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.

Blogging MIDEM 2013: Part 3 – Ephemeral Playback

There’s something that is somehow intriguing about making the listening experience so precious at a time when it is so devalued. And in the midst of Monday’s marathon information overload on steroids, learning about a new app that will only allow you to play a song one time seemed downright appealing.

Blogging MIDEM 2013: Part 2 – From Ghanaian to Korean Hip-Hop & More

Filled with excitement about the possibilities of viable music export for the new music community, I wandered the exhibition rooms where elaborate displays of various countries’ musical offerings were on display, often through the support of their governments. There is no such exhibition for the United States, although Texas always has a presence here. Perhaps if we can’t have an official United States presence at MIDEM and other significant music export convenings abroad we can eventually have representation from all 50 states individually–imagine that.

Blogging MIDEM 2013: Part 1 – Cannes We Survive

What began as a trade fair and a giant schmoozefest for exclusive members of the record industry from around the world and folks who wished to join their ranks has gradually transformed into something much more open and perhaps more valuable for the greater music community.

More Famous Than You

To me the genre sanctity debates (whether they’re about music that is not popular enough to be “popular” or about music that’s not classical enough to be “classical”) are ultimately about keeping people out. I like letting people in.

Sounds Heard: Amos Elkana—Casino Umbro

The music of American-born, currently Israeli-based composer Amos Elkana, featured on the new CD Casino Umbro, is a clear by-product of his internationalism which includes a very strong American influence, particularly in its stylistic eclecticism.

How to Affect Popular Culture

The 800-pound gorilla in the room is how popular culture is determined and disseminated. Not so long ago, composers ranging from Igor Stravinsky to Thelonious Monk graced the cover of Time magazine. John Cage even appeared on nationally broadcast television programs. Yet it seems like a pipe dream for anyone other than a million-dollar-grossing pop star to get similar attention now. Why?

Conrad Cummings: In Conversation With My Peers

Composing music is usually a solitary act, but Conrad Cummings is by nature a very sociable person. This has drawn him into some of the most fascinating collaborative projects such as Photo-Op created with the painter James Siena and The Golden Gate based on a novel in sonnets by Vikram Seth.

Beata Moon: Finding Her Own Voice

While Beata Moon eschews conforming to any particular compositional camp, generous melodicism and unusual metrical patterns have been a hallmark of her music since she veered away from her rigorous training as a concert pianist and began composing in her late 20s.

Separating Art from Politics

My response to reading all of the diatribes against 2012 Nobel Laurate Mo Yan has been to go out and buy some of his books and start reading them. I’m totally smitten, but also reminded of a key difference between literature, which is all about what the words mean, and music, which, by its nature, is inevitably ambiguous.