Some NMBx thoughts on Halloween: costume ideas with Matthew and critic-at-large Moe.
Boston loves its exemplars—those acts that either are so singular as to make (and, sometimes, break) the mold, or that so fully embody a sound, or a genre, or an attitude, as to aspire to a kind of universal standard.
In Wolff’s music, one might say that the implied history of each piece, the fact of its composition, its notation, its interpretation and performance, is elevated to the point where it is not just present, but it is, in fact, how the piece is experienced. Every sound is a reminder of its own origin.
You can make a Broadway musical out of anything.
Looking around, listening around, culture is as stylistically non-hegemonic as I’ve ever experienced. But parallel to that is a kind of greater semiotic compartmentalization: the vast majority of cultural artifacts I encounter keenly announce their stylistic allegiance early and often.
A wide-ranging Boston summer playlist featuring tracks from Pulitzer Prize Fighter, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, Neil Cicierega, and the Boston Symphony Chamber Players.
Not being exactly what one wants to hear seems like a pretty thin rationale for judging whether a piece of music succeeds or doesn’t.
On paper, the June 17 concert presented by the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice, part of the institute’s annual week of new music training, festivities, and shenanigans, made some piece-to-piece local connections but seemed more miscellaneous on a global scale. In performance, though, a theme kept peeking around the edges.
Neil Young Cloaca is an irrepressible showman. Bromp Treb is an opportunity for him to apply that carnival-barker enthusiasm to a table full of mismatched gear. Cloaca circled the table, triggering highly distorted samples while playing up theatrical befuddlement, as if he was trying to decipher a recalcitrant machine—or defuse an eccentric bomb.
It is a remarkably elevated art that is so incapable of settling down, constantly inspiring its practitioners to use the output of one set of rules as the input for a completely different set of rules. Musical style is a moving target. It certainly must be.