Field Reports

Atlanta: Branching Out Beyond the Borders

New music group Bent Frequency concluded their season with a concert at Eyedrum on May 8, titled (Bang Fist). Within the first half of the program, Stuart Gerber offered two interesting solo performance art pieces: Bang Fist, a short, early text by John Cage which eventually appeared in his piece 45′ For a Speaker, and Giorgio Battistelli’s Il Libro Celibe which has a score that is essentially pictures. The “libro” is a large, briefcase-like box that the performer opens in the manner of a book, each “page” being a rather flat “instrument,” such as a piece of paper, cellophane, metal, or a sound-making construction.

Atlanta: From Gamelan to Quartertone Guitar

April’s new music calendar opened in Atlanta in a blend of old and new with an Eastern twist. On April 2, the Emory Javanese Gamelan, directed by Steven Everett, presented both traditional gamelan music and new works for (or inspired by) Indonesian instruments…

Chicago: Whirled Beyond the Blues

All too often Chicago gets labeled as simply a blues city, and there is much of that, but if you start poking around inside the deep and richly varied music scene, you’ll find new music ensembles and performing venues for new American music are popping up all the time. Performance opportunities great and small abound in the city, from major institutions such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to the experimental music on the fringes happening at places such as 6ODUM, the Empty Bottle or, for you experimental jazz folks, 3030…

San Francisco: Literally Spellbinding—Ropes Included

On a recent Saturday night, a modest audience gathered in a small living room of an intimate wooden home seven blocks north of UC Berkeley. The lights dim, a young violinist stands under a landing, the audience seated in a semi-circle facing her. She is wearing clothes that seem like a lite version of designs by Helmut Lang, with added metal loops sewn into the sleeves and shoulders of a jacket made of sturdy synthetic materials…

New York: Inside the Hurly-Burly

There’s always a moment at some point in the American Music Center’s Annual Awards Meeting and Awards Ceremony when it feels great to be a part of the American new music community. Sometimes there are several. I want to share a few of mine…

Cleveland: Industry CPR Continues at “Future of Classical Music” Panel

Silent-audience syndrome definitely was not a problem during a boisterous mid-April panel discussion at Cleveland State University focused on “The Future of Classical Music.” Little if any of what was said would have struck critics or music professionals as new, but a group of committed listeners unwilling either to accept the status quo or to paint classical music as a sinking ship were in attendance and more than usually vocal…

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