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?
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?
Teenagers love playing new music; I know this because I run a contemporary chamber orchestra for teens which in its sixth season can hardly keep up with the enthusiasm of its members.
Eric LyonPhoto by Paul Herman Reller Last month, I shared my enthusiasm for Nick Didkovsky’s fusion of computer programming and composition. This month, I continue my explorations with the work of two other composer/programmers, a generation apart. Reviewing the activities of the latest SEAMUS conference, I was lucky enough to read about the work of […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Immersion DVD [Author's note: When I first got my hands on Immersion, the new DVD-Audio from the Colorado-based Starkland, I was disappointed to find that there was no accompanying movie. After I missed the mark in last month’s SoundTracks column, Steve Smith, the classical music columnist at Billboard, was kind enough to drag me over […]
It’s a funny thing how our weaknesses work, sometimes. My improvising abilities are pitiful – put something down on paper, I’ll play it, but ask me to make it up, and I’m just reading the inside of my eyeballs. The good aspect of the situation is this: I stand in awe of composer-performers who improvise. […]