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
NewMusicBox Staff

Wadada Leo Smith Receives $25K Mohn Career Achievement Award

Composer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has received the Hammer Museum’s 2016 Mohn Award for Career Achievement “honoring brilliance and resilience.”

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Kevin James

An Open Response to “… But I Hate Modern Music”

Subjectivity isn’t actually a matter of taste. It’s a matter of expectation. When it comes to art and artistic renderings, there is, unfortunately, often a disconnect between what an artist is presenting and what an audience believes their price of admission is buying.

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Michael Compitello

Summer Residency Snapshots: Into the Workshop

Composer/performer collaborations may run in both directions at once: input from performers can help composers create more easily interpretive, idiomatic work, and composers can bring interpretive clarity to hard to parse scores while writing with their collaborators in mind.

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Patrick Zimmerli

Concerts in the Park and Modes of Listening to New Music

New music has been as much about challenging modes of listening and perception as anything else. What is most wonderful to me about the park experience was that all modes of listening are available simultaneously.

Numbered theater chairs upholstered in burgundy
Articles
Alicia Byer

Whither Los Angeles: The Émigrés

Los Angeles is a place where cultural dichotomies are magnified, and the rift between American and European musical priorities illustrated by the experiences of émigré composers of the ’30s and ’40s offers a powerful case in point. This was a collision of worlds which never fully resolved or came to an agreeable integration, reflecting some of the fundamental fragmentation of Los Angeles.

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Michael Compitello

Summer Residency Snapshots: The Composer / Performer Mind Meld

For ensembles of composer/performers, neither the tight, goal-oriented schedules of summer festivals nor the creative isolation of writers colonies fit. At Avaloch, both Triplepoint Trio and Invisible Anatomy were able to stretch their legs creatively while being inspired by the diverse community around them.

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Aaron Siegel

What Happens When Composers Make Opera

A collaborative conversation at Hunter College’s Ida K. Lang Recital Hall featuring some of the most prolific and interesting composers, librettists, and singers working in New York’s new opera scene.

Los Angeles, USA - February 29, 2016: The Hollywood sign overlooking Los Angeles. The iconic sign was originally created in 1923.
Articles
Alicia Byer

Whither Los Angeles? New Music in Tinseltown

It’s hard now to find a week in which you can’t hear something new—really new—in Los Angeles. Perhaps like many composers who grew up grumbling about its pop culture backdrop and who are now witnessing the flowering of an LA new music community, I am wondering: how did we get here?

Articles
Michael Compitello

Summer Residency Snapshots: Lessons in Dynamic Collaboration

How can taking part in a close dialogue over the genesis of a piece lead to more sustained and flexible partnerships between composers and performers? How can being in an idyllic natural setting, surrounded by other interesting musicians and away from one’s normal routine, impact creative work? Is it important to be friends?

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

Carlos Simon Wins $15,000 ACO Underwood Emerging Composer Commission

Carlos Simon, recipient of the $15K 2016 ACO Underwood Commission, was chosen from seven finalists during ACO’s 25th Underwood New Music Readings on June 13-14, 2016. Simon won the top prize with his work Plagues of Egypt.

Articles
Sam Reising

Stream the 2016 Bang on a Can Marathon

Tune in to this page to watch the Bang on a Can live stream from 4-10 PM on Saturday, July 30, 2016.

chess game
Articles
Isaac Schankler

The Generalization Generation

When we elevate a certain kind of craft and its formal concerns above all else, this kind of gatekeeping doesn’t just hurt young composers, it also shuts out other potential voices, marginalized voices, voices that could bring new life to new music. It is completely inimical to the spirit of creativity that should animate and drive us.

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NewMusicBox Staff

Chamber Music America Announces $483,000 in Grants for New Works

CMA will distribute a total of $483,100 to 21 ensembles for the creation of new works. A total of $272,000 was awarded to nine jazz ensembles through the New Jazz Works program. Plus twelve grants totaling $211,100 have been awarded through the Classical Commissioning program.

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Molly Sheridan

Better Know a Composer: Disambiguation Edition

Was that Jefferson Friedman or Jason Freeman or Joshua Fried? Did you mean Hahn Rowe or Huang Ruo? Did I really just say Larry Polansky when I meant Paul Lansky?

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Eric Chasalow

Memories of Milton

We have all, at one time or another, had to come to terms with Milton Babbitt’s music, with his ideas about music, and with the place he helped define for composers. Anyone who can make us question the way forward so profoundly is helping us become ourselves, whether we like it or not. Even people who—to put it kindly—were not fond of Milton owe him a debt of gratitude.

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Articles
Andy Costello

What 4’33” Teaches Us

Whether Cage originally meant it in this way or not, 4’33” is an open invitation to critically engage with silence as a renewable pedagogical act. Andy Costello explores stories of silence—both inside and beyond the traditional classroom—that have little to say and plenty to teach.

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Maia Jasper White

...But I Hate Modern Music

If you happen upon an offensive or meaningless piece of visual art, you can just walk away. A live performance, on the other hand, holds you hostage. What responsibilities does this place on the presenter?

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Alice Shields

Electroacoustic Music with Video: Comparison with Sound for Film

If a concert composer is using video with their music, that composer is writing a film score.

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Joanna Helms

Whose Classical Music? Assumptions and Representation in Online Participatory Projects

Online projects are meant to open up new forms of musical participation to people who would normally take part only as audience members. But they also bring up important issues regarding access, representation, and inclusion. Who ends up participating, and what does their participation mean?

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NewMusicBox Staff

NYFA and EtM Announce Fellowships and Residencies to NY Composers

The New York Foundation for the Arts has announced the recipients and finalists of its Artists’ Fellowship Program. The organization has awarded unrestricted cash grants of $7,000 to artists working in 15 disciplines, totalling $647,000 to 98 artists (including five collaborations) throughout New York State.

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Molly Sheridan

Summer Rewind: 10 Posts To Read Again

An inspiring list reflecting how passionate the field is when it comes to discussing everything from race, age, and gender diversity to industry concerns surrounding vital tools of the trade. Did you miss any of these conversations?

Eighth Blackbird fits in a rehearsal during their Curtis residency. From left to right: Lisa Kaplan, Yvonne Lam, Nick Photinos, Matthew Duvall, Michael Macceferri, and former member Tim Munro.
Articles
John Pippen

Musicians at Work: Ensemble Residencies as Social Relationships

Entrepreneurialism is celebrated by many in the arts scene, but the reality is less sunny than the image often projected by consultants and administrators. Because it valorizes flexibility, opportunism, and social relationships, entrepreneurialism demands constant work. When every moment has potential meaning, it can be hard to relax.

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Frank J. Oteri

John King: It All Becomes Music

John King composed 14 pieces last year which clock in at more than six hours. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. To date he has created well over 200 works in a staggering array of styles and formats–from 28 string quartets and 7 experimental operas to electric guitar solos, orchestra pieces, canons for chorus, and even a few Baroque imitations and a North Indian classical raga exposition. What ties most of his work together is a commitment to indeterminate processes.

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

New Music USA Awards $310,820 to 60 Projects

New Music USA has announced its sixth round of project grants awards, totaling $310,820 in funding to support artistic work involving a wide range of new American music. The 60 awarded projects include concerts and recordings as well as dance, theater, opera, and more, all involving contemporary music as an essential element.