Blogs

Curation is Not a Form of Marketing

Photo of a man sitting and playing a violin as audience members seated around the room listen.

Nobody has a fulfilling experience if the music is asking for something the venue cannot provide, nor if a venue is calling out for new types of performance while we insist on the conventions of the concert hall.

New Music Needs Curators

A low level bright lightbulb is almost on par with the head of a man performing on the trumpet who is reading scores from conjoined music stands as an audience stands around listening

In the world of new music, curating is mostly a word we’ve usurped for use in funding applications and marketing materials. We use it because it sounds better to say someone (or a number of someones) “curated” a concert rather than “chose the pieces we’ll play.” But this is a myopic view of what curation can be.

Advice from Strangers: A Trust Recipe

trust illustration

Have you created a brand that people trust without hesitation, return to again and again? Trust is the superpower that bequeaths upon us endless leaps of faith. How do we get it?

Why I’m Not Getting a Doctorate

school bus

When she graduated with her master’s degree, Dale Trumbore give herself three years to try composing as a full-on career before considering any more schooling. She hasn’t returned to the classroom yet.

Advice from Strangers: The Craft of Community

symphony hall

It is community that brings our creations to life and extends them far beyond what we are capable of on our own. The reverse is also true: our creations bring communities to life, by connecting like-minded people and providing them with a space in which to safely explore their interests and passions.

Mantras & Filters: Overcoming Composer’s Block

Path blocked

I’ve finally figured out how to break through the filter of self-doubt on a fairly reliable basis. For me, what works is a series of mantras—nuggets of wisdom from people smarter than I am that I can repeat until the filter unclogs.

Advice from Strangers: In Pursuit of Growth

green water color forest

The new music community offers us a model of rigorous self-examination, a thorough and ongoing exploration of the processes leading to creative innovation. The tech community favors a skills-based approach to growth. The strategies overlap, even as the applications differ. Here are the top growth strategies of 35 colleagues from the industries of new music and tech.

Watching TV at Copland House

Copland's desk

There may be no greater way to make yourself feel like a bad composer—the worst composer, really—than watching the fluffiest of all fluffy shows in the house of one of the Great American Composers while being paid, essentially, to live there and compose.

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