A View Behind the Curtain

Rob Deemer

There are many differences between the worlds of concert music and of film music, but one striking similarity is how little those who aren’t intimately involved with the process know and understand about what actually happens as concert works or film scores are being created.

Fear of Simplicity

Isaac Schankler

Maybe simplicity is complicated because the difference between a simple idea that is banal and a simple idea that has depth can be extremely subtle. Maybe we can’t tell, at first, which is which. But then, why should this be any different than complexity?


Charles Ives, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, and John Corigliano have all used music to promote social commentary, but these are all individuals who use their talents to create great music and see it performed. To the Great American Culture Machine, music is still mainly seen as a pastime marketed primarily to sexually frustrated adolescents with enough money to buy new product.

A Chance to %@#$! Around

piano player

Sometimes we need to set aside the training that can shackle us to what can or should be done and instead to tap into the sense of “play” that comes so naturally to us when we’re young and have no concept of boundaries or rules or expectations. One of the biggest challenges along these lines is that many of us don’t recognize when we’ve stopped “playing,” especially after so many years of accruing the necessary tools to perform/create at a high level.

Finally, Movement on the Notation Front

Rob Deemer

A year and a half later, there are finally signs of what effects the Sibelius shakeup has had and what the future holds for those who see notation software as an irreplaceable tool.

Culture Counter Culture Pt. 5


I was inspired to connect more dots in this series by Rob Deemer’s post about creativity not existing in a vacuum. The partnership between artist and presenter is especially vital to what and how an audience hears.

Cage’s (More Than) Ten Thousand Things

Ten Thousand Things

A new release of Cage’s The Ten Thousand Things (I Ching Edition) is an incredibly clear demonstration of the unexpected and delightful confluences that result from chance-based procedures, and in many ways, I can think of no better introduction to his music.

Every Place is a Musical Capital

The Mediterranean Sea

When I admit to most music aficionados that I am visiting Vienna for the first time next week they tend to be shocked. How can someone who claims to be so enamored of music have not made the requisite pilgrimage to the musical capital of the world? But great music takes place all over the planet and you can find amazing things to listen to wherever you go.


Kampela with Momenta Quartet

Even though there are more and more fast food outlets and less and less old-style delicatessens than when I first arrived in 1977, New York is still the best place for me to live when it comes to the music I play and listen to. Living elsewhere is like cigarettes, drinking, drugs, promiscuity, and “super-size” fast-food: I gave it the old college try, and it’s just not for me.

Creative Partners in the Work of Life

Rob Deemer

The concert reviews won’t mention them, historians will only consider them if there is a scandal, and the audience won’t think twice about them, but it is often those who stand just offstage who provide a vital and necessary component to the birth and growth of much new music.

Page 7 of 220« First56789Last »