2014: Remembering The Year That Isn’t Over Yet

Since we’re constantly talking about 21st-century music on this site and we’re not even a sixth of the way through the 21st century, it should be fair game to reminisce about 2014.

Written By

Frank J. Oteri

Frank J. Oteri is an ASCAP-award winning composer and music journalist. Among his compositions are Already Yesterday or Still Tomorrow for orchestra, the "performance oratorio" MACHUNAS, the 1/4-tone sax quartet Fair and Balanced?, and the 1/6-tone rock band suite Imagined Overtures. His compositions are represented by Black Tea Music. Oteri is the Vice President of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) and is Composer Advocate at New Music USA where he has been the Editor of its web magazine,, since its founding in 1999.

And finally, what can we say about 2014? We’re not even halfway through the year yet. But since we’re constantly talking about 21st-century music on this site and we’re not even a sixth of the way through the 21st century, 2014 should be fair game.

Though it was posted a mere four months ago, Molly Sheridan’s talk with Lisa Bielawa is one of the most incentivizing things I’ve ever read about the creation of music. Lisa’s unbridled enthusiasm is quite a contrast to the reflections of Juan Orrego-Salas, who several years ago stopped composing but still had lots of stories to tell me about the days when he was actively writing music. (At 95, he is the oldest composer we’ve yet spoken to on NewMusicBox; Elliott Carter was a mere 91 when we spoke with him back in February 2000.)

At less than 5/12ths of the way through the year it seems like many of the concerns of the past 15 years are still not completely resolved, such as ongoing gender inequities, the ethics of appropriation, guaranteeing that composers can make a living from their music, how to teach musical composition, the validity of musical genre distinctions, attempting to define quality, or even what the role of creative artists and their work could and should be. Much as I’m usually reluctant to make predictions, I’ll venture a guess that none of these issues will be resolved this year or anytime soon.

But enough of all these reflective thoughts… at least for now! It has been wonderful to be reminded of so much of what has transpired over the course of the last 15 years here. We all hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane as much as we did. Now we return to listening forward—stay tuned.

The year isn’t over yet, and neither is our campaign. We still need to raise more to meet our goal by June 30th. Why not donate now? You can help get us ready for the next 15 years!

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