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.
Fluid, chimerical transformation driven by a material constancy composed of archetypal elements is always present in the best work, always free, authentic, and unwilling to be boxed in; it does not yield easily to taxonomy.
It’s hard for me to believe that NewMusicBox has been around for ten years, and yet it always continues to feel new.
In the last few years, as the ecological problems that surround us have become more pressing, I have found a way to combine my career-long interest in the performance and promotion of “new music” with my concern for the environment.
In printed programs, I am usually credited for “sound mixing and voice processing,” and that covers a lot of my role in a given performance, but I don’t have an easy “elevator description” of what it is that I do in the company.
Bernstein’s Mass is my theme song, my touchstone, my secret garden, my musical Castalia, the song of the inescapably confused but willing to try. Everything I want to do in music, it does better. Everything I hear, it contains. All that I feel, it seems to address in a clear and absolutely beautiful way.
Why do we keep insisting there can be such a thing as American classical music, as opposed to classical music that happens to be made in America?