The Many Views of Betty Freeman

A More Intimate Future for Music



Betty Freeman with Pierre Boulez
Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, May 18, 1992
Photo courtesy Betty Freeman

Betty Freeman with Conlon Nancarrow
Otis Arts Institute in Los Angeles, November 1995
Photo courtesy Betty Freeman


FRANK J. OTERI: What do you see as the future of music?

BETTY FREEMAN: That it goes back into small groups. It’s what Boulez has been saying, and Ernest Fleischmann. But it has to break down into smaller groups as it was before. Smaller halls, smaller audiences… And that’s really better; it strengthens it. First of all a lot of these composers aren’t writing for full orchestra.

FRANK J. OTERI: I know that Steve Reich isn’t writing for orchestra anymore.

BETTY FREEMAN: There’s every advantage to smaller places, smaller venues. I think concerts in nightclubs are wonderful. I heard a Cage concert in a nightclub that was completely successful. Also Gavin BryarsThe Sinking of the Titanic… I heard an opera in a movie house. And it was a wonderful place to hear it. If you move the venue away from the stuffy music halls, into places where younger people like to go, casually, and where’s there’s food.

FRANK J. OTERI: Right.

BETTY FREEMAN: That’s one thing that they’re skipping here that they do in Europe.

FRANK J. OTERI: Which is a good part of the experience… Most rock concerts and jazz concerts are interactive, the music is a part of the environment, not just an isolated ritual thing.

BETTY FREEMAN: True, true. That’s a good way of putting it.

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