Does “unuseless” culture have any musical implications?
Johnny Marr, the most influential rock guitar player of the past twenty years, has taken a gig teaching composition and popular music at a major university in Great Britain.
Osmo Vänskä’s focused questions made me think about my piece at a deeper level than I ever had. “What does ‘With Bite’ mean? That can be interpreted in so many different ways. Do you think that figure there will be heard? What effect are you going for here exactly?”
Music, it seems to me, resides in a strange middle ground somewhere between a painting and a meal.
The state of Italian new music is a bit troubling, from what I’ve seen and heard thus far.
In the 21st century it’s become almost impossible for a classical musician—let alone a critic—to achieve optimum product placement in the American marketplace, but Alex Ross has succeeded.
Simply walking into the hall and seeing the orchestra on stage got us keyed up, picturing them six nights later about to play our music.
It’s bad enough to have some pop song you heard on the radio playing in your brain all day, but to have the twists and turns of Prokofiev, or the changing rhythms of Adams (did that section actually start on the downbeat?), or the haunting sounds of George Crumb…it’s quite distracting.
Ross isn’t the only superstar putting time into introducing the general public to the joys of classical music.
There might be issues of inadvertent liability if you are trying to be particularly discrete when recording out in an urban setting and keeping your equipment under wraps.