NewMusicBox

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

All
Articles
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.

Interviews
Frank J. Oteri

Eleanor Cory: What I Really Want To Do

Eleanor Cory gets inspiration from listening to a wide variety of music as well as attending poetry readings and her music thrives from creating sonic dialogues between elements that don’t immediately seem to belong together.

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.

Articles
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.

Articles
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?

Articles
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.

blank billboard
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.

Articles
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?

Articles
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.

Articles
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?

Articles
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.

Articles
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.

Articles
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.

Articles
Eric Chasalow

Electroacoustic Music is Not About Sound

Narrative structure and pitch specificity are now rarely considered in electroacoustic music. To claim that pitch specificity is important is to risk being labeled a reactionary or, worse yet, conventional. An even more profound change has taken place in our discourse regarding time. There is the strong suggestion that it is quaint to think of music as a narrative form, unfolding in time.

Articles
Imani Mosley

Queer and Loathing in Las Vegas: Performing Community in Hagen’s Vera

The first half of the 20th century saw the demise of the great operatic heroine and out of the fracture arose a focus on male roles, ensemble casts, and female roles singing in a completely new way. And as opera became a more racially integrated affair, new disconnects emerged while similarly allowing for new audiences to see their bodies presented as operatic vehicles.

Articles
Joan Arnau Pàmies

Towards The Future: New Music in the 21st Century

At a time when our most immediate collective reality is not only mediocre, but also dangerous and pathologically against the creation of fairer worlds, I would like to believe that there is some work to be done in our field, where perhaps we can reclaim creativity and imagination.

Articles
Alice Shields

Timbre, Envelope and Variation in Electroacoustic Music

Timbre and envelope are intricately related and are major determinants of how effective a sound event in music will be, whether in acoustic music or electroacoustic music. Since the sound events used in electroacoustic music often have little or no distinct pitch characteristics, traditional contrapuntal sequencing devices often may not generate identifiable or interesting variations, but other techniques, including models borrowed from rhetoric, can be used effectively.

Articles
Will Robin

Imagining Community at Bang on a Can's First Marathon

Essential to the construction of community is the creation of a shared history: a rhetoric and a narrative about who the community is, and what its values are. And in order to create a new kind of community, Bang on a Can had to overplay its hand. Community had to be performed.