Author Archives: Dean Suzuki

View from the West: Whither Text-Sound Composition?

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki From time to time, starting as early as the mid-1960s, perhaps earlier, there have been flurries of activity in the world of text-sound composition or sound poetry among composers, but it seems that new work has dropped off in recent years, or at least there seems to be a void […]

View From The West: Simplicity vs. Complexity

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki I would like to suggest that we may have a skewed notion of the criteria for what it good or great in the music and the arts. Guided by our Western philosophies, aesthetics, and sensibilities, many of us have decided (or someone has decided for us) that great music, great […]

View From the West: The Next Big Thing

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki We appear to be due for a new musical style to make itself known. It has been a long time since the last ‘big thing’ in music, and I have been waiting for the next big thing to come down the pike, whatever it might be. Major upheavals in musical […]

A View from the West: Take an Artist to Lunch!

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki Morton Feldman once said to a group of student composers and their teachers at Darmstadt, "If you don’t have a friend who’s a painter, you’re in trouble." A more cogent, profound, and brilliant truism would be hard to find. The arts are always a reflection of their culture, their zeitgeist, […]

View From The West: Throwing Rocks Through a Classical Window

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki In last month’s column, I discussed the significance of the Paul Dresher Ensemble Electro-Acoustic Band and the Bang On A Can All-Stars as ensembles featuring composer/performers and which also commissioned works by other composers. Both groups, along with a host of others of their generation, share another common element: Their […]

View from the West: New Music on Record

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki That the worth of record labels specializing in experimental music is invaluable would be difficult to argue against. While live performances may be the best way to experience music, recordings, which may be heard through such media as radio and the Internet, in addition to home, automobile and portable audio […]

View from the West: Recent Trends and Events

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki That the West is a haven for musical iconoclasts and has a dynamic new music community is made manifest when one takes a close look at some of the activities of musicians as well as the organizations which support, present and otherwise champion contemporary work. The San Francisco Bay Area […]

A View from the West: The Experimental Tradition

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki It may appear that the West Coast is cowering in the shadow of Manhattan and the East Coast when it comes to new music, but might also argue that perception and reality are two very different things in this matter. It is easy to forget or ignore the long standing […]