By subtracting a great deal of expected context, New Lens Concerts ask us to invent our own, inviting us to let go of our preconceived notions about composers new and old, or so the theory goes.
We are living in an era where the music of all times and places belongs to everyone.
The fact that even active student performers have a hard time being enticed to come to a concert with a guest artist or composer because of the “seriousness” they’ve experienced in the past did get me thinking…of cheeseburgers.
Tuesday was International Jazz Day (IJD) and marked the end of Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), a title that April has held since JAM was launched by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in 2002. JAM website’s FAQ page includes the question, “Why is [JAM] needed?” The answer includes the idea that “JAM will encourage people to take jazz more seriously as a vital part of America’s cultural patrimony.”
Last week it was finally time to hear my very first piece for wind ensemble premiered at Virginia’s Shenandoah Conservatory, the first of many milestones on my outsider’s journey into the Wide World of Winds.
After the deluge of new music concerts over the past few weeks, the dearth of dedicated new music critics in Los Angeles has felt particularly frustrating.
The current working model for orchestras does not allow musicians to spend a great deal of time on anything, and the accepted wisdom for getting music in front of an orchestra—and getting the players to do an effective job with it—is to streamline what you write: make it relatively easy to sight-read, avoid pitch and metrical things that are out of the ordinary, etc.
Over the years I have discovered that working with choreographers and dancers is challenging not only from a technical standpoint, but also that the various limitations force me into artistic directions that I would have never explored otherwise. Now that I’m working with “emerging” composers, I try to ensure that they get those same opportunities during their studies.
This has been a dense couple of weeks for new music concerts in Los Angeles. A coincidence of timing (or is it?) means that LA Phil’s Brooklyn Festival overlaps with two Southern California-themed festivals, Hear Now and The LA Composers Project.
Caroline Shaw is different in many ways from previous Pulitzer Prize winners, but it is the sense of enjoyment in being a part of something bigger than oneself that, in my humble opinion, makes her stand out.