Sounds Heard: Some American Albums

Some American Albums

In the wake of the many “Best of 2013” lists floating around, I wanted to highlight some recent album releases worthy of your time and attention. I didn’t select them for this reason, but it occurs to me that they each say something interesting and distinct about what it means to make American music right now.

Making New (New) Music

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There is no substitute for deep mutual trust that is earned over a long period of time, but I believe concrete steps can be taken immediately during the process of commissioning and developing new work to establish a creative bond.

Evolving the Old, Inviting the New

Is this thing on? Welcoming new voices to NewMusicBox in 2014

You may have noticed some new bylines behind our blog posts this week. In an effort to keep pace with the myriad ideas and issues vibrating through our field, we’ll be inviting two new columnist to join us each month in 2014.

What Counts as Borrowed Material?

palette

It seems to be taken for granted in many new music circles that anyone who composes in a European modernist idiom is doing so because they’ve thought about all the possible options and made a historically informed decision to go with that one, but that anyone who composes in a tonal idiom is doing so naively.

The Entertainer

OpKrac Video Component

I believe that artists, more so than scientists or the religious, carry the seeds of miracle works inside them. And I believe we are seriously underperforming.

Sounds Heard: Zevious—Passing Through the Wall

Zevious

This trio of guitarist Mike Eber, cousin Jeff Eber on drums, and bassist Johnny DeBlase make spare, taut music that is also chock full of dueling layers of angular counterpoint couched in polymeters. But despite its austerity and complexity, it’s surprisingly easy to listen to—perhaps an appropriate irony for a band whose name rhymes with devious!

The Mutual Benefit Balance

rock balance

What every artist needs is to be paid. But in addition to—or in the absence of—money, what do artists need in a collaboration that others can offer them?

Noise Reduction

Rob Deemer

I can’t help but feel the need to explore the possibilities, if for no other reason than to find a solid balance between a focused understanding of today’s new music and a broad accessibility to as many creative artists as possible, irrespective of style, locale, or pedigree.

A Drone Too Long

Isaac Schankler

I can’t remember exactly when I first became interested in musical drones. It was like a switch—one day I didn’t get it, the next I couldn’t get enough of it. The trouble comes when I try to integrate or incorporate this music into my usual modes of listening or composing.

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