I get approached all the time by folks both young and old alike who are getting started in this crazy business. This is what I tell them.
I was invited to testify before the Federal Communications Commission in the fall of 2009 about two issues: digital piracy and rural broadband access. The former, because I am a composer, and the latter, because I am a composer who lives on a small, remote, bridge-less island floating off the coast of the United States who has created and managed her career largely on the internet.
Our ability to share our creations around the world lies in our access to the necessary portal.
Are the kinds of art Americans are seeking and the places they want to go to experience that art accurately being measured by a survey like this one? Are the nation’s cultural organizations evolving fast enough to meet those needs and effectively support the livelihoods of living artists?
While it is nothing new for an American composer to find himself living overseas, I’ve noticed that most composers (and Americans in general) have a very limited conception of “where the action is” in Europe.
Those of us who gravitate toward improvisational music do so because we enjoy relating to other human beings as equals.
We can make composing relevant again. We can answer the question: Why compose now?
By Ann Starr
Composition is a high-risk undertaking with real consequences for the composer’s life and mind; Morgan Powell is drawn to it by the (potentially lethal) need to question; by questions that produce thoughts with unforeseeable outcomes.
It may actually be easier to include contemporary works on education, family, community outreach, and pops concerts than on the typical classical subscription concert.
Although we’ve been conditioned to a compartmentalized view of policy, new political and economic realities present an opportunity to work towards a more integrated (and hopefully more sustainable) ecosystem: one where culture, creativity, and artists are valued across the board—from the Department of Agriculture to the FCC.