The New York Times reports that Taylor Swift has made a $50,000 donation to the Seattle Symphony, inspired by their Grammy-winning recording of John Luther Adams’s Become Ocean. Will the “Swift effect” will carry over to a different genre?
A musical idea can be a highly effective conduit for communicating, understanding, and encapsulating human experiences of the natural world.
For decades Mary Jane Leach has been composing music that explores and exploits various psychoacoustic “ghost” sounds such as beat tones and combination tones. As a result, she has created numerous works for multiples of the same instrument or voice. She is also drawn to physical spaces where such sonic phenomena are at their most pronounced, such as churches, which is why she lives in one.
If we want our collaborations to be satisfying for everyone involved, we need to come up with ways of working together that explicitly address two related questions: what is each of us willing to do, and what does each of us want to do?
The visual arts and the sonic arts arrive to us from a distance, via electromagnetic radiation or fluctuations in air pressure, but taste and smell require direct contact. Philosophers have long debated whether the fundamentally different nature of these chemical senses precludes the elaboration of an art of ideas based on them, something that goes beyond the ancient and sophisticated traditions of perfumery or cuisine.
The potential for music as a catalyst for learning about nature has not yet been fully realized and may in fact depend on unconventional approaches and innovative thinking.
With three guitars, fifteen balloons, a talking doll, and a serious commitment, composer and guitarist James Moore recorded John Zorn’s The Book of Heads, a challenging collection of 35 etudes now available on a CD/DVD set from Tzadik.
To give some hint of the range of the Liaisons project, we asked two of the composers Anthony de Mare commissioned—Annie Gosfield and Eve Beglarian—to share with us the some of the back story behind their idiosyncratic takes on Sondheim songs.
It’s easy to recognize several time scales to a meal, from the succession of courses (even simply saving dessert for last) to the entropy that occurs as a hot dish cools or a frozen dish melts to the succession of individual bites. Recognizing these time scales is straightforward, but synchronizing music to them is a much trickier proposition.
A distinction needs to be made between music that uses a work of visual art as a source of inspiration and music that has been envisioned expressly for the purpose of illuminating, commenting upon, and conversing with visual art—music where viewing the art while listening to the music is, in some sense, essential to the full realization of the composer’s vision.
The Foundation has announced that it will award a total of five commissions for the creation of new musical works. The commissions, awarded to both American and international composers, are granted jointly by the foundation and the performing organizations (also both American and international) that will present performances of the newly composed works.
Alsop’s final festival next year will be her 25th, leaving behind a deep legacy. Her successor will have giant shoes to fill, and multiple challenges.
United States Artists (USA) has announced the 37 new USA Fellows for 2015. Each individual artist or collaborative will receive an unrestricted award of $50,000 to support their artistic practice and professional development.
As we’re moving beyond the mere novelty of pairing sound or visuals with a meal, the focus needs to shift to what is being communicated by the resulting amalgamation; it’s not enough to simply put things side by side.
Has an experience with music ever helped you to better understand or appreciate an idea, a realm of knowledge outside of music itself, or some other aspect of life? Have you observed this happening for others? What elements of the musical content and/or its presentation do you think made that experience particularly effective?
Studies show that loud sounds dull our sense of taste, which may explain why airplane food tastes so bland, and why people order more tomato juice on planes, as umami flavors are the most resilient to volume.
Not only did Arto Lindsay found arguably the most important band from New York’s early-’80s No Wave scene, he is a well-known figure in Brazilian pop, collaborator of Matthew Barney’s, leader of parades, and thrower of sounds in space. He sat down with Sam Hillmer to chat sound design, confrontational aesthetics, and much more.
Systemic bias is nowhere near its death throes and we all need to be vigilant against it. Be mindful of what you vote for with your dollars and your attention.
Composer John Supko and critic Jeffrey Edelstein discuss collaboration.
One of five composers will receive the 2016 Gaudeamus Award, an international prize eligible to composers under the age of 30 consisting of a composition commission worth € 5,000.
All in all, the 2015 edition of the World Music Days was filled with lots of truly memorable music that was very well performed and I was very happy that I had the opportunity to be there to experience it firsthand. Still, I could not help thinking that this one-of-a-kind new music assemblage could be so much more than what had been presented in Ljubljana.
The National Endowment of the Arts has announced the 2016 NEA Jazz Masters honorees will be vibraphonist Gary Burton, saxophonists Pharoah Sanders and Archie Shepp, and jazz advocate Wendy Oxenhorn.
It should make us all deeply uncomfortable how white the new music scene is. We must address the fact that we are missing out on certain new music because it is being classified for different communities, or not being classified at all.
New music musicians are generally left-leaning and pro-labor, yet much of the new music field is non-unionized. Why is that?