What The Composer Wants

By Alexandra Gardner

Ensemble commissions Young Composer to write a new work. Young composer has never written for the particular instrumentation of Ensemble before, but Ensemble likes Young Composer’s work so much they decide to take a chance. The story continues…

It Gets Better

By Alexandra Gardner
The first twenty years of a composer’s career can be difficult, but as a composer nearing that two-decade mark, I can say that the sheer act of sticking it out and being tenacious can yield positive results.

Sounds Heard: Maggi Payne—Arctic Winds

An intrepid sound-gatherer, Bay Area composer/flutist/recording engineer/video artist Maggi Payne collects recordings from the simplicities of everyday life—a rattling teapot, papers shuffling, a basement furnace, misbehaved plumbing—and transforms them into gigantic musical statements.

Good, Cheap, Fast

By Alexandra Gardner

Good, cheap, and fast represent the three corners of what is called a Project Triangle—a graphic example showing the influence of time, resources, and technical objective upon a given project. Basically the idea is that one can successfully accomplish any two of these elements in the outcome of a project, but that having all three is not possible.

Rhythm Is A Dancer

By Alexandra Gardner

The process of collaboration, whether it is with dance, theater, visual art, film, or what have you, is surprisingly similar to living in a foreign country!

Silence Is Golden

By Alexandra Gardner

I definitely believe that the sounds that we encounter on a daily basis are just as important to our physical and mental well-being as the food we eat and the air that we breathe.

Ask Not What Your Social Media Can Do For You

By Alexandra Gardner
Everyone is supposedly using these online tools, including more and more companies and organizations, because apparently it has become necessary to do so in the interest of “audience engagement”. But are these really the most effective methods for doing that?

Defying Geography

By Alexandra Gardner
Concert simulcasting is taking place more and more throughout the country, making performances available to a significantly broader audience.

Working the Visual Angle

By Alexandra Gardner
Capturing photographic images of a working process helps to remind me how different pieces progressed and how the ideas rolled along—those little sketches and lists were crucial in the moment (because if it doesn’t get written down, it will be gone) and a simple image can bring it all back.

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