New England’s Prospect: Pulvis et Umbra
Mohammed Fairouz’s Anything Can Happen—which was given its Boston premiere on March 17 by the Back Bay Chorale, one of the work’s co-commissioners—is a piece of music in which multiple strategies for communicating connotations of seriousness are utilized with unusual skill.
How to Respect Music
There have been many purposes for music—dance, worship, military formations, political campaigns, etc.—but listening can make all of music available to you whether or not you partake in those activities.
Tan Dun Named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador
Tan Dun joins the ranks of Nelson Mandela, Rigoberta Menchu Túm, Forest Whitaker, Susana Rinaldi, Herbie Hancock, Placido Domingo, and Jean Michel Jarre in being named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.
For those of us who work with composition students, we are now squarely in that time of year when project deadlines begin to coincide with exams and the mid-term demands of other courses to the point that the pressure to complete a musical work can seem insurmountable.
When Good Performances Happen
It has been great to read all of the comments on last week’s post about bad performances—I’m glad to see both composers and performers sharing their thoughts. In the interest of addressing both sides of this coin—or maybe that greener grass over there—I’m also interested in unpacking aspects of good performances. Yes, they do happen!
Katherine Young—Notes of Collaboration
Composer, improviser, and bassoonist Katherine Young is at home in a variety of musical communities: from the DIY band scene in Brooklyn to the improvised music scene in Chicago to the academic composition department at Northwestern where she now studies.
Who Owns a Musical Idea?
Should Cobra be considered a composition in the classical sense, or is it something different? And if it’s something different, what rules of ownership should apply to it?
New Marketing for New Art: The Mondavi Center Google Hangout Experiment
I attended a Google hangout with members of the Calder Quartet as part of a new audience engagement initiative supporting the Studio Classics series at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts in Davis, California. The series showcases new music and I was curious to know why the Mondavi Center chose Google hangouts to promote the series, and what they hoped to accomplish.
Sounds Heard: Herbert Deutsch—From Moog to Mac
Presented in chronological order and spanning a period from 1963 to 2007, the works included on From Moog to Mac demonstrate the process of experimentation and development that Herbert Deutsch went through as he created work for Bob Moog’s iconic synthesizers and then on into computer generated sound.
Listening Does Much More Than Make You Smarter
The so-called passive mode of experiencing information—music, books, theatre, film, visual art, lectures—enabled me to pay attention to others and offered me world views that can span any place or any time. All of this would have been completely out of reach to me otherwise.