Mark Swed: Tough times call for tougher music
Clap Clap on John Luther Adams and loud.
Kalvos and Damian are back.
Daniel Wolf talks more sense in one post than I’ve managed in months.
I’ve just spent my Bank holiday Monday reviewing, re-organising and recycling the mass of paperwork that accumulated while writing my thesis. To follow that up, I’m doing the same thing to my NetNewsWire clippings folder:
This Soho post on orchestral finances seems to have slipped below the radar, but is well worth your time.
Object Collection has posted a couple of videos of Jennifer Walshe’s music.
I’m really excited about this Stockhausen event planned for later in the year – a chance to properly assess some of those late pieces?
And I know it makes me a geek, but I’m almost as excited about Gramophone‘s review backlist going online. Just in time for my viva too!
A ton of stuff in the inbox – time for a spring clean:
Spiral Cage reviews some Lachenmann.
DJA on (ir)rational rhythm notations.
Composers in newspapers 1 – Anthony Pateras!
Composers in newspapers 2 – Heiner Goebbels!
Composers in newspapers 3 – Jonathan Harvey!
Anthony Tommasini gets excited that Thomas “over-hyped and over there” Adès sells out Zankel Hall; overlooks the possibly more exciting Gerald Barry chamber opera from the previous night. Luckily, Feast of Music didn’t. Zankel only half full, apparently, so don’t sink all your money into new music shares just yet.
But really, ignore pocket operas – pocket Helicopter String Quartets are where it’s at.
FoM is also outraged that the NY Phil – the work’s commissioners – aren’t interested in playing Messiaen’s final masterpiece in his centenary year.
And countercritic has had it with Bernard Holland and the “entirely retarded” haters of atonal music.
From the inbox –
And this is a great video, excerpted from Tadeusz Konwicki’s 1965 film Salto, featuring music by Hollywood’s favourite Polish film composer, Wojciech Kilar. Big thanks to Music for Maniacs for the link.
Marc Geelhoed’s all-new Deceptively Simple speaks out.
Ben Harper on Doris Salcedo’s Shibboleth at the Tate.
Feast of Music on Elliott Carter.
From the horse’s mouth – the RIAA on their desire for applying spyware and content filtering to your music use.
Funding for the arts is the subject of the hour, and NMBx gets in on the action – with some excellent stuff in the comments.
The IPKat has a great New Year’s list of people whose works will be coming out of copyright in the UK this year (although there are some qualifications to this list in the comments). The list includes Gershwin, Szymanowski and Ravel.
You’d better not laugh, you’d better not cry – Cage’s Variations VII is coming to town.
Warners relax on DRM-free MP3.
Daniel Wolf’s Winter Album is now online, with several bloggy contributions.
And I should have plugged this long ago, but Halvorsen’s latest contribution to the Blogariddims project is well worth your attention.
Lots of lovely links for you:
Open Democracy reprints a Virginia Anderson essay on Cardew from last year.
Check WNYC tonight for a run-down of Anne Midgette’s top 10 classical albums of the year.
EMI/Terra Firma are playing a blinder at the moment: Radiohead: QUIT (“Terra Firma doesn’t understand the music industry”); Paul MacCartney: QUITS (“I’d felt [the people at EMI] had become really very boring, y’know? And I dreaded going to see them”); Robbie Williams: thinking about QUITTING (“I would be very wary about signing him to any major label at the moment” says his manager). Remember, kids – downloads are destroying the music industry, not corporate mismanagement.
Meanwhile, the Deutsche Grammophon store announces 50,000+ downloads in its first week.
And Eighth Blackbird‘s Aussie raves about London manners, the cleanliness and efficiency of our public transport (!), and government arts funding. Dude – re that last, you need to take a look at the news from Western Australia. (Meanwhile, the less cheery news arrives that the London Musicians’ Collective may be about to have their funding trimmed to £0.00. More on which later.)
An article in the Financial Times Deutschland argues that most of what we call ‘avant garde’ art is actually behind the times, not leading them: Après-garde, not avant.
An interview with Charles Rosen on his receipt of the Musical America Annual Directory’s “instrumentalist of the year” award: A Reputation in Music Built As Much on Writing as Playing. Kaija Saariaho was selected as “composer of the year“.
The Boston Globe interviews Kurtág: The Purist. (Small correction – before heading to Paris in 1957, Kurtág wrote a fair bit of bombastic socialist realism of his own; see Beckles Willson, ‘Culture is a vast weapon, its artistic force is also strong’, Contemporary Music Review, xx/2–3 (2001), 3–37 for a survey of this period of Kurtág’s output.)
And although their hectoring tone is really irritating, I rather like the Howard Stern/Zs clips that Alex posted: Horse of a different color. You see, even as they’re throwing brickbats and insults at the Zs, Stern and crew unwittingly end up exposing some of the compositional steps that the band themselves will have worked through (with, of course, greater intelligence, inspiration, musicality, etc). Witness how long it takes to nail down who’s going to play what; what exactly it means to ‘play whatever you want'; should you be aiming for dissonance or consonance; and what about rhythm?; and who should start anyway? And isn’t playing something (easy) different from recreating it (hard)?
Oh, wow – this would be awesome: BBC to put one million hours of its past online. I’m already drawing up thesis-related lists in my head…
In other things music/internet related, this article (’20 Things you Must Know About Music Online’) is well worth reading in conjunction with this one by composer and performer Bob Ostertag (‘The Professional Suicide of a Recording Musician’).
PLUS: a new discovery for your bookmarks/blogrolls – Of Sound Mind, a blog on experimental and electronic music.