Our Magazine

NewMusicBox

All NewMusicBox Content

  • Filter

Articles
Sidney Chen

Guided By Sound: Crissy Broadcast Debuts in San Francisco

Described as a “spatial symphony” composed and directed by Lisa Bielawa, Crissy Broadcast involved hundreds of musicians drawn from a dozen or so local ensembles, including middle school and high school bands and orchestras, adult amateur musicians, two choruses, a traditional Chinese instrument orchestra, and a gaggle of electric guitarists with portable battery-powered speakers slung over their shoulders.

Articles
Matthew Guerrieri

New England’s Prospect: Celebrating Ned Rorem @ 90 in Boston

New York Festival of Song visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Calderwood Hall with a program celebrating Ned Rorem’s 90th birthday. The frame—the tonality, the lyricism, the elegant hedonism—is obvious; but what’s contained within the frame, what is and isn’t there, is something considerably more elusive.

Articles
Rob Deemer

Finally, Movement on the Notation Front

A year and a half later, there are finally signs of what effects the Sibelius shakeup has had and what the future holds for those who see notation software as an irreplaceable tool.

Articles
Ratzo B Harris

Culture Counter Culture Pt. 5

I was inspired to connect more dots in this series by Rob Deemer’s post about creativity not existing in a vacuum. The partnership between artist and presenter is especially vital to what and how an audience hears.

Articles
Daniel Felsenfeld

Lou Reed Got Married and He Didn’t Invite Me

Like the stories of all great artists, most of the Lou Reed story is built on a mountain of crucial untruth—a wispy chunk of magical thinking, a campfire story of how “downtown” got that way. We like our myths, our legends, and we fight hard to keep them. Lou, as I called him, wandered into this stacked self-presentation so completely that I believe he had to believe it.

Articles
Isaac Schankler

Cage's (More Than) Ten Thousand Things

A new release of Cage’s The Ten Thousand Things (I Ching Edition) is an incredibly clear demonstration of the unexpected and delightful confluences that result from chance-based procedures, and in many ways, I can think of no better introduction to his music.

Articles
Nat Evans

#Yeezus: Lessons in Contemporary Performance from the Stadium Set

It was a massive interdisciplinary art, music, and sound event produced on a scale large enough to successfully fill an arena—something intense, interesting, challenging, interdisciplinary, and yet totally accessible. Perhaps we need to admit to ourselves that people like to be challenged, that people want to dive into wild and contemporary imagery and messages, but that our success in that mission may not come from our own backyard.

Articles
Caio Higginson

Sounds Heard: Taylor Ho Bynum—Navigation

Throughout Navigation, Taylor Ho Bynum doesn’t allow the listener to dwell too long in any moment, choosing to steer back and forth from the traditional to newer waters.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Every Place is a Musical Capital

When I admit to most music aficionados that I am visiting Vienna for the first time next week they tend to be shocked. How can someone who claims to be so enamored of music have not made the requisite pilgrimage to the musical capital of the world? But great music takes place all over the planet and you can find amazing things to listen to wherever you go.

SONY DSC
Articles
AndrewSigler

SoundSpace: Graphic Notation

What happens when musicians are asked to play from a page of notation that is not standard? How do they approach it? Curator Steve Parker’s latest installment in his SoundSpace series at the Blanton Museum featured several hours of folks doing just that.

Articles
Ratzo B Harris

Culture

Even though there are more and more fast food outlets and less and less old-style delicatessens than when I first arrived in 1977, New York is still the best place for me to live when it comes to the music I play and listen to. Living elsewhere is like cigarettes, drinking, drugs, promiscuity, and “super-size” fast-food: I gave it the old college try, and it’s just not for me.

Interviews
Frank J. Oteri

Laura Kaminsky: Every Place Has a Story

For thirty years, in addition to writing her own socially and environmentally charged music, Laura Kaminsky has worked behind the scenes allowing other composers to have an opportunity to get their voices heard.

Articles
Rob Deemer

Creative Partners in the Work of Life

The concert reviews won’t mention them, historians will only consider them if there is a scandal, and the audience won’t think twice about them, but it is often those who stand just offstage who provide a vital and necessary component to the birth and growth of much new music.

Articles
Alexandra Gardner

Stayin' Alive: Preserving Electroacoustic Music

What on earth is going to happen to compositions that are painstakingly crafted for effective live performance at the time of their creation, but which become increasingly difficult to mount live, simply due to the march of time?

Articles
Ellen McSweeney

Alone At The Top: What Conductor Susanna Malkki's Success Means—and What It Doesn't

Conductor Susanna Malkki leading the Chicago Symphony felt like a massively successful non-event. A woman was on the podium, and everything seemed to be in order. But while Malkki is unquestionably a master, she is also, statistically, a unicorn.

Articles
Matthew Guerrieri

Sounds Heard: Florestan Recital Project—Early Songs of Samuel Barber

One of the more endearingly paradoxical indications of compositional success is that interest gets piqued in music that even the composer had largely forgotten about. Unpublished works, unfinished works, juvenilia—when even that becomes fair game, you know you’ve (posthumously, usually) made it. The latest recordings from Florestan Recital Project pay that tribute to Samuel Barber (1910-1981).

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Making It Matter

The music that can most clearly relate to the ongoing concerns in our society is the music that is being created right here right now.

Articles
Isaac Schankler

Gloriously Messy Lodging: Zappa's 200 Motels

Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels is a glorious mess. In some ways this makes it the perfect thing to put on to celebrate the 10th anniversary of LA’s Walt Disney Hall and its already turbulent history. As for the score itself, it is—how should I put this?—spectacularly over-orchestrated, bordering on near-cacophony with unsettling frequency. I mean this as a good thing.

Articles
Ratzo B Harris

Culture Counter Culture, Pt. 4

New York City is Mecca to thousands of aspiring artists, especially jazz musicians. But, to twist a phrase into a Gordian knot, not everyone who makes it there, makes it there. When trumpeter Al Kiger decided life on the road wasn’t for him and resigned from the innovative George Russell Sextet, the jazz scene in Indiana welcomed him and he prospered.

Articles
Rob Deemer

Competitive Nature

While competitive drive can be unhealthy if left unchecked, if focused correctly, it can also be turned into an advantage that can reap benefits for everyone.

Articles
AndrewSigler

Double Trio: line upon line and Konk Pack

The irony of intimacy found in a giant old warehouse is not lost on me, but the cordoning off of spaces within these huge buildings makes for a very personal and connected chamber music experience.

Articles
DanVisconti

Revise THIS!

Even for those who have the experience and temperament to derive some satisfaction from a well-executed revision, the process of revising definitely sets off different and perhaps less expansive emotions than brainstorming a new, heretofore unimagined composition. What works for you?

Articles
Molly Sheridan

Van-Anh Vanessa Vo: Old Sounds / New Music

An award-winning traditional performer and educator in her native country of Vietnam, Vo has found a particular freedom in the myriad genres and styles of music that surround her here in America—an influence that has filtered into both her musical ideas and the instruments and techniques she uses to communicate them.

Articles
Alexandra Gardner

Sounds Heard: Make It Big (Large Ensemble Edition)

This week we round up three new recordings by large ensembles of various configurations.

Funders

ASCAP Foundation Logo

NewMusicBox receives major support from the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts and The ASCAP Foundation.

Click here for more

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.