Author Archives: Jenny Undercofler

The Improvisation Continuum

Face the Music and ThingNY "huddle" prior to the premiere of In Space

Students who improvise, in a rigorous context, become better musicians sooner; and the sooner, the better. Why are we waiting until students self-select to go to music school to introduce these ideas?

An Rx for Improvisation

Reina Hondo improvises

Improvisation offers valuable educational applications and allows students to get their feet wet in the world of new music without being tied down to some of the technical challenges inherent in much modern repertoire.

What Lies Ahead For Teenage Composers?

Paris Lavidis playing during a Face the Music concert at the David Rubinstein Atrium.

I believe that this merry band of students has the power to change the music world as we know it, but I fear the “bump” when they leave this environment and explore college options. Will the post-secondary world continue to foster their leadership potential? How will these “over-educated” young composers approach the college experience?

School’s Not Out for Summer

Face the Music

What is the best option for a student who has received a solid and complete education, academically and musically, through their pre-college years? Is there anything that will really fit the bill, or will these young students stimulate a new approach to compositional study on the college/conservatory level?

Soundtracks: June 2001

For various periods of time since high school, I have found myself trying to “be” Asian, as silly as that may sound. I suppose that having grown up “above average” (to use Garrison Keillor’s words) and white in the ‘burbs, there is nothing unusual about that; many of my closest friends have been (and continue […]

Computer Programming and the Expanding Compositional Frontier

Nick Didkovsky and Phil BurkPhoto courtesy of Nick Didkovsky Part I: Nick Didkovsky and Hell Cafe While most of us are happy enough to use computers to send email, surf the web, and write documents, there are people out there who use these machines for far more. These innovative programmers see computers and the Internet […]

Soundtracks: May 2001

I was going to organize this month’s SoundTracks around the subject of composers and conductors, but I got distracted (chalk it up to spring fever). Remember that silly game, a few years back, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?” Well, I got to playing that with the CDs. Take Tan Dun’s soundtrack for Crouching Tiger, Hidden […]

Soundtracks: April 2001

The relationship between music and theater has always been controversial – and productive. On one end of the spectrum are pieces in which text is obviously or completely dominant. Though there are no solely text-based pieces in this month’s new discs — if you want one, try Randy Hostetler’s Happily Ever After, featured in the […]