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.

Now Hear This: NMBx Interviews Now On SoundCloud

NMBx on SoundCloud

Introducing a new way to enjoy the music and interviews NewMusicBox collects every month! You can now sit back and listen to audio-only versions of the profile videos we have created in a single continuous stream, or pick and choose to create your own playlist.

Advice from Strangers: The Best of Two Worlds

Tech and new music chat

What if we technologists could be as rigorous about reinventing our creative processes as we are about reinventing software? And what if some of our time-tested best practices could be of use to new music makers, as they pave the way for new explorations of sound and performance?

On Not Composing


“What are you working on now?” Few—if any—composers are willing to admit when we’re not writing anything. It’s time to acknowledge that in a creative practice, a period of rest can be necessary.

Student Debt is a Music Policy Issue

Student Debt

It’s no secret that there’s a student loan crisis in the United States. It’s also no secret that this crisis impacts the music community. With the 2016 elections on the horizon, it’s a good time to speak up about these issues and make sure that they’re on the table for consideration.

Friday Informer: Where Profanity Meets Art


Earlier this month, Nouveau Classical Project premiered Vin Calianno’s Sororatorio: a Cuntata, which took as its text the famed, absurdly vulgar 2013 email lashing delivered by a Delta Gamma chapter president. So just how did he end up setting that much anger and profanity to music?

In It to Win It: Lessons from the Long Game

Snail run near the Finish line on road

The music community is uniquely equipped with the kind of long-game thinking that it takes to make substantive policy changes. We have more power than we often imagine, even if it takes some time to see results.

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