Blogs

“Sometimes” Music

So screen capture

What I love about the concept of “sometimes music” is that it sidesteps the thorny, problematic, and anachronistic implication that some musical styles are more advanced than others. It allows its advocates to encourage others to tune in, rather than to engage in tedious, insulting dialogues about which kind of music is up or down.

Finding the Right Balance

Jennifer Charles in Angels Bone

The most exciting music being created today is not the product of a single compositional aesthetic or the work of just one segment of the population. But some of us are still recovering from a century of industry-imposed genres. When we do, it will potentially be a paradise for a truly new music.

The Appropriation Problem

Piano

Discussions of cultural appropriation often frame the problem in one of two ways: in terms of cultural property or in terms of what composers are “allowed” to do. Both of these approaches tend to result in the conversation getting sidetracked. Another way of framing things would be to say: music is a kind of social interaction. Denying the social aspect of music-making doesn’t make it stop happening; it just means that when it does happen, you don’t see it.

An Expanding Paradigm

steel drums

When So Percussion started out, we had three prohibitions: no improvisation, no playing our own music, and no hand drums. We’ve since violated all of those rules in spades.

Creative Thinking Biases

Watercolor paints

I’m currently a bit obsessed with the upswing in available information related to creativity that has taken place over the past couple of years. Lately I feel as if the swell has become even larger, with a huge inflow of books and websites devoted to the why and how of creative process and creative thinking. I can’t help but wonder, why is all this material coming out now?

How To Be Culturally Relevant

Sharing ideas

Whenever I hear words like “relevant” or “important,” I always want to ask, “relevant or important to whom?” While I do think the audience for classical music, and new music in particular, could be larger than it currently is, I’m usually pretty skeptical of “cultural relevance” as a concept. But something happened recently that made me reconsider.

Making New (New) Music

So screen capture

There is no substitute for deep mutual trust that is earned over a long period of time, but I believe concrete steps can be taken immediately during the process of commissioning and developing new work to establish a creative bond.

Evolving the Old, Inviting the New

Is this thing on? Welcoming new voices to NewMusicBox in 2014

You may have noticed some new bylines behind our blog posts this week. In an effort to keep pace with the myriad ideas and issues vibrating through our field, we’ll be inviting two new columnist to join us each month in 2014.

What Counts as Borrowed Material?

palette

It seems to be taken for granted in many new music circles that anyone who composes in a European modernist idiom is doing so because they’ve thought about all the possible options and made a historically informed decision to go with that one, but that anyone who composes in a tonal idiom is doing so naively.

The Mutual Benefit Balance

rock balance

What every artist needs is to be paid. But in addition to—or in the absence of—money, what do artists need in a collaboration that others can offer them?

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