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NOTUS, Indiana University’s Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, 2017-2018
Articles
Dominick DiOrio

“Singers and Musicians” and Why Our Language Matters

When we use the phrase “singers and musicians” in one breath, we communicate—even if inadvertently—that they are mutually exclusive categories. In other words, singers are not musicians. That’s a problem.

Ellen Reid sitting on a couch.
Interviews
Frank J. Oteri

Ellen Reid: More Than Sound

Ellen Reid’s instinctive team spirit, as well as her awareness that sound always exists alongside other sensory stimuli, informs all the music she creates, whether it’s the score for the emotionally traumatic yet life-affirming opera p r i s m, the soundtrack for a motion picture, incidental music for theater, a sound installation, or a work for chamber ensemble or orchestra.

toy piano preparation
Articles
Alan Shockley

Beyond the 88: Playing Around Inside the Toy Piano

The toy piano is a different beast from a modern grand—and in a way that’s what makes it a great instrument for exploring piano preparations. Toy pianos are a lot cheaper, after all, and a lot easier to repair or replace if you damage one. But that aside, this diminutive instrument also offers a great timbral world all its own to experiment with.

BGSU Political Music Panel
Articles
Ryan Ebright

Political Music, Musical Politics: A Discussion Panel with Samuel Adler, Maria Grenfell, Aaron Jay Kernis, and Catherine Likhuta

The intersection of music and politics is a perennially fascinating topic, though ideas and philosophies often rub uncomfortably against actual musical practice. How is it, for example, that Beethoven’s music of universal brotherhood could also serve as the anthem of an apartheid nation-state? Composers Samuel Adler, Maria Grenfell, Aaron Jay Kernis, and Catherine Likhuta sat down with Ryan Ebright to share their wide-ranging thoughts during the 39th Annual New Music Festival at Bowling Green State University.

More extended piano techniques
Articles
Alan Shockley

Beyond the 88: A No-Fear Guide to On-the-String Piano Techniques

Harmonics? Muting? Glissandi and Pizz?! Alan Shockley continues his video series on prepared piano playing with an introduction to a handful of techniques on the strings that will provide many new timbres to explore.

TOC members at Providence Honk Festival (PRONK) 2016
Articles
Jacob Richman

Work the Work, Daily: Community-Building, Music-Making, and Conference Culture with Tenderloin Opera Company

If we in the new music community truly want to open our field and welcome more voices, we will have to come out of our comfort zones. Jacob Richman draws on his experiences working with the Tenderloin Opera Company, a homeless advocacy music and theater group, to present this powerful look into the impact of community art and what it takes to make deep and effective connections.

Articles
Aiden Feltkamp

Adapting an Ever-Changing System

An ideal updated system for vocal classification would serve singers, composers, and producers. The goal is to create more flexibility for singers, a more usable tool for composers, and more detailed information for producers when it comes to casting and programming.

Golf tee piano preparation
Articles
Alan Shockley

Beyond the 88: More no-fear piano preparations

Alan Shockley dives in deeper with detailed video demos of even more piano preparations that will allow you to continue to explore without fear!

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra onstage for a performance during the 2018 Winnipeg New Music Festival
Articles
Harry Stafylakis

A Musical Oasis in an Icefield

I was expecting something cool but fairly low-key. This isn’t New York or LA, after all; Winnipeg is only the 7th most populous city in Canada (which has one tenth the population of the US). What I found was fairly mind-blowing. A week-long festival dedicated entirely to contemporary music from Canada and abroad. With searing −40° weather outside.

Alexa Rosenberg as Prince Orlofsky from OperaRox's Opera Rave Masquerade at the Stonewall Inn
Articles
Aiden Feltkamp

Are Operatic Voice Types Inherently Gendered?

If a mezzo-soprano and a countertenor share the same range and often the same roles, then why are they separate types? And why is there an obvious gender difference?

Prepared piano
Articles
Alan Shockley

Beyond the 88: A No-Fear Beginner's Guide to Preparing the Piano

Lots of pianists and composers are a bit intimidated by the idea of reaching inside the piano, or of inserting foreign objects into the instrument. For those who would like to do some exploring but are feeling apprehensive, Alan Shockley is here to walk you through a few simple preparations and give you the confidence to get started.

Articles
Rebecca Hass

Take Better Care of Yourself By Making Small Changes

If you’re an ambitious person (and I bet you are), you probably have lots of things on your list that you’re going to start “once you have time.” That can be a losing proposition, though, because rarely do things actually calm down. Rebecca Hass is here to help you enter 2019 with a plan to prioritize and take better care of yourself by making small changes—starting now!

From a 2016 production Higglety Pigglety Pop 2016 featuring Aiden Feltkamp as Pig with soprano Sophia Burgos
Articles
Aiden Feltkamp

Does Opera Need Gendered Voice Types?

My experience as a transgender nonbinary singer has led me to question the effectiveness of the voice type classifications that we currently have in place.

George Walker
Articles
Gregory T.S. Walker

Devotion to a Personal Vision—Remembering George Walker (1922-2018)

In our day and age of dazzling musical talent that’s available at the push of a button or the click of a link, the music and legacy of George Walker may represent possibilities that are more and more difficult to find:  The devotion to a personal vision at a time when many composers conform to an extant musical scene. My brother and I will never forget what it was to be loved by our father.  But today any musician or music lover who’s willing to challenge themselves can share with us what he was.

Connie Frigo (saxophone), Tim Adams (perccussion) and Cynthia Johnston Turner performing the first movement of Timothy K. Adams's Charlottesville
Articles
Cynthia Johnston Turner

Charlottesville and Citizen Artistry

It all started with a conversation. What could we possibly do as teachers and as artists to make things better? We wanted to do something more profound, more long-lasting and impactful.

Interviews
Frank J. Oteri

Roberto Sierra: Globalizing Local Experiences

Composer Roberto Sierra frequently likes to tell the story of how, when he was growing up in Puerto Rico, he would hear Pablo Casals playing his cello on television while salsa recordings of the Fania All-Stars blared outside on the street. Most of Sierra’s music—which spans numerous works for soloists, chamber ensembles, and orchestra as well as his massive Missa Latina—has forged a synthesis of these two musical realms. But the question of what kinds of music are local or global is more complex than it might initially seem.

Articles
Andrew Rodriguez

The Collaborative Studio: Suggestions for Your Next Recording Project

Wrapping up his series on collaboration in the recording studio, Andrew Rodriguez offers five suggestions for those who may be new to the studio experience—either as a producer or performer—or for those who would like to take their future projects in a new, collaborative direction.

Articles
Cynthia Johnston Turner

Crowdsourcing Rehearsals—Part Two (the good part)

Here are some practical ideas to experiment with to be more inclusive and more student-focused during rehearsals with student ensembles. Disclaimer: You probably shouldn’t (well, just don’t) try all of them at once. That would not be successful.

Articles
New Music USA

NEWMUSICBOX MIX: 2018 STAFF PICKS

Before we sing another chorus of “Auld Lang Syne” and bring the curtain down on 2018, we have an annual tradition among the staff here at New Music USA of revisiting some of the tracks that caught our ears and hung on for any number of good reasons.

Articles
Andrew Rodriguez

The Collaborative Studio: The Past, Present, and Future of Classical Music Production

Instead of the recording acting as an archival document, it can become an expansion of the music itself. On record, you can provide a unique look into a piece of music that can’t be replicated live, especially in the present day where most people listen to music through headphones.

Articles
Cynthia Johnston Turner

Crowdsourcing Rehearsals

I’m convinced that the majority of conductors believe that simply because a student is in his/her ensemble playing an instrument, or singing, they are “engaged.” More and more, I’m convinced that this just isn’t the case. We stand on a box, with a stick, telling them what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.

Articles
James Chute

Retaking the Stage: What Artists Can Be In Our Society

It’s not as much about attracting new audiences as it is about retaking the stage for what artists can be in our society. Music and performance is an incredibly powerful way to connect people. You can create community and discourse and new ways of understanding each other through pieces of art.

Articles
Nicole Chamberlain

An "Inspired by Midwest Clinic" Playlist Curated By Nicole Chamberlain

Our friend and colleague Nicole Chamberlain agreed to curate a playlist inspired by the upcoming Midwest Clinic with works that she sourced from across the New Music USA platform. She put together this fantastic list featuring tracks from Alex Shapiro, Molly Joyce, Jennifer Jolley, Emily Koh, Alan Theisen, Russ Zokaites, and more!

Articles
Andrew Rodriguez

The Collaborative Studio: A Look into the Process of Producing Non-Classical Music

The goal of being a producer or a teacher isn’t to create carbon copies of yourself or your tastes. Instead, you work harder to help artists or your students achieve (or sometimes to develop) their visions. It’s a more involved and difficult process than it would be to just change everything until you’re satisfied, but the end result is a product that is a true representation of someone other than yourself.

Funders

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NewMusicBox receives major support from the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts and The ASCAP Foundation.

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NewMusicBox is funded in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and with support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and The Amphion Foundation, Inc. Support for New Music USA and its many programs and activities is provided by foundations, corporations, government agencies, and hundreds of individual contributors.

NewMusicBox receives major support from the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts and The ASCAP Foundation. NewMusicBox is funded in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and with support from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and The Amphion Foundation, Inc. Support for New Music USA and its many programs and activities is provided by foundations, corporations, government agencies, and hundreds of individual contributors.