The current working model for orchestras does not allow musicians to spend a great deal of time on anything, and the accepted wisdom for getting music in front of an orchestra—and getting the players to do an effective job with it—is to streamline what you write: make it relatively easy to sight-read, avoid pitch and metrical things that are out of the ordinary, etc.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs beatmeister Brian Chase’s Drums & Drones, as its title implies, foregrounds pitch in a new way that is perhaps only possible for someone whose primary musical activity is playing in one of the most visceral of New York City’s post-punk bands.
Partita for 8 Voices by Caroline Shaw has been awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Also nominated in this category were Aaron Jay Kernis’s Pieces of Winter Sky and Wadada Leo Smith’s Ten Freedom Summers.
The ubiquity of instantaneous information transmission via social media means that sooner or later we will inevitably lose the race for being the first media outlet to announce the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, but we’re still in it until we do. Come back at 3:00 p.m.
Should more orchestral performances feature video, some kind of technological enhancement, or opportunities for the audience to share in performing the music? I’m not sure on any of those fronts, although “coLABoratory: Playing It Unsafe” was one of the most exciting ACO concerts I have attended in quite some time in large part because of the added layers of vulnerability.
I fear that any music-related narrative that I’d attempt to relate today might be misinterpreted as some kind of joke, so instead I thought I’d ponder a couple of the hoaxes that made it into my web browser today.
Neil Rolnick is extremely soft-spoken and self-effacing, but for over 30 years he has helped to create a much changed musical landscape in the United States in terms of musical aesthetics and the application of technology in concert performance.
There have been many purposes for music—dance, worship, military formations, political campaigns, etc.—but listening can make all of music available to you whether or not you partake in those activities.
The so-called passive mode of experiencing information—music, books, theatre, film, visual art, lectures—enabled me to pay attention to others and offered me world views that can span any place or any time. All of this would have been completely out of reach to me otherwise.
Throughout his latest CD, Romance, Buenos Aires-born and Brooklyn-based Fernando Otero ratchets up the contemporary classical music allusions that were already in evidence on his post-Tango Nuevo 2008 Nonesuch album Pagina de Buenos Aires. But on the new disc, he also explores and combines many other musical idioms ranging from jazz to musical theatre and beyond.