Posts in Blogs
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.
Notions of what’s authentic in music have changed in recent years, and it’s difficult, maybe impossible, to pinpoint when exactly this shift occurred.
The ubiquity of instantaneous information transmission via social media means that sooner or later we will inevitably lose the race for being the first media outlet to announce the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, but we’re still in it until we do. Come back at 3:00 p.m.
As we become more interconnected, we’re going to discover even more links between the disparate “worlds” that we all find ourselves in. Whether or not these situations call for change-of-self or change-by-others, they do signify a growing trend towards inclusivity, appreciation, and a “big tent” concept that embraces those people, sounds, and ideas that run counter to our own.
A crucial element in this tangled web of gender disparity in the new music world (and many other worlds) is that women are not culturally encouraged to ask for things. The act of asking for something is an important way to pull up a chair and be part of the conversation.
Sometimes I like to think of musicians as stage magicians. There is a kind of artful deception that’s a part of performance, but it’s rarely acknowledged and often downplayed, especially in the concert music world.
Should more orchestral performances feature video, some kind of technological enhancement, or opportunities for the audience to share in performing the music? I’m not sure on any of those fronts, although “coLABoratory: Playing It Unsafe” was one of the most exciting ACO concerts I have attended in quite some time in large part because of the added layers of vulnerability.
There are many, many other venues, extant and defunct, that were left out of my discussion last week of exemplary ways in which musicians have advocated for their colleagues. So I’d like to add a few more names to this list.
Having fun, or composing simply for the intrinsic enjoyment of creation, isn’t something that’s discussed much in education or composition circles, but I think it should be.
Being well rehearsed is not enough to guarantee a great performance, and that’s where stage presence comes in. Some people naturally have it, but it can also be taught.