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The New Sound Machines

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Whether it is the bleeping, crunchy, ethereal sounds created using computers, traditional instruments being stretched to create exciting new harmonics, or simply the ability to hear music from distant parts of the world, contemporary composers and listeners alike have made extensive use of these new sound “machines” to expand our aural capacity.

Live Jazz Fills City by the Bay

San Francisco Jazz Festival Founder and Executive Director, Randall KlinePhoto courtesy of SFJAZ At the end of the month, SFJAZZ kicks off its 19th annual San Francisco Jazz Festival, presenting a range of live performances from classic jazz to the avant-garde, tributes to legendary artists, and premiere performances of specially commissioned works. The festival performances […]

Composer Calling: Cell Phone Symphony Premieres

A mirror reflects the “performers”, who are also the audience in Levin’s DialtonesPhoto courtesy When the cell phones started ringing during a performance at an electronic arts festival in Linz, Austria, the conductor didn’t storm off the stage in a rage. He was the one making the calls. “Dialtones: A Telesymphony,” was given it’s premiere […]

Cage Performance to Run Longer Than Cats

Timeline of the scoreImage courtesy of John Cage in Halberstadt At the stroke of midnight on September 5, 2001, a performance of John Cage‘s ORGAN2/ASLSP (As Slow As Possible) began in the small German town of Halberstadt. Taking Cage at his word, it is not scheduled to conclude for another 639 years. The performance began […]

The Digital Music Revolution, continued

Napster logoCourtesy Napster Napster, built up by the RIAA as the great evil hovering above the music industry, has become something of a red herring in the field of digital music, with the press and the recording industry both fixated on it. Still defending itself against lawsuits for copyright infringement, the service is in the […]

Igor Engraver 1.5 Unveiled for Windows and Macintosh

Screenshot from Igor Engraver 1.5Image courtesy of NoteHeads As much as computers and word processing software have changed how this article was written, music notation software has transformed music scoring and publishing. For the past couple of years, Sibelius and Coda’s Finale have dominated the field, but quietly coming up on the inside is Igor […]

NSO Anticipates Season of Encores

June and John HechingerPhoto courtesy of the Hechingers John and June Hechinger have once again demonstrated their commitment to American composers and the creation of new music. Through their support, Music Director Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra have announced a new series of commissions: The Hechinger Encores. The funding will support the commissioning […]

Hechinger Encores Commission Composer Jefferson Friedman

Jefferson Friedman can’t divulge when his Encore‘s commission will be performed exactly (the National Symphony Orchestra wants to make sure the performances are a surprise to the audience), but he will say that the work will be performed in the early fall and that it has already been signed and delivered to the NSO. “This […]