NewMusicBox

Your home for the diverse and timely stories, news, opinions, and voices of new music creators and practitioners across the United States.

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Articles
Colleen Phelps

Do You Hear What I See?

A visual that inspires the composer or improviser is sure to also inspire audiences to a fuller and more moving experience. The Kentler International Drawing Center is driving this connection home with its now-touring exhibition Music as Image and Metaphor.

Rashid Johnson on The Red Stage
Articles
Michelle Hromin

Upon Arrival: Experiencing My First Live Concert in Over 15 Months

I never thought I would feel so grateful for the small sounds of people coexisting with me, yet there I was, bobbing my head along, feeling pure contentment and gratitude for sharing this space with all of these strangers.

Articles
Multiple Authors

The Art of Being True: Liberalism in Music & Stream of Consciousness

In our 5th installment of excerpts from the M³ anthology, Lesley Mok explains how conservatories co-opt the politics of “anti-racism” and Romarna Campbell describes the multiple identities contained for her in the word “skin.”

Articles
Multiple Authors

The Art of Being True: Remembering Philly Joe & Your Backstory Is the Real Story

In our latest installment of excerpts from the M³ anthology, Sumi Tonooka remember Philly Joe Jones — “the last band leader that any parent would want to see their teenage daughter go out on the road with!” — and Jen Shyu contemplates parenthood: “Don’t wait for your ‘clock’ to start ticking. You might not hear it.”

Worldview Manipulation Therapy (installation view)
Articles
Thollem McDonas

Native Experimentalists

It’s crucial that the perspective of Native America be witnessed through the work of artistic practices.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

2021 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Awards Announced

The ASCAP Foundation has announced the 21 recipients and 17 honorable mentions of the 2021 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, which encourage talented young creators of concert music ranging in age from 13 to 30.

Articles
Multiple Authors

The Art of Being True: Aretes of the New Cyrene & Reminder to Self

[Ed. Note: Beginning on April 30 and continuing on consecutive Fridays until the next round of concerts of M³ (Mutual Mentorship for Musicians) taking place on June 12 and 13, 2021 under the auspices of the National Jazz Museum (and which have received funding from New Music USA), NewMusicBox is publishing excerpts from each of… Read more »

Articles
Multiple Authors

The Art of Being True: Sonic Creation & Motherhood in Music

In our 2nd installment from the anthology of writings by the members of M³, Erica Lindsay states that the goal of sonic creation is to “express what is beyond your own understanding” and Sara Serpa decries the difficulties of balancing an artistic career with parenthood.

Articles
Multiple Authors

The Art of Being True: To Speak in Memory & The Sun Itself

To celebrate today’s publication of The Art of Being True, an anthology of writings by the members of M³, and in anticipation of their upcoming concerts on June 12 and 13, we will be publishing excerpts from each of the 12 participants’ contributions, 2 per week, every Friday between now and June 12.

15-Swell-scaled
Articles
Melisa Tien

Underscoring How Human and Relatable Immigrants Actually Are

While people who looked and sounded like us were being taken from their homes, we presented a song cycle underscoring how human and relatable immigrants actually were.

15-BoaC-scaled
Articles
Will Robin

Diversity, Inclusion, and Funding New Music in the '90s

This three-decade-old episode of an attempt to diversify the world of contemporary composition––amidst a landscape of increasing arts austerity, loud Congressional battles over avant-garde art, and public backlash from prominent composers––has much to offer today’s attempts at fostering inclusion.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

New Music USA Submissions for the 2021 ISCM World New Music Days

New Music USA has submitted six works for consideration in the call for scores for the 2021 International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) World New Music Days which, pandemic willing, is scheduled to take place in Shanghai and Nanning from September 17-25, 2021. Each of these six works is by a composer who was chosen to participate in New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices program.

Articles
Dalit Warshaw

Road From Heiligenstadt: A Composer's Perspective on Surviving COVID

On April 4, 2020, I was diagnosed with COVID-19. I began exhibiting symptoms on March 26, and started my self-isolation at home before moving elsewhere, to maintain the health of my husband and son after they tested negative. Composers are generally quite comfortable with self isolation, even to the point of seeking it out, and so I decided to take the Romantic view: I had just been granted an unexpected artist residency!

Articles
Gelsey Bell

Looking Out For Each Other with The Real Music Wages Database

Inspired by similar crowd-sourced spreadsheets for dancers, baristas, museum workers, and adjunct professors, we created the Real Music Wages Database to help freelance music workers navigate what can be a very confusing financial landscape and give us tools to negotiate wages for ourselves, particularly in situations when we don’t have a union or an agent working on our behalf.

From a [Switch ~ Ensemble] Livestream
Articles
Zach Sheets

Livestream Community Survey: What We Learned from the Field

[Switch~ Ensemble] led a Community Survey about the habits, preferences, and interests of concert-goers for livestreams. We are pleased to provide a summary of the responses, as well as recommendations based on our analysis of the data.

Articles
Multiple Authors

Composer Commission Pay in the United States

How much should composers get paid for commissions? As composers ourselves, we recently set out to find the answer. We were motivated not only by our curiosity, but also by our desire to know what is fair and equitable.

Articles
Erik Elmgren

Stand In The Gap

If we want the art we make to heal our community’s loneliness and pain and bring us back together again, then it has to be about more than creating a pristine product to be consumed.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

New Music Ushers In The Inauguration of the Next President and Vice President of the USA

Lots of new music will usher in a new American administration on January 20, 2021. Newly commissioned works by Kimberly Archer and Peter Boyer, classics by Aaron Copland, Julie Giroux, and Joan Tower, and a 46-song Spotify playlist spanning music from The Staple Sisters to Bruce Springsteen to Kendrick Lamar.

Articles
Dave Molk

Confronting Our Complicity: Music Theory and White Supremacy

Despite the fact that the majority of our students do not listen to Western art music regularly, nearly all of the core curriculum is based on it. Let’s open their ears, eyes, and minds to voices and people that have been marginalized, to the stories that surround and support the notes, to the unheard music.

Articles
Matthew Shipp

Black Mystery School Pianists

Mystery School posits an alternative touch—something that does not directly fall within the mainstream’s easily digestible paradigm of being able to play the instrument, even though the practitioners of the Mystery School are obviously highly skilled virtuosos whose touch, language, and articulation are extremely hard to copy.

From a Zoom recording session of Brian Baumbusch's music
Articles
Brian Baumbusch

Unprecedented Time

There is no doubt that we are in unprecedented times. Living through a global pandemic has tested and revealed so much about who we are as a people and what we possess as a culture. But art will push on regardless of the circumstances, and I find it to be a transcendent privilege as well as a dire responsibility to stay focused on ways to continue innovating the arts without hesitation or compromise.

M3ZoomMeeting
Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

Multiple Voices: Mutual Mentorship for Musicians (M³)

M³ (Mutual Mentorship for Musicians) is a revolutionary new program which its founders Jen Shyu and Sara Serpa describe as “a think tank for new ways to connect, collaborate, support, create, and empower womxn musicians worldwide including BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, and musicians of all abilities across generations.” To celebrate the first two concerts born from this initiative on Dec 6 and 12, we asked the 12 participating musicians to share their thoughts about how M³ has impacted their creative process.

Articles
Multiple Authors

Remember the Uncomplicated Joy

Our record announcement fell on the same day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Two months later, the record was released just days before George Floyd’s murder. Every week of 2020 has shown us something far more important, far more worthy of attention than a record of new music by two white men.

Articles
George E. Lewis

I Can’t Breathe:  A Virtual Dialogue

George Friedrich Haas’s composition I Can’t Breathe, written just after the birth of the Black Lives Matter organization and well before the concept came to international prominence, raises a number of important questions about the response of the international new music community to the increasingly multicultural and multiracial, i.e., creolized, societies in which its performances, curatorial directions, and critical and philosophical inquiries are being presented.