Last week here at the Box we received a communication from a reader pointing out the tendency for the language of new music to employ terms that suggest violence or aggression. For instance, it was pointed out that it’s common to read press materials containing phrases like “aggressive,” “no holds barred,” “pedal to the metal,” “face-melting,” and the like.
It seems that one of the greatest challenges for a creative person is to steer clear of being taken prisoner by the random workings of the mind, and focus on the real work at hand. There are so many reasons we can think of to not write music—it’s incredible the things we can concoct to avoid giving ourselves the quiet and the space to do the work that is really most important.
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.
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.
The current attention to one’s stuff and one’s things is not only about the physical, but also about the virtual.