Like many composers, I write orchestral, chamber, and vocal music, for any sort of concert opportunity that comes up, but since I started composing I wrote church music because that’s where I was. In the churches I’ve gone to, that meant writing for choir.
PLUS: Review last year’s full week of education-related content in case there’s a pop quiz at the faculty mixer.
Michael Ching’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is resolutely tonal, frequently extremely tuneful, and sometimes borders on pop. Yet it is radical and totally unexpected. There are no instruments in the orchestra, every sound is made by voices. It sounds nothing like what you might imagine an opera based on Shakespeare would sound like. And yet it totally works.
An orchestra sensation at age 23. Published by 30. Then a Pulitzer Prize and a Grawemeyer. Now a biography. What’s left after someone writes up the story of your life? Aaron Jay Kernis just keeps on going, continuing to balance composing, teaching, and raising a family.
You can make a Broadway musical out of anything.
While localities and regions may be less important in terms of a specific shared sound or group of influences (although that’s still a possibility, too), I’d contend they remain essential as accumulations of a “critical mass” of resources and opportunities to collaborate.
Looking around, listening around, culture is as stylistically non-hegemonic as I’ve ever experienced. But parallel to that is a kind of greater semiotic compartmentalization: the vast majority of cultural artifacts I encounter keenly announce their stylistic allegiance early and often.
What is not problematic on an individual level can become catastrophic on a larger level, and I worry that we are rapidly ruling out pretty much every scenario that would allow a typical musician to make a living.
It’s important to put your best face forward professionally. We’re all hustling for gigs, and it doesn’t make sense to do anything but make yourself look as appealing as possible. But perhaps there is another layer to it.
Knowing the specifics about each media outlet in your area can help you to target your communications more effectively. And there’s no real reason one has to choose between traditional and social media; a comprehensive communications plan should include both.
One of the themes Robert Honstein frequently comes back to in his pieces is technology and how it impacts on our lives, yet ironically his music thus far has been anything but high-tech. Aside from the occasional electric guitar or electric bass, Honstein’s timbral palette consists predominantly of acoustic instruments. If that somehow seems contradictory, it’s more a by-product of his being attuned to the world we currently live in but not feeling straitjacketed by it.
A brief list of questions has been posted to collect your thoughts on the application experience, your use of the site, areas for further development, and anything else you’d like to share.
Composer-trombonist-conductor JC Sanford’s recent release Views From The Inside on Whirlwind Recordings delivers loads of aural surprises wrapped up in layers of jazz orchestra.
Sound and Music, a national agency for new music in Britain, has conducted a survey of 466 composers designed to explore the economic challenges facing the creation of new work. Average fee per commission in 2013: £1,392.
We are subsuming a mindset that places little value in our work and then wondering why no one cares about what we do. If a touch of entrepreneurship is how we survive our present situation, so be it. But I do not believe entrepreneurship holds great promise for our future.
Is there a mess on the desk? Evidence of vice or obsession? A disruptive cat or two? Billie Jean Howard’s blog By Measure offers the voyeuristic pleasure of vicariously poking around another artist’s home.
Young people who want to compose or perform new music often don’t have a clear way to gain educational experience, but several organizations in Missouri are working to change that for local students.
Evan Ware suggests that his piece is an invitation for an interpretative dialog between his listeners’ experiences and his music’s ingrained symbols. Yet, even if we accept this premise, how do we evaluate the way pieces of music, and their composers, foster the formation of listeners’ interpretations?
Jeffrey Mumford’s recent 2-CD album through a stillness brightening features a selection of imaginative, skillfully executed solo and chamber works to fire up the ears.
I don’t think that teaching some basic entrepreneurial skills is by itself a bad thing, but it’s not a cure-all for the difficulties musicians face financially. Perhaps even more troubling, though, is that in promoting certain business practices there doesn’t seem to be a discussion about how they may conflict with artistic pursuits.
Three teams of new opera composers and librettists will premiere new 20-minute operas, each based on a contemporary American story, in a semi-staged concert performance on November 21, 2014 in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater.
American Music Project, a nonprofit organization focused on supporting performances of American classical music and the commissioning of new work, to launch with premiere of Amy Wurtz’s Piano Quintet.
I wonder if, rather than anticipating an end to genre designations, perhaps new music needs to cultivate a whole lot more of them, since much of the terminology currently in use is overly general at best, and vague or misleading at worst.
Lerew’s flagging entrainment of ultradian rhythms and the consequences thereof was commissioned by ACF, along with the works of two other competition finalists–Michael Laurello and Kristina Warren–which were workshopped by So Percussion at Princeton University.