Blogs

Fair and Balanced

Scales of Justice

Until we rid ourselves of the notion that the best music of all time was created by a handful of men who lived an ocean away from us and who all died more than a century before any of us were born, we will never have programming that truly reflects the vast array of musical creativity all around us.

Culture, The End.

Vertical Bass

Experienced musicians eventually arrive at a point where the physicality of the instruments they play seems to disappear. It’s at this point that proprioception, e.g. muscle memory, provides the player with a cognitive shortcut that frees the conscious mind from primarily focusing on the mechanical details of music performance and allows it to address issues of aesthetics.

Common Ground

Rob Deemer

Taste and individual interests will always drive us to those composers and performers that resonate with us, but I think we have found common ground from which to propel our artistic dialogue into the future.

In and Out of Jetlag

Four Clocks featuring time from New York City, Vienna, Moscow, and Beijing

Jetlag finally caught up with me over the holiday weekend, but it got me thinking about music and the way that music plays with listeners’ perceptions of chronological time.

From Darmstadt to the Shopping Mall

ORFEar

There have been few additions to the canon of “classical” music from Africa, or most of southern Asia and Oceania. And yet, despite the efforts of extremists in various parts of the world, some form of music is created, performed, and listened to in every nation on the planet; music is one of the few pan-terrestrial human activities.

Cultured, Part 2

ratzoharris

Scientific research shows that listening to music is an activity that fosters cohesion and synchronicity in brain function, which is very good for social messaging across large numbers of people who are listening at the same time, whether or not they’re listening to the same thing. I believe the research also shows that improvising music requires a similar mode of cognition, allowing for a kind of “disembodied cognition,” as one researcher calls it.

A View Behind the Curtain

Rob Deemer

There are many differences between the worlds of concert music and of film music, but one striking similarity is how little those who aren’t intimately involved with the process know and understand about what actually happens as concert works or film scores are being created.

Fear of Simplicity

Isaac Schankler

Maybe simplicity is complicated because the difference between a simple idea that is banal and a simple idea that has depth can be extremely subtle. Maybe we can’t tell, at first, which is which. But then, why should this be any different than complexity?

Cultured?

Charles Ives, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, and John Corigliano have all used music to promote social commentary, but these are all individuals who use their talents to create great music and see it performed. To the Great American Culture Machine, music is still mainly seen as a pastime marketed primarily to sexually frustrated adolescents with enough money to buy new product.

A Chance to %@#$! Around

piano player

Sometimes we need to set aside the training that can shackle us to what can or should be done and instead to tap into the sense of “play” that comes so naturally to us when we’re young and have no concept of boundaries or rules or expectations. One of the biggest challenges along these lines is that many of us don’t recognize when we’ve stopped “playing,” especially after so many years of accruing the necessary tools to perform/create at a high level.

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