The conference is among the old guard of summer composer institutes and will celebrate its 70th anniversary next summer. Headed by Mario Davidovsky for nearly 40 years, the primary goal of the conference is to provide emerging composers with an opportunity to work with some of the best players from New York and Boston and to have their works performed and professionally recorded.
What was most striking about the PARMA Festival was its diversity; diversity within musical styles and event types, its combination of local, national, and international artists, and also its audience, which included a wide variety of locals–even some passersby who happened to see a poster on the street.
September is coming, with all of its promise and terror. Remember that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You trained all your life for this stuff, and now you get to do it. Believe in your unique self; take some joy in what you’re doing.
Tanglewood channels history at every turn, but it is not so much the history of the land it sits on, or the century’s worth of people who passed through it on its way to its current incarnation. It is the history of itself. The past that Tanglewood leverages is its own. It is a recursive monument.
We were asked to shed restrictions, open our ears, and return to a place of youthful excitement where we found our love of music; take risks, share that idea we’d kept to ourselves, and always say yes.
Pianist Sarah Cahill’s engaging solo recital last Friday included an advance look at a program of music by Henry Cowell she’s planning to perform at San Quentin State Prison next month. Though nearly all of the Music@Menlo’s programming is traditionally in the Bach/Beethoven/Brahms vein, one concert this year’s stood out for its programming of Nancarrow, Cage, Reich, and other 20th-century composers.
Lou Harrison translated the Mahāyāna Buddhist Heart Sūtra into Esperanto for his choral setting, La Koro Sutro—a universal wisdom in a universal language. And then, paradoxically, he set it in a way that guaranteed that performances would be few, far in between, and heavily dependent on where you were.
Like most composers, I’ve done the summer festival dance for a while now. Every music festival is different, but there’s one thing I’ve learned: It’s a bit weird to be a composer at any of them. It’s a brand-new experience to come to a festival where composers are the center of attention.
This fall will be an exceptional time for San Francisco Bay Area musicians of all stripes who are interested in making music with a large community of fellow new music lovers. Two massive projects—Lisa Bielawa’s Crissy Broadcast and Rhys Chatham’s A Secret Rose—will be rehearsed and performed.
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.