATES.

♪ ♪

SINGER, SONGWRITER AND MUSICIAN

SAM AMIDON: PUTTING A NEW TWIST

ON TRADITIONAL FOLK SONGS.

AND JAPANESE ARTIST YAYOI

KUSAMA'S "COSMIC NATURE"

EXHIBIT.

NEXT ON "PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND."

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>> Sreenivasan: GOOD EVENING AND

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN CALLED GUN

VIOLENCE IN THE U.S. A"

INTERNATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT"

WHEN HE ANNOUNCED NEW EXECUTIVE

ORDERS TEN DAYS AGO.

IF WE ACCEPT THE GUN VIOLENCE

ARCHIVE PROJECT'S DEFINITION OF

A MASS SHOOTING AS ONE THAT

KILLS OR INJURES AT LEAST FOUR

PEOPLE, HERE'S WHAT HAS HAPPENED

IN JUST THE PAST FOUR DAYS: ON

THURSDAY THERE WERE MASS

SHOOTINGS IN ILLINOIS, FLORIDA,

WASHINGTON, D.C., AND INDIANA.

ON FRIDAY IN MICHIGAN.

YESTERDAY IN OHIO, AND EARLY

TODAY IN WISCONSIN.

AT A BAR IN KENOSHA, WISCONSIN,

EARLY THIS MORNING, THREE PEOPLE

WERE SHOT AND KILLED AND TWO

WERE SERIOUSLY WOUNDED.

AS OF THIS AFTERNOON, THE

SUSPECT REMAINED AT LARGE, BUT

AUTHORITIES SAID IT APPEARS TO

BE A "TARGETED AND ISOLATED

INCIDENT."

THE KENOSHA SHOOTING IS ONE OF

150 MASS SHOOTINGS SO FAR THIS

YEAR, ACCORDING TO THE GUN

VIOLENCE ARCHIVE.

TODAY, AFTER TALKING ABOUT THE

COVID PANDEMIC, DR, ANTHONY

FAUCI WAS ASKED IF MASS

SHOOTINGS ARE ALSO A PUBLIC

HEALTH EMERGENCY.

>> MYSELF, AS A PUBLIC HEALTH

PERSON, I THINK YOU CAN'T RUN

AWAY FROM THAT.

WHEN YOU SEE PEOPLE GETTING

KILLED, IN THIS LAST MONTH IT'S

JUST BEEN HORRIFYING WHAT'S

HAPPENED.

HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT'S NOT A

PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE?

>> Sreenivasan: IN INDIANAPOLIS

THERE WERE VIGILS YESTERDAY FOR

THE EIGHT VICTIMS OF THE MASS

SHOOTING AT A LOCAL FEDEX

FACILITY LAST WEEK-- FOUR OF

WHOM WERE MEMBERS OF THE CITY'S

SIKH COMMUNITY.

SIKH COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND CITY

LEADERS SPOKE AT ONE OF THE

EVENTS AND CALLED FOR GUN

REFORMS IN THE WAKE OF THE

SHOOTING.

DESPITE A RED FLAG LAW IN

INDIANA THAT IS SUPPOSED TO

PREVENT GUN POSSESSION BY PEOPLE

WHO PRESENT AN IMMINENT THREAT,

POLICE SAID THE TWO FIREARMS

USED IN THE KILLINGS WERE

LEGALLY PURCHASED BY THE GUNMAN

LAST YEAR.

THE GUNMAN'S MOTHER REPORTED HIM

AS A THREAT LAST YEAR AND POLICE

CONFISCATED A SHOTGUN.

IN A STATEMENT, HIS FAMILY

APOLOGIZED AND SAID "WE ARE

DEVASTATED AT THE LOSS OF LIFE

CAUSED AS A RESULT OF BRANDON'S

ACTIONS; THROUGH THE LOVE OF HIS

FAMILY, WE TRIED TO GET HIM THE

HELP HE NEEDED."

PROTESTS OF POLICE-INVOLVED

DEATHS CONTINUED LAST NIGHT AS

THE NATION PREPARES FOR CLOSING

ARGUMENTS TOMORROW IN THE TRIAL

OF FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE

OFFICER DEREK CHAUVIN.

IN BROOKLYN CENTER, MINNESOTA,

HUNDREDS GATHERED BY A POLICE

STATION FOR THE SEVENTH

CONSECUTIVE NIGHT TO PROTEST THE

POLICE SHOOTING OF 20-YEAR OLD

DAUNTE WRIGHT LAST SUNDAY.

>> SAY HIS NAME!

GEORGE FLOYD!

>> Sreenivasan: DEMONSTRATORS

ALSO CHANTED THE NAME OF GEORGE

FLOYD, WHO CHAUVIN IS ACCUSED OF

KILLING DURING AN ARREST LAST

MAY.

CALIFORNIA CONGRESSWOMAN MAXINE

WATERS, JOINED PROTESTERS LAST

NIGHT AND URGED THEM TO "STAY IN

THE STREET."

>> WE HAVE TO PERSIST IN CALLING

FOR JUSTICE.

WE HAVE TO LET PEOPLE KNOW THAT

WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE SATISFIED

UNLESS WE GET JUSTICE IN THESE

CASES.

>> Sreenivasan: PBS NEWSHOUR

WILL HAVE COMPLETE COVERAGE OF

THE CLOSING ARGUMENTS IN THE

DEREK CHAUVIN TRIAL TOMORROW.

HALF OF ALL ADULTS IN THE UNITED

STATES HAVE RECEIVED AT LEAST

ONE DOSE OF A COVID-19 VACCINE

AS OF TODAY, EVEN WITH A PAUSE

IN THE USE OF JOHNSON &

JOHNSON'S ONE DOSE VACCINE.

THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL

AND PREVENTION REPORTED ALMOST

130 MILLION PEOPLE OVER 18 HAVE

RECEIVED AT LEAST ONE DOSE AND

AROUND 84 MILLION ARE NOW FULLY

VACCINATED.

TODAY, DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, THE

NATION'S LEADING INFECTIOUS

DISEASE EXPERT, SAID A DECISION

ON RESUMING THE USE OF THE J&J

SHOT COULD COME AS SOON AS THIS

FRIDAY.

REPORTS OF FEWER THAN TEN CASES

OF SEVERE BLOOD CLOTS AMONG THE

NEARLY SEVEN MILLION PEOPLE WHO

RECEIVED THE J&J SHOT ARE BEING

INVESTIGATED.

WORLDWIDE, NEW CASES AND DEATHS

ARE STILL RISING.

A NEW SURGE IN CASES IN INDIA IS

CAUSING A SEVERE SHORTAGE OF

HOSPITAL BEDS, OXYGEN SUPPLIES

AND CRITICAL MEDICAL SUPPLIES.

BUT IN ISRAEL, WHERE MORE THAN

80% OF RESIDENTS OVER 16 ARE NOW

FULLY VACCINATED, MASKS ARE NO

LONGER REQUIRED OUTDOORS.

ISRAEL INCLUDES PALESTINIANS

LIVING IN EAST JERUSALEM IN ITS

VACCINATION PROGRAMS.

THOSE IN GAZA AND THE WEST BANK

ARE RECEIVING LIMITED DOSES OF

VACCINES.

IN RUSSIA, FAMILY MEMBERS AND

DOCTORS SAY THEY FEAR THAT

IMPRISONED OPPOSITION LEADER

ALEXEI NAVALNY IS NEAR DEATH AS

HE CONTINUES HIS HUNGER STRIKE.

TODAY, NAVALNY'S PERSONAL

DOCTORS SAID THEY WERE DENIED

ENTRY AFTER WAITING OUTSIDE

NAVALNY'S PRISON FOR TWO HOURS.

YESTERDAY, A DOCTOR SAID THAT,

BASED ON RECENT TEST RESULTS,

NAVALNY, "COULD DIE AT ANY

MOMENT."

YESTERDAY PRESIDENT BIDEN CALLED

NAVALNY'S TREATMENT TOTALLY

UNFAIR AND INAPPROPRIATE.

TODAY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER

JAKE SULIVAN SAID THERE WILL BE

CONSEQUENCES FOR RUSSIA IF

NAVALNY DIES IN CUSTODY.

SUPPORTERS OF NAVALNY ARE

CALLING FOR PROTESTS IN MOSCOW

AND ST. PETERSBURG LATER THIS

WEEK.

NAVALNY IS THE MOST VISIBLE

CRITIC OF RUSSIAN PRESIDENT

VLADIMIR PUTIN.

HE WAS ARRESTED IN JANUARY WHEN

HE RETURNED TO RUSSIA FROM

GERMANY WHERE WAS RECOVERING

FROM POISONING BY A SOVIET-ERA

NERVE AGENT.

TODAY IN SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA,

U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR CLIMATE,

JOHN KERRY, ANNOUNCED THAT CHINA

AND THE U.S. HAVE AGREED TO

COOPERATE ON CURBING THE CLIMATE

EMERGENCY.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT COMES JUST DAYS

BEFORE PRESIDENT BIDEN WILL HOST

A GLOBAL LEADERS VIRTUAL CLIMATE

SUMMIT.

40 WORLD LEADERS HAVE BEEN

INVITED, INCLUDING CHINESE

PRESIDENT XI JINPING.

CHINA AND THE U.S. ARE THE

WORLD'S LARGEST CARBON EMITTERS

AND TOGETHER PRODUCE NEARLY HALF

THE FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS THAT

CONTRIBUTE TO GLOBAL WARMING.

IN THE STATEMENT, THE TWO

COUNTRIES SAID THEY WILL DISCUSS

SPECIFIC ACTIONS INCLUDING

CARBON CAPTURE AND WILL HELP

FINANCE A SWITCH TO LOW-CARBON

ENERGY SOURCES IN DEVELOPING

COUNTRIES.

FOR ADDITIONAL NATIONAL AND

INTERNATIONAL NEWS, VISIT

pbs.org/newshour.

>> Sreenivasan: PRESIDENT JOE

BIDEN PROMISED AN AMBITIOUS

AGENDA FOR HIS FIRST 100 DAYS IN

OFFICE.

AS THAT DEADLINE APPROACHES, HE

FINDS HIMSELF GOVERNING WITH

THIN MAJORITIES IN CONGRESS

WHILE TRYING TO GET BIPARTISAN

SUPPORT ON ISSUES LIKE

INFRASTRUCTURE, IMMIGRATION

REFORM, REFUGEE CAPS AND THE END

OF AMERICA'S 20 YEAR WAR IN

AFGHANISTAN.

FOR MORE I SPOKE WITH SPECIAL

CORRESPONDENT JEFF GREENFIELD,

WHO JOINED US FROM SANTA

BARBARA.

SO, JEFF, JOE BIDEN IS NOT A

SHRINKING VIOLET, I MEAN, THESE

REQUESTS FOR $2 TRILLION FOR

INFRASTRUCTURE, $2 TRILLION FOR

COVID RELIEF, THESE ARE HUGE

ASKS, AND HE DOESN'T HAVE A

BULLETPROOF MAJORITY IN

CONGRESS.

>> INDEED, HE HAS A PAPER THIN

MAJORITY IN CONGRESS.

AND THAT'S WHAT MAKES THIS SO

STARTLING.

YOU THINK OF MAJOR SOCIAL

PROGRAMS, THEY WERE INITIATED BY

PRESIDENTS WHO HAD WON LANDSLIDE

VICTORIES-- F.D.R. IN 1932,

L.B.J. IN 1964.

BUT I THINK THERE WERE A COUPLE

OF EXPLANATIONS FOR THIS.

FIRST, THE BIDEN PEOPLE ARE VERY

AWARE THAT OBAMA MAY HAVE ASKED

FOR TOO LITTLE IN 2009, WHICH

DID NOT PREVENT A SLOW, WEAK,

POLITICALLY DAMAGING RECOVERY.

SO THEY'RE ASKING FOR A LOT.

SECOND, THE INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN

IS VERY POPULAR, ACCORDING TO

THE PUBLIC OPINION POLLS, AMONG

EVEN REPUBLICANS.

AND REALLY INTERESTINGLY, WHEN

PEOPLE LEARN THAT BIDEN WANTS TO

PAY FOR IT WITH TAX INCREASES ON

CORPORATIONS, THE SUPPORT GOES

UP.

THE THIRD THING IS THE

DEMOCRATIC PARTY, AS WE KNOW,

HAS MOVED SUBSTANTIALLY TO THE

LEFT.

SO THERE'S PRESSURE ON BIDEN TO

BE BIG.

AND LAST, AND I THINK WE HAVE TO

REMEMBER THIS ESPECIALLY, THE

BIDEN PEOPLE KNOW THAT HISTORY

SAYS THEY'RE GOING TO LOSE THOSE

MAJORITIES IN CONGRESS IN THE

MIDTERMS.

AND IF THEY WANT TO GET BIG

STUFF DONE, THEY'VE GOT TO DO IT

IN THESE FIRST TWO YEARS.

>> Sreenivasan: BIG STUFF,

INCLUDING WITHDRAWAL OF U.S.

TROOPS FROM AFGHANISTAN, THIS IS

SOMETHING THAT DONALD TRUMP ALSO

WANTED.

NOW JOE BIDEN SAYS THAT HE WOULD

LIKE THEM OUT BEFORE THE 20th

ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11.

IS THIS A POLITICAL CHANGE?

>> I THINK IT'S A BROAD

POLITICAL CHANGE.

YOU MIGHT HAVE EXPECTED IN OTHER

ERAS FOR THE REPUBLICANS TO COME

DOWN VERY HARD ON A DEMOCRAT

LOOKING TO FOLD OUR TENTS AND

PULL OUT.

BUT DONALD TRUMP, HE RAN ON AN

AMERICA FIRST, MORE OR LESS,

ISOLATIONIST PLAN.

HE TALKED ABOUT ENDING FOREVER

WARS, AND HIS PLAN WAS TO GET

TROOPS OUT BY MAY 1.

SO, TO SOME EXTENT, REPUBLICANS

ARE BOXED IN.

BUT MORE IMPORTANT, BIDEN'S

ALWAYS BEEN A SKEPTIC ABOUT

AFGHANISTAN.

WHEN HE WAS VICE PRESIDENT, HE

WAS TELLING OBAMA, DON'T LET THE

GENERALS JAM YOU.

AND THAT SKEPTICISM, TO BE

BLUNT, HAS BEEN VERY AMPLY

REWARDED.

THE WHOLE IDEA OF, ALL RIGHT,

WE'RE GOING TO IMPLANT THERE A

STABLE GOVERNING DEMOCRACY, JUST

ISN'T HAPPENING.

YOU HAD SECRETARY OF STATE

BLINKEN TODAY SAYING, WELL,

AL-QAEDA HAS BEEN DEGRADED.

THEY'RE NOT A THREAT ANYMORE.

BUT THAT WAS TRUE A COUPLE OF

MONTHS AFTER THE 2001 INVASION.

THE HUBRIS OF A WESTERN COUNTRY

SAYING, "WE ARE GOING TO IMPOSE

OUR VERSION OF A STRONG

GOVERNMENT ON A CULTURE UTTERLY

ALIEN TO THAT WHOLE IDEA."

AND SO, I THINK THAT KIND OF

HUMILITY OF WHICH GEORGE W. BUSH

TALKED ABOUT IN HIS CAMPAIGN AND

THEN DID IN PRACTICE, BOTH

PARTIES, I THINK, HAVE GOTTEN A

SUBSTANTIAL DOSE OF HUMILITY

FROM THAT $2 TRILLION

EXPENDITURE IN AFGHANISTAN OVER

20 YEARS.

>> Sreenivasan: WHAT HAPPENS TO

SOME OF THE AFGHANS THAT WERE

WORKING WITH U.S. TROOPS AND

OTHERS WHO ARE TRYING TO CLAIM

ASYLUM AND REFUGEE STATUS IN THE

UNITED STATES?

THE REFUGEE STATUS KIND OF CAME

BACK IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK, AND

IT WAS BIDEN MAKING A STATEMENT,

THEN GETTING A LOT OF PUSHBACK

FROM HIS OWN PARTY, AND THEN

PIVOTING.

>> IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO

REMEMBER THAT THE REFUGEE

CONTROVERSY IS NOT ABOUT THE

SURGE OF UNACCOMPANIED MINORS TO

THE BORDER, AT LEAST NOT

FORMALLY.

THESE ARE REFUGEES WHO HAVE

ALREADY BEEN CLEARED FOR ENTRY

INTO THE UNITED STATES.

AND WHAT DONALD TRUMP DID WAS TO

PUT THE QUOTA ON THEIR

ADMISSIONS TO A HISTORIC LOW,

AND BIDEN HAD PROMISED IN THE

CAMPAIGN TO QUADRUPLE THAT QUOTA

FROM 15-60,000.

WHAT I DO THINK IS PRETTY CLEAR

IS THAT THE CRISIS AT THE

BORDER, AND THE WHITE HOUSE IS

FINALLY CALLING IT A CRISIS WITH

ALL THOSE UNACCOMPANIED MINORS,

MADE THEM VERY WARY OF YET

ANOTHER PROGRAM TO BRING MORE

PEOPLE IN.

BUT AS YOU SAY, THE PUSHBACK WAS

ENORMOUS.

THE NUMBER TWO DEMOCRAT IN THE

SENATE, DICK DURBIN, WAS VERY

CRITICAL OF BIDEN.

AND THAT'S WHY I THINK THIS

MORNING JAKE SULLIVAN, BIDEN'S

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER, WENT

ON TV TO SAY, NO, WE'RE GOING TO

RAISE THE QUOTA.

BUT WHAT IT DOES POINT TO, TO GO

BACK TO OUR EARLIER

CONVERSATION, IS THAT TO THE

DEMOCRATIC PARTY, THE

PROGRESSIVE BASE IS FULLY

PREPARED TO HOLD BIDEN'S FEET TO

THE FIRE WHEN THEY THINK HE IS

TURNING HIS BACK ON WHAT HE

APPEARS TO HAVE PROMISED THEM.

>> Sreenivasan: JEFF GREENFIELD

JOINING US FROM SANTA BARBARA

TODAY.

THANKS SO MUCH.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

>> Sreenivasan: SINGER,

SONGWRITER AND MUSICIAN SAM

AMIDON HAS BEEN ONSTAGE FOR MORE

THAN 35 OF HIS ALMOST 40 YEARS,

WITH 11 ALBUMS AND

COLLABORATIONS WITH THE LIKES OF

GUITAR MAESTRO BILL FRISELL, AS

WELL AS WITH HIS WIFE, THE NOTED

BRITISH SINGER/SONGWRITER BETH

ORTON, AMIDON HAS DEVELOPED A

SHINING REPUTATION FOR TAKING

SOMETHING VERY OLD AND MAKING IT

SOUND BRAND-NEW.

NEWSHOUR WEEKEND SPECIAL

CORRESPONDENT TOM CASCIATO HAS

OUR STORY.

♪ ♪

>> Reporter: SAM AMIDON IS A

MUSICAL ENIGMA OF SORTS.

YOU MIGHT CONSIDER HIM A FOLK

PURIST IF YOU ONLY HEARD HIM

SING A TRADITIONAL APPALACHIAN

TUNE LIKE "ACROSS THE BLUE

MOUNTAINS."

♪ I'LL BUY YOU A HORSE LOVE

AND A SADDLE TO RIDE ♪

>> Reporter: BUT LISTEN TO HIS

RE-DO OF ANOTHER TUNE, "GEORGIE

BUCK," AND YOU'LL HEAR WHY

AMIDON'S KNOWN FOR TAKING OLD

TIME MUSIC INTO SONIC AREAS THE

OLD TIMERS LIKELY NEVER

IMAGINED.

♪ I'M GOING TO THE SHACK

ALL THE WAY BACK

♪ GOING TO THE SHACK

IN MY MIND ♪

>> Reporter: YOU'VE BEEN

DESCRIBED AS A FOLK

EXPERIMENTALIST, WHICH SOUNDS

LIKE A COMPLETE OXYMORON.

IT SOUNDS LIKE-- LIKE BEING AN

"OUTGOING HOMEBODY" OR

SOMETHING.

>> (LAUGHS )

ABSOLUTELY.

I WOULD SAY I'M PRIMARILY A

SINGER/SONG REWORKER, A FOLK

SONG REWORKER.

>> Reporter: A REWORKER YES, BUT

ONE WHO MAKES THE SONGS HIS OWN

TO THE POINT OF ACHIEVING WHAT

THE MUSIC SITE "PITCHFORK" CALLS

"A RESOUNDING PERSONAL STATEMENT

OUT OF SONGS IN THE PUBLIC

DOMAIN."

THE STORY OF HOW HE ARRIVED

THERE?

WELL, IT STARTS EARLY.

>> SO, MY PARENTS MET IN THE

FOLK SCENE IN THEIR 20's IN

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, IN THE

MID '70s.

AND THEY BOTH SORT OF DISCOVERED

FOLK DANCING, CONTRA DANCING,

YOU KNOW, TRADITIONAL BALLADS,

WHETHER APPALACHIAN BALLADS OR

ENGLISH OR SCOTTISH.

AND THEY MOVED TO VERMONT.

AND I GREW UP AS A GENERATION OF

KIDS WHOSE PARENTS HAD REALLY

COME TO THIS AREA TO BE ABLE

TO-- TO HAVE FOLK DANCES ON THE

WEEKENDS, AND IT WAS ALL THESE

DIFFERENT SORT OF COMMUNITY FOLK

MUSIC MAKING.

>> Reporter: HE COULD CARRY A

TUNE RIGHT FROM THE GO.

♪ BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP

HAVE YOU ANY WOOL?

♪ YES SIR, YES SIR

THREE BAGS FULL ♪

>> MY DAD HAD A BRASS BAND THAT

WAS SORT OF HIPPIE-ISH FOLK

MUSIC, BRASS BAND PLAYED FOR

DANCING.

I MEAN, IT WAS, LITERALLY MUSIC

WAS EVERYWHERE IN THE, SORT OF,

FOLK MUSIC COMMUNITY.

>> Reporter: SOON HE TOOK UP THE

FIDDLE AND TOOK TO THE STAGE

WITH HIS FOLKS.

I REALLY WAS DRAWN TO THE FIDDLE

AT A YOUNG AGE.

AND I JUST LOVED FIDDLE TUNES.

>> Reporter: HE WOULD ALSO

BECOME ADEPT AT GUITAR AND

BANJO, BUT JUST AS IMPORTANT AS

HIS PLAYING WAS HIS SKILL AS A

LISTENER-- NOT TO MUSIC ON THE

POP CHARTS, BUT ON OLD AMERICAN

FIELD RECORDINGS.

>> THERE'S A BALLAD SINGER NAMED

ALMEIDA RIDDLE.

♪ I LOVE MY LITTLE ROOSTER

AND MY ROOSTER LOVES ME

♪ I'M GONNA CHERISH THAT CHICKEN

'NEATH THE GREEN BAY TREE ♪

>> AND THEN BESSIE JONES IS A

FOUNDATIONAL MUSICIAN FOR ME,

WHO WAS IN THE GEORGIA SEA

ISLANDS.

♪ MMM

TELL MOSES, LORD ♪

>> Reporter: BUT IT WAS WHAT HE

ADDED TO HIS FOLK LISTENING THAT

HELPED HIM BECOME THE ARTIST

THAT HE IS TODAY.

>> THERE WAS A-- A EUREKA MOMENT

THAT HAPPENED TO ME WHEN I WAS

ABOUT 16, WHICH IS THAT I SANG A

LOT OF APPALACHIAN FOLK SONGS,

BUT I WAS REALLY MUCH MORE

INTERESTED IN MILES DAVIS,

ESPECIALLY ELECTRIC '70s

EXPERIMENTAL, WILD MILES DAVIS.

♪ ♪

AND I WAS REALLY INTERESTED IN

THINGS LIKE FREE JAZZ, PEOPLE

LIKE ORNETTE COLEMAN WHO TOOK

JAZZ AND MADE IT COMPLETELY

ABSTRACT, AND THE INTENSITY AND

WEIRDNESS OF IT WAS ENTRANCING

TO ME.

AND THEN I WENT BACK AND I

STARTED LISTENING TO THESE FIELD

RECORDINGS.

AND I HEARD THIS CONNECTION

BETWEEN THIS SUPER EXPERIMENTAL

CREATIVE MUSIC AND YET ON THE

OTHER SIDE, THIS DEEP OLD FIELD

RECORDINGS SEEMED TO ME JUST AS

STRANGE AND JUST AS MYSTERIOUS.

AND SO, THAT TOOK A WHILE FOR ME

TO FIGURE OUT HOW I WOULD MAKE

THAT MUSIC OF MY OWN.

>> Reporter: HE DID FIGURE IT

OUT.

WHILE HE TUNES UP, LISTEN TO A

1940's VERSION OF A TRADITIONAL

TUNE DONE BY THE STANLEY

BROTHERS IN THEIR FAMED HIGH

LONESOME STYLE, "LITTLE MAGGIE."

♪ YONDER STANDS LITTLE MAGGIE

WITH A DRAM GLASS IN HER HAND ♪

>> SO, THE ORIGINAL KIND OF

VERSION WOULD GO SOMETHING LIKE

THIS.

♪ YONDER STANDS LITTLE MAGGIE

WITH A DRAM GLASS IN HER HAND

♪ SHE'S DRINKING AWAY

HER SORROWS

♪ SHE'S COURTING

SOME OTHER MAN ♪

>> Reporter: BUT WHEN HE WENT

INTO THE STUDIO FOR HIS 2020

SELF-TITLED ALBUM, HE RENAMED

THE SONG SIMPLY "MAGGIE."

HE HAD COME UP WITH AN ENTIRELY

DIFFERENT BANJO RIFF AND A

DRIVING NEW RHYTHM.

♪ ♪

NOW, WITH THE BANJO AUGMENTED BY

ELECTRIC GUITAR, SYNTH AND

PERCUSSION, A BRAND-NEW VERSION

OF A VERY OLD SONG WAS BORN,

THOROUGHLY CONTEMPORARY YET

STEEPED IN TRADITION.

♪ YONDER STANDS LITTLE MAGGIE

WITH A DRAM GLASS IN HER HAND ♪

>> Reporter: THERE'S EVEN SOME

SINGING WITH THAT OLD-TIME

STRANGENESS AND MYSTERY HE TALKS

ABOUT.

THERE'S ONE BIT TOWARD THE END

OF YOUR VERSION OF "MAGGIE"

WHERE THE VOCALS GET WAY OUT

AHEAD OF THE BEAT.

WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?

>> I JUST-- I JUST DRIFTED OFF.

(LAUGHS )

♪ SHE'S DRINKING AWAY

HER TROUBLES

♪ AND COURTING SOME

OTHER MAN ♪

>> Reporter: A LOT OF PEOPLE

WOULD HAVE SAID, "OH, MAN, I

BLEW THAT.

LET'S DO ANOTHER TAKE."

>> ABSOLUTELY.

WELL, HERE'S THE THING: ONE

THING THAT'S REALLY BEAUTIFUL

ABOUT LISTENING TO THE FIELD

RECORDINGS IS THAT YOU'RE

HEARING THE PERSON IN THEIR

HOUSE.

AND THERE'S JUST A QUALITY OF,

SORT OF, ACCIDENT.

AND IT MAKES LISTENING TO THEM

REALLY BEAUTIFUL.

AND I'VE ALWAYS TRIED TO LEAVE

SOME ELEMENT OF THAT INTO MY

RECORDS.

>> Sreenivasan: WE HAVE MORE SAM

AMIDON MUSIC FOR YOU.

FOR AN EXCLUSIVE SOLO

PERFORMANCE OF HIS SONG

"MAGGIE," GO TO OUR "PBS

NEWSHOUR" YOUTUBE CHANNEL.

♪ YONDER STANDS LITTLE MAGGIE

WITH A DRAM GLASS IN HER HANDS

♪ SHE'S DRINKING AWAY

HER TROUBLES, AND COURTING

♪ SOME OTHER MAN

>> Sreenivasan: HER WORK HAS

BEEN DESCRIBED AS

TRANSFORMATIVE, BOTH FOR THE

OBSERVER AND FOR HER EXHIBIT'S

SURROUNDINGS.

JAPANESE ARTIST YAYOI KUSAMA'S

LATEST EXHIBITION, POSTPONED

INITIALLY BECAUSE OF THE

PANDEMIC, APTLY USES A 250 ACRE

LANDSCAPE AS THE SETTING FOR HER

EXHIBIT, "COSMIC NATURE."

NEWSHOUR WEEKEND'S CHRISTOPHER

BOOKER HAS MORE.

>> Reporter: THERE IS A STRANGE,

YET SEEMINGLY NATURAL SYMMETRY

IN YAYOI KUSAMA'S TAKEOVER OF

THE NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN.

IT MAY BE WRAPPED AROUND THE

TREES, SITTING IN THE FOUNTAINS

OR NESTLED BETWEEN TROPICAL

PLANTS, BUT AGAINST THE BACKDROP

OF THE ANNUAL SPRING EXPLOSION

OF FLOWERS AND LEAVES, THE WORK

SEEMS NOWHERE NEAR OUT OF PLACE.

THE SHAPES AND COLORS OF THE

BRONX GARDEN PROVIDES A NATURAL

RUNWAY FOR THE UNMISTAKABLE

WORKS OF ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST

FAMOUS LIVING ARTISTS.

BUT AT 92, KUSAMA SELDOM

TRAVELS, SO BRINGING HER WORK TO

THE WORLD HAS, IN RECENT YEARS,

FALLEN ON CURATOR MIKA

YOSHITAKE.

>> THERE'S A VERY VISCERAL

CONNECTION TO NATURE THAT YOU'LL

SEE IN HER FORMS.

IT ALMOST FEELS KINETIC.

BUDS ARE ABOUT TO BLOOM AND

THERE'S THIS THRESHOLD BETWEEN

THE BOTANICAL AND THE COSMIC

WORLD.

>> Reporter: ORIGINALLY

SCHEDULED TO OPEN LAST SPRING,

"KUSAMA: COSMIC NATURE" SPANS

OVER 70 YEARS OF HER WORK, FROM

THIS 1945 SKETCH TO 2020'S

"DANCING PUMPKIN."

SO, WHEN YOU'RE GOING THROUGH

LOOKING AT THIS SPACE, WHAT ARE

YOU THINKING?

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING TO

UNDERSTAND OR TO FIGURE OUT?

>> WELL, WITH KUSAMA'S WORK, THE

INTERACTION WITH THE SUN, THE

GLASS, THE SKY AND THE

REFLECTIVE NATURE OF SOME OF HER

WORKS IS VERY KEY.

THE BOTANICAL GARDENS REALLY DID

DETERMINE WHICH KIND OF PIECES

WE WOULD SELECT.

SO, LIKE THE ASCENSION OF POLKA

DOTS ON TREES, I THINK WHAT WE

DISCOVER IS HOW KUSAMA'S WORK

REALLY ENHANCES THE BOTANICAL

LANDSCAPE.

SO THERE IS A DIALOG BETWEEN THE

TWO.

HER WORK IS NOT BLENDING IN WITH

THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT, IT'S

REALLY ON ITS OWN.

IT HOLDS ITS OWN.

>> Reporter: FOR KUSAMA, THIS

DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE BOTANICAL

AND ETHEREAL STARTED EARLY.

GROWING UP, HER FAMILY RAN A

NURSERY BUSINESS IN MATSUMOTO,

JAPAN.

YOU MET AND STARTED WORKING ON

THIS PROJECT BEFORE THE

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC.

DID YOU FIND YOURSELF OR DID THE

GALLERY FIND ITSELF SECOND

GUESSING WHAT WORK TO INCLUDE,

ESPECIALLY AS WE'RE TALKING

ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS WITH NATURE

AND OUR EXISTENCE?

>> SO, THE PANDEMIC FORCED A LOT

OF CHANGES, ESPECIALLY IN THIS

BUILDING, IN THE WAY THAT THE

CROWD WOULD, YOU KNOW, FLOW,

BUT, YOU KNOW, I THINK THE

PANDEMIC HAS REALLY BEEN EYE

OPENING IN TERMS OF... JUST MORE

PHILOSOPHICALLY, WE'RE NOT SELF-

CONTAINED BODIES.

YOU KNOW, WE COEXIST WITH THE

NATURAL ENVIRONMENT.

AND I THINK THAT THE WORK THAT

KUSAMA PROVIDES REMINDS US OF

THAT VULNERABILITY AND THE

COEXISTENCE OF NATURE, HUMAN

NATURE AND COSMIC NATURE.

>> Reporter: WHERE DOES THIS

SHOW THEN FIT INTO HER LONG

STORY?

IS THIS A CULMINATION OF A

LIFE'S WORK?

IS THIS JUST ANOTHER SHOW WITHIN

A LIFE'S WORK?

>> IT'S A COMPREHENSIVE, THE

FIRST COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION

OF HER ENGAGEMENT WITH NATURE.

THAT CALM, CONTEMPLATIVE WALK IN

BETWEEN IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE

WORK ITSELF.

>> Reporter: "KUSAMA: COSMIC

NATURE" WILL BE ON DISPLAY UNTIL

OCTOBER 31.

>>THIS IS PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND,

SUNDAY.

>> Sreenivasan: FINALLY TONIGHT,

DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC,

TIME HAS SOMETIMES SEEMED TO

SLOW TO A CRAWL, BUT BEHIND THE

CLOSED DOORS OF ONE GERMAN

MUSEUM, DAYS WITHOUT VISITORS

BECAME A RACE TO BREAK AN

UNUSUAL RECORD.

(CLINKING )

IT MAY BE A STRETCH TO CALL THIS

MUSIC TO YOUR EARS AT FIRST, BUT

THERE IS SOMETHING MESMERIZING

ABOUT MODEL TRAINS, AND THIS ONE

IS BUILT TO SET A RECORD AS IT

CHUGS ALONG, TAPPING AWAY AT

THOUSANDS OF TINY WATER-FILLED

GLASSES.

>> (translated ): AND WHAT

SOUNDED LIKE A CRAZY IDEA, WHERE

EVERYONE FIRST SAID, "YOU MUST

BE CRAZY," NOW WE ARE GOING TO

GO ALONG AND SORT OF TRY TO

BREAK A WORLD RECORD, AND THAT

JUST BRINGS FUN TO ALL OF US,

HONESTLY.

WE'RE PLAYING KIDS.

>> Sreenivasan: WHEN THE

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC CLOSED THIS

HAMBURG, GERMANY, MINIATURE

TRAIN MUSEUM, THE STAFF HAD TIME

ON THEIR HANDS.

SO, NATURALLY, THEY DID WHAT

ANYONE WOULD: THEY BUILT A

MUSICAL MODEL TRAIN.

THEIR GOAL?

TO SET A GUINNESS WORLD RECORD

FOR THE LONGEST MELODY PLAYED BY

A MODEL TRAIN.

♪ ♪

TRAVELING THROUGH INTRICATE

LANDSCAPES AND TINY VERSIONS OF

CITIES, THE TRAIN IS EQUIPPED

WITH TINY MALLETS THAT STRIKE

TINY WATER-FILLED GLASSES, AND

THE WATER LEVELS MUST BE EXACT.

THERE WAS A NOT SO LITTLE

PROBLEM: BY THE TIME THE 2,840

GLASSES WERE FILLED TO THE RIGHT

LEVELS, THE WATER STARTED TO

EVAPORATE, MAKING THEM OFF-KEY.

>> (translated ): WE TRIED IT

WITH PLASTIC WRAP TO COVER THE

SURFACE, AND WE FOUND OUT THAT A

LIGHT OIL, VERY LIQUID OIL, SO

NOT COOKING OIL OR SOMETHING,

IT'S BEST TO CREATE A LAYER ON

TOP THAT PRESERVES IT AND THEN

THERE'S HARDLY ANY EVAPORATION.

>> Sreenivasan: STRIKING THE

RIGHT NOTES 2,840 TIMES, THE

TRAIN PLAYS A MEDLEY OF 20

CLASSICAL PIECES.

>> Sreenivasan: THAT'S ALL FOR

THIS EDITION OF "PBS NEWSHOUR

WEEKEND."

FOR THE LATEST NEWS UPDATES

VISIT pbs.org/newshour.

I'M HARI SREENIVASAN.

THANKS FOR WATCHING.

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