There is freedom in the holes. The holes remind you that the universe is still expanding, the world is still a work in progress, and there is space for your own contributions.
For many young students there is an ingrained belief that classical music is not a part of mainstream culture. It isn’t “hip” or “new.” They find it boring. But do you know what isn’t “old and irrelevant”? New music—by definition, no less!
As the NY Phil Biennial continues, with events every day through this Saturday, I’ve begun to realize how many new pieces and how many composers I’ve heard over the last week or so. My rough count comes to 56 people, with only one name appearing on more than one program.
In December 2013 I gave away many of my possessions, moved out of my apartment in Chicago, and set out on the darkest day of the year—abutted in nearly every direction by sleet and snowstorms—to drive to the west.
Beyond exploring our ever-evolving relationship to the natural world over tens of thousands of years, deep ecology, and humorous battle stories, 314 miles into my walk there have been a number of practical concerns and adjustments to make in my remote, mobile residency.
For the inaugural NY Phil Biennial, a large initiative devoted to the newest of the new, the Philharmonic borrowed a concept that is generally associated with the visual arts: the exhibition.
Would a “classical music ESPN” work in bridging the gap between our great musical institutions and every cable-subscribing home in America? By leveling the media playing field, could classical music once again compete for the attention of American households?
This week marks the start of something big, busy, and possibly brilliant in New York: the first edition of the NY Phil Biennial. Beyond what look like some exciting programs, I’m waiting to make any grand assessments on something so damn grand.
One of the toughest parts of being a musician in new music is finding the balance between making a living and performing the music and concerts you are passionate about. This is a puzzle that I constantly struggle with.
I have poured a great deal of energy into the way I write about music, as I have similarly done for the way I compose and play music itself. I am discovering that it is not so much a matter of finding (or re-finding) the right note, the right chord, the right word. Rather, a note, a chord, a word, then another, then another, until you are out of space.