Analysis

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.

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.

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?

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