Different Spaces: Erewhon and Fusion
Aside from the spectacular content, these shows illustrated (to me at least) the impact of the venue and how spaces shape the experience and help guide the audience.
I’m curious about composers recycling their work. As useful as repurposing material can be for stimulating ideas, has it become in some instances a shortcut by which we avoid the hard work of creating truly new material “out of thin air”?
My First Negative Review
Last week I was the recipient of my first negative review! I was surprised at how angry and upset I was when I first read it, and how long it took me to calm down about it. In short, as much as I thought I was prepared for this inevitable moment, I wasn’t.
Troy Herion: Sonic Imaging
Troy Herion’s interest in making movies grew directly out of making music. It was a way to further extend the possibilities of what music can be. And in works like Baroque Suite and New York: A City Symphony, Herion has fused visual and sonic elements together so symbiotically that it is difficult to imagine them independent of one another.
Sounds Heard: Derek Bermel—Canzonas Americanas
This collection of Bermel’s music provides a helpful point of entry for those curious to know just what has made this composer so consistently stand out: his music’s fusion of quasi-minimalist beat-based sensibilities with a dizzying diversity of popular and/or indigenous sound sources from across the globe.
American Repertoire Spring
The only way that any music created on our own soil will ever be able to compete with the standard repertoire—both in terms of audience devotion to it and the high level at which it is regularly performed—is for our own music to be programmed more frequently. Luckily that seems to be starting to happen!
Alex Mincek Wins 2013 Alpert Award in the Arts
New York City-based composer/saxophonist Alex Mincek was among the six mid-career artists honored on May 10, 2013, by the Herb Alpert Foundation and the California Institute of the Arts with a 19th annual Alpert Award in the Arts.
Upheavals in Grantland
Recently there have been several major shifts in “umbrella” organizations that oversee granting opportunities for composers, performers, and presenters both here in the United States and in the United Kingdom. I am hopeful that these changes in grantland will assist me and my colleagues in our music-making for years to come.
Report From Monterrey
This is the eleventh year that Encuentro Internacional de Jazz y Música Viva has been held in Monterrey, Mexico, which is where I’m writing this. This year’s lineup includes artists from Germany (via the U.S.), France, Mexico, Costa Rica, and the United States.
Music Writers on Writing: Peter Margasak
What’s the role of the writer—or, more ominously, the critic—in today’s musical ecosystem? Does anyone even read concert reviews anymore? In this series of interviews, I’m going straight to the source—music critics themselves—to find out why they do what they do.