Articles

The Shame Of Poverty And Investing In The Future

Philadelphia Skyline, by Flodigrip on Flickr

It is my hope that no one—especially young musicians—should ever face the shame and the self-questioning that poverty could force on them. Music, and more importantly access to music and music education, is vital to all communities.

The Entertainer

OpKrac Video Component

I believe that artists, more so than scientists or the religious, carry the seeds of miracle works inside them. And I believe we are seriously underperforming.

Digital Audio Workstations: Notation and Engagement Reconsidered

Logic Pro screen cap

Despite an engineer or producer’s best attempts, a new work cannot pass transparently through a DAW; there are always stopgaps, enhancements, deletions, and tweaks being exerted that, I think, fundamentally color the recorded piece as separate from the composer’s instruction and the performer’s execution. This begs the question of how best to characterize the DAW’s everyday impact on our musical world.

Audience Cultivation In American New Music

Seated audience

The milieu of new music has splintered into factions, each with its own loyal but marginal audience. All of these groups believe that they have meaningful formulas for creating provocative work, but what good is that work if no one outside the communities where it is generated has access to it?

Morton Subotnick’s Sidewinder

Sidewinder

I appreciated the rigor and austerity of Stockhausen’s Hymnen and Mantra and some of the Columbia Princeton recordings as a high school senior, but it was Subotnick’s Touch and Sidewinder that provided aesthetic enjoyment. The music was alive, organic in its flowing movement, and—particularly appealing to me—playful.

Can We Move Past Post-Race, Already?

Open door

If you follow the American Composers Orchestra and you stay on top of your composer opportunities, you might have noticed ACO’s most recent Earshot post on Facebook: readings for emerging African-American composers. I was surprised to see some comments that weren’t so positive–comments that reflect some dangerous thinking.

Hail to Thee, and Sing Out!

Microphone

Congratulations! You have made it to the end of Education Week at NewMusicBox. And, as with any educational rite of passage, for your time, trouble, and effort, you deserve that privilege of scholars everywhere: a commencement and the singing of an alma mater.

Speaking of Which: Musical Expression in a Foreign Language

Jumbled words

Three years ago, I began a job teaching English as a second language (ESL) at the Boston Conservatory. There were no pre-existing texts for teaching second-language learners to use English to write and speak effectively and naturally about music, so I made my own. Despite success in many aspects of this endeavor, a glaring problem remains: my students have tremendous difficulty with the seemingly simple task of describing a piece of music.

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