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
Frank J. Oteri

The Wizards of New Music: Reflections on the 2016 ISCM World Music Days

If you think hard enough about new music and how it makes its way in our present society, there are striking similarities to the fictional wizarding community that J. K. Rowling has so elaborately depicted in her Harry Potter narratives.

Articles
Jacob Sudol

New Music for Chinese Instruments

In my opinion, the most exciting new music being composed and performed in East Asia is for traditional Asian instruments. I’m particularly intrigued by the new music people are writing for Chinese instruments. The best works engage with these instruments’ cultural associations as well as contemporary thinking.

Image by Irene Grassi, via Flickr
Articles
Patrick Nickleson

Manifesting Community in Early Minimalism

Community is not one of the words typically included in descriptions of minimalism. Indeed, more often than community, minimalism had to do with conflict. But eventual authorial disputes were the result of a long series of close collaborative engagements.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

64th Annual BMI Student Composer Award Winners Announced

The winning works by nine young composers, ages 15 to 27, include music for orchestra and wind ensemble as well as solo and chamber pieces plus compositions involving electronics.

Articles
Gretta Harley

I don’t have to choose, do I?

Professionally, I identify as both composer and songwriter. I don’t have to choose, do I? I can have both, yes? What is the difference between songwriting and composing anyway? When does a songwriter call herself a composer, or the other way around?

Articles
Jacob Sudol

Classical and Contemporary Cambodian Music and Dance

From ancient stone idiophones to singing kites, Cambodian traditional music offers tons of fascinating possibilities for contemporary composers. But the music is no longer developing and now more closely resembles a museum rather than a living art. Chinary Ung hopes to change that through several initiatives he has organized there.

Articles
Molly Sheridan

Celebrating John Duffy with Music and Memories

For those who missed the May 3, 2016 event at Roulette Intermedium in Brooklyn, full clips are available now.

Articles
R. Andrew Lee

Good Career Hunting: On Being a Deer Chaser

The work of building a career never stops. An all-to-brief encounter with Felicia Day helped R. Andrew Lee adjust his perspective on tackling both the big goals and the mundane chores.

Articles
Gretta Harley

The Slow Listening Revolution

Why vinyl? Commitment. In this mid-second decade of the 21st century, music is being taken for granted on a collective scale. An entire generation of music listeners will never pay for music, nor do they believe that they should. The long form music medium has taken a back seat to song culture, yet the average person only listens to a song for approximately 24 seconds before deciding if it’s worth their time to continue to listen.

Articles
Jacob Sudol

Classical and New Music Culture in Taiwan

As a composer, I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to live in and personally get to know many different musical cultures and communities. Eight years ago I met two people who have given me a personal connection to the broader new music community in Asia. I have now been living in Taiwan since last August, teaching composition and music technology at National Chiao Tung University.

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

2016 Doris Duke Artist Awards Announced

Each recipient will receive $275,000 in flexible, multi-year funding as well as financial and legal counseling, professional development activities, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities provided by Creative Capital.

Articles
Christopher DeLaurenti

After One Ear

Suffering a severe ear infection and terrified that his livelihood as a teacher, composer, and performer might come to an end, Chris began fretting over the seemingly small losses. “I adapted neither brilliantly nor heroically. Retreating, I made no music.”

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Jessie Montgomery: Conjuring Memories

Although she grew up in a very culturally diverse New York City neighborhood that has also long been a hotbed for artistic experimentation and rebellion, composer/violinist Jessie Montgomery most strongly identifies with European classical music.

Articles
Patrick Nickleson

Tony Conrad (1940-2016): Writing “Minor” History

As a musicologist, I’ve been consistently impressed by Tony’s work as a theorist and historian of music—the way he has created critical foundations for his own work, within the long history of Western art music, all the while undercutting and mocking those very conditions of possibility.

Sewing threads as a multicolored background close up
Articles
Christina Rusnak

New Music and Place: Creating Community

Our landscape shapes our perception of the world, and thereby our culture. Music that we create about, for, and with a community can itself act as an advocate for these places.

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

Jonathan Berger and Christopher Trapani Win 2016 Rome Prize

Composers Jonathan Berger and Christopher Trapani will join a group of scholars, artists, and writers headed to Italy for a year-long residency at the American Academy in Rome.

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

10 American Composers’ Works Chosen for 2016 Ars Electronica Forum in Switzerland

Ten of the 24 electronic compositions selected for presentation during Switzerland’s 10th Forum Wallis (which were chosen from among 289 submissions from 45 countries) are by American composers.

Articles
Christopher DeLaurenti

Winning the Lottery

Not everyone should be in “the business.” If rejection really hurts, opt out. I did for a few years when I started taking this all too seriously. Now I savor every application.

Articles
Christina Rusnak

Composing Advocacy: Social Voices

Most of us believe that we possess the power to make positive change in the world. Are we experiencing a resurgence in new music composed to highlight social equity? If so, why now?

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Henry Threadgill wins 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Music

In for a Penny, In for a Pound by Henry Threadgill (released on Pi Recordings on May 26, 2015) has been named the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Music. In addition, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton has been awarded the 2016 Pulizter Prize for Drama.

Articles
Christopher DeLaurenti

Loving the Lottery: Arts Funding for the Unfunded

During the funding application process you are doing something similar to what you do as an artist: Sending your gifts out into the world with little hope of recognition or remuneration. But you are not sending forth your art; instead you are launching a very elaborate lottery ticket into the world.

Articles
Shaya Lyon

In The Absence of Money

When compensation takes the form of passion and satisfaction, instead of monetary remuneration, what is the impact on performance quality, commitment, and artistic freedom? If we could remove money from the equation by making sure artists get paid enough to do better than get by, what would that look like?

Articles
Lisa Bielawa

Roundtable: Facing the Hard Questions

Commissions are not always the best funding model. Some projects are more like entrepreneurial ventures, and as such, they require financial risk-taking and the willingness to take on fiscal as well as artistic accountability.

Alex Shapiro
Articles
Alex Shapiro

Roundtable: Let’s Make a List

Money has nothing to do with the quality of anyone’s music. That said, for those who choose to put together a living from composing, there are myriad avenues for monetizing one’s output—which can offer both exciting opportunities and an overwhelming career equation to solve.