Having ommitted classical music from their series of booklets on contemporary musical genres last year (was it last year?), the Tom Service and the Guardian are going all out with a 52-week blogathon on contemporary music.
Count me looking forward to this.
Comments and advice are currently invited on directions, composers to feature, and so on. Some suggestions have been made, falling into two broad camps: greatest hits requests (Messiaen, Xenakis, Glass, Pärt, MacMillan, etc.) or calls to be a bit more challenging (‘play something new!’). Of the latter, I like best this comment from embird:
Sounds like a good idea, However, I’d go myself for “has produced significant work within the last 50 (?40) years” as an important factor.
ajo1 also asks:
I would like to veer away from the stock standard ‘contemporary’ composers and find out about new music. Music that speaks both emotionally and intellectually. Music that is challenging and requires you the listener to pay attention and give in return. If you can do this it should be a worthwhile endeavour.
So far Service has stipulated two rules to a composer’s inclusion: they have to be alive, or born within the last 100 years, so embird and ajo1 may not completely get what they’re after. I’d agree with the ‘has to be alive’ rule, just so we can move things on a bit. But for the same reason I’d also tighten up the ‘born in the last 100 years’ rule. Elliott Carter will be the subject of the first post, apparently, but as much as I admire the guy, it’s a bit odd to include him just because he got to live much longer than his peers. If that also means leaving out Stockhausen, Messiaen and Cage, then so be it. “Contemporary music” needs to move on from the postwar decades sooner or later. Why not start now?
Photo by mediateletipos on flickr.