Acknowledging the Rhino: Talking Art In a Capitalist World

With my antennae more or less permanently oriented toward music and the arts, the defining mood of this year’s commencement season has been realism. This is a year in which, it seems, society is determined not to let students of the arts out into the world without making sure they’re painfully aware of what awaits them.

New England’s Prospect: Twistin’ the Night Away

Giver of Light takes chances, and if not all of them pay out, still, it’s a lot better than cautiously going through the motions. It’s the sort of piece that Guerrilla Opera is made for: original and a little bit speculative, in need of realization to hone in on its identity.

New England’s Prospect: Auslesen

Not surprisingly, Paul Fromm made the production of new music into something resembling the wine business. He took the same approach to music that he did to wine: cultivate relationships with the producers, invest up front, and endeavor to get the subsequent delivery, whatever the quality of the vintage, into the marketplace.

Chorale and Fugue

Music is at once the most anti-social and social of the arts, the solitary pursuit of proficiency—practice, composition, study—only manifested in extroverted gestures directed towards and among collaborators and audience. Trust and generosity are, in music, not really sentimental qualities. They’re the currency, the supply chain, the raw materials.

New England’s Prospect: Pulvis et Umbra

Mohammed Fairouz’s Anything Can Happen—which was given its Boston premiere on March 17 by the Back Bay Chorale, one of the work’s co-commissioners—is a piece of music in which multiple strategies for communicating connotations of seriousness are utilized with unusual skill.

New England’s Prospect: Naming Rights

One of the barometers of new-music status in Boston—anywhere, really, but especially here—is whether a group’s concerts feel as much like networking events as performances. BMOP is in that strata; the Boston Composers’ Coalition is, as of yet, not.

New England’s Prospect: Movietone

“Brando Noir,” the concert mounted on January 29 by the New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Improvisation department, bounced in and out of sync with the cinematic dynamic.