Tons of people have devoted their whole life to new music, but few people have done so to the same extent as composer/trombonist Jim Staley, who for more than a quarter of a century devoted his home to it as well. But 35 years on, Roulette has moved boroughs and has gone from being new music in someone’s home to a home for new music.
Students who improvise, in a rigorous context, become better musicians sooner; and the sooner, the better. Why are we waiting until students self-select to go to music school to introduce these ideas?
Day-dreaming drifting time is the luxury that I have out on the trail. Instead of my usual pattern of working on four or five things at once, I work on just one piece, mulling things over sometimes for days before actually writing them down. I’m not distracted by emails or petty bickering on social media.
Though Zwilich, Brouwer, and Shatin are only three of many distinguished female composers, they serve as important models of the different ways a successful career as a female composer can look. Each composer has something wildly different to offer to the contemporary music scene with new CD releases.
What lessons can we as fans, musicians, and members of presenting institutions learn from the Metropolitan Opera’s situation? Can we prevent this from happening in our home institutions?
Not being exactly what one wants to hear seems like a pretty thin rationale for judging whether a piece of music succeeds or doesn’t.
This week marks the Disquiet Junto’s 134th composition challenge and the assignment takes things in a fresh direction: score an already-filmed dance piece. The visual movement is complete, but its sound has yet to be crafted in response.
The ensemble chose to perform their selection of Ashley’s works continuously without a break, sometimes even simultaneously. Boundaries were blurred—not just between the pieces themselves, but also between music and theater, between audience and performer, between performance and life.
Improvisation offers valuable educational applications and allows students to get their feet wet in the world of new music without being tied down to some of the technical challenges inherent in much modern repertoire.
Whether inspired by history, Biblical texts, or purely sonic ideas, Baltimore-based composer James Lee III’s music explores a landscape rich in color and rhythmic texture.