Author Archives: Alexandra Gardner

Wild Things

It seems reasonable that whether or not “an audience” is being considered during the process of creating music, if a work of music is performed out in the world, chances are it will resonate with someone, somewhere. It’s important be open to that and respect the experiences of those people, even if the specific intention (if there was one) of the music was missed or misconstrued. Given that music affects people in such a pointed, visceral way, you just never know how that is going to manifest.

Breaking Habits

Habits can be good things, in that they don’t require the same level of effort to execute as something that is not a habit. They “just happen” without needing a lot of consideration or energy once they become integrated into the daily routine or the personality of the individual. So if it is said that it takes 30 days to form (or to break) a habit, how does that apply to musical habits?

It Takes More Than One

After trying every which way to get other women on board and writing regularly for the site, with precious little success, it is becoming quite clear that blogging is simply not a format that interests many women.

Finding the Groove

Hearing so many tales this time of year about creating syllabi and planning classes brings to mind my favorite class of all time in graduate school. It did not include a syllabus, a textbook, or for that matter any reading or writing whatsoever!

Sounds Heard: Keeril Makan—Target

Composer Keeril Makan’s new CD Target gives the ears a workout with timbral complexity drawn from a remarkably spare amount of material that sneaks up and delivers a whollop of powerful emotional content.

Seduction Involves Patience

On Tuesday night, I attended a performance by Mantra Percussion of Michael Gordon’s new work Timber. I entered the Apple store on Broadway feeling slightly harried, with a million different things on my mind, and an hour later I left feeling as if all that junk in my head had been emptied out and replaced with a wonderful sense of peacefulness.

Sounds Heard: Ecosono—Agents Against Agency

The artist collective called Ecosono is devoted to melding experimental sound art and environmental preservation, in an effort to highlight ecological awareness through innovative musical creations. Their new DVD, Agents Against Agency, documents nine multimedia projects exploring the interconnections between musical expression in dialog with the surrounding environment, both natural and manmade.

To Blog or Not To Blog

This question about whether to start up a blog has come up so many times over the past few weeks that it seems it should be addressed. With so many websites now being built using the Wordpress platform, it’s a natural question that arises from the dynamic nature of the format. I wish there were a clear-cut, yes or no answer, but the reality is that there isn’t one!

Pierre Jalbert: All Music Great and Small

Whether it is an orchestral work or a composition for chamber ensemble, Pierre Jalbert professes his affection for musical forms both large and small, and especially enjoys the back-and-forth of creating a work for large forces immediately followed by a smaller one. His compositions, which are vibrant and tautly constructed with thoughtfulness and precision often contrast slow music suggesting a sense of “suspended time” with fast, highly syncopated material that propels the work forward.

Half the Battle vs. Half the Bottle

Last night at around 10 p.m. I felt like I was totally out of steam and was starting to get ready for bed when I thought, “No. You didn’t sit down with this composition at all today—spend at least a few minutes with it before turning in and you’ll feel better.” Well, I more than felt better; a few minutes turned into two hours, and that little bit of time revealed the breakthrough from “I’m pretty sure I know where this is going…?” To “I definitely know where this is going!”