The winning works by nine young composers, ages 15 to 27, include music for orchestra and wind ensemble as well as solo and chamber pieces plus compositions involving electronics.
Professionally, I identify as both composer and songwriter. I don’t have to choose, do I? I can have both, yes? What is the difference between songwriting and composing anyway? When does a songwriter call herself a composer, or the other way around?
From ancient stone idiophones to singing kites, Cambodian traditional music offers tons of fascinating possibilities for contemporary composers. But the music is no longer developing and now more closely resembles a museum rather than a living art. Chinary Ung hopes to change that through several initiatives he has organized there.
For those who missed the May 3, 2016 event at Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, full clips are available now.
The work of building a career never stops. An all-to-brief encounter with Felicia Day helped R. Andrew Lee adjust his perspective on tackling both the big goals and the mundane chores.
Why vinyl? Commitment. In this mid-second decade of the 21st century, music is being taken for granted on a collective scale. An entire generation of music listeners will never pay for music, nor do they believe that they should. The long form music medium has taken a back seat to song culture, yet the average person only listens to a song for approximately 24 seconds before deciding if it’s worth their time to continue to listen.
As a composer, I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to live in and personally get to know many different musical cultures and communities. Eight years ago I met two people who have given me a personal connection to the broader new music community in Asia. I have now been living in Taiwan since last August, teaching composition and music technology at National Chiao Tung University.
Each recipient will receive $275,000 in flexible, multi-year funding as well as financial and legal counseling, professional development activities, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities provided by Creative Capital.
Shakespeare’s plays, a novel by Stephen King, and personal letters from American soldiers written in wartime have all served as inspiration for compositions by Paul Moravec. However, when he is composing more abstract instrumental works, like his extremely beautiful Violin Concerto, Moravec claims there is always “a kind of musical narrative” at work even if it does not have a precise verbal meaning.
Suffering a severe ear infection and terrified that his livelihood as a teacher, composer, and performer might come to an end, Chris began fretting over the seemingly small losses. “I adapted neither brilliantly nor heroically. Retreating, I made no music.”
Although she grew up in a very culturally diverse New York City neighborhood that has also long been a hotbed for artistic experimentation and rebellion, composer/violinist Jessie Montgomery most strongly identifies with European classical music.
As a musicologist, I’ve been consistently impressed by Tony’s work as a theorist and historian of music—the way he has created critical foundations for his own work, within the long history of Western art music, all the while undercutting and mocking those very conditions of possibility.
Our landscape shapes our perception of the world, and thereby our culture. Music that we create about, for, and with a community can itself act as an advocate for these places.
Composers Jonathan Berger and Christopher Trapani will join a group of scholars, artists, and writers headed to Italy for a year-long residency at the American Academy in Rome.
Ten of the 24 electronic compositions selected for presentation during Switzerland’s 10th Forum Wallis (which were chosen from among 289 submissions from 45 countries) are by American composers.
Not everyone should be in “the business.” If rejection really hurts, opt out. I did for a few years when I started taking this all too seriously. Now I savor every application.
Most of us believe that we possess the power to make positive change in the world. Are we experiencing a resurgence in new music composed to highlight social equity? If so, why now?
In for a Penny, In for a Pound by Henry Threadgill (released on Pi Recordings on May 26, 2015) has been named the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Music. In addition, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton has been awarded the 2016 Pulizter Prize for Drama.
During the funding application process you are doing something similar to what you do as an artist: Sending your gifts out into the world with little hope of recognition or remuneration. But you are not sending forth your art; instead you are launching a very elaborate lottery ticket into the world.
When compensation takes the form of passion and satisfaction, instead of monetary remuneration, what is the impact on performance quality, commitment, and artistic freedom? If we could remove money from the equation by making sure artists get paid enough to do better than get by, what would that look like?
Commissions are not always the best funding model. Some projects are more like entrepreneurial ventures, and as such, they require financial risk-taking and the willingness to take on fiscal as well as artistic accountability.
Money has nothing to do with the quality of anyone’s music. That said, for those who choose to put together a living from composing, there are myriad avenues for monetizing one’s output—which can offer both exciting opportunities and an overwhelming career equation to solve.
Why does it still seem novel when artists talk transparently about the money they make from art or other jobs? I wonder if talking about the very unsexy ways we make a living threatens some myth of the “serious artist”?
We have the opportunity to look beyond traditional funding models to keep our music fresh and authentic. How can each of us help to create a supportive community locally?