What I love about the concept of “sometimes music” is that it sidesteps the thorny, problematic, and anachronistic implication that some musical styles are more advanced than others. It allows its advocates to encourage others to tune in, rather than to engage in tedious, insulting dialogues about which kind of music is up or down.
When So Percussion started out, we had three prohibitions: no improvisation, no playing our own music, and no hand drums. We’ve since violated all of those rules in spades.
There is no substitute for deep mutual trust that is earned over a long period of time, but I believe concrete steps can be taken immediately during the process of commissioning and developing new work to establish a creative bond.
What every artist needs is to be paid. But in addition to—or in the absence of—money, what do artists need in a collaboration that others can offer them?