Articles by Teresa McCollough
How do the choices performers and composers make ultimately affect the musical community, or any community at all?
If music for the inside of the piano has been part of the contemporary repertoire since the time of John Cage, then why do so few pianists know how to do it?
Because I play so much new music, I am often asked if I also compose. Why is it that no one ever asked me this question when I was playing the more traditional repertoire of Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin? Shouldn’t we all be composing anyway? What better way to get to know music than to learn how to write it?
Is there a different musical ethos between the West Coast and the
East Coast that has to do with the natural environment?
Just because certain composers can play the piano, it doesn’t make them write well for the keyboard—and vice-versa.
It’s bad enough to have some pop song you heard on the radio playing in your brain all day, but to have the twists and turns of Prokofiev, or the changing rhythms of Adams (did that section actually start on the downbeat?), or the haunting sounds of George Crumb…it’s quite distracting.
While solo piano can be isolating, adding percussion can be very complicated; still, I really love the sounds.
About this time each year, I develop colony envy, that affliction which affects only pianists, instrumentalists and singers who are too noisy for the calm reflection allowed primarily to composers, poets, visual artists, playwrights, authors, film makers, and other quietly creative types, at various artist colonies around the world.
Who decides what is popular and what will sell?
As performers we either are afraid to speak to composers or feel
that we don’t need to work with them.