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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.

Articles
Dale Trumbore

On Being a "Choral Composer"

I’d urge any other composer contemplating a full-time composing career to ask the same questions I considered: What work do you most enjoy doing? What work of yours have others already recognized as excellent? What medium or mediums stand out as the best fit for the ideas you feel compelled to express in your music?

Articles
Oliver Lake

The Big Man with the Big Sound--Remembering Arthur Blythe (1940-2017)

Big Arthur Blythe, the big man, with the big sound. That’s the way I will always remember him: big sound / big heart / big laughs / big personality.

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

30 Fellows Selected for Inaugural Blackbird Creative Lab

Thirty early-career musicians have been chosen to receive fellowships to the Blackbird Creative Lab, a newly launched two-week summer training program taking place Ojai, California, this June.

Articles
Tim Rutherford-Johnson

Commemoration Music: Commemorating 9/11

If one were looking for an official “monument” among musical responses to 9/11, one might expect to find it in John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls.

Articles
Noah Stern Weber

Your Computer is Listening. Are you?

Due to the rate of growth and development of A.I. technology, #resistanceisfutile. Which is to say that computer-composed music is here, and the conversation needs to change.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Du Yun Awarded 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Music

Angel’s Bone by Du Yun has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music.

Articles
Dale Trumbore

Bringing a Residency Home

The time at a residency feels sacred, and for that brief period, your life is centered around the pursuit of creativity.

Articles
Victoria Bond

Twenty Seasons of Cutting Edge Concerts

The challenges of producing, organizing, maintaining, and funding the Cutting Edge Concerts are great. However, the rewards are equally great: bringing new music to new audiences; providing a platform for composers to hear their music performed by outstanding musicians, and providing musicians interested in new music the opportunity to work with composers.

Articles
Tim Rutherford-Johnson

Commemoration Music: Memorials and Monuments

While the “memory mania” seen in public art may not have overtaken music, it is clear that musicians have been similarly fascinated with memory and commemoration over the last twenty years or so. What might these works say about how we articulate and understand the difficult emotions associated with traumatic loss?

Articles
Ashley Jackson

Speak Now: How Classical Music Got Me Woke

Ashley Jackson’s research and writing have focused on how 20th-century African-American artists and composers navigated a sharply segregated society through their cultural practice. “It is to their artistic bravery that I look,” she says, “when thinking about how to use music and words as my own voice in today’s wave of social and political activism.”

Articles
Dale Trumbore

Living a Long-Form Life

We don’t need to imagine that one big performance or one big award will be responsible for making our entire career. Instead, we can ask ourselves what we’ll try to achieve over the course of a creative lifetime.

Interviews
Frank J. Oteri

Martha Mooke: Walls, Windows, and Doors

In any given week, Martha Mooke could be performing a solo concert on her electric five-string viola, playing in a symphony or Broadway pit orchestra, touring either with a famous rock musician or one of her own improvisational groups, and/or giving educational clinics to young string players on how to find their musical voice.

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.