Author Archives: Alexandra Gardner

The Grass Is (Only Slightly) Greener

The academic year is fast winding down, and along with the peace and quiet of a school after finals are over, come the signs of those working in academia starting to relax; most noticeably the gleam in the eyes of academically ensconced friends anticipating summer.

Concert Organization Checklist

Successful concerts are what composers, performers, and audiences all hope for. This not only means the thoughtful programming of quality music, but also a smoothly run performance.

Power Play

The availability of adequate electricity is one of those things that should never be assumed—in much the same way that one cannot assume that the piano in the concert space (especially if it is in a club, bar, art gallery, or other non-traditional setting) will be accurately tuned.

Sounds Heard: Mike Vernusky—Music for Film and Electro-Theatre

Sometimes “soundtrack” CDs can invite a degree of skepticism, in that often the music composed for film or video does not stand alone as effectively as when paired with its accompanying medium. However, the second release from Austin, Texas-based composer and sound artist Mike Vernusky is an example of such a format that does not suffer from being presented as audio alone. This is a collection of music composed both for film and “electro-theatre,” defined as music for live actors with electronic sound, which creates a vivid radio play-like journey through sculptural forests of sound.

John Hollenbeck: Reveling in the Unknown

Composer and drummer John Hollenbeck seems most content when faced with musical uncertainty. In this article he discusses his composing process, the challenges of organizing tours both in the U.S. and abroad, his thoughts on genre definitions, and the role of spirituality in his music.

The Self-Promoting Composer, Part 2

As we all know, the internet can be a wonderful, amazing thing for a composer, musician, or artist of any sort. But it can also become your very worst enemy, depending on how you use it. I know that for me it has been incredibly useful, and my career would not be close to where it is without it. It has also taken a few years to figure out how to use it in a way that feels comfortable for me.

Two-Way Streets

Concern about the younger generation’s role in the future of the arts has been an issue during the entire history of arts organizations.

Nothing New (Under the Sun)

By Alexandra Gardner

I am reminded that it is nearly impossible to make anything that isn’t affected by the filters of our personal experience; that somehow reflects our “genealogy of ideas.”