While the political arena has chosen to respond with aggressiveness and violence, a generation of composers has sought refuge in what they know best—their art.
For the most recent round of fellowships (2003-2005) all 5 of the music/sound fellows are American-based composers. David Birchfield (New York/Arizona), Jason Freeman (New York), Chandrasekhar Ramakrishnan (Santa Barbara), Kristjan Varnik (Boston), and Jennifer Walshe (Chicago) will be spending some portion of the next two years in Stuttgart.
I’m filled with torment. Is the question this month really whether there is such a thing as neo-romanticism in contemporary music? Does such a term refer to composers who are openly and proudly reactionary, led by Gian Carlo Menotti, alive and kicking at 92? But wait—doesn’t Stockhausen have an ego and artistic agenda bigger than […]
Andrew ViolettePhoto by Barbara Nitke Minimalism, neo-romanticism haven’t been cutting edge for thirty years. Tinkering with new timbres goes back to musique concrète in the 1940’s. Tinkering with the computer goes back to the turn of the last century. Microtonalism: Cowell, Ives, and the ancient Greeks. My own innovations have been structural. The colorfield form […]
Alex ShapiroPhoto by Jeremy Davidson I don’t think tonality and overt melody ever left the building, but in some circles they were like a couple of illicit lovers locked in a small broom closet for quite a while. Until very recently, the perceived power in the concert music world came largely from universities, conservatories and […]
Kevin PutsPhoto by Christian Steiner I can’t speak for my contemporaries, but I personally don’t feel that tonality ever really went away. My predecessors had to endure a much more arduous battle for academic legitimacy than I do today, and since contemporary music was almost exclusively connected to the academy, writing the music they cared […]
Tobias PickerPhoto by Benjamin Seaman Even thirty years ago when “uptown music” was in vogue, tonality was the elephant in the room. It was always titillating to listen to a new, 12-tone piece and discover the inevitable hints of tonality tucked away or skirted by in little corners and interstices. No. Tonality never went away. […]