Author Archives: Ken Smith

Smoke and Mirrors: Mr. Smith Returns to Washington

Photo of Ken Smithin front of “Smoke Free” (1999){cigarette butts and wood, 45″x67″}by John Salvest(courtesy Rudolph Projects)Photo by Melissa Richard A former political journalist turned music critic offers up a HyperHistory uncovering “smoke and mirrors” politics in the American classical music business. My name is Ken. I’m a recovering addict. I can trace my awareness […]

“Some People Think He’s God”: Ken Smith Remembers Paul Bowles

Although he was a success as both composer and author, as a recluse Paul Bowles was a total failure. After fleeing New York for Morocco in 1947, he and his wife Jane continued to entertain a seemingly endless parade of visitors in his adopted country. Even in the 1990s, after Betolucci’s film of The Sheltering […]

Speak For Yourself! A Hyper-History of American Composer-Led New Music Ensembles

Ken Smithphoto by Melissa Richard For a composer, the urge to assume creative control in your own musical matters is as American as…well, Aaron Copland. But whether your frame of reference is literally the Copland-Sessions Concerts of Contemporary Music, a four-season project from 1929-1932 where American composers first took charge of bringing their music to […]