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Whole Homemade Thanksgiving Turkey with All the Sides
Articles
Ellen McSweeney

Poultry Jam: A Chicago Thanksgiving Playlist

Ah, Thanksgiving: a holiday as rich in calories as it is in cultural significance. What’s the proper soundtrack for a day that means so many different things? Why not canvas the work of Chicago composers for music that’s as complex as Turkey Day?

Articles
Julia Adolphe

Incarceration and Musical Inspiration Part Four: The Last Class

After today, I would never know if a student went on to accomplish something, continue his education, or even be released from prison. I realized as I distributed the scores that I had included my full name as the composer; I was supposed to protect my own privacy.

Articles
Kevin Clark

Classical Music Has Open Data Sets?

In open data sets, Suby Raman found a lot of really interesting stories to tell about the performing arts. Because he’s a composer, he knew what to look for in the data and what would matter to people. Because he’s a programmer, he knew how to handle the big data set itself.

Articles
NickNorton

The Art of Doubting Myself

If I write music that both satisfies and excites me, and is music that I want to hear, and I’m being honest about all of that, then I’m good. Anything beyond that is a lucky perk, and anything less than that can be worked on until it’s up to snuff in my musical worldview.

Articles
Molly Sheridan

Susan Alcorn: Fearless Slides

Composer, improviser, and pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn came up playing country and western music, but her ear eventually led her down a decidedly more singular experimental path. “You’ve got be naked in your mind to be able to play and express yourself—you have to be naked and fearless and that’s not easy, especially the older you get.”

Articles
Julia Adolphe

Incarceration and Musical Inspiration Part Three: A Live Concert in Prison

We tried to describe what different instruments looked like and we realized that what we needed was a live concert. There was great concern among the prison administration that the violin was a dangerous instrument. The strings could be turned into a weapon. Emails and phone calls went back and forth for months.

Articles
NickNorton

Listen To Music, Dammit!

Listening to and trying to understand as much music as possible, even music that you don’t enjoy, is an incredibly important part of becoming a better and better musician. Knowing, experiencing, and learning from more than I knew, experienced, and learned from yesterday is a worthwhile goal.

Articles
Willard Jenkins

Island Exports & Descendants Broaden Jazz Expressions

Haitian rhythms were perhaps of equal importance in early jazz developments as Latin ones. And now there is a growing cadre of jazz musicians of Haitian descent, as well as other Caribbean arrivals or first gens, who openly embrace elements of their rich musical heritages.

Articles
Julia Adolphe

Incarceration and Musical Inspiration Part Two: The Human Piano

It was shockingly easy to forget, in the midst of the classroom environment, that the majority of the students were serving life sentences for committing horrendous acts. I reminded myself that my goal was to share the joys and mysteries of music making, to try to understand their need for creative expression, and in turn, gain insight into my own personal and artistic motivations.

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

Happy Birthday, Adolphe Sax!

Today marks the 200th birthday of Adolphe Sax! Here at NMBx, we took the occasion to go digging through the archives in order to revisit some of the wise words and remarkable talent that players of this instrument have brought to our site.

Articles
NickNorton

There Is No Right Experience

Who is to say that my interpretation is best, or that a best interpretation even exists? And why should we limit ourselves, as composers, performers, or listeners, to just one option? We’re the creative ones, right?

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

John Luther Adams Named Musical America's 2015 Composer of the Year

In making the award announcement, Musical America referred to Adams as perhaps “the world’s only Green composer.”

Articles
Julia Adolphe

Incarceration and Musical Inspiration Part One: Meeting the Men at Auburn’s Maximum Security Prison

Imagine a class where every student feels it is a privilege to learn, yearns to participate and be heard, and absorbs all of the material with passionate curiosity. Within the nightmare of incarceration flourished the dream of education, an unabashed, provocative insight into musical meaning and expression.

Interviews
Frank J. Oteri

Laurie Spiegel: Grassroots Technologist

Electronic music pioneer Laurie Spiegel sees a lot of common ground between the seemingly oppositional aesthetics of folk traditions and the digital realm. But whether she’s creating a computer-realized algorithmic composition, crafting a short piano piece or orchestral score, or jamming on a guitar or a banjo, the most important element in all of her music making is emotional engagement.

Articles
Matthew Guerrieri

Disguise the Limit

Some NMBx thoughts on Halloween: costume ideas with Matthew and critic-at-large Moe.

Articles
ReenaEsmail

Hindustani Music: The Four-Syllable Darling and Text Setting in Hindi

Learning Hindi in its written and sung forms simultaneously has been revealing in so many ways. Little idiosyncracies I would have otherwise missed in the language are illuminated through song.

Articles
Libby Larsen

Intense, Hardworking and Fun Loving—Remembering Stephen Paulus (1949-2014)

Steve was tremendously disciplined. He composed every day, whether he wanted to or not. He completed everything he started. You could count on him for advice. He gave me the best financial advice of my professional life when he said “Just envision the amount of money you will need next year, believe it, and it will be there.” He was right.

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

ACF Announces 2014 JFund Awardees

The American Composers Forum (ACF) has announced that twelve new music projects have been awarded grants through the Jerome Fund for New Music (JFund).

Articles
egreen

Disposable Spaces, Plastic Music

We mostly listen to recorded music, and we likely hear it alone—in a car, through headphones, maybe through a set of speakers at home. This kind of listening space is simultaneously ephemeral—in that it is fundamentally malleable—and monumental—in that its infinite repeatability aspires to cultural permanence.

Articles
Molly Sheridan

We Are Sitting In (Another) Room: Improv with Architecture

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Nicolas Collins’s Pea Soup, a piece that uses electronics to “play” the signature acoustics of a space. In honor of that milestone, Collins today unveils Pea Soup To Go, a free virtual jukebox programed with recordings of 70 different versions of the work.

Articles
ReenaEsmail

Hindustani Music: Cultural Collisions (and Washing Machines)

The unlikely collisions between the two musical cultures I inhabit bring up so many questions for me about musical perception: What do people from one musical culture hear in the music of another culture? How much of our aesthetic association with specific music comes from repetition and reinforcement within our musical culture, and how much is simply hard-wired into us as humans?

Articles
George Grella Jr

The Know-Nothings of Jazz

Institutionalized jazz is safe, museum-piece jazz, but the music still happens in basements and lofts and living room performance spaces. These are the alternative venues and institutions for a music that, by definition, is outsider music, counter-culture music.

Articles
Ellen McSweeney

Chicago: A scavenger hunt of world premieres

It was Open House Chicago this weekend. Open House is, apparently, a worldwide celebratory architectural free-for-all phenomenon that started in London. But I’ve only ever experienced it in Chicago. Here, it usually falls in late October, when each rainstorm is a tender rite of passage that strips the city of a bit more color.

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

League of American Orchestras & New Music USA Announce 12 New Music Alive Residencies

Twelve orchestras and composers have been selected to receive Music Alive: New Partnerships grants of $7,500 each, the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA announced today.

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.