NewMusicBox

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

All
News
Frank J. Oteri

Traditions and Changes at the 2023 Arts and Letters Ceremonial

Like most longstanding formal ceremonies, the annual American Academy of Arts and Letter Ceremonial is an extremely tradition-bound event, but this year’s iteration had more noticeable differences than most.

Guest Editor series
Erika Oba

GLFCAM -- Reflections on Rockefeller’s Ghosts

I took a week-long trip to the Appalachian mountains with a group of student activists, and that trip was a formative experience. I fell into conversation with an activist photographer who had made it his primary work to document the effects of mountaintop removal coal mining. He asked me a bit about who I was and what I did, and I explained to him that I was a college student studying both jazz piano and environmental studies and felt myself being pulled in two opposing directions. He asked me why I couldn’t pursue both.

How-Tos
John Liberatore

Let’s Take Young Audiences Seriously

Many artists, organizations, and institutions offer excellent and innovative family programming. But a certain brand of “family programming” still dominates the forum. It leads to lukewarm afternoon programs of unrehearsed Classical Clichés with an itinerant, underpaid assistant conductor. It’s treated more like community service than serious programming, hardly a forum for innovation or real musical expression.

Guest Editor series
Nicolás Lell Benavides

GLFCAM -- Is it alright to make joyful art while the world burns? 

I love finding joy in my music, yet I feel an incredible anger because of the ways in which human created climate change affects the acequias and the Sage Grouse. The snow melt is unpredictable, and the irrigation season is shorter than ever. Fracking and drilling not only warm the planet but destroy habitats that the birds rely on. What is beautiful or joyful about not knowing how to fix this with my music? 

News
Frank J. Oteri

2023 BMI Composer Award Winners Announced

BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) and BMI Foundation, Inc. celebrated the honorees of the 71st annual BMI Composer Awards at a private ceremony held on May 15 at Chelsea Table and Stage in New York City

Articles
NewMusicBox Staff

NewMusicBox Call for Content Pitches

Guidelines for how to pitch to NewMusicBox. We’re looking for original material that offers significant value and takeaway benefits for the new music community. We’re excited to share special knowledge that will uplift others!

Articles
Gabriela Lena Frank

GLFCAM -- To lay down in a bed of yesteryear

The Cabrillo Music Festival admin asked, in a Zoom with my agent, if I’d write something about the wildfires and I blurted out yes. But I underestimated the time needed to figure out how to address the CA wildfires. In truth, I had been putting off the work, rusty from COVID disuse, but also apprehensive to tackle the subject. I have been living in near constant terror here in rural Boonville. Yet, something inside, deep in one’s spirit, simply perseveres while surrounded by unimaginable chaos.

Frank J. Oteri

Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels Jointly Win the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Music

Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels have been awarded the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Music for their jointly composed opera Omar. Omar was commissioned by the Spoleto Festival USA where it received its world premiere performance on May 27, 2022 at the Sottile Theatre in Charleston, S.C. It was subsequently staged by the LA Opera (October… Read more »

Logan Lambert

The Worldly Clarinet

The clarinet, like many instruments commonly found in Western music, is actually a part of many music traditions with a rich history of virtuosi around the globe. Yet, in America, clarinet students are most often admitted only to classical training programs, including orchestras and concert bands.

SoundLives
Frank J. Oteri

Tina Davidson: Listening Through The Journey

The story of Tina Davidson’s life, which is the basis of her newly published memoir Let Your Heart Be Broken, is extremely intense but also a rewarding reading experience just like the emotional roller coaster rides in so many of her musical compositions make for very compelling listening.

News
Frank J. Oteri

ASCAP Foundation Announces 2023 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award Recipients

The ASCAP Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2023 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards. Jazz composers up to the age of 30 are eligible to apply to these annual awards.

Articles
John Schaefer

I Am The Gatekeeper (And That’s Okay)

AI and algorithms work on logic.  Music, and discovery, work beyond logic, in the realm of intuition and inspiration and chance. 

Articles
Vanessa Reed

Minding the Gap: Why Targeted Action is Still Needed

I want to mark this year’s International Women’s Day with reflections on what we’ve learnt from the gender equity programs I’ve led in the UK and the US over the past 12 years. I also want to use this opportunity to celebrate the incredible women and gender-expansive creators these initiatives have supported. Back in 2011… Read more »

How-Tos
Cayla Bellamy

Diversifying Curriculum: Representation, Risks, and Responsible Pedagogy

Increasing diverse representation in our programming with student musicians can be an intimidating bar for those who speak, teach, and make art from a place of privilege. Oftentimes, we run into issues of concern that we are “doing it wrong.” We worry that our errors will make us seem ignorant, uncaring, or the “bad people.” To move forward, I have outlined a five-step process that includes what I consider to be several steps to “doing it the least wrong.”

Podcasts and Discussions
Frank J. Oteri

Kevin Puts: Keeping Secrets

Composer Kevin Puts takes pride in keeping secrets, both by being understated in his interactions with people and by never initially giving away all the goods in his music, preferring, as he says, “to keep something in reserve so that there’s a payoff for the attentive listener.” But in this in-depth conversation he reveals some of the secrets about his Metropolitan Opera debut The Hours, his Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night, his symphony inspired by Björk’s album Vespertine, Contact (his triple concerto for Time for Three which just won the 2023 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition), and much more.

Articles
Frank J. Oteri

Going Beyond the Headlines from the 65th Annual Grammy Awards

The big headlines from the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, which were announced yesterday in Los Angeles, are mostly either about Beyoncé now being the recipient of the greatest number of awards in Grammy history (a total of 32) or the surprise win of Harry Styles (beating out Beyoncé) for “Album of the Year.” But there are many other significant wins from last night.

Catherine Joy

Standing Tall, Still To Be Seen

The Oscar nominees were announced this last week and while the shortlist was full of promise, featuring both Chanda Dancy and Hildur Guðnadóttir for best score, the actual nominee list featured only men.

Guest Editor series
Jonathan Hepfer

dublab -- Notes from the Archipelago

I wanted to offer this playlist as an intentionally unkempt, unruly, sprawling overview of works that have made an impression on me over the past twenty-five years of research in this field. I have preserved works I loved as a teenager, works I loved as a graduate student, works I loved while I was studying in Germany, works I have learned to love in the past seven years, works I continue to investigate, and works I perhaps myself may not love, but think are nonetheless deserving of recognition.

Guest Editor series
Multiple Authors

dublab -- The Current Landscape in Composition, Film Scoring and Publishing

Warp Composers’ Sen Moreira is joined by producer and composer Casey MQ in a conversation about the current landscape in the world of composition, film scoring, and publishing in an ever changing music industry.

Frank J. Oteri

Composer Advocacy Notebook: In Search of the New "Normal"

What keeps me coming back to the Midwest Clinic and the Chamber Music America conference year after year is their amount of focus on new music and that both attract a wide range of people involved in the music: interpreters, publishers, advocates, and–most importantly–composers from diverse backgrounds who have a very wide range of stylistic inclinations. This means there are always tons of new music-specific conversations, plus there are tons of exciting live performances of new works.

Guest Editor series
Multiple Authors

dublab -- Colloboh live performance at dublab for NewMusicBox

A live performance captured on video by Los Angeles based composer, Colloboh. This performance took place at the dublab studios and features new compositions utilizing modular synthesizers.

Guest Editor series
Chandler Poling

dublab -- Staying True in the Film Industry

Dublab Radio DJ Chandler Poling of Studio Soundtracks interviews film composer Chanda Dancy about her musical upbringing, her inspirations, and her creative contributions to the Sony Pictures’ feature film Devotion.  Together they discuss the public perception of what a composer is and how Chanda’s work challenges that perspective.

Guest Editor series
BAE BAE

dublab -- BAE BAE - Hood Rave Mix

The mix is the kind of set you will hear at Hood Rave, the underground party BAE BAE curates in LA. The hyperbolic black femme, she translates her empathy to the decks, blending r&b, house, club, jungle, garage, dancehall and more, foregrounding black music genres and sensuality.

Podcasts and Discussions
Frank J. Oteri

Tania León: The Rhythm of Life

The new music community has been impacted, inspired and transformed by Tania León as a musical creator–as well as an interpreter, educator, and organizer–for decades.