The more consistent one’s style and language are, the easier it is for a select group of performers and listeners to form a strong relationship with a composer over time. Conversely, less consistency can increase the variety and numbers of performers and audiences that enjoy a composer’s works.
Today’s world of music, while filled with heartfelt respect and affection, is also filled with contradictions and subterfuge that can lead many to psychic states ranging from hilarious disbelief to despondent bitterness.
It might be a good idea to imagine a new middle ground between artist and audience, a new medium. But it’s hard to imagine who will occupy that role. Who will advocate for our music, if not us?
The following letter of resignation by Aaron Jay Kernis, the director of the Composer Institute at the Minnesota Orchestra, was submitted earlier today to President Michael Henson, the board of directors, as well as the musicians and staff of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Morton Subotnick has been living in a technologically transformed world that is “beyond history” since 1959. But the personal musical transformation of this electronic music pioneer did not happen overnight.
I have had a somewhat ambiguous relationship to music education throughout my life. Early guitar lessons were more of a straitjacket than a path to musical creativity, and I ran away from the teacher during my sole piano lesson. I only studied composition formally for one semester and never did anything I was assigned to do. Yet I no longer brag about being self-taught, because many teachers have influenced me.
Congratulations! You have made it to the end of Education Week at NewMusicBox. And, as with any educational rite of passage, for your time, trouble, and effort, you deserve that privilege of scholars everywhere: a commencement and the singing of an alma mater.
There are three ways of learning any subject: (1) mentorship, (2) independent scholarship, and (3) the academic setting. For reasons of racial disparity, jazz was primarily learned throughout the 20th century by independent scholarship, coupled with mentorship; the latter being largely part-and-parcel of on-the-job training.
In the past several years, the San Francisco new music community has been energized by a wave of performers emerging from SFCM who are deeply, and in some cases exclusively, committed to the creation of new work, supported by a tightly knit network of composer peers and mentors.
The point of playing clarinet in a public school setting isn’t to prepare for a career in a symphony orchestra, but to allow students to see themselves, their work, and their life through a new, creative lens.