Field Reports

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

Sweeter Music and High Art

Living Earth

This fall, Other Minds released Sarah Cahill’s recording of works that have come out of her A Sweeter Music commissioning project, developed as a response to the Iraq War. Innova released High Art, a collection of pieces that San Francisco-based percussion/electric guitar duo The Living Earth Show has been performing regularly which were written for them by a younger generation of composers than those represented on Cahill’s disc.

All Venues Great and Small

Kevin Puts

Kevin Puts’s new work, How Wild the Sea, premiered in Austin by the Miro String Quartet and the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra. And Los Angeles-based composers Sepand Shahab, Colin Wambsgans, and Michael Winter battle fierce winter weather to bring their own music to a small Austin club.

Music for Angelenos, by Angelenos

An overview of Los Angeles (composers!) at Walt Disney Concert Hall

This Tuesday, the Los Angeles Philharmonic finally took the leap and programmed a concert of works all by Los Angeles composers—Sean Friar, Julia Holter, Andrew McIntosh, and Andrew Norman. It was an extremely eclectic program that showcased the range and depth of talent here.

Other Guitars

Les Freres Meduses

Put down that taco, Austinites! Whether it’s a delicate touch with nail and flesh or vicious pick scrapes run through seven stompboxes, there are whole worlds of great sounds being created by guitarists you’ve never heard of…yet.

Invisible Cities: Choose Your Own Opera

Christopher Cerrone’s Invisible Cities

At LA’s Union Station last Sunday, I saw composer Christopher Cerrone’s opera based on Calvino’s novel, also called Invisible Cities. The production managed to be at once extravagant and subtle, with the audience listening to the live performance on wireless headphones while wandering freely through an actual, historically scenic train station.