Auditory Tourism

Photo of a 1950 radio from Museokeskus Vapriikki on Flickr

My enthusiasms for “World Music” have been exuberant and far-flung. I also tend to embrace independent, analog media, such as locally-based broadcasts from the heart of a community.

Sounds of Futures’ Past

Two men kneeling on the ground in an empty vast dome-ceilinged structure (Image courtesy Fossil Aerosol Mining Project).

Unlike older, lost civilizations that had no means to record and preserve audio, nor a method for notating musical instruction, we have been preserving sound for 150 years, and digital audio has been accumulating like an avalanche at easily the same speed as digital words. But these are all based on technology and need a means with which to reproduce the sound, from a cylinder player to a set of AA batteries.

Coming Out (as a 5 to 9 Composer)

A table with pages of score manuscript paper, pens, a glass of red wine, a wine bottle, and a bowl of pasta

Since I lack sufficient instrumental ability to support myself as a performer or the temperament for academia, making a salary in various office capacities has provided several advantages to maintaining a life as an artist, both during my school years and since—even if it is more time consuming than I’d ideally like.

Yarn/Wire: From The Ground Level

The members of Yarn/Wire in their studio

One of the most exciting as well as one of the most articulate groups of DIY new music interpreters is the two piano/two percussion quartet Yarn/Wire. Performing together at the highest possible level now for a decade and working with composers ranging from Alex Mincek and Sam Pluta to Tristan Murail, Misato Mochizuki, and Michael Gordon to craft repertoire for their idiosyncratic instrumental configuration, Yarn/Wire is an extremely important catalyst for music that is happening right now.

Summer Residency Snapshots: Where Trust Meets Productivity

honstein 1

With less pressure to produce concrete results, composers and performers tend to create with more verve. This week, a few more Avaloch New Music Institute examples illustrate how friendship can be a vital collaborative tool and how developing trust over a long period of time generates more interesting, sustainable work.

Showcase of Six New Operas-In-Progress plus an Entire New Opera to be Presented in L.A.

wild UP during a First Take performance

The L.A. based opera company, The Industry, has announced the third installment of its biennial West Coast workshop for new American operas. In February 2017, portions of six new operas-in-progress–composed by Nicholas Deyoe, William Gardiner, John Hastings, Laura Karpman, Marc Lowenstein, and Dylan Mattingly–will be presented as well as the concert premiere of Bonnie and Clyde by composer Andrew McIntosh and librettist Melinda Rice.

Jonathan Kramer’s Gift

Jonathan Kramer’s Gift

Jonathan Kramer’s Postmodern Music shows how our contemporary experience colors and reshapes our audition of everything, from Beethoven to new pieces he never could have encountered. And so his last book, published this month and more than a decade after his death, is not only still relevant; it’s prescient.

An Open Response to “… But I Hate Modern Music”

Cartoon of bolts striking a reddened ear

Subjectivity isn’t actually a matter of taste. It’s a matter of expectation. When it comes to art and artistic renderings, there is, unfortunately, often a disconnect between what an artist is presenting and what an audience believes their price of admission is buying.

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