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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.