When classmates told me that the Clash were revolutionaries, I told them to check out pieces like Fontana Mix or It’s Gonna Rain and hear what revolution really sounded like.
Jason Gross and Steve SmithPhoto by Melissa Richard Much as it might bewilder major record companies and fundamentalist critics, rock isn’t only background music for TV commercials and cherished momentos for teenybopper spend-a-thons. It’s a lot more (and a lot less). About five years after Elvis started strumming “That’s Alright Mama” for Sam Philips, Buddy […]
David Borden (right) with Keith Emerson (left)Photo by Vivian Lee The classification of genres in the arts is, I suppose, necessary for both critics and historians. Mostly though, I find that marketing, the need to sell, more than anything encourages this subdividing into minute categories. Just go to the MP3 site and you’ll see what […]
Diamanda GalasPhoto by Tom Pitts I think it is, indeed, difficult to locate my music; and I have seen it under pop, opera, new music, new electronic music, blues, satanic music, noise, gothic, black metal, world music, and lysergic vampire vocals (in San Francisco). What unites all the music in the mind of its audience […]
Neil Haverstick Ever since I was a young boy, stylistic classifications in music have meant absolutely nothing to me. At a young age, some of my favorite pieces were Ravel‘s Bolero, “Peggy Sue” (Buddy Holly), “El Paso” (Marty Robbins), “In The Mood” (Glenn Miller), “Charley Brown” (The Coasters), and Air On A G String (Bach). […]
Erik HoverstenPhoto courtesy Erik Hoversten Despite the “classical” training we may have, all of us in Threnody Ensemble spent our formative years playing in bands. The music we make now is inextricably linked to popular music. But because we record for a “new music” label and write pieces that surpass a certain threshold of complexity, […]
John ShiurbaPhoto courtesy John Shiurba Ahh, the great divide, oh to be forever clumsily straddling the great divide. My music not only exists precisely on that divide, but seems to be more or less about being there. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard comments like your stuff is too rock for the […]
Charles WuorinenPhoto by Bob Adler It’s hard to tell what the Pulitzer meant to my career. The only direct result of receiving the prize that I’m aware of came in the form of a modest commission for a string quartet from the Fine Arts Quartet, who (I believe) had formed the habit of requesting a […]
Ellen Taaffe ZwilichPhoto by Andrew Sacks It’s a shame that my teacher Roger Sessions‘s work was not recognized with a Pulitzer until he was in his 80s. I was very lucky in that when I received the award I was young enough to get a good kick out of it and felt that I still […]
Reading through the list of Pulitzers, I’m struck by the rather orthodox view of American musical history it suggests.