OBITUARY: ‘New York school’ composer Earle Brown, 75

Earle BrownPhoto by Jack Mitchell Earle Brown, a major force in contemporary music since the early 1950s, died on July 2, 2002, after a long illness. A leading composer of the American avant-garde for more than fifty years, Brown was associated with the experimental composers John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Christian Wolff who, with Brown, […]

Let’s Dance

O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, How can we know the dancer from the dance? —from “Among School Children,” William Butler Yeats Music and dance were perhaps born together. When small children hear music, they move. The impulse of the dance reveals an inner nature of music, and somehow dance brings music closer […]

NewMusicBox asks: Can music for dance stand alone? Barbara White

Photo by Steve Gilbert I rarely expect a dance score to stand alone. In my dance/opera Life in the Castle, the music and dance are extremely interdependent: for example, the singer and the dancer depict aspects of a single character, and the cold, glassy sound of my instrumentation is reflected by mirrored objects in the […]

NewMusicBox asks: Can music for dance stand alone? Behzad Ranjbaran

Dance Music or Music for Dance? It is an exciting opportunity when a composer is commissioned to write for dance since dancers are some of the most open-minded champions of new music. Several years ago, this opportunity was awarded to me when I was commissioned by Nashville Ballet and Meet the Composer to compose music […]

NewMusicBox asks: Can music for dance stand alone? Margaret Fairlie-Kennedy

Photo by Alan Mills For me, an avid dance lover, writing music for dance should be an in-depth collaboration with the choreographer. In the mutually achieved entity neither dance nor music is subservient; the music, however, should be able to stand alone. Initially, I must know the choreographer’s musical experience, relationship to sound with movement, […]

NewMusicBox asks: Can music for dance stand alone? Bun-Ching Lam

Photo by Veiga Jardim I have collaborated with three choreographers on four different projects and I have learned and benefited a great deal from each of them. It has stretched my imagination, expanded my vocabulary, and put me in position to try things that I won’t normally do. As I consider myself mainly a composer […]

NewMusicBox asks: Can music for dance stand alone? Paul Dresher

Photo courtesy Paul Dresher I have three different approaches in writing for dance: 1) works that are primarily recorded; 2) works to be performed by my own electro-acoustic ensemble; and 3) acoustic chamber works for other ensembles. In all cases I feel a great freedom to use composition for dance as a testing ground for […]

NewMusicBox asks: Can music for dance stand alone? Guy Klucevsek

Photo by Jack Vartoogian Just about all the music I have written for dance (over 25 scores) can stand alone as concert music; and the brunt of the repertoire that I play in concert, both solo and with chamber groups and bands, is music that I originally composed for dance. Sometimes I need to do […]