Ralph Jackson is a kind of sage, a savant with an uncanny gift for seeing beyond superficial complexities into the real essence of a situation. Ralph’s perspective is always insightful, often provocative. It is never predictable. Ever.
New Picnic Time was the rejoinder to any questions about what exactly Pere Ubu wanted, and the rejoinder was a mammoth stick in the eye. We heard a willful insistence on experiment and double-crossing, but also expressive darkness. Let’s look closer.
Apart from the time we take for performances, networking, promoting our work, etc., I am fascinated by how we composers inhabit our composer-clocks. Writing time: where is it, when is it, how is it.
This week, Opera America will hold its 2012 conference in Philadelphia, with a focus on new works and innovative strategies. It is fitting that this conference should take place in Philadelphia, which in the past few years has become a center for new opera in the United States.
Turning pages might seem like an almost desultorily simple task. It is not. It is a skill, and a surprisingly delicate one at that.
When new music groups perform in rock clubs and other similar venues they are counting on these spaces to recontextualize what they do. But what about the venues that make this recontextualization possible? How do their priorities differ from those of more traditional venues? They are an essential part of this trend, but do they know it?
4’33” is often regarded as an end, a philosophical cul-de-sac, but over the course of six decades the negation of music has proved fertile ground for many composers. This appears to have been particularly true in the last 20 years or so, as though the noise of the avant garde’s war of words had itself to subside into silence before we could appreciate 4’33” on its own terms.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but to teach only the composers discussed in someone else’s textbook, chosen by someone else’s narrative, would surely be an impoverished and lazy approach to pedagogy.
SoundCloud.com has quickly become the default go-to site for music hosting by all manner of musicians. The following overview is intended to provide an introduction to making use of SoundCloud, including some tips for maximizing one’s efforts, as well as some passing contextual and tactical thoughts on why SoundCloud has proved as popular and functional as it has.
The NEA/Kickstarter cage-match narrative compels because it gets at a central debate in American society: the value of shaping markets through planning and policy versus letting them run free.