Author Archives: Alexandra Gardner

Pull Up A Chair

A crucial element in this tangled web of gender disparity in the new music world (and many other worlds) is that women are not culturally encouraged to ask for things. The act of asking for something is an important way to pull up a chair and be part of the conversation.

When Stage Presence Happens

Being well rehearsed is not enough to guarantee a great performance, and that’s where stage presence comes in. Some people naturally have it, but it can also be taught.

The Tax Season Shuffle

Preparing tax returns is one of my least favorite activities on planet earth. What method(s) do you use to keep track of expenses and income?

When Good Performances Happen

It has been great to read all of the comments on last week’s post about bad performances—I’m glad to see both composers and performers sharing their thoughts. In the interest of addressing both sides of this coin—or maybe that greener grass over there—I’m also interested in unpacking aspects of good performances. Yes, they do happen!

When Bad Performances Happen

Performances are not always what we would like them to be, or what we expect them to be. We have all been caught by surprise by a performance we thought was going to go well and then didn’t. How can we be sure our music is receiving the care and attention it deserves?

Sounds Heard: Cold Blue Two

Cold Blue Two features 14 short tracks, many of which were composed specifically for this CD. It offers a panoramic view of Cold Blue’s offerings, which are quite varied and yet make a powerful unified statement.

In The Name Of Love

Have you ever written a piece of music for someone? Not pieces that are dedicated to performers or to whomever commissioned the work, but rather compositions written specifically for a love interest, or maybe a spouse?

Matthew Burtner: Engaging the Natural World

The music of composer Matthew Burtner is in large part inspired by his childhood experiences of the Alaskan landscape where he grew up. That influence applies not only to the content of the music, but to the way it is created.