Do you still identify yourself as an American composer? Nancy Van de Vate

American writers, composers, and artists have lived abroad for generations but have almost always continued to identify themselves as Americans. Henry James, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Bowles, Gertrude Stein, Gian-Carlo Menotti, Samuel Barber—the list is very long. Although I have now lived outside the continental USA for more than 25 years, and in Austria since 1985, […]

Do you still identify yourself as an American composer? Steve Lacy

I am an American (New York City) composer/saxophonist/bandleader, and have lived abroad since ’65 (Rome, Paris, Berlin), with the exception of ’67 when my wife (Irene Aebi, singer and ex-cellist/violinist) and I moved back to New York, where we found the working situation worse than ever, and thereupon fled back to Europe and Rome in […]

View From the West: Beating Up on Drum Machines

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki I hate drum machines. This is purely subjective and I’m sure that there are many whose opinions on the matter, pro and con, are intense and inflamed, but I, for one, hate drum machines. Why is it that some composers are using those annoying drum pads? A number of my […]

View From the East: A Modest Idea

Greg Sandow This past summer, I wrote a piece for The Wall Street Journal about dinner music. I’d eaten in a fine country restaurant, where unfortunately there was one annoyance—classical music on the stereo, first some surging 19th-century romantic work, bad for the stomach, and then classical music’s greatest hits, Bolero and the like, bad […]

Is There Really No Place Like Home?: American Composers Abroad

Guy Livingston Writing from Paris, in the beginning of the new millennium, the city of light seems pretty tame compared to its awesome role a century ago. From about 1880 until World War II, Paris was the rarely-contested center for new and avant-garde music, painting, and writing. This cultural hub attracted vast numbers of foreigners, […]

Globe Trotters and Jet Setters


I was fascinated this month to find so many artists among the stack of new recordings who have moved away from their roots and ventured into the unknown to find their mental and spiritual homes.

Strangers in Strange Lands

Photo by United States Federal Government O.K. True confession time. I was born in Miami, but I’ve spent almost my whole life in New York City and have therefore always thought of myself as a “native” New Yorker. As a newborn in Florida for only a couple of weeks before being whisked away to the […]