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?
New music culture’s inability to conceive of an opportunity as anything but a competition is a big problem. We need to create more opportunities for young composers that aren’t structured this way, but can we even imagine them?
What kind of a composer would Harrison have been if he had never left New York? This is an absurd hypothetical question by any measure. But I also wonder what kind of creativity the current climate of careerism is killing.
“Finale or Sibelius?” is a question that composers love to ask other composers. But there are a variety of other, lesser-known options for notation software lurking out there.
While Tom Johnson doesn’t necessarily expect his music to be understood, he hopes that people will put forth the effort to at least grasp a fragment of it. It is essentially a gesture of trust: here is an offering, and you can take it or leave it.