Articles by Frank 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.
A boast of “reclaiming” Bach by performing his music according to previously entrenched performance practices which were codified sometime in the 20th century, a time that is receding deeper and deeper into our history and collective consciousness, feels downright reactionary and regressive.
According to Daniel Cavicchi attentive listening is a relatively recent phenomenon, but his book Listening and Longing: Music Lovers in the Age of Barnum offers some extraordinary anecdotes of 19th century listening experiences.
Mohammed Fairouz retains an optimistic outlook as he aspires to create music that carries a larger social meaning. And he has managed to garner an extraordinary array of performances for his deeply charged music all over the country—from over 100 art songs to a nearly 80-minute symphony for orchestra, soloists, and a nearly 100-voice chorus. This is no small feat for someone who is only 26-years old.
American composer Christopher Rouse has been named the Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic, following the three-year tenure of Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg in this position.
Admittedly all music—if we are fully paying attention to it—requires a time sacrifice. And music’s time-based perceptual design is something of a liability in a world where time is such an unavailable commodity.
Work in Progress, the second disc from the Taos-based duo Untravelled Path, features microtonal instrumental music they perform on their own hand-made creations as well as four not-quite songs—a group of free-form mini-epics fusing words and music which last between 5 ½ and 7 minutes. Their otherworldly music, according to them, might be “some of the very first New Music for the 99%.”
Martine Joste’s comments about the importance of teaching John Cage’s music to younger musicians really resonated with me. It was a perfect prologue to attending three of The Juilliard School’s concerts devoted to Cage.
Bernard Rands navigates a variety of dualities both in his music and in his personal life. For someone approaching 80-years old, he is amazingly youthful and vigorous. Though he is steadfast in his routines, he’s constantly seeking and engaging with new ideas not only from music but also from art and literature. And all of this inevitably shows up in his own music.
The internet has even further accelerated the erosion of regional musical differences that had already begun to deteriorate with the advent of recorded sound, radio, and television during the 20th century. In the 21st century, we are moving more and more toward global music identities, and indeed such music has been the ideal soundtrack to compliment the numerous discussions at MIDEM on Monday and Tuesday about an emerging single global market for music.
If the opening salvos of MIDEM 2012 on Saturday seemed to be dominated by technology and internet-based content aggregators, throughout Sunday and Monday (thus far at least) I witnessed a great deal of talk back from various content creators and their representatives who are not particularly happy with the emerging music industry paradigms and are seeking to find a third path.