Posts in Field Reports
BluePrint’s current three-concert season focuses attention on composers with roots in Latin America, though many of them (including Osvaldo Golijov, Carlos Sánchez Gutiérrez, and Roberto Sierra) currently live in the United States. Mobius Trio marks the release of their self-released recording project Last Light.
Featuring sixteen quartet compositions chosen anonymously from among over 100 entries, the organizers of Golden Hornet Project’s “String Quartet Smackdown!” ran a recent concert like the last few rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament. Audience members voted on which quartet would advance.
Composers, Inc. continued its 29th season of presenting contemporary American music this month with a performance of diverse works for small ensembles. Morton Subotnick returned to San Francisco to perform his groundbreaking 1967 work Silver Apples of the Moon live at SFMOMA.
News came last week that the former London-based Sibelius team is now opening a new office to work on a brand new notation program–this time under the auspices of Steinberg, a German company known primarily for the sequencer Cubase. Here’s what Daniel Spreadbury had to say about the project.
SOUND ROOM was an evening-length performance of electronic music hosted by High Concept Laboratories, an arts service organization which incubates some of the most forward-thinking art in the city. The show was a collaboration between composers Ryan Ingebritsen, Kyle Vegter, and Daniel Dehaan–multifaceted artists and sound designers who, while very different stylistically, share deep roots in electronic music.
There’s a certain phase in the career of a composer when a commission or a request for a piece of music reverses time and causality: what seems like a hire actually ends up feeling more like a job interview. I think almost all composers have been faced with writing a piece in which there was also the pressure to prove oneself, to work in a complete survey of the composer’s skill set.
This installment of the Soundspace series was arguably the most ambitious to date. The fact that it was the largest turn out yet is a testament to the quality of the music and the hunger Austin audiences have for new and interesting music.
The HONK! Festival identifies itself as a festival of “activist street bands,” and while some participants still fit squarely in that category—preaching revolution, buoying the oppressed, putting the call-and-response of political protest to a drumline beat—others seemed fired up less by demonstration than by musical immoderation: the sheer multiple-forte thrill of brass and percussion with the leash off, or the welcome-all-comers triumph of volume over precision.
Fall is always overflowing with great sounds, and this embarrassment of new music riches, coupled with a bit of mercifully cool weather, made for an exciting start to the season in Austin.
Carter and Dargel make a virtue of musical disruption, showing that the most interesting narratives don’t necessarily project well onto music of smoothness and ease. The characters might vary—Carter’s voluble and acerbic, Dargel’s defiantly damaged—but both dramas spring from the same conviction: that the get-together only starts to be really interesting once things get broken.