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, […]