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New Music USA Turns 10!

Celebrating a decade of expanding the creation, community, and discovery of new music in the US.

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#WeAreNewMusic Spotlight:
Ted Hearne

Ted Hearne Photo: Jen Rosenstein

Ted Hearne Photo: Jen Rosenstein

Composer/singer/bandleader Ted Hearne’s fascinating musical creations inspired by current events include Katrina Ballads (about the media’s response to Hurricane Katrina), The Source (about Chelsea Manning’s release of classified military documents to WikiLeaks), and Pulitzer finalist Sound from the Bench (about the Supreme Court’s deliberations over corporate personhood). The Los Angeles-based Hearne has been a frequent recipient of grants from New Music USA which have included support for The Source and, most recently for Time forever dividing itself toward innumerable futures, a 2019 score composed for a site-specific dance piece in Battery Park City.

Ted discusses New Music USA’s impact:

“New Music USA has helped fund many of my projects over the past decade, and I’m so grateful for all the support from this important organization.


Over the years, so many musicians have benefitted from project support. It has been heartening to see how NMUSA has both broadened its reach and sharpened its mission over the past decade; and that this change can be seen not just as a modification of organizational language or a surface-level change in representation, but as an ongoing re-evaluation of what art and artists are seen to constitute the field of “new music” itself.


In a time of such intensified disparities of wealth and increasing barriers to access for so many artists, every source of independent project support is so important, and one grant from one organization can be a massive lifeline for an artist who is looking to create something new. It seems that NMUSA recognizes the magnitude of its influence as an organization that awards sizable grants, and is committed to supporting artists from many different backgrounds, culturally, socioeconomically, and aesthetically.


Attention toward geographical reach of NMUSA is important. Clearly panels keep this rubric in consideration, and I really hope the organization continues to expand what regions are served. It’s been great to see the ways NMUSA has deliberately served artist communities in smaller and non-coastal regions around the country, because so often the ideas of artists in these regions are excluded from institutional funding and access. The increase in transparency surrounding all methods of grant-giving and artist support has been notable, necessary, and is a model of ways we can move forward in this field.


As far as my own work goes, I have been able to collaborate with incredible and inspiring artists, create workshops for big thorny pieces that needed development time, and simply be paid for writing new pieces of music, all due to the reach of New Music USA. I’m wildly grateful for the organization’s support, and proud to be a part of a group that is not only advocating for composers, but that is constantly and consciously evaluating their own practices, and their own influence/impact as community leaders.”


Explore Ted’s Work Funded by New Music USA:

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