She was recognized for synthesizing “various musical styles in highly physical, large-scale narrative compositions that reimagine folk traditions and lore and address issues of the American worker.”
Coming from a Jewish background personally did not mean that somebody was necessarily familiar with any intrinsic qualities of klezmer, although—unless they’d developed an aversion through early negative exposure to this sometimes-stigmatized heritage—it usually didn’t hurt.
What does it mean when strangers show up, infiltrate our institutions, assimilate our knowledge, and then leave? Ensemble-in-residence…who does that?
After 20 years as executive leader of American Composers Orchestra (ACO), President and CEO Michael Geller will depart the organization at the end of 2016. He is leaving to attend to personal and family obligations while considering new professional opportunities. ACO’s Board of Directors is seeking a new executive director who will continue to build upon the success and stability that Geller has spearheaded over the past 20 years.
So how can you too hold down a glamorous, innervating office/day job and still find time to fulfill your artistic dreams, musical or otherwise? Here are eight suggestions (some of which I’m sure apply to “full-time” composers as well).
President Obama will present Philip Glass with the National Medal of Arts next week for his “groundbreaking contributions to music and composition.” The event will be live streamed.
Although raised in a musically-oriented New York City family, I only heard most of the genres that are now key inspirations for me during my New England college years and in the decade after (much of which I spent in the progressive Pacific Northwest).
Composing is about who you know…The reasons why you write music will become clearer… Thinking back on the past few years, I suppose I have learned a few things that would have been useful to my 20-something self. So in the spirit of paying it forward, here are some reflections on composing after young-composer-hood.
When your writing time arrives, you embrace it and WRITE.
It took Connie Crothers several years of profound study before she would perform in public. She she eventually began to perform solo, and to experience rejection from the audience. She also offered reasons why her band would not perform more frequently. She was adamant that it had to do with the divide in the jazz world—jazz tunes versus free jazz/free improvisation—and with the fact that she was a woman leader and would be hired less often because of it.
My enthusiasms for “World Music” have been exuberant and far-flung. I also tend to embrace independent, analog media, such as locally-based broadcasts from the heart of a community.
Unlike older, lost civilizations that had no means to record and preserve audio, nor a method for notating musical instruction, we have been preserving sound for 150 years, and digital audio has been accumulating like an avalanche at easily the same speed as digital words. But these are all based on technology and need a means with which to reproduce the sound, from a cylinder player to a set of AA batteries.
Since I lack sufficient instrumental ability to support myself as a performer or the temperament for academia, making a salary in various office capacities has provided several advantages to maintaining a life as an artist, both during my school years and since—even if it is more time consuming than I’d ideally like.
One of the most exciting as well as one of the most articulate groups of DIY new music interpreters is the two piano/two percussion quartet Yarn/Wire. Performing together at the highest possible level now for a decade and working with composers ranging from Alex Mincek and Sam Pluta to Tristan Murail, Misato Mochizuki, and Michael Gordon to craft repertoire for their idiosyncratic instrumental configuration, Yarn/Wire is an extremely important catalyst for music that is happening right now.
With less pressure to produce concrete results, composers and performers tend to create with more verve. This week, a few more Avaloch New Music Institute examples illustrate how friendship can be a vital collaborative tool and how developing trust over a long period of time generates more interesting, sustainable work.
The L.A. based opera company, The Industry, has announced the third installment of its biennial West Coast workshop for new American operas. In February 2017, portions of six new operas-in-progress–composed by Nicholas Deyoe, William Gardiner, John Hastings, Laura Karpman, Marc Lowenstein, and Dylan Mattingly–will be presented as well as the concert premiere of Bonnie and Clyde by composer Andrew McIntosh and librettist Melinda Rice.
Jonathan Kramer’s Postmodern Music shows how our contemporary experience colors and reshapes our audition of everything, from Beethoven to new pieces he never could have encountered. And so his last book, published this month and more than a decade after his death, is not only still relevant; it’s prescient.
Hutcherson had his own distinct tone and sound on the vibes, very different from the prominent mallet players of the day, but as a composer and musical philosopher he was also one of the most important conceptualizers of music in the last half of the 20th century.
Composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has received the Hammer Museum’s 2016 Mohn Award for Career Achievement “honoring brilliance and resilience.”
Subjectivity isn’t actually a matter of taste. It’s a matter of expectation. When it comes to art and artistic renderings, there is, unfortunately, often a disconnect between what an artist is presenting and what an audience believes their price of admission is buying.
Composer/performer collaborations may run in both directions at once: input from performers can help composers create more easily interpretive, idiomatic work, and composers can bring interpretive clarity to hard to parse scores while writing with their collaborators in mind.
New music has been as much about challenging modes of listening and perception as anything else. What is most wonderful to me about the park experience was that all modes of listening are available simultaneously.
Los Angeles is a place where cultural dichotomies are magnified, and the rift between American and European musical priorities illustrated by the experiences of émigré composers of the ’30s and ’40s offers a powerful case in point. This was a collision of worlds which never fully resolved or came to an agreeable integration, reflecting some of the fundamental fragmentation of Los Angeles.
For ensembles of composer/performers, neither the tight, goal-oriented schedules of summer festivals nor the creative isolation of writers colonies fit. At Avaloch, both Triplepoint Trio and Invisible Anatomy were able to stretch their legs creatively while being inspired by the diverse community around them.