One of the common complaints about current pop music is that it’s all hopelessly retro, and that we haven’t seen anything genuinely new in about 20 years. Pop music is eating its own tail. The irony is that this kind of self-aware self-referentiality is exactly what was prized and heralded as a savior of concert music a few years ago.
Practically everyone in new music feels like the victim of some kind of persecution, often while being completely oblivious to the persecutions they themselves are perpetrating.
Last week I was the recipient of my first negative review! I was surprised at how angry and upset I was when I first read it, and how long it took me to calm down about it. In short, as much as I thought I was prepared for this inevitable moment, I wasn’t.
By subtracting a great deal of expected context, New Lens Concerts ask us to invent our own, inviting us to let go of our preconceived notions about composers new and old, or so the theory goes.
After the deluge of new music concerts over the past few weeks, the dearth of dedicated new music critics in Los Angeles has felt particularly frustrating.
This has been a dense couple of weeks for new music concerts in Los Angeles. A coincidence of timing (or is it?) means that LA Phil’s Brooklyn Festival overlaps with two Southern California-themed festivals, Hear Now and The LA Composers Project.
Notions of what’s authentic in music have changed in recent years, and it’s difficult, maybe impossible, to pinpoint when exactly this shift occurred.
Sometimes I like to think of musicians as stage magicians. There is a kind of artful deception that’s a part of performance, but it’s rarely acknowledged and often downplayed, especially in the concert music world.
Now, more than 50 years after November’s premiere and with a reconstructed score by Kyle Gann, the composition has finally been recorded in its entirety by pianist R. Andrew Lee and released as a 4-CD set and digital download by Irritable Hedgehog.
Should Cobra be considered a composition in the classical sense, or is it something different? And if it’s something different, what rules of ownership should apply to it?