There aren’t that many new music podcasts around, and even fewer that discuss or engage with news and topics within contemporary classical music. So against that background, the launch of SoundNotion at the start of this year is a welcome addition to the internet.
SoundNotion – now on its sixth weekly episode – is run and presented by David MacDonald, Sam Merciers, Patrick Gullo, and Nate Bliton, four composers at Michigan State University. The basic format is a really simple – four guys in a studio chatting about the current issues in new and classical music. Each week’s themes seem to have been worked out in advance, but otherwise it’s pretty much all unscripted. Recent topics include the ongoing dispute between the Detroit Symphony’s musicians and administration, cuts to the NEA budget, Radiohead’s distribution model, new music programming in New York …
For my money the casts (around an hour each) are a little long and there are occasions when the conversations, ahem, ramble, particularly when all four presenters agree too much with each other. (And a little research on Lachenmann would have been handy before discussing his recent Frontiers of Knowledge Award…) But the best of it punches through – I enjoyed the Grammys discussion in this week’s cast especially – and I’ll be checking in regularly from now on.
SoundNotion is available as both audio and video through all the usual podcast channels, as well as directly from the site.