View From the West: Roger Woodward&#8212A Stranger in a Strange Land

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki The university where I teach, San Francisco State University, is like so many state universities across the nation. The mission of the university is to educate a very large portion of the college age demographic. Not an elite school, either in terms of prestige or finances, the standards for entry […]

View From the East: Punch-Drunk Column

Greg Sandow Some of the best new sounds I’ve lately heard are on the soundtrack of Punch-Drunk Love, a marvelous, mostly unpredictable romantic comedy directed by P. T. Anderson, who also did Magnolia. This movie, like Magnolia, is almost an art film in pop-film guise, or maybe the reverse, a pop film in art-film disguise. […]

Shelf Life: How Musical Reference Materials Treat American Composers

The two leading English-language reference works on composers of classical music, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, brought out new, vastly expanded editions in 2001. Nearby library shelves are sagging with smaller, more specialized recent books offering information on American composers living and dead. An unprecedented amount […]

Breathing In


This month I was simply fascinated by the diverse sources of inspiration that drove composers and musicians to commit so much work to 41 new recordings of American music.