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Per F. Broman

Amateur Hour: Karin Rehnqvist, The City’s Choir, and the Gift that Kept Giving

Karin Rehnqvist was never afraid of being labeled a composer for amateurs (nor was she afraid of being labeled a feminist), and after numerous commissions from professional ensembles and international performances, she didn’t have to prove herself. The amateur path she started on actually showed itself to be an ideal schooling in outreach and entrepreneurship.

Articles
Elaine Walker

Essential Tools for Xenharmonic Music

Even if you are an acoustic musician, I suggest expanding your xenharmonic universe into the digital world because there will be more choices of tunings and sounds. And vice versa.

Articles
Ryan Ebright

How to Produce Opera Outside the Opera House

How do you get an opera company to produce an opera that’s not really an opera? You don’t—you do it yourself. But it takes a network of support. Ryan Ebright explores the personal connections and professional collaborators that allowed Steve Reich and Beryl Korot to self-produce their first video opera The Cave.

Articles
Elaine Walker

The Science of Sound and Tunings

As a composer, what drew me to use scales that have more, or less, notes per octave than our standard twelve-tone tuning–or xenharmonic music–was the boredom that crept up on me over the years of using the same twelve notes over and over, plus a curiosity about other possible tunings and what emotional chords they might strike.

Articles
Paul Frucht

Rediscovering Ives’s Legacy

As I got older and began to compose, I began to understand why all of my local music teachers talked so much about Charles Ives. It wasn’t what I suspected growing up, that he was a middling-famous composer who happened to have been born in our town. No, they kept talking about Ives because he really is that important.

Articles
Elaine Walker

What is Xenharmonic Music?

Using a different number of notes per octave, it is possible to write new music with new harmonic relationships that humankind has never heard before.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Chris Brown: Models are Never Complete

Despite his fascination with extremely dense structures, California-based composer Chris Brown is surprisingly tolerant about loosely interpreting them. Chalk it up to a musical career that has been equally devoted to composing and improvising.

Articles
Katherine Balch

Mentor, Me—Mentoring is Hard

As a young and very green teacher of both classroom and private students, I have no illusions about making mistakes in my teaching. Teachers face challenges in managing many different personalities in a classroom, particularly in equating vocality with interest or aptitude.

Articles
Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti

Building Curriculum Diversity: Technique, History, and Performance

We must build greater gender and racial diversity into curriculums and concert programs so that students may see themselves in history.

Articles
Sasha Metcalf

How OPERA America Has Supported New Works

In the 1980s, OPERA America members became concerned with the dearth of new American operas and the stagnation of standard European repertoire. In response to this perceived crisis, they decided to take action. But the need for financial support was only part of the problem.

Articles
Linda May Han Oh

A Fearless and Kind Leader—Remembering Geri Allen (1957-2017)

The vast number of people in this world that the great Geri Allen has influenced is undeniable. She has been an outstanding musician, mother, educator, mentor, and role model to many—including myself.

Articles
Katherine Balch

Mentor, Me—Momentary Mentorship

In October of last year, Ashley Fure became a mentor to me without her knowing it. Beyond the striking impression of the music, I was moved by Fure’s comments about it.

Articles
Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti

Building Curriculum Diversity: Analytical Essays

Why is it important to include women in curriculums or histories? Why is it important that women’s contributions are visible? If they’re not, we run the risk of their absence being accepted as some kind of unquestionable natural state. We need to actively resist this by ensuring women and their music are present in our classrooms and concert halls.

Articles
Donna Arnold

Schoenberg’s Punk Rocker:  The Radical Transformations of Dika Newlin

Anyone who knew her would agree that multifaceted composer, musicologist, teacher, Schoenberg disciple and punk rock singer Dika Newlin (1923-2006) was one of the most brilliant, eccentric people they ever encountered. Her extant works certainly deserve to be rediscovered. But for her multimedia pieces, it is almost certainly too late.

Articles
Gahlord Dewald

Beyond SoundCloud: Why We Share

In the wake of questions surrounding SoundCloud’s future, it may seem important to quickly figure out “What service do I use now?!?” But Gahlord Dewald suggests that we might first take this opportunity to clarify our goals when we share our music online, and then let those answers lead us to the best tools. He’s found several to get you started. What would you add to the list?

Articles
Katherine Balch

Mentor, Me—Beyond Musical Mentorship

Having someone as a mentor figure who was outside of music–Vickie Sullivan, a popular professor at Tufts University particularly well known in the political science and classics departments–was really grounding: it reminded me that my art and the skills I need to make it didn’t exist in a vacuum.

Articles
Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti

Building Curriculum Diversity: Pink Noises

Tara Rodgers chats with Anne Lanzilotti about electronic music, gear, gender, and the ways in which music is a starting point for exploring questions of belonging and nonbelonging, of identity and difference.

Articles
Edward Ficklin

History Repeating: Today's Net Neutrality Day of Action

Today is a net neutrality day of action! New Music USA is certainly interested in preserving a free and open internet and has filed a comment with the FCC to this effect. Eddy Ficklin outlines what’s at stake–especially for creative artists–and shows you how to submit a comment of your own.

Articles
Katherine Balch

Mentor, Me—Sustained Musical Mentorship

Kati Agócs was a patient and thorough teacher who guided me like the complete beginner I was but treated me like a professional. I was such a sponge because I was able to see a person I so deeply admired that might one day be me.

Articles
Marc Weidenbaum

Does Music Played in a Metadata Void Actually Make a Sound?

LPs and CDs package music with a wealth of information—liner notes, additional images, studio details, and lists of personnel. For newer digital releases and libraries of files that carry only a handful of metadata fields, their absence suggests that the music can somehow meaningfully exist without such information. Marc Weidenbaum argues that it can’t.

Articles
Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti

Building Curriculum Diversity: Stereotype Threat

One of Anne Lanzilotti’s favorite things about teaching is that curriculum is alive and therefore must be nourished so that it may change over time. That means constantly reading and learning from colleagues and students about new music and new approaches to sound.

Articles
John Pippen

What Do You Think?

How do we critique each other’s work? What is at stake in such a conversation? For every successful endeavor, there are more failures. As I became aware of this contingency, “What do you think?” became an increasingly high-stakes question.

Articles
Ryan Ebright

In Support of New Music

Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing case studies that illuminate networks of support for new American music, as presented by a panel of musicologists at the third annual New Music Gathering this past May. The full series is indexed here.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Kristin Norderval: Permanent and Impermanent Sonic Moments

Composer/vocalist Kristin Norderval’s output has been extraordinarily diverse but addressing societal wrongs is perhaps the one common focus that unites decades of work whether she’s improvising vocals and transforming sounds on her laptop alongside other musicians, performing with the viol consort Parthenia in a song cycle she wrote for them, creating electronic scores for dance, building sound installations involving upturned pianos or repurposed trash, or starring in her own evening-length opera about an abduction during the Argentinian junta, The Trials of Patricia Isasa, which premiered last year during the 2016 OPERA America conference in Montreal.

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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.