Posts in Analysis
It’s a given: money has to come from somewhere before discs get released. It’s just that the need for dough is more on the surface in all realms of the always-struggling little realm of contemporary American music.
It’s said over and again: recordings are over and done with, except for all those CDs that keep getting released every month; it’s similar to the even more familiar drone that nobody ever listens to contemporary music, except there’s so much of it around all the time.
On the eve of NewMusicBox’s 10th anniversary, we invited eight people to roll up their sleeves, dust off their magic eight balls, and offer their thoughts on where we’re coming from and (hopefully?) where we may be headed.
As a group, Native Americans who write music churn out work in genres from classical to hip-hop, and those in the classical business write in styles from neo-romantic to electro-acoustic and pretty much everything in between.
While most composers, performers, and listeners would probably agree that there is a wide and flexible field of possibility available in bringing a piece of music home creatively and with its dignity still intact, they would also be quick to add that there are distinct limits beyond which the native sense and spirit of a musical creation undergoes rapid self-destruction and loses its core identity.
Nine years younger than Aaron Copland, nine years older than Leonard Bernstein, Elie Siegmeister, who died of a brain tumor on March 10, 1991, would have been 100 years old on January 15, 2009.
The times have never been as dark and uncertain for composers of new operatic works, but every crisis presents its opportunities; the times suggest that the less costly but not often performed smaller-forces opera, also known as chamber opera, may be entering its heyday.
Is the progress from a common practice to a diverse one truly progress, when it compels us to choose between a reactionary, audience-friendly idiom, an exclusionary avant-garde, or a sober modernism or ironic postmodernism that hovers between these two extremes?
While turntablism and its impact on the growth of hip-hop is well documented, the turntables have not received much notice in musical academia. Through this article, I hope to introduce my fellow composers and other students of music to an instrument with great expressive potential and a history of innovation.
Dada and surrealism exerted a pervasive influence on 20th-century music, especially on mid-century avant-garde composers based in New York—among them Edgard Varèse, Stefan Wolpe, John Cage, and Morton Feldman.