Mad Fresh

fresh yogurt

We in Western culture have a habit of reflexively using “original” as a synonym for “good,” especially in music. I’m going to argue that originality is not actually a virtue, but rather, that freshness is. The concepts are related, but not identical.

Remembering Ezra Laderman (1924-2015)

Ezra Laderman, smiling, wearing a jacket and tie

Over nearly half a century, Ezra Laderman found a home in the academic world, then in government service at the NEA, then back to teach and administer at Yale. Through all those changes, he continued to compose on a regular schedule, turning out a stream of superbly crafted works, no matter his other duties’ demands. What a role-model!

Why Not Include the Bird—Tudorfest, 1964

The cover of the CD booklet for New World Records' Tudorfest featuring a photo of David Tudor wearing a jacket and tie

The San Francisco Tape Music Center’s 1964 Tudorfest was more than what you could read in the reviews. It was more than its success. It was a scramble, a stretch, a compromise—the usual behind-the-scenes madness.

Digital to Analog: Plug and Play

Advertisement ca. 1899 (via the Library of Congress).

It is the history of music, forever communicating—what, exactly? But forever communicating, nonetheless, even as the message gets hopelessly lost in the translation to music. And it’s not a bug; it’s a feature.

Biting Breaks: Sampling and Ownership

sample break

I make sample-based music because I feel like it’s more worthwhile to identify existing sounds that have been overlooked, to bring them to fresh ears, and to give them fresh meaning in new contexts.

Go Tell It To The Choir—A Report from ACDA

ACDATeaser

Last week’s gathering of the American Choral Directors Association in Salt Lake City, Utah was one of the largest national music conventions ever held in the United States. Thanks to a newly added composer track at this biennial conference and a greater emphasis on new music, there were also tons of composers and new music aficionados there.

Getting the Point

trumpet

The power of making music is found in the accretion of work and thought we put in over a lifetime, not single moments of inspiration.

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