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Articles
Andrew Ousley

Top 10 Things to Know About Social Media Marketing

Social media can feel like a time drain for already busy musicians, but it will only become more important in the coming years to have your own following of supporters that you can communicate with directly. So get started or fine tune your efforts right now.

Articles
Marc Weidenbaum

Audio or It Didn’t Happen

Sometimes Marc Weidenbaum records sound: by writing about it. It’s not so much notating it as noting it, unpacking it, coming to understand how it works by investigating how it works.

Articles
Chris Sivak

So You Want To Host A Composition Competition

We all want to serve the act of making music, but Chris Sivak sometimes wonders if an organization might not be aware of how their competition guidelines inhibit what they’re setting out to do.

Articles
Andrew Ousley

The Basics of Publicity

Branding, media relations, and when to hire a publicist…

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Sky Macklay: Why I Love Weird Contemporary Music

Sky Macklay is a highly conceptual composer who typically gets a flash of inspiration for a concept before she writes a single note. Sometimes it’s politically charged, like her Black Lives Matter-inspired choral work Sing Their Names or her provocative chamber opera whose three characters are two spermatozoa and a uterus. But other times it can be an investigation of a purely musical process–like a duo that’s simultaneously fast and slow or a relentless chain of cadences.

Articles
Lee Kesselman

The Man With Qualities: Remembering My Friend, Daniel Brewbaker (1951-2017)

To say that Daniel Brewbaker had achieved a certain kind of legendary status in my mind before we even met is no exaggeration. Now, after his untimely death, while it is still too fresh for me to contemplate, I’m trying to remember everything I can about our friendship.

Articles
Judy Bozone

Experiencing Influences

Living in Thailand offers me a simpler way of life than I had in America, and this simplicity has helped my composing and imagination grow into the spaces that used to be exhausted keeping up with a fast-paced life.

Articles
Robert Paterson

In the Name of “Research”

We wanted to use sexuality as the “in”: a topic that might intrigue a wider audience, maybe even get someone to attend their first opera. Getting people in the door is key.

Articles
Frank Pesci

The Big, and Ever-Present, “What’s Next?”

In a motion that has been well practiced during the last week, I reach for the interior jacket pocket that holds my business cards. I’m pleased to find only one remaining.

Articles
Judy Bozone

Music at the Root of Language

Because I am in a different culture, I am learning just as much information as I am teaching.

Vintage photo of Old carousel
Articles
Sarah Kirkland Snider

Candy Floss and Merry-Go-Rounds: Female Composers, Gendered Language, and Emotion

Problematic gender messaging—in academia, the media, and the culture at large—can toxify the soil in which young musicians hope to grow their careers. Too many female composers drop out as a result. For the health, longevity, and diversity of the art form, we must do better.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

5 Female Composers Among 9 Winners of 2017 BMI Student Composer Awards

For the first time in the BMI Student Composer Awards’ 65 year history, a majority of the winners (5 of the 9) are female composers. In addition, Lara Poe, is the first woman ever to win the William Schuman Prize (awarded since 1992 for most outstanding score) and Sydney Wang, winner of the Carlos Surinach Prize (awarded since 1999 to the youngest winner of the competition), is only the second woman to be so honored.

Articles
Frank Pesci

Preparing for Performance: What I Didn’t Know I Knew

For a week, we geeked out over performances we had attended, technique, our teachers, our “real jobs,” other projects we were starting, and what notation programs we used.

Articles
Judy Bozone

Making Music in Thailand

In Thailand, it is a very exciting time to be a composer because there is a lot of space for development. There have been several influential composers here, but contemporary music is still a relatively new idea.

Articles
Joel Phillip Friedman

Speak Now: D.C. Dispatch—Arts in the Time of Trump

While “federal government” is abstract in many parts of the country, here in D.C. it is very real. It is people and lives, flesh and blood. We know people working for the NIH, the NEA, NEH, the Smithsonian, and other government departments. And we certainly know many people in the arts, including many military musicians.

Articles
Frank Pesci

Taking Tweed Seriously–Lessons for the Emerging Opera Composer

“I am becoming a better opera composer” is my brand, to borrow a word from the marketing world. While not my favorite term, The Brand provides a compass, an overarching explanation as to why I make my decisions regarding my work and how I advance plans that will hopefully lead to collaboration.

Articles
Judy Bozone

Follow the Music

When the phone rang four years ago, I was asked if I would be interested in moving to Bangkok, Thailand to teach music theory and composition. I said yes. Even though I did not know precisely where I was going, I had to honor the important rule of my life: follow the music.

Articles
Frank Pesci

A Fine Mess: An Emerging Opera Composer vs. the American New Opera Machine

After college, I laid out a ten-year plan to develop the skills I thought I needed to write opera. Beginning with the voice, I wrote and sang choral music and art song, learning how singers thought and operated (no small feat). Next, I worked my way from solo instrumental pieces to chamber music to full orchestra, settings songs for voice and chamber instrumentation and simulating Puccini arias and duets along the way.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Béla Fleck: Things That Sound Right

Since becoming a professional musician as a teenager in the late 1970s, Béla Fleck has redefined jazz and newgrass (a harmonically and rhythmically progressive off-shoot from bluegrass), collaborated with traditional musicians from India, China, and multiple nations in Africa, and has composed significant repertoire for chamber music ensembles and symphony orchestras. The only common ingredient in all these endeavors is the banjo.

Articles
Tim Rutherford-Johnson

Commemoration Music: Narrating 9/11

In WTC 9/11, Steve Reich follows the repetitions and cyclical structures of minimalist and post-minimalist music, but applies a heavy editorial hand to his sources and their setting to construct an unambiguous emotional and affective narrative. Tim Rutherford-Johnson concludes his examination of memorial music with a piece that creates a sort of minimalist realism rather than an abstract space for contemplation.

Articles
Emily Doolittle

Composing and Motherhood

Though my commitment to composing is as strong as ever, I’m starting to understand some of the ways that composers who are mothers intentionally and unintentionally get written out of new music.

Vintage loom and yarn. Knitting carpet
Articles
Dale Trumbore

Self-Plagiarism and the Evolution of Style

A composer’s style becomes distinctive not only because certain ideas are present in many of their compositions, but because that composer has made compelling artistic choices deliberately and repeatedly across their body of work. Rather than imitating old ideas or forcefully repurposing them into new pieces, we can view a creative lifetime as a chance to create our own musical vocabulary.

Defocused blur across urban buildings in New York City
Articles
Tim Rutherford-Johnson

Commemoration Music: Working Out What’s Going On

Tim Rutherford-Johnson continues his examination of memorial music with a deep dive into Michael Gordon’s The Sad Park: “a rare portrait of doubt, anger, anguish, and bafflement that stands apart from the calming tone of official memorial style.”

Articles
Jessica Aszodi

Undisciplined Music

Practitioners of serious music have often neglected to take their physical selves seriously. But in new music today, a focus on the body as performing subject is gaining momentum. Ready or not, Jessica Aszodi digs into The New Discipline.

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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.