Though luckily there were no drug cartel-associated mass murders in Monterrey as their had been on the opening night of last year’s festival and again on the morning after the last performance, this year’s Encuentro Internacional de Jazz y Música Viva was framed by its own internal controversy that emerged from its saxophone competition.
Lost to the Ages
Obviously there are some genres–jazz quickly comes to mind–in which specific musical creative events occur and are lost on a daily basis. We can’t keep everything, so it goes, but when it comes to our musical creations, this is how we as composers are going to be remembered.
Different Spaces: Erewhon and Fusion
Aside from the spectacular content, these shows illustrated (to me at least) the impact of the venue and how spaces shape the experience and help guide the audience.
I’m curious about composers recycling their work. As useful as repurposing material can be for stimulating ideas, has it become in some instances a shortcut by which we avoid the hard work of creating truly new material “out of thin air”?
My First Negative Review
Last week I was the recipient of my first negative review! I was surprised at how angry and upset I was when I first read it, and how long it took me to calm down about it. In short, as much as I thought I was prepared for this inevitable moment, I wasn’t.
Troy Herion: Sonic Imaging
Troy Herion’s interest in making movies grew directly out of making music. It was a way to further extend the possibilities of what music can be. And in works like Baroque Suite and New York: A City Symphony, Herion has fused visual and sonic elements together so symbiotically that it is difficult to imagine them independent of one another.
Sounds Heard: Derek Bermel—Canzonas Americanas
This collection of Bermel’s music provides a helpful point of entry for those curious to know just what has made this composer so consistently stand out: his music’s fusion of quasi-minimalist beat-based sensibilities with a dizzying diversity of popular and/or indigenous sound sources from across the globe.
American Repertoire Spring
The only way that any music created on our own soil will ever be able to compete with the standard repertoire—both in terms of audience devotion to it and the high level at which it is regularly performed—is for our own music to be programmed more frequently. Luckily that seems to be starting to happen!
Alex Mincek Wins 2013 Alpert Award in the Arts
New York City-based composer/saxophonist Alex Mincek was among the six mid-career artists honored on May 10, 2013, by the Herb Alpert Foundation and the California Institute of the Arts with a 19th annual Alpert Award in the Arts.