Our Magazine

NewMusicBox

All NewMusicBox Content

  • Filter

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

An Honor to Celebrate (and a Shame Long Forgotten)

I spent the entire weekend at the 2012 conference of Chamber Music America which culminated in honoring (with its highest honor, the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award) one of my mentors and a lifelong role model, American composer and music advocate John Duffy.

Articles
Alexandra Gardner

Me, Myself, and My Publisher

I finally registered what is called in the state of Maryland a “trade name” (otherwise known as a DBA), and opened up a business checking account under that name. It was so ridiculously easy to do this! I cannot even believe how long I’ve been putting it off.

Articles
DanVisconti

Hatin' on Nickelback

Why so much vitriol directed at Nickelback, who are merely one of many easy targets in today’s commercially dominated, creatively deficient Top 40 wasteland? Patrick Carney’s original screed—which references people beginning to accept that what is most successful is rarely what is most exciting and unique—underscores a loss of faith in the very foundations of rock as subversive sexual and political expression.

Articles
Devin Hurd

Narrative Before Music

Fifth House Ensemble deserves credit for the careful preparation and forethought that went into the multimedia “#thisrocks” installment of their In Transit series. So much of the experience was tailored to mirror our contemporary reality—lives overflowing with Facebook updates, Tweets, and an intense quantity of media that competes for our attention at any given time.

Articles
Leon Botstein

Stravinsky Outside Russia

At any given time there are many inspired and imposing figures who, despite their ambitions, jealousies, and rivalries, themselves never worried about any top ten or top fifty rankings. Nevertheless, for most of the 20th century (if there were indeed to be a contender for the status of the “greatest” 20th-century composer) the honor, as a matter of public perception both in the general public and among professional musicians, would most likely have fallen on Igor Stravinsky.

Articles
Colin Holter

More Than Words?

Sometime during the long hours I spent working on my most recent piece, it occurred to me that if I were to keep the score to myself and provide the performers with detailed verbal instructions about what to play, I could probably get almost the very same result as the conventionally notated score might produce: In other words, the most meaningful dimensions of the piece aren’t contingent on notated musical particulars in the score that come from me.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Sounds Heard: Florence B. Price—Concerto in One Movement; Symphony in E Minor

By the time of her death in 1953, Florence Price had completed over 300 pieces of music, among them the very first symphony by a black woman ever performed by a major symphony orchestra in the United States. Yet after her death, performances waned and, aside from a few of her spiritual arrangements being championed by Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price (no relation) who sang one at the White House in 1978, there was only a single disc devoted to her music which is now out of print. But now a new Albany CD devoted to Price attempts to right that wrong.

Articles
David Smooke

Digitization

As I mentioned last week in this space, over the winter holidays I experienced a period of relatively severe burnout that left me unable to complete any task requiring more than a modicum of intellectual commitment. One of the chores that I set for myself in order to feel somewhat useful was the digitization of my entire music library.

Articles
Jenny Clarke

Virtually Choral

Choirs have been using the internet for years for communication, promotion, and networking. but now video is increasingly being used to connect choirs, singers, composers and audiences.

Articles
Rob Deemer

Proof of Life

As weeks go, this one has been none too quiet for the symphony orchestra. What I take away from these various and sundry items is that, for as much as folks like to say otherwise, the symphony orchestra is not going quietly into that good night just yet.

Articles
Ratzo B Harris

NEA and Jazz, Part 1

On Tuesday, January 10, I attended the NEA Jazz Masters 30th anniversary award ceremony. As in previous Jazz Masters events, the awards’ presentations alternated with performances by select past Masters that occasionally included “emerging” artists considered worthy of inclusion.

Articles
Alexandra Gardner

Breathing is Fundamental

Hearing performers breathing can add intensity to a recording, not to mention serve as reminder that the music is coming from a human. I have come to like hearing performers breathing in recordings, and that is probably a good thing since I seem to gravitate towards the big breathers anyway.

Articles
DanVisconti

Developing an Act

If I were allotted only a single question to ask any composer about their music, I’d make sure to ask the question that most consistently seems to reveal a composer’s fundamental character, namely: What is your attitude toward revision?

Articles
Karissa Krenz

Chiming In on the Relationship Between Noise, Sound and Music

As a child I spent hours banging on the piano while holding down the sustain pedal, played with the sounds my voice could make, and, when I eventually took up the cello, spent more time experimenting with it than learning proper technique. It wasn’t until I went to college—where I learned about the many composers creating works using sounds not traditionally considered by the mainstream to be “music”—that I learned I wasn’t completely crazy.

Articles
Colin Holter

We Need To Talk About New Music

As bloggers about and fans of contemporary music, we can do the most good by supporting the people and institutions that produce it, regardless of whatever internecine beefs we may harbor. As serious music people, however, we’re obliged to identify problems. On the face of it, this sounds like a destructive, negative mission statement, but au contraire.

Articles
Molly Sheridan

Sounds Heard: Alexander Berne—Flickers of Mime/Death of Memes

The path through Alexander Berne & the Abandoned Orchestra’s Flickers of Mime—paired here in a 2-CD set with his equally fascinating Death of Memes—weaves in its course. Beginning with an ambient base layer of sound out of which distinct sonic events emerge and retreat, Berne creates the sensation that we are watching the landscape of a foreign country through the window of a moving vehicle, the sights only half glimpsed and even less concretely understood.

Articles
David Smooke

Burnout

At unpredictable intervals I enter periods in which I remain inexorably and unequivocally incapable of work. Sometimes a glut of good fortune can leave me working beyond my constitutional capabilities. Then, suddenly and without warning, I realize that my sources of energy have been reduced to mere embers. I find myself in the state of burnout.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Size Matters

A plaque at the Palmer House describing its opulent ceiling declares: “Its sheer size alone qualifies it as a masterpiece.” If you give it much thought such a statement seems utterly ridiculous, and yet there’s a strange logic to it which—ultimately untrue though it may be—permeates the way so many people think about art and success.

Articles
Hannah Lash

The Big Day (The 2011-2012 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute Blog, Day 4)

I’ve never had a piece played to such a large audience before. The energy of the crowd felt overwhelmingly positive; there were a lot of different ages of people, and you got the sense that everyone was excited to be there and anxious to hear what was going on in new music for orchestra.

Articles
Hannah Lash

The Addictive Roller Coaster Ride (The 2011-2012 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute Blog, Day 3)

My personal perspective about writing music and having it played feels addictive: those first rehearsal glitches, where your piece is still unknown to the players cause a certain amount of terror in a composer, but once you start to hear them smooth out, and the piece start to assemble itself into the entity you created, you get a burst of energy like nothing else.

Articles
Rob Deemer

Finding Headspace

One of the vestiges that I have clung to from my pre-teaching days is the idea that I can compose at any time during the year, regardless of what else is going on in my life. I’ve prided myself on the fact that I could “turn it on” when I found time and could write effectively well into the night. As you might imagine, such habits are not exactly healthy.

Articles
Ratzo B Harris

Happy New Year

The first half of January 2012 at The Stone is being hosted by Stefan Winter, who founded JMT records in 1985. Besides launching the recording careers of Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, Cassandra Wilson, Robin Eubanks, Gary Thomas and Jean-Paul Bourelly, JMT (now called Winter and Winter) also championed many “downtown” artists, such as Tim Berne, Mark Feldman, Mark Dresser, Bob Stewart, Craig Harris, and Herb Robertson.

Articles
Hannah Lash

Talking About Our Music (The 2011-2012 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute Blog, Day 2)

After meeting and mingling with the donors, board members, and the commissioning club who were all in attendance, the six of us participants each got to say a few words to everybody.

Articles
AndrewSigler

Austin Music 2012: New Year Evolution

In particular, the last decade has seen a number of significant groups, festivals, and events pop up here in town that share little with their popular cousins except a zip code, and my plan for 2012 is to feature these groups in and around Austin as they ply their wares.

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.