Author Archives: Frank J. Oteri

About Frank J. Oteri

Frank J. Oteri, New Music USA's Composer Advocate and the Senior Editor of NewMusicBox, is an outspoken crusader for new music and the breaking down of barriers between genres. Frank’s own musical compositions reconcile structural concepts from minimalism and serialism and frequently explore microtonality.

Caleb Burhans: Inner Voices

As a singer and instrumentalist who has worked in at least a dozen different musical genres, Caleb Burhans has always been drawn to the inner voices preferring to, as he puts it, “play second violin or viola than first fiddle.” This attraction spills over into his own deceptively simple, extremely meticulous musical compositions.

The Numbers Game

I must confess that to me the concern about the dwindling readership for music blogs is something of a tempest in a teapot, but then again I’m someone who is perpetually skeptical of best-selling novels, Billboard-charting albums, blockbuster movies, and highest Nielsen-rated TV shows.

It’s Not Carved in Stone

Information technology now develops faster than any of us can keep up with, and to what end? If there is no permanence to the formats we use to store information, what is the point of storing information in them?

Sounds Heard: Jacqueline Humbert & David Rosenboom—Daytime Viewing

While Jacqueline Humbert and David Rosenboom’s Daytime Viewing is a by-product of that brief window in the late 1970s and early 1980s when a fusion of experimental music and New Wave created numerous uncategorizable hybrids, it is also very much a harbinger of our own much longer-lasting “indie-classical” zeitgeist.

Carman Moore: Curiosity Is the Strongest Engine

If there were a music version of “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” it could very well be “Six Degrees of Carman Moore” since Moore—in a career spanning decades—connects to everyone from Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen to John Lennon and Aretha Franklin. And yet, many people are unaware of Moore, even within the contemporary music community.

Laterna Magica

During the heyday of the laterna, an early mechanical musical instrument popular in Greece in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, playing instrumental music and singing were gradually being supplanted by gramophones and radios in most households. It was the beginning of on-demand home listening and drastically reduced the amount of amateur at-home music making.

Join The Chorus

Virtuosity is not what a public sing is about; rather, it’s about having fun with a piece of music that you love. Might such an enterprise be possible with new music?

Submission, Discomfort, and Transcendence

The metaphor of “submission” as my ideal audience intake position has now reached a whole new level for me. Last week, for the John La Bouchardière production of Lera Auerbach’s opera The Blind I attended at Lincoln Center, the entire audience is required to be blindfolded.

Sounds Heard: Christine Southworth–String Quartets

A couple of months ago, I came across a new disc devoted to Christine Southworth’s music with an immediately identifiable title, String Quartets. But after hearing the truly new sound world she created in her earlier disc—called Zap! Music for Van de Graaff Generator, Tesla Coils, Instruments & Voices—I was quite sure she’d create something totally unusual despite using the most popular instrumental combination in all of chamber music. She did not disappoint!

Winners and Losers

While music and sports are both are mostly group activities, team sports is ultimately about one group against another group—in order for one group to win the other must lose. But once a group comes together to actually make music, everyone wins.