Articles

An Open Response to “… But I Hate Modern Music”

Cartoon of bolts striking a reddened ear

Subjectivity isn’t actually a matter of taste. It’s a matter of expectation. When it comes to art and artistic renderings, there is, unfortunately, often a disconnect between what an artist is presenting and what an audience believes their price of admission is buying.

What Happens When Composers Make Opera

What Happens When Composers Make Opera

A collaborative conversation at Hunter College’s Ida K. Lang Recital Hall featuring some of the most prolific and interesting composers, librettists, and singers working in New York’s new opera scene.

The Generalization Generation

chess game

When we elevate a certain kind of craft and its formal concerns above all else, this kind of gatekeeping doesn’t just hurt young composers, it also shuts out other potential voices, marginalized voices, voices that could bring new life to new music. It is completely inimical to the spirit of creativity that should animate and drive us.

What 4’33” Teaches Us

blank billboard

Whether Cage originally meant it in this way or not, 4’33” is an open invitation to critically engage with silence as a renewable pedagogical act. Andy Costello explores stories of silence—both inside and beyond the traditional classroom—that have little to say and plenty to teach.

…But I Hate Modern Music

listen

If you happen upon an offensive or meaningless piece of visual art, you can just walk away. A live performance, on the other hand, holds you hostage. What responsibilities does this place on the presenter?

Musicians at Work: Ensemble Residencies as Social Relationships

Eighth Blackbird fits in a rehearsal during their Curtis residency.

Entrepreneurialism is celebrated by many in the arts scene, but the reality is less sunny than the image often projected by consultants and administrators. Because it valorizes flexibility, opportunism, and social relationships, entrepreneurialism demands constant work. When every moment has potential meaning, it can be hard to relax.

Queer and Loathing in Las Vegas: Performing Community in Hagen’s Vera

Vera of Las Vegas

The first half of the 20th century saw the demise of the great operatic heroine and out of the fracture arose a focus on male roles, ensemble casts, and female roles singing in a completely new way. And as opera became a more racially integrated affair, new disconnects emerged while similarly allowing for new audiences to see their bodies presented as operatic vehicles.

Imagining Community at Bang on a Can’s First Marathon

Bang on a Can poster

Essential to the construction of community is the creation of a shared history: a rhetoric and a narrative about who the community is, and what its values are. And in order to create a new kind of community, Bang on a Can had to overplay its hand. Community had to be performed.

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