Composer Dave Malloy took NYC musical theater by storm with his Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, but his path to Off-Broadway success began in San Francisco’s experimental theater community—and he’s holding on tightly to that non-traditional approach.
For as much as it stirs the pot when a “serious music” review mentions the soloist’s hem line, it turns out things get even more heated when pop goes under the cold lens of the theoretical magnifying glass.
The Belgian/Dutch electric guitar quartet Zwerm presents a fascinating collection of one-page pieces by American composers that rely on everything from more-or-less traditional notation to what one might characterize as “Marvel comic super heroes battle a graphic score.”
It’s always exciting to find a “new” favorite piece of music or music maker, but digging deeper into a known artist’s catalog offers its own myriad rewards. This week we apply that to new releases from Chris Campbell, David T. Little, and Aaron Irwin.
Music makers must place a high priority on and devote precious resources to being effectively present in this general music marketplace—to being where music fans are, so that those who are interested in what’s available can find and enjoy it.
In the two audio/visual compositions by Ingram Marshall (composer) and Jim Bengston (photographer) included on a recent surround-sound DVD release from Starkland, the artists offer an especially effective marriage of these two realms. Taken together, they arrive like a series of postcards relaying vivid, complex impressions of places—perhaps sent by residents now long gone.
You may have noticed some new bylines behind our blog posts this week. In an effort to keep pace with the myriad ideas and issues vibrating through our field, we’ll be inviting two new columnist to join us each month in 2014.
It’s difficult to stand anywhere near composer and vocalist Lisa Bielawa and not feel energized by proximity. An extrovert to the core, she acknowledges that her highly social nature has taken her in some specific directions both as a composer and as a musical citizen.
What could a Hardanger fiddle player and a computer programmer possibly have in common? For Dan Trueman, an expert in both areas, it’s all just technology. And whether the eventual expression of his ideas requires old instruments or the invention of new ones, he is more concerned that the tools employed offer musicians the most engaging musical experience possible.
An award-winning traditional performer and educator in her native country of Vietnam, Vo has found a particular freedom in the myriad genres and styles of music that surround her here in America—an influence that has filtered into both her musical ideas and the instruments and techniques she uses to communicate them.