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Articles
Ratzo B Harris

Granting Audiences, Pt. 1

It can be so easy to think of music as existing separately from the society it’s performed in, as if it weren’t a cultural phenomenon.

Articles
Rob Deemer

Adventures in Engraving

There are still those who feel that handwritten manuscript is a viable option today, but they are mistaken; performers and conductors have become acclimated to engraved scores and parts over the past twenty years and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who will put up with anything other than clear, engraved performance materials.

Articles
John Luther Adams

33 Years of Composer Advocacy: Celebrating the Legacy of Ralph Jackson

Ralph Jackson is a kind of sage, a savant with an uncanny gift for seeing beyond superficial complexities into the real essence of a situation. Ralph’s perspective is always insightful, often provocative. It is never predictable. Ever.

Articles
DanVisconti

Fonts, Glorious Fonts!

It’s pretty geeky to write, think, or read about fonts. But if you’re composing notated music, trust me, paying attention to fonts won’t make you any more of a geek than you already are—and you’ll likely reap some great benefits as a result.

Articles
Isaac Schankler

Elitism and Eclecticism

The idea that elites congratulate themselves on their eclectic tastes, while not recognizing that they are class-determined, is thought-provoking and significant. The reality, however, is certainly at least a little more complicated; for one thing, you certainly don’t need to be painfully wealthy to have eclectic tastes.

Articles
Molly Sheridan

The Art of the $100 Guitar

A wide spectrum of guitarists have responded to the siren call of the $100 Guitar Project. No curatorial bar was set, no stylistic walls erected. It has been a community exercise, each musician encouraged to come to the project without preconceived ideas and to simply explore whatever the guitar suggests to them.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Chamber Music America Awards $557,000 to 38 US-based Ensembles and Presenters

Chamber Music America (CMA) has announced the recipients of grants totalling $557,000 which will support the composition of new works and community-based residencies.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Sounds Heard: Sergio Cervetti—Nazca and Other Works

I’ve long been a fan of Sergio Cervetti’s Guitar Music: The Bottom of the Iceberg but having only heard any of his music on compilations led to aesthetic experiences which were ultimately unfulfilling. Each of his compositions created such an evocative sonic universe, so I found it extremely frustrating every time I was jolted into another reality when someone else’s music appeared on a subsequent track. Therefore I was delighted when earlier this year Nazca and Other Works, an entire disc devoted to Cervetti’s music, was released on CD by Navona Records.

Articles
David Smooke

Performing as Self-Advocacy

I’ve found that my concertizing experience has helped me to communicate my ideas in three different ways: building trust with the musicians who are learning my notated compositions, demonstrating the techniques I use in these pieces, and giving performers a sense of my musical aesthetic.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Test of Time

Although Christian Marclay’s The Clock consists of a total of exactly 24 hours of unique content, a mash-up plundered from literally thousands of film and television segments in which the exact time of the day is depicted (either visually—e.g. an image of an actual clock—or in spoken dialog), it is a seamless loop that hypothetically could repeat in perpetuity. Marclay, however, does not expect anyone to sit through all of it; he admitted that he himself has never done so when I asked him if he had. (I had to ask.)

Articles
Ratzo B Harris

Friday the 13th

While the analytical similarities of Thelonious Monk’s “Friday the 13th” and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” might be interesting to some people, these two iconic musical figures have something else in common. Both were extremely individualistic and found it difficult, if possible at all, to compromise their artistic visions to satisfy the whims of their handlers.

Articles
Rob Deemer

The SoundNotion Interview

About a month after starting my column with NewMusicBox back in early 2011, I discovered that someone was talking about my posts online–on video, no less! Following a link that Google Alerts sent me, I found this likeable group of four graduate students at Michigan State University, piled into a large room with laptops, microphones, cameras, and a healthy gift for banter. Calling themselves SoundNotion, they’re new music’s answer to The McLaughlin Group.

Articles
Isaac Schankler

The Good, the Bad, and the Experimental

Morricone’s theme for The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is almost certainly the most recognizable piece of music that he’s written. It’s been referenced and parodied so many times that it’s become easy to take for granted, and harder to hear just how strange and original it is.

Articles
Rick Moody

Kingdom Come: Pere Ubu's New Picnic Time

New Picnic Time was the rejoinder to any questions about what exactly Pere Ubu wanted, and the rejoinder was a mammoth stick in the eye. We heard a willful insistence on experiment and double-crossing, but also expressive darkness. Let’s look closer.

Articles
Alexandra Gardner

Sounds Heard: Third Coast Percussion—John Cage: The Works for Percussion 2

The Chicago-based ensemble Third Coast Percussion has released a new CD and separate surround sound DVD on Mode (available either individually or together) of six early percussion works that will perk up the ears (and eyes, if you choose to include the DVD) of anyone even remotely interested in percussion music performance and/or John Cage.

Articles
David Smooke

Performing as Composing

I had always wanted the sort of composer/performer relationship that would allow for collaborative conversations on how to experiment with the basics of performance itself, and now, by assuming both roles, I have created this relationship.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Embracing Abandoned Technologies

My feelings about the possible discontinuation of the Sibelius music notation software program are somewhat colored by my attraction to abandoned technologies. They are also informed by the fact that I, for the most part, abandoned pen and staff paper for music notation software more than a quarter of a century ago.

Articles
Rob Deemer

Sharpen Your Quills!

As notation software has become as ubiquitous within the composer community as Photoshop has become with professional photographers, it will come as no surprise that the threat of one of these major applications being discontinued is of great concern to many professional composers.

Articles
Ratzo B Harris

An Education in Jazz

While the standards for achievement at two-year colleges aren’t as stellar as at a conservatory, the teachers are dedicated and the students are motivated. Granted, the talent pool for music students is limited, but the creativity displayed by the professors in order to help them make good music is fervent and often heroic.

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

Avid Keeps Sibelius, Employee Confirms UK Office Closure

Avid PR contact Ian Bruce, responding to a direct request for comment, stated, “Specifically on Sibelius, this was not part of the sales we announced this week. Sibelius stays with Avid, and is an important brand and product for us going forward.” Sibelius Senior Product Manager David Spreadbury confirmed the closure of the UK office and that development is moving elsewhere.

Articles
Sidney Chen

In the Garden of Memory at the Chapel of the Chimes

The brainchild of organizer Sarah Cahill, this inimitable event, which is presented by New Music Bay Area and the chapel, features several dozen Bay Area artists scattered throughout the labyrinthine and photogenic facility.

Articles
David Smooke

Adaptation and Transformation

Our brains are remarkable in their ability to change their shape in response to stimuli. As we undergo these mutations, we become different people.

Articles
AndrewSigler

Talk About Sound: Austin New Music Coop and Cardew’s The Great Learning

Written over several years in the late ’60s and early ’70s, Cornelius Cardew’s The Great Learning was performed over two evenings by the Austin New Music Coop in the spring of 2011. Terabytes of high definition audio and video were recorded during those performances, excerpts of which appear throughout this podcast.

Articles
Molly Sheridan

Sounds Heard: Due East—drawn only once

Both of John Supko’s pieces, showcased here with optional video accompaniment, ride a disquiet of rapid motion that contrasts with a simultaneously delivered deeper meditative and exploratory spirit.

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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.