Framing Your Voice, Part 2

Mara Gibson Inspiration Board

I have encountered many personalities who have shaped the composer I am, but the most distinct memories are from my interactions with two very different composers during the summer of 1998 at Darmstadt: Helmut Lachenmann and György Kurtág.

Fair Trade for Sheet Music

Deep Sea Food Chain

In a world that increasingly relies on the economy of free, it’s important to establish that some things aren’t free, and in fact have an actual dollar value associated with them. I sincerely believe that we, as a society, can’t claim to value something—be it an object, a service, or our culture in general—if we refuse to ascribe an actual price to it or to some part of it.

Sounds Heard: Keeril Makan–Afterglow

Afterglow cover

It is always a pleasure to encounter music that serves as a reminder of some basic creative ideas: that music is a physical thing, connected to the body and to breath; that simplicity is often the most satisfying option; that the present moment and all that it holds is important. All of these notions are present in composer Keeril Makan’s latest release on Mode Records, Afterglow.

Citizenship

Human Pyramid

We must see ourselves as collaborators within a much wider network of musicians and citizens, helping each other as best we can—be it through something as complex as presenting performances or something as simple as sharing each other’s work on social media—regardless of personal payoff.

Send Chutes and Ladders

fire escape

Music makers must place a high priority on and devote precious resources to being effectively present in this general music marketplace—to being where music fans are, so that those who are interested in what’s available can find and enjoy it.

Framing Your Voice, Part 1

Baldessari's "Beethoven's Trumpet (With Ear)"

What distinguishes a good teacher from a great one? The most successful atmosphere for the student and teacher exists when both parties are thinking, creating and being stimulated by one another’s ideas and artistic solutions.

Sounds Heard: Chris Wild–Abhanden

Abhanden

Chicago-based cellist Chris Wild’s onstage presence is intense and contemplative, so it comes as no surprise that Abhanden presents six works which, in radically different ways, explore intimate and interior worlds.

Soul of the Nation

CD pie diagram

The artist Boris Schatz once famously said that “art is the soul of a nation.” Working as a composer and presenter of new music in Washington, D.C., where our business is the nation, I tend to think of this phrase a lot.

Aperio: Indie-A-Go-Go

Aperio

Aperio curates concerts that one night might feature contemporary chamber music from the U.S. (like the one I attended last weekend) and focus on the music of Nicaragua the next. The change in focus from one region to the next over the course of a season helps Aperio track and understand trends on this side of the pond as distinct from concert series that include European repertoire.