The year 2012 came at us hooting and hollering with huge events, be they pre-empted (the Olympic Games in London, the US presidential election), unforeseen (Hurricane Sandy in New York) or somewhere in the middle (the Eurozone debt crisis). The outlook for 2013 is thankfully - for the most part - somewhat more low-key; but that's not to say there aren't still all kinds of interesting happenings in store. The cultural calendar this year is looking very attractive indeed, with a focus on new projects by some of the more quietly discerning and original creative forces we know. There's literature by Messrs JM Coetzee and Paul Auster, music from Vampire Weekend and a host of other indie favourites, films from director Ms Kathryn Bigelow and actor Mr Ryan Gosling, and a major exhibition celebrating the supremely understated oeuvre of Mr Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier. There will of course be some louder presences in there too (new Lady Gaga and U2 albums, anyone?), but we'd like to hereby herald 2013 as a chance to catch your breath, relax a while, and luxuriate in some seriously refined offerings, starting with these.