Field Reports

Keep Dallas Wired: The Dallas Opera Plugs Into Death and the Powers

Hal Cazalet as Nicholas in Tod Machover's Death and the Powers

While his background is as academically rigorous as it could possibly be, Tod Machover’s compositional work, as well as his instrument and software design, leans in a direction that can certainly be described as approachable to a broad audience. This was on display in the recent production of his Pulitzer-nominated opera Death and the Powers by The Dallas Opera.

Very Modern Love Songs: Your Weird, Steamy Playlist for V-Day

candy heart

Valentine’s Day is here, and for contemporary music enthusiasts, it can be hard to compile the proper playlist. From openhearted to kinky, we’ve got some pretty wide-ranging ideas of what romance is. Without further ado, here’s your 2014 playlist of avant-garde baby-makin’ music.

Aperio: Indie-A-Go-Go

Aperio

Aperio curates concerts that one night might feature contemporary chamber music from the U.S. (like the one I attended last weekend) and focus on the music of Nicaragua the next. The change in focus from one region to the next over the course of a season helps Aperio track and understand trends on this side of the pond as distinct from concert series that include European repertoire.

A Master Communicator: Remembering H. Owen Reed (1910-2014)

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I believe Dr. Reed was capable of holding at least a 15-minute conversation with just about any English-speaking person, regardless of that individual’s background, education, occupation, etc., at the end of which the other person quite likely would be thinking: “What a nice guy he is!” But I also learned from him that there are times and contexts when it’s appropriate to discuss almost any topic, and other times and contexts when it is completely inappropriate to discuss almost anything.

New England’s Prospect: Three World Premieres in Wildly Disparate Styles

BMOP Intermission

Boston Modern Orchestra Project never seems to run out of juice. It fills a need. It mounts concerts that manage to be both one-stop shopping for the merely curious and essential for professionals. The “modern” in the name has always been as much stylistic as calendrical, but its concert at Jordan Hall on January 17 was aggressively new: three world premieres in wildly disparate styles.

New England’s Prospect: Fellow Travelers

5th Floor Collective

“Come, then, into the music room,” she said, and I followed her into an apartment finished, without hangings, in wood, with a floor of polished wood. I was prepared for new devices in musical instruments, but I saw nothing in the room which by any stretch of imagination could be conceived as such. It was […]

New England’s Prospect: May All Your Christmases Be Weird

A price tage at Weirdo Records

Thank baby Jesus for Weirdo Records. And not just for the Monday concert series (called, unsentimentally, “The Series on Mondays”), although the December 16 installment was the occasion for this particular redemption. An unusually paltry three-person audience—Sawyer, Michael Rosenstein (another Boston-area modular synth guru), and an interloper, me—was transformed by the tight quarters into something respectable; the music made its own multitude.

Carolyn O’Brien: Making Music as Tactile as Possible

Carolyn O'Brien

Chicago-based composer Carolyn O’Brien’s path to becoming a composer wasn’t a typical one. She taught in public schools for ten years before she took her first composition lesson at 32, disappointed with the contemporary music repertoire for public school students and imagining she might create music for that medium. She’s now is a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University