Analysis

Communal Experimentalism in the Sixties: The Pulsa Group

Serge Tcherepnin, brainwave experiments at Harmony Ranch, 1970

As a group dedicated to exploring “perceptible wave energies” through light and sound, Pulsa created art and music that not only made group collaborations audible and palpable, but they also reminded their audiences and participants—through light and sound—that actions have effects.

Manifesting Community in Early Minimalism

Steel discs

Community is not one of the words typically included in descriptions of minimalism. Indeed, more often than community, minimalism had to do with conflict. But eventual authorial disputes were the result of a long series of close collaborative engagements.

In The Absence of Money

cash-dream

When compensation takes the form of passion and satisfaction, instead of monetary remuneration, what is the impact on performance quality, commitment, and artistic freedom? If we could remove money from the equation by making sure artists get paid enough to do better than get by, what would that look like?

The Cistern Chapel: Resonance from the Pacific Northwest

Dan Harpole Cistern

In the Pacific Northwest underneath the decommissioned Fort Worden is a 2 million-gallon concrete cistern, now empty, that has a 45-second reverb time. And its impact on experimental music has resonated across the country and down through the decades.

Stay Tuned: Celebrating Ben Johnston’s 90th Birthday with his 10 String Quartets

Ben Johnston and the members of the Kepler Quartet

By virtue of our recording project, the Kepler Quartet has had a privileged window into the essentially spiritual quest in Ben Johnston’s music. Johnston embraces a richer way of being: to work towards pure, honest relationships with others by using a vertical, harmonic approach concentrating on perfect intervals which produce less discord, increased resonance, and maximum clarity. At age 90, a full fifteen years after he stopped writing music, Johnston has come to a place in his life where his main goal is to have a positive impact on his environment.

What to Ware? A Guide to Today’s Technological Wardrobe

Circuitry for Salvage

Significant features distinguish software from hardware in terms of their apparent (or at least perceived) suitability for specific musical tasks, and this has an often-unremarked influence on musical processes. Nic Collins draws out some illuminating distinctions.

Why Pastiche Has Taken Over Music

Pastiche

Just look at the names: new complexity, neo-romanticism, post-minimalism—three of the broadest trends in contemporary music, all with echoes of pastiche baked right into their labels. Clearly artists have always taken ideas and materials from other sources—how could we not?—but never before have we so celebrated the attribution of those sources.

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