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Articles
David Smooke

Excuse the Geek Out, Part 2

Over the past few years, I’ve been changing my approach to musical notation. As I have become more certain about my musical ideas, I’ve begun pushing against the constraints of the software, goading it along a path towards creating scores that convey these ideas as clearly as possible.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Back From The Other Side

Although The Intimacy of Creativity in Hong Kong is, for all intents and purposes, a new music program featuring works by important international guest composers (Joan Tower and Mark O’Connor this year) as well as emerging composers from around the world (this year from Portugal, the U.K., HK, and three from the USA), the concert I attended also featured a piece by… Ludwig van Beethoven, specifically his Opus 11 Piano Trio. It was actually extraordinarily jarring.

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

Aaron Jay Kernis Wins 2012 Nemmers Prize

Aaron Jay Kernis has been selected as the 2012 winner of the Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Dean Toni-Marie Montgomery announced today.

Articles
AndrewSigler

The Kids Are Alright: The Texas Young Composers Concert

Videos preceded each piece on the Austin Symphony Orchestra’s second annual Texas Young Composers Concert program. They provided not only information about the background of the composer and the generation of the work, but also insight into the maturity and character of each artist.

Articles
Ratzo B Harris

I Guess I’ll Call It Serendipity...

I knew little about Wadada Leo Smith, other than that I wanted to know more about him. I was blown away by his clear and direct explanation of his musical philosophy and his method for composing long forms that allow for the greatest creative involvement by the performer vis-à-vis the performer’s simultaneous interpretation of Smith’s “musical language,” Ankhrasmation.

Articles
Rob Deemer

Teaching the Teachers

Most composers don’t realize that there are national standards, created by the National Association for Music Education (formerly MENC), that outline the skills that primary and secondary music educators should be able to teach to their students in the public schools and that “composing and arranging music within specified guidelines” is currently National Standard #4.

Articles
DanVisconti

The Quest for Volume

When I think about the variety of musical instruments among the world’s cultures, I can’t help but notice how one universal driving force behind the evolution of new musical technology has always been the search for louder sounds.

Articles
Alexandra Gardner

Bricks and Mortar

How do you decide about the quality of your material?

Articles
Alexandra Gardner

NewMusicBox Mix: Spring Fling Edition

At NewMusicBox we make it a point to feature as much great new music as possible, so we thought it would be fun to start our own mix series, built from some of the new and recent recordings that travel across our desks, land in our inboxes and hook our ears out in the world.

Articles
David Smooke

Excuse the Geek Out, Part 1

The main reason to create a musical score is to convey our compositional ideas to other performing musicians. Of course, this postulation leads to the next question: What do we consider our compositional ideas?

Interviews
Frank J. Oteri

Wadada Leo Smith: Decoding Ankhrasmation

What unifies all of Wadada Leo Smith’s projects is what also makes them so different from each other—Smith’s commitment to every musician having an individual sound.

Articles
Sidney Chen

Border Crossings: Switchboard Music Festival and The Little Match Girl Passion

This year’s smorgasbord of artists included a guitar ensemble from the conservatory, a one-man piano/percussion “duo,” a two-man guitar/percussion actual duo, an electro-acoustic ensemble with strings and electronics, and a band that was described as “hobbit rock.”

Articles
Rob Deemer

The “A” Word

Three of the most important concepts that come up continually in regard to composition education are feasibility, relevancy, and sustainability.

Articles
Ratzo B Harris

Shifted Cliques

While I try to focus on improvised (American) music in my posts as a stand-alone phenomenon practiced by a dedicated and rather large clique, the truth of the matter is that very little music is entirely improvised, yet most music includes a certain amount of improvisation.

Articles
Matthew Guerrieri

New England’s Prospect: Echolocation

The April 22 concert of music by Burr Van Nostrand in New England Conservatory’s Brown Hall didn’t include any explanation as to why Nostrand hadn’t composed any music since the early ’90s, nor why the music he had composed had lain unperformed for the same amount of time. Which was really something of a gift: this was music that simply seemed to reappear, pristine, unencumbered by the accumulated residue of a zigzag career.

Articles
DanVisconti

Calling It a Day

The determination that a given piece of music is “finished” resides in the eye of the beholder, and it’s interesting to consider the varying levels of “doneness” deemed acceptable by composers of the past and present.

Articles
Alexandra Gardner

The Dangers of Dopamine

As much as folks claim we should be open to a multiplicity of musical ideas and influences, the talk is not always being walked.

Articles
Tim Rutherford-Johnson

Some Recent Silences

4’33” is often regarded as an end, a philosophical cul-de-sac, but over the course of six decades the negation of music has proved fertile ground for many composers. This appears to have been particularly true in the last 20 years or so, as though the noise of the avant garde’s war of words had itself to subside into silence before we could appreciate 4’33” on its own terms.

Articles
Colin Holter

This Is the End: On Having Been a Student Composer

This is my last post. Rereading my very first post—March 15, 2006—I’m reminded just how much time has passed since I started making these weekly attempts to better understand contemporary music.

Articles
Molly Sheridan

Sounds Heard: John Bischoff—Audio Combine

John Bischoff is a composer celebrated for his work at the cutting edge of live computer music, explorations that can be traced back all the way to the late 1970s and his experiments with his first KIM-1. Audio Combine, the recent New World Records release of Bischoff pieces spanning 2004-2011, is an undeniable reminder that, though his roots run deep, his music hasn’t been anchored.

Articles
David Smooke

House Music

Patrons who want to hear excellent music in their communities who begin with limited monetary resources and impressive supplies of willpower, vision, and energy realize that they must act in order to preserve their favored art. While many people despair in the face of this rapidly changing paradigm, others take action. One of the most creative responses to these shifts in the musical landscape has been a renewed interest in house concerts and salon series.

Articles
AndrewSigler

Fast Forward Austin II: The Reckoning

Ian Dicke, Robert Honstein, and Steven Snowden upped the ante at this year’s Fast Forward Austin festival by tripling the call for scores winners, bringing in a headliner, and moving to a big, multilevel venue near downtown complete with a bar, soundman, and a dude who stamps your hand.

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

ACO Announces 21st Annual Underwood New Music Readings

Ryan Chase, Peter Fahey, Michael-Thomas Foumai, Paul Kerekes, Pin Hsin Lin, and Benjamin Taylor have been selected to participate in the American Composers Orchestra’s 21st Annual Underwood New Music Readings.

Articles
AndrewSigler

Austin’s Conspirare Receives $1 Million Gift From the Kodosky Foundation

Austin choral ensemble Conspirare recently received a leadership gift of $1 million from the Kodosky Foundation towards their $2.2 million “A Legacy of Sound” major gifts campaign. This five-year fundraising initiative coincides with Conspirare’s 20th anniversary season in 2012-13.

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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.