Greg Sandow Photo courtesy Greg Sandow Was it an outdoor experience? I’m not sure, and who cares? But when I was new music critic for the Village Voice in the ’80s, I remember being invited to a private event, somebody playing his sax in an abandoned building in the East Village. This was magical, the… Read more »
Mic Holwin photo by Lost In Brooklyn Studio Music festivals in America take on added pleasure in the summer, when a concertgoer can claim a spot on the lawn surrounding a stage, spread out a quilt handed down from an aunt in Pennsylvania, uncork a bottle of California Zinfandel, slice some Vermont Cheddar and Wisconsin… Read more »
For our third issue of NewMusicBox, we have expanded the scope of SoundTracks. In addition to featuring the cover and complete track information for all new recordings of American music that we can get our hands on, we are also featuring sound samples of every recording. So rather than hearing us rave about one of… Read more »
Frank J. Oteri Photo by Melissa Richard Five years ago some friends of mine drove me down to a bluegrass festival in Stumptown, West Virginia — a more than 10 hour journey from New York City which was more time than I’ve ever spent in a car in my whole life being the die-hard urbanite!… Read more »
Greg Sandow “Was it an outdoor experience? I’m not sure, and who cares?…” Michael Torke “I remember a concert at the Tanglewood Music Center that had both David Del Tredici’s “Happy Voices” (from Child Alice) and John Adams’s Harmonielehre on the same program!” Marilyn Nonken “…the sight of Brant –headgear, jumpsuit, etc.– will always stick… Read more »
During his tenure as the President and CEO of The Ravinia Festival, Zarin Mehta (would would later become Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic), explained the delicate balancing act of presenting live music, a balancing act which is sometimes at odds with the presentation of new music.
Derek Bermel Photo courtesy Derek Bermel Last month I found some CD gems, among them Pittsburgh band Don Caballero‘s new album What Burns Never Returns (Touch and Go TG185CD) a minimalist rock album which takes King Crimson’s early 80’s stuff to the next level; the drummer Damon Che weaves some incredible polyrhythmic lines. Listening to… Read more »
Elliott Schwartz Photo by Joel Chadabe, courtesy Electronic Music Foundation As I’m living in England (on resident fellowship at Robinson College, Cambridge University) for the months of May and June, I’ve had a chance to hear some 20th century English music — ranging from the earliest part of the century (Vaughan Williams‘ wonderful song cycle… Read more »
Aaron Jay Kernis Photo by Daniel Vogel, courtesy G. Schirmer, Inc. Between visiting Tower, Music Boulevard on the Web and BMG Music Service (this is not paid advertising) I’ve recently seen about 6 recordings pass into my consciousness, but only briefly so far , since as I’m busily composing at the moment and can’t listen… Read more »
Laura Kuhn Photo by Betty Freeman NewMusicBox is terrific, but I confess that what I’m listening to right now doesn’t really qualify as new American music: both CDs available of Dulce Pontes, entitled Caminhos and Lagrimas, and both extraordinarily beautiful. American audiences may only be familiar with her work from the film “Primal Fear” (Ed… Read more »
I buy records for at least five reasons: professionally (I want to hear people I haven’t heard before, or I want to hear recordings that people I trust are talking about); I buy them for my children (records they want and records I think they might like); I buy them to hear musician friends when… Read more »
Steve Smith photo by Andrew Kochera New music has always had a tough time finding a home to call its own. Faced with a lack of performances by mainstream classical performing groups, as we learned here last month, many composers and other devotees of the avant-garde took it upon themselves to found their own ensembles… Read more »
Last month, when we launched NewMusicBox we featured information about 56 new CDs of American music issued since January 1999. For our second issue, we feature yet another 40! The year is not yet half over and already there are almost 100 new recordings of American music floating around. And the range this month is… Read more »
The sad reality of being unable to hear a large amount of American repertoire or new music of any national origin in the concert hall or on the radio is countered by the ecstatic joy of being able to hear anything you want if you’ve got it in your record collection.
Robert Hurwitz “I buy them to hear musician friends when they forget to send me a copy of their latest album…” Laura Kuhn “…I confess that what I’m listening to right now doesn’t really qualify as new American music…” Aaron Jay Kernis “I’ve always felt it important to hear as much new music in concert… Read more »
One of the original “indie-classical” labels, San Francisco-based New Albion Records defined the West Coast Sound and helped to launch the careers of John Adams, John Luther Adams, Ingram Marshall, Paul Dresher, Stephen Scott, Chen Yi, Sarah Cahill, David Tanenbaum, Margaret Lang Tan, and many others. New Albion’s founder Foster Reed explains the label’s philosophy.
Jessica Lustig Photo courtesy of Jessica Lustig When I attend new music events I feel a sense of adventure and hope. The adventure comes when I’m not sure what the music will sound like. The hope is that I may be lucky enough to be among the first to hear a work that will make… Read more »
Eugene V. Carr Photo courtesy of CultureFinder Former Executive Director, American Symphony Orchestra & President, CultureFinder (The Online Address for the Arts) Whenever I go to a modern dance performance I’m usually thrilled by the air of expectation in the house. People are eagerly waiting to see what their favorite dancers and choreographers are up… Read more »
George Steel Photo courtesy of George Steel Conductor and Artistic Director, Miller Theater (Columbia University) The Elements of Style: What attracts me to a new music concert Free drinks: A concert is a celebration. It should feel like one. Any gesture of hospitality is always a lure. Unapologetic programming: Nothing makes a program more drab… Read more »
Ken Smith photo by Melissa Richard For a composer, the urge to assume creative control in your own musical matters is as American as…well, Aaron Copland. But whether your frame of reference is literally the Copland-Sessions Concerts of Contemporary Music, a four-season project from 1929-1932 where American composers first took charge of bringing their music… Read more »
Frank J. Oteri Photo by Melissa Richard In 1939, six American composers joined forces to create the American Music Center, the first-ever information center devoted to the promulgation of new music. For many years, the American Music Center served as the only repository of scores and recordings of a diverse array of repertoire. This effort… Read more »
What makes you attend a music event? George Steel “Free drinks: A concert is a celebration. It should feel like one…” Eugene V. Carr “Whenever I go to a modern dance performance I’m usually thrilled by the air of expectation…” Dean Stein “…The history buff in me wants to hear what writers and composers have… Read more »
For the premiere issue of NewMusicBox (May 1999), the three founders of Bang on a Can–Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, and David Lang–met at ASCAP for a lengthy conversation with Frank J. Oteri, Richard Kessler, and Fran Richard about the current state of new music.
Dean Stein Photo © Peter Schaaf Executive Director, Chamber Music America I’ve always been a bit of a history buff — not so much academically as romantically. For example, I love the theater and try to see the off-off, off and Broadway productions that crowd a typical New York season – experimental works, revivals, classics,… Read more »