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Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Chasing Diversity

Many years ago I remember John Corigliano giving a speech in which he compared classical music cognoscenti who catalog the minutiae of interpretive deviations to wine snobs who spent all their time contrasting various vintages of high-end bottlings of the same wine grapes.

Articles
Ratzo B Harris

Helping Ourselves

Last night, Le Poisson Rouge in New York City’s Greenwich Village staged a benefit concert-revue, Jazz for Hurricane Sandy Relief, to aid musicians in the New York area who lost everything, or nearly everything, during the hurricane’s assault.

Articles
Joel Chadabe

Remembering Elliott Carter (1908-2012)

Elliott has been a wonderful example of the composer as a knowledgeable, educated person with a broad-based understanding of things. That a composer we respected as a leader would come to a workshop with young students, ask questions that told us what he didn’t know, and take notes, was very impressive. My guess is that at that time in his career, he had achieved a level of self-confidence and comfort with what he was doing musically that allowed him to display without embarrassment what he didn’t know.

Articles
Rob Deemer

Critical Critiques

I have tried to emphasize the importance of students critiquing one another’s works in my Beginning Composition class for several years to great effect. This accomplishes several valuable things at once.

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

Fromm Music Foundation Announces 2012 Commissions

Twelve composers have been selected to receive 2012 Fromm commissions. In addition to the $10,000 commissioning fee, a subsidy is available for the ensemble performing the premiere of the commissioned work.

Articles
Alexandra Gardner

Adventures in Orchestra, Part 1: Locking Down the End Game

I have been keeping notes about what I learned during the process of creating my orchestra piece, and there are so many things that could be helpful to others that I wanted to begin putting them out there for other composers who are or will be working with an orchestra for the first time.

Articles
Isaac Schankler

A Matter of Taste

After the news of Elliott Carter’s passing earlier this week, I was quite moved by the outpouring of tributes to the composer that I encountered through social media. It says something about Carter’s musical imagination that even those who professed to dislike his work had a favorite piece by him. This got me thinking about the limits of what we can do as composers to advocate for our own music.

Articles
Andy Doe

What Is Going on with the Record Industry?

I read a lot of commentary about the modern music business, and I’m guessing you do, too. It drives me slightly crazy. Here are ten things I wish people said more often. They don’t represent a blueprint for success or a complete explanation of what’s happening, but I hope they give you a clearer idea of what’s going on and what you might do about it. Here goes…

Articles
David Smooke

Naked

Recently, I’ve been trying to strip all the tricks out of my music. I’ve been attempting to lay bare the essence of my musical expression, to write exactly the sounds that need to be there without layering any of the personal or universal contrivances that I’ve often resorted to in moments of doubt. The resulting compositions feel much more personal to me, and also much more exposed.

Articles
DanVisconti

Sounds Heard: David Keberle--Caught in Time

Drawing on his work from the decade spanning 1997 to 2007, composer David Keberle’s new album, Caught in Time, showcases six chamber works that blend microtonality, extended performance techniques, and rich textural writing into spacious soundscapes for 21st-century ears.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Elliott Carter (1908-2012)

Virgil Blackwell has confirmed that Elliott Carter died this afternoon in New York. Just a little over a month shy of his 104th birthday, Carter (1908-2012) was writing music almost up to the end of his life.

Frank J. Oteri

I of the Storm

In the middle of all of the post Sandy mayhem, I actually ventured out of my apartment to attend a performance last week—Thomas Adès’s The Tempest. It was extraordinarily cathartic. What did you do?

Articles
AndrewSigler

Blanton Soundspace: Space and Symmetry

This installment of the Soundspace series was arguably the most ambitious to date. The fact that it was the largest turn out yet is a testament to the quality of the music and the hunger Austin audiences have for new and interesting music.

Articles
Rob Deemer

Aftermath

As Hurricane Sandy and the various weather systems that converged on the eastern half of the United States began to unleash their power, it still didn’t seem all that bad from our vantage point in western New York.

It was, indeed, that bad.

Articles
Ratzo B Harris

That Special Something

I think it’s obvious that ingesting mood- and mind-altering substances has an immediate and noticeable impact on a person’s creative output. I discovered about 17 years ago that my best strategy is to keep it to coffee or tea; even too much sugar has a negative impact on my playing!

Articles
Alexandra Gardner

Seattle Symphony: Partying Like It's 1962

Designed to take place in the grand lobby of Benaroya Hall—a welcoming space with gigantic windows overlooking the city—the inaugural concert of the Seattle Symphony series called [untitled] celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair by presenting works composed exclusively in 1962.

Interviews
Frank J. Oteri

Glenn Branca: Where My Ears Want To Go

Glenn Branca has had a deep and lasting impact on several music scenes, but he was never really a part of any of them. With Theoretical Girls, he created a new kind of punk rock music that came to be known as No Wave. Later on, he redefined what a symphony could be. Making music that was more visceral and louder than anything in the new music scene, he even frightened John Cage. Thirty years later, he’s still making waves.

Articles
Ellen McSweeney

Five Rehearsal Secrets of the Spektral Quartet

Every group of people has a different approach to the musical, personal, and organizational challenges of running an ensemble. How does the Spektral Quartet do what they do–namely, learn enormous piles of music and give consistently excellent performances, all while apparently retaining their sanity and continuing to actually like each other?

Articles
Isaac Schankler

In Defense of Extended Techniques

I guess extended techniques have kind of a bad reputation these days. They don’t make a piece better, the argument goes. Instead they distract from other, more important musical parameters like melody and harmony. They’re a crutch that composers fall back on when they’re out of ideas.

Articles
Alexandra Gardner

NewMusicBox Mix 3: Tracks and Treats

An assortment of tempting recordings to accompany Halloween escapades–from the creepy to the quirky and beyond.

Articles
Ratzo B Harris

Pop Music?

It’s not at all uncommon that the instruments musicians travel to work with become damaged or even lost. The mostly unwritten anthology of musician road stories is loaded with instances where instruments are sat upon, driven over, and misused.

Articles
Rob Deemer

Whom Should You Listen To?

I contacted a limited number of professional composers both here and in Europe and asked them if they could give me a list of ten composers from the 20th and 21st centuries that they would want to give to an undergraduate or graduate student composer to listen to in depth. What names would you include?

Articles
Isaac Schankler

Pushing Through

Somehow I don’t think I’m the only artist in the era of late-stage capitalism to experience infrequent bouts of mild-to-moderate depression. I hesitate to do this because it’s such a fraught topic, but I wanted to write about the art of composing while depressed.

Articles
Kevin Baldwin

Schizophrenic Composer/Performer

I realized I would not be able to learn what I wrote, and so I moved on to revising. Was this piece so difficult that saxophonists would not be able to learn it accurately? Or was I, as the performer, not capable of achieving the composer’s vision?

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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.