An Rx for Improvisation

Reina Hondo improvises

Improvisation offers valuable educational applications and allows students to get their feet wet in the world of new music without being tied down to some of the technical challenges inherent in much modern repertoire.

Charlie Haden (1937-2014)—One of the Greatest

Charlie Haden and Carla Bley

Death sucks, not for the person who dies—it’s mostly a rational solution—but for the people who live on with the absence of a favorite living, breathing creature. There is a creepy scrawled note on my desk with “call Charlie” crossed off. For the past few years, we had been talking about making another Liberation Music Orchestra album.

Sounds Heard: Dan Becker—Fade

Dan Becker—Fade

This selection of chamber works composed between 1993 and 2008 suggest that Becker has an “on/off” switch resulting in either intensely energetic music, or in work of concentrated repose. There isn’t a lot in-between, but clearly such extremes suit the composer.

Why “Don’t Play for Free” Is Not Enough

Just say no to “pass the hat” gigs.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the last two weeks because I felt that this was an unrealistic route to change. Here are some reasons why I think that the statement isn’t sufficient to address the problem of unpaid gigs.

What Lies Ahead For Teenage Composers?

Paris Lavidis playing during a Face the Music concert at the David Rubinstein Atrium.

I believe that this merry band of students has the power to change the music world as we know it, but I fear the “bump” when they leave this environment and explore college options. Will the post-secondary world continue to foster their leadership potential? How will these “over-educated” young composers approach the college experience?

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