Sierra’s style is definitely more modernist than maverick, but her accent is a little more subtle and elusive. The music is dense, dissonant, precipitously fluid, but there’s a groundedness to the extravagance, pitch and even tonal centers anchoring the busy crosstalk.
Austin Chamber Music Center has been around for decades—long enough to have existed when the governor was a Democrat, SXSW was a baby, and Austin was just a gleam in marketers’ eyes. Its summer festival is more recent, and the inclusion and promotion of new music even more so.
American operas, apparently, can have the second acts American lives cannot. The concert performance, at Tanglewood on July 11, of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby—after the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, who famously hypothesized that particular limitation of biographical dramaturgy—was a bid for redemption.
Each year, the Guildhall Leadership course accepts a handful of students from all over the world. The course asks them to improvise, compose, teach, and collaborate with each other and with London artists from many other disciplines. They generate new work, embark on research projects, and actively facilitate creative music-making in London communities that wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity.
A work six years in development with a libretto written by the composer, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is an earnestly personal and thoroughly researched re-examination of the role of the main women in Jesus’s life, as well as an attempt to understand Jesus and his disciple Peter as flawed human beings.
Since the The Police disbanded in the mid-1980s, drummer Stewart Copeland has composed soundtracks for numerous films and television shows and has had works performed by such acclaimed ensembles as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra.
For two weeks in June, Chicago composer Mischa Zupko did something that composers don’t often have the opportunity to do: he toured with an orchestra. Camerata Chicago traveled to the Czech Republic, France, and Italy and gave five performances of Zupko’s new Chamber Symphony: Pilatus.
From the outset, June in Buffalo 2013 demonstrated that a composition doesn’t communicate in a vacuum, but instead often reveals its vitality while in dialogue with other works.
The allure of Austin (like many places I suppose) is partly genuine and partly manufactured. Spending a few days at the New Media Art and Sound Summit and the REVEL Summer Solstice Festival might be all it takes to renew one’s faith in this live, weird town.
How do you prepare for a concert presentation of over eight nearly continuous hours of new music? If you’re a performer, and the event is the Iditarod at the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice, it involves nine intensive days of practice, rehearsal, workshopping, and bonding with other musicians.