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 […]

View from the West: New Venues for New Music

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki As we all know, some styles of new music, including minimalism and post-minimalism, rock, and jazz-inflected styles, appeal to a cross-over audience, yet producers, promoters, and performers, for the most part, have not figured out how to market, promote, and especially present the music to either a larger or more […]

View From the East: Rose-colored Glasses

Greg Sandow I want to say a few things about a brave and sweet—but probably mistaken—book by Allen Shawn, called Arnold Schoenberg’s Journey. And as I start to write, I realize I’m obsessed, at least a little, with the whole atonal thing. That started for me late in the ‘60s, when I decided I’d be […]

A Feat Beyond Certainty: American Composer-Choreographer Relationships

The Feet of Jennifer DunningPhoto by Melissa Richard The relationship of composer to choreographer had its certainties late in the 19th century. Ballet told stories. Both composer and choreographer had only to tell those stories of enchanted maidens, death-dealing vampires, and hapless princes with dependable dance rhythms and sufficient atmosphere. There were the Salieris, among […]

Out of Step

Frank J. OteriPhoto by Melissa Richard For most people, here and around the world, now and throughout history, music is primarily a soundtrack to accompany other activities: recreational, devotional, etc. Concentrated listening to music, to the exclusion of all other sensory stimuli, has always been and will probably always continue to be a rarified experience. […]