Author Archives: Amanda MacBlane

One of a Kind

In a society where the bottom-line rules, the sun rises and sets with the Dow Jones, and the word “culture” is often preceded by the modifier “pop,” the life of an American composer is a bit of an aberration. Hard work doesn’t guarantee success, success doesn’t guarantee an abundance of money, and people with an […]

Take a Chance

In preparation for an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on surrealism, I am in the midst of re-reading André Breton’s first Surrealist Manifesto. I am always a little tickled by his vigorous academic defense—calling upon Freud, Proust, and Pascal—of the games he and his hand-picked disciples played. In a less pretentious, yet equally […]

Combining Forces

Many writers don’t comprehend why composers desire to set their literary works to music, believing the writing to be complete and satisfying alone. On the flipside, many musicians feel that words simplify the complexity of their emotions, reminding us that music can express that which cannot be expressed linguistically. Despite these arguments, well over a […]

The Matchmaker

Although I am not a heavy television watcher, there is generally at least one program (usually with some kind of cult following) that sparks my interest for a short period before I move on to the next trend. The Powerpuff Girls, Iron Chef, and Junkyard Wars are a few of the strange and fascinating diamonds […]

From the New York Islands to the Redwood Forests…

In November, for the first time in my life, I flew from New York to California. Despite many trips across the Atlantic, I had only been west of Chicago once. So it comes as no surprise that I was absolutely fascinated watching the landscape go by: Appalachia, Detroit, Chicago, the never-ending plains, Denver, the Rocky […]

Survey Says…A Fictional Feud between the Minimalists and the Serialists

Einstein on the Beach is not the only production celebrating a silver anniversary this year. I’ll give you three clues to guess the other show that made it’s pilot run in 1976: 1) Frozen silhouettes that come to life; 2) a “hi-tech” board involving flipping panels; and 3) you probably watched it with either your […]

The New Sound Machines

In Roald Dahl’s story “The Sound Machine,” Klausner, the inventor of a machine that made inaudible sounds audible, explains his concept by saying, “I believe that there is a whole world of sound about us all the time that we cannot hear…there is a new exciting music being made, with subtle harmonies and fierce grinding […]

Tellus Compilation Invites Listeners to Play

Image by Taketo Shimada Flash by Michael RosarioSpecial Thanks to Aurelian Balan© 2001 NewMusicBox TellusMedia, the Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center record label, recently issued a 2-LP compilation of music previously released on the label. TellusTools comprises two 12″ vinyl records of identical material, packaged in a gatefold cover designed by sound/conceptual artist Christian Marclay. […]

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

As the summer melds into fall with thunderstorms, Labor Day picnics, and Back-to-School sales, people are returning from their various vacation hideouts, situating themselves at their desks, taking a deep, “here-we-go” breath, and hoping that their supply of great summer memories will hold them over until the next chance for escape. The mountain lake where […]

What’s It All About?

The whole problem can be stated quite simply by asking, ‘Is there a meaning to music?’ My answer would be, ‘Yes.’ And ‘Can you state in so many words what the meaning is?’ My answer to that would be, ‘No.’ Aaron Copland And what if I asked, “Then can you really express the meaning of […]