The Seattle new music community is exploring new ways they can support one another. What’s working in your community?
For miners, sound often answers questions about work and safety. For composers, recording and carefully listening to the sounds of a region can suggest ways of bridging between place and creative sound works.
It can feel impossible to label and organize the diversity of music that falls under the “new music” heading. Does that hurt our advocacy for the music we care about?
Archival and contemporary sounds of a place connect the listener to the people and history of an area. This sonic ethnography may then become material for creative projects in unique ways and push creative practice into direct social engagement.
In the trenches of balancing one too many ensembles, practice time, class, papers, group projects, and more practicing, it can be hard to stomach the thought of adding something else. But there are a few other things may want to make sure you learn while you’re still in school.
What musicians create serves many purposes, but it is all in vain if we are not genuinely connecting with the listeners. We owe it to ourselves to deepen their listening and to maximize our communication.
Just as these kids are not afraid of clicking this or that button on today’s technology (which both my husband and I very much are), they are not afraid of poking into any musical corner. There doesn’t seem to be any outside to the box marked Music. Everything is inside.
When presented with new music, there is a question my voice students ask in quiet panic: “Where is do?” According to the established choral curriculum, we just cannot agree.
I have finished the first “student composition” of my life. Now the nine-minute piece goes to the musicians who will be playing it who range from freshman to graduate level and two are sort of on loan from the jazz department. At every lesson I worried aloud about the difficulty of some of the ensemble playing; I didn’t want to be setting anyone up for a terrible experience, myself included.
Why as professionals do we perpetuate, and why as composers do we imitate, the sound of a soprano section comprised of pre-pubescent boys? Why insist on the misunderstanding that adult female sopranos are able to or should sing strictly senza vibrato in the way children do?