The Score Has Got You By the Short Hairs

By Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

Assumptions are baked into every aspect of music notation, often layered one on top of the other, and they color the kinds of music we can make. Make too many wrong assumptions about a notation and you’ll quickly dig yourself into a hole.

Sounds Heard: Robert Erickson Complete String Quartets

Cover of Robert Erickson Complete String Quarttets CD

Listening to Robert Erickson’s quartets brings to mind the image of an onion: at first glance, an onion is, well, an onion—basic and non-threatening. But as each layer is peeled away, the onion becomes more pungent and affects the person peeling it with greater, often times uncontrollable intensity.

Nerd Composer

Photo of finger painted to look like a nerd ,with glasses etc.

Growing up, I was ashamed of being a nerd. This was pretty typical. At the time being labeled a nerd was considered about as bad as showing up to school in nothing but your underwear. Times have changed. It is now a badge to be worn proudly by all of us. We all finally grew up. And took over.

Listening to the Journey: Hypersensitive Hearing on the Trail

Sun on the Pacific Crest Trail

Since I started walking the Pacific Crest Trail seven weeks ago, I’ve undergone a number of physiological and mental changes. One of the biggest changes that has occurred, however, relates more specifically to working with sound and music as a composer—an alteration in my sense of hearing.

March: Virginia and the Dancers

Mary Page Evans's March Mountain #2

The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts sits on a hillside from which little is visible but trees. The setting fosters extended walks and quiet minds. The place itself almost disappears as your thoughts take the foreground. There is only you, and the work.

Readers Respond to Death of Klinghoffer Simulcast Cancellation

The Death of Klinghoffer

It came as no surprise that the cancellation of the scheduled simulcast of John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer, slated for production at the Metropolitan Opera this fall, has inspired some very active comment section action. But have you heard the work yet? Let’s listen and chat.

Bora Yoon: The Weight of Magic

Bora Yoon. Photo by Leslie Van Stelten

Although composers are always constructing new sonic worlds, Bora Yoon is super-charging that idea through her multimedia and site-specific works. Her performances create immersive environments that, as she puts it, “transport people somewhere, and return them, hopefully changed from the experience.”

Metropolitan Opera Cancels Death of Klinghoffer Live HD Transmission

John Adams

The Live in HD transmission of The Death of Klinghoffer has been cancelled after concerns were raised that the Metropolitan Opera’s plans to transmit the opera might be used to fan global anti-Semitism. Adams describes the decision as “deeply regrettable” saying it “goes far beyond issues of artistic freedom, and ends in promoting the same kind of intolerance that the opera’s detractors claim to be preventing.”