To conclude our first NewMusicBox LIVE! event, we invited Joan Tower to share her some of her acerbic wit and wisdom with us. It was yet another fascinating twist to an evening that had already showcased saxophonist/sound experimentalist Matana Roberts and singer/songwriter Gabriel Kahane. Though seemingly unrelated, having these three musical creators share the stage is an accurate reflection of what a big tent new music has become in the 21st century. Tower opined that there used to be only “three choices” for composers—“uptown, midtown, and downtown”—and no matter what you wrote, it would “usually hang out with dead white European males,” but now we have “God knows, fifty choices” even though all too often “we live in a world of compartmentalized music.” Joining her to perform two of her dazzling virtuoso solo compositions were rising star violinist Bella Hristova and the iconic new music pianist Ursula Oppens.
NewMusicBox provides a space for those engaged with new music to communicate their experiences and ideas in their own words. Articles and commentary posted here reflect the viewpoints of their individual authors; their appearance on NewMusicBox does not imply endorsement by New Music USA.