View From the East: The Talented Donal Fox

Greg Sandow One night about a year ago, Donal Fox sat down at the piano in Merkin Hall and began to play “The Star-Spangled Banner.” This was the start of “Transformations, Variations, Improvisations,” a half-concert (someone else shared the program, I can’t remember who) on which Donal played some partly improvised compositions, none of them […]

Minimal Music, Maximal Impact

Minimalism hit me in my teens like a bolt of fate. About 1972 (I was 16), Steve Achternacht on radio station WRR-FM in Dallas played Terry Riley’s In C on the air. His janglingly repetitive octave C’s started up (which we learned years later had been Steve Reich’s suggestion to hold the piece together), and I didn’t know how to react. This was crazy. All that pulsating repetition gave me a headache, every time I listened. But I kept listening anyway.

Minimalist Memories

Frank J. OteriPhoto by Melissa Richard I still remember the first time I heard the music of each of the four so-called fathers of minimalism. Philip Glass came first for me. It was 1979. I was a junior at the High School of Music and Art and an aspiring composer with little knowledge of contemporary […]

Philip Glass: 25 Years after ‘Einstein On The Beach’

A scene from the 1984 Production of Einstein On the BeachPhoto by Tom Caravaglia, courtesy Zeisl Frank J. Oteri talks with Philip Glass Tuesday, October 9, 2001—5:00-6:00 p.m. Dunvagen Studios, New York, NY Videotaped and transcribed by Amanda MacBlane Art vs. Entertainment Labels, Music Criticism, and Changing Tastes Reflecting on Earlier Music Breaking Musical Taboos […]

Composing after 9/11

On a beautiful summer morning in 1983 two Amtrak trains, one traveling northbound, the other south, were accidentally routed onto the same track just north of Penn Station. Shortly before 9am they collided on the Hell’s Gate bridge some 80 feet over the streets of Queens. I was sitting in my seat waiting for my […]

The Best of Both Worlds?

Deep within me lives a confirmed Luddite who harbors a fundamental mistrust of technology. But in spite of myself I’ve been inexorably drawn to electronic media by strong musical imperatives.

Charles Lloyd: Nothing Left But the Music

Saxophonist Charles Lloyd commissioned to write for the San Francisco Jazz FestivalPhoto courtes In town for a gig at the Blue Note, Charles Lloyd sat down to talk with me in an upper room of a Greenwich Village apartment on a rainy Friday morning. Over the steady drip of water hitting the chimney flue, he […]

Distinguished Composer/Professor Raymond Wilding-White, 78

Composer and Advocate for New Music, Raymond Wilding-WhitePhoto courtesy of Glennie Wilding-Whit Distinguished composer and professor Raymond Wilding-White, 78, died of liver failure at home August 24, 2001 in Kewaunee, Wisconsin. His wife and daughter were with him. Wilding-White composed more than one hundred works during his lifetime, from choral and symphonic compositions to electronic […]