With all the serious reflection that’s been going on around here of late, it seemed like it was time to pop some popcorn and re-watch a few of the mini artist documentaries NewMusicBox has produced.
Sure, Mark Zuckerberg and pals launched Facebook in 2004, but NewMusicBox was already cruising into its 5th anniversary by that point. For the traditionalists in the house, the appropriate gift is wood, which we needed because the year was rife with arguments over genre fence lines.
In terms of world affairs, 2003 was probably one of the most turbulent years. So did that play out in the music? It depends on how you want to think about it.
What music most appropriately captures the zeitgeist of 2002? Steve Reich’s Daniel Variations (created in response to the shocking February 2002 murder of Wall Street Journal’s South Asia Bureau Chief Daniel Pearl) was not composed until 2006, but another Reich work, his apocalyptic Three Tales (created in collaboration with Beryl Korot) immediately stands out in my mind.
When looking back at 2001 for its musical significance, all I can say is that music is ultimately what kept us going when the events of September 11 unfolded in New York City.
If you don’t know what Y2K is, be thankful, even though it inspired some interesting music.
One thing that hasn’t changed in all these years has been our goal to always be inclusive of the broadest range of music that could be considered “new” American music whether it was notated, improvised in a club, assembled in a studio, or found sound.
May 1 marks NewMusicBox’s 15th anniversary! To celebrate the occasion, we decided to stop looking forward toward new music for a moment and instead consider the lessons of what we’ve heard so far.
There will always be some new music I will never cover and sometimes I feel conflicted about this but there is only so much time. And even if I were able to produce words for everything that passes my way, there would then be a fair amount of neutral or negative criticism, which I think would do a disservice.
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.