Commissioning Consortia: Banding Together in the Name of New Music

Russell Peck What’s the only thing better than a performance of a new piece by an American composer? Two performances. And even better – two performances by two different ensembles. How about up to three performances by forty ensembles? That’s what’s happening with Russell Peck’s timpani concerto, Harmonic Rhythm, commissioned by a consortium of more […]

The Jazz Composers Collective on Creating and Performing

Photo by Lourdes Delgado February 8, 2001 at The Jazz Standard, NYC Members: Ben Allison Frank Kimbrough Ted Nash Michael Blake Ron Horton with Frank J. Oteri Conversation transcribed by Karyn Joaquino Precedents for the Collective Mutual Influence Ken Burns What is Jazz? Jazz Composition Herbie Nichols Reactions to Other People’s Interpretations Rights and Wrongs […]

How spontaneous or worked out are your improvisations?

Regina Carter“…If you try to do the same thing again, you wind up sounding forced and then it’s not improvisation anymore…” David Krakauer“…each improvisation develops a certain "worked out" quality that comes from the effort to achieve an emotional arc within a particular piece…” Tony Trischka“…I’ll often let my fingers lead my brain. In other […]

Soundtracks: March 2001

It’s a funny thing how our weaknesses work, sometimes. My improvising abilities are pitiful – put something down on paper, I’ll play it, but ask me to make it up, and I’m just reading the inside of my eyeballs. The good aspect of the situation is this: I stand in awe of composer-performers who improvise. […]

More Than a Coin Toss: Improvisation vs. Composition in Jazz

Howard MandelPhoto by Melissa Richard Improvisation and composition are two sides of one coin alloyed in the medium of form. At least it’s how it is in jazz — though maybe a coin is too static an image for anything so dynamic as music or so fluid as the relationship of improvisation and composition. Not […]

Goosing the Forum

Frank, Do you have some kind of standing order, or trial by fire, where you encourage NewMusicBox staff to take radically offensive positions as a way of gaining experience in billboard exchanges – kind of like adversarial lawyer debates – and generating “discussion” and hits? Everyone seemed to agree that new music was chamber music, […]

How do you connect with composers to write new works for you and how does that fit in with your other activities? Katherine M. Shao, Managing Director and Harpsichordist, American Baroque

Katherine M. ShaoPhoto by Susan Scott, courtesy of American Baroque American Baroque’s adventures in new music began close to home. Our viola da gamba player, Roy Whelden, is a fine composer, and we were lucky to count a couple of other composers among our friends. After that, we had to start looking a bit further […]