I’m not saying you can’t hate some pop music; I’m just saying you can’t, in the presence of a practicing postmusicologist, hate on all pop music just because it is popular, disguising elitism as self-pitying pride in new music’s marginalized market position.
We are appalled to see the orchestra’s supremely talented players locked out from playing their concerts while at the same time being asked to accept painful salary cuts and submitting to the reduction in the size and quality of their ensemble.
People don’t get together and play—and people don’t get together and listen to other people play—because they love composing. They love something else, something inside, around, below, and above themselves. They love…that’s it; they want to love. Even if they don’t know it, they want to love.
With LDS names popping up everywhere else, where are the Mormon composers? Until fairly recently, Mormon composers who were known as such weren’t all that known outside of Mormon circles. Conversely, those who were more well-known as composers weren’t readily identified with their native religion.
A 60-minute tour de force, performed completely from memory and without pause, Colombine’s Paradise Theatre is a stunning display of physical and musical virtuosity on the part of its performers.
Talking about a “postmodern avant-garde” might well seem oxymoronic. But what at first glance appears self-contradictory might, upon closer inspection, disclose itself as a fundamental social tension within new music culture—or, rather, a tension between the ideals of that culture and the material reality of contemporary socio-economic structures.
To get the work, we need to say yes, and to keep the work, we need to produce. But to produce, from what church music has taught me, we need to write faster, rewrite when necessary, and write for the people who actually want new music. If we do, our music will keep getting performed and performed well.
The MacArthur Foundation noted that Coleman is a musician “whose technical virtuosity and engagement with musical traditions and styles from around the world are expanding the expressive and formal possibilities of spontaneous composition.”
Unlike composers who grew up in the United States where just about any kind of music seems part of our tradition, Shanghai-born Du Yun approaches all traditions as somehow exotic, whether classical, pop, avant-garde, or even the traditional Chinese music that deeply influences so many other Chinese émigré composers.
Wayne Horvitz’s music for 55: Music and Dance in Concrete, taken out of its original site-specific multimedia context, comes across as part psychedelic soundtrack (think Barbarella), part mysterious fun house (think Sleep No More).