In this new and somewhat turbulent era for classical music, our own personal success isn’t just about us anymore. The old model is no longer relevant because simply having a job or being a superstar doesn’t necessarily contribute to our communities or to our art.
Casual observation of the audience for jazz reveals that it is predominantly male, which also reflects the average jazz band personnel. One wonders aloud whether consumers witnessing more women on the bandstand might ever translate to an increase in women in the jazz audience.
The Affordable Care Act made maternity coverage more accessible for freelance musicians. But is contemporary music—its career arcs, social scenes, traditions, and infrastructure—ready for a baby boom?
You want to grow your audience, but you have limited resources, so you target your marketing efforts at the groups most likely to respond to it. Sounds familiar? Sensible? It is. But almost everybody does it wrong.
In a world that increasingly relies on the economy of free, it’s important to establish that some things aren’t free, and in fact have an actual dollar value associated with them. I sincerely believe that we, as a society, can’t claim to value something—be it an object, a service, or our culture in general—if we refuse to ascribe an actual price to it or to some part of it.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Conductor Susanna Malkki leading the Chicago Symphony felt like a massively successful non-event. A woman was on the podium, and everything seemed to be in order. But while Malkki is unquestionably a master, she is also, statistically, a unicorn.