To get the work, we need to say yes, and to keep the work, we need to produce. But to produce, from what church music has taught me, we need to write faster, rewrite when necessary, and write for the people who actually want new music. If we do, our music will keep getting performed and performed well.
The MacArthur Foundation noted that Coleman is a musician “whose technical virtuosity and engagement with musical traditions and styles from around the world are expanding the expressive and formal possibilities of spontaneous composition.”
Unlike composers who grew up in the United States where just about any kind of music seems part of our tradition, Shanghai-born Du Yun approaches all traditions as somehow exotic, whether classical, pop, avant-garde, or even the traditional Chinese music that deeply influences so many other Chinese émigré composers.
Wayne Horvitz’s music for 55: Music and Dance in Concrete, taken out of its original site-specific multimedia context, comes across as part psychedelic soundtrack (think Barbarella), part mysterious fun house (think Sleep No More).
Beware of musicologists bringing hegemonic narratives to discipline the chaos of the contemporary.
The CEOs of ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC were all together for a Texas BBQ lunch meeting organized by the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) in which each was individually asked about a variety of topics.
For composer and sound artist Ryan Ingebritsen, Song Path is a practice that explores guided meditation and hiking as a compositional form. Ellen McSweeney caught up with him to chat about what it means for a primarily electronic artist to lead troupes of people through the woods.
The non-professional will be the usual musician in a church environment. So when someone who doesn’t do music for a living appreciates what I attempt to do, that’s a special thrill.
The big point that critics of college teaching fail to understand is that teaching music is more than just teaching music. A good teacher connects the great musicians and musical works of the past with the present, while paving the road for the future.
Negative Space is the first full length album of electronic musician/sound artist Michael Hammond’s recording project No Lands; it features nine electronic works that combine song format and ambient soundscape—the work of, as Hammond states in the liner notes, “Three years and a hurricane.”
This seems like the perfect venue to take up a challenge laid down by composer-journalist-scholar Kyle Gann, who in 2008 tasked a generation of music historians with having “dropped the ongoing narrative of composed music.”
The panel awarded Ben Hjertmann the $12,000 Barlow Prize to compose a major new work for saxophone quartet. In addition, the endowment granted a total of $62,000 to ten composers who will write works for the following ensembles and musicians. They are…
Our decision to award more small grants is driven by the same underlying principle that has motivated our entire approach to project grants: bringing artists into the public limelight is crucial for a modern-day healthy ecology for new music.
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.