Posts in Viewpoint
The subdominant is a mystery: no matter how high one goes in the harmonic series, a fundamental pitch will not produce a perfect fourth above the fundamental. Yet, every standard Western scale and church mode except the Lydian contains it.
The argument that, unless one is prepared to get off the critic’s chair and get one’s own hands dirty, there is always going to be a dimension missing in one’s composition teaching is probably true enough, though I don’t think it’s a fatal flaw.
A look back to a time when several of the world’s most revered composers tested positive for the drug psychophonoracetam, more commonly known by its street name nunu.
Reflection, discernment, a sustainable sense of tranquility, of knowing where and how to find oneself—these are only the most obvious casualties of marauding noise’s march to the sea. Much more insidious has been the loss of music itself.
Theaters are hungry for new musicals, whereas orchestras are already saddled with centuries of masterpieces, with sad results for living composers.
If we accept the premise that music should grow and change, and should reflect its own times as well as help us remember a nostalgic past, then we need to confront a few key issues.
Art music’s audience doesn’t seem so miniscule in an atomized cultural marketplace.
Listening to music—especially when it is novel—is similar to managing one’s stock portfolio: It is crucial to develop a comprehensive, rather than detail-oriented, hearing of a composition.
You, my composer friend, are uniquely positioned to profit from the decay of empire.
The tension between the “wipe things clean” spirit and the rich possibilities inherent in the process of musical education informs so much of how I approach my work as a composer, organizer, and teacher.