Justin Rubin’s penchant for triple meter and lush harmonies yields a music that exists somewhere between tonal and non-tonal realms; it is not quite comfortable being limited to either paradigm but totally comfortable in the ambiguity.
Before I ever got interested in classical music, it baffled me that dead composers were more of a draw than living ones, but perhaps that’s why classical music doesn’t capture the interest of more of the general public.
The lure of live performances of Steve Reich’s Tehillim and The Desert Music was enough to convince me to board yet another airplane (less than 12 hours after I returned home from France) and brave the weather in Winnipeg where it was -34°C which equals -29°F!
Although the final day of MIDEM was something of a ghost town, as per tradition, there were still several worthwhile panels on the schedule as well as interesting people to talk with in the exhibition area.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?