Steven GerberPhoto by Brian Palmer My approach to orchestration is traditional, in that while I don’t think of it as merely arranging pre-existing material, I also don’t think of color, of sheer orchestral sound, as primary. Most of the standard repertoire—even The Rite of Spring, in spite of its astounding use of orchestral color—sounds good […]
Self-portrait by Jerry Gerber A looming debate in the electronic music community has been, for some time now, whether one should stick to timbres that can only be produced by computers, software, and synthesizers or whether all sounds are fair game, particularly digital samples of acoustic instruments. The answer for me is quite clear: Both […]
Daniel D’QuincyPhoto from video by Brian Hoopes On the New Art of Orchestral Simulation Oh, ye gods! Have mercy for the innovators. What the world likes least is change, even when the status quo is widely held to be unsatisfactory. Better to go on and on, repeating endlessly all the age-old patterns of tired familiarity, […]
Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki After much grousing and bellyaching about the pathetic state of affairs at PBS, at least in their music and performing arts programming two columns ago, and the decline of music programming at public radio stations with the ever increasing all news and talk formats in a column sometime last year, […]
Greg Sandow Classical music may be in trouble. Details below. But if this is true, what should music critics do about it? This month seemed like a good time to ask this question, because it’s the month when the Music Critics Association of North America holds its annual meeting (in San Francisco this year, from […]
Barbara Benary On Orchestrating for the Gamelan I began playing Javanese gamelan in graduate school at Wesleyan University in the late ’60s, and about a half dozen years later began adapting my indeterminate and process type pieces for the instruments. Soon after I began composing new pieces specifically for those instruments. My first instinct as […]
As American orchestras perform an increasing number of premieres each season, it is all the more difficult to obtain that elusive second performance. A major roadblock toward that goal is the frequent inability of composers—and their publishers and agents—to secure recordings of concert performances for use in promoting new works.
Eight composers, including Barbara Benary, Glenn Branca, Meyer Kupferman, and Maria Schneider, reveal their approaches.