Latest Blogger Updates

What's New in the Composers Forum

CD Reviews


Latest Podcasts at

340 W. 57th Street, 12B, New York, NY 10019

Jerry Bowles
(212) 582-3791

Managing Editor:
David Salvage

Contributing Editors:

Galen H. Brown
Evan Johnson
Ian Moss
Lanier Sammons
Deborah Kravetz
Eric C. Reda
Christian Hertzog
(San Diego)
Jerry Zinser
(Los Angeles)

Web & Wiki Master:
Jeff Harrington

Latest Posts

Love and Cow Bells
Sorceress of the New Piano
Well, That Was Fun
Naxos Dreaming
Reich@70: Let the Celebrations Begin
The Bi-Coastal Jefferson Friedman
Violins Invade Indianapolis
John Cage (born Los Angeles, 5 September 1912; died New York, 12 August 1992).
The People United Will Never Be Divided
Attention Sequenza21 Shoppers


Record companies, artists and publicists are invited to submit CDs to be considered for review. Send to: Jerry Bowles, Editor, Sequenza 21, 340 W. 57th Street, 12B, New York, NY 10019

Friday, December 02, 2005
Mr. Postman, If You Please

Letter #1:
I'm a researcher, working for The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Regarding a project we're working on, I'm trying to contact a woman named Lisa Cohen (Cohen is her maiden name). The little info I have is that she's married to an "important conductor," most likely in the northeast. She's approximately in her 30's. I was hoping this might ring some bells with you, as far as conductors who may fit the bill.

I hope to hear from you either way.


Chris K

Letter #2:

My brother is a 25 year old composer who is heavily influenced by the Avant Garde. As the holidays approach I have been trying to come up with a gift idea for him and I thought that there might be a magazine that focuses on contemporary composers that I could purchase for him. I did some research which lead me to your wonderful web site. I am wondering whether you know of any hard copy monthly magazines with a focus on composers? Thank you so much for your time.
You compose because.....

"I think basically you compose because you want to somehow summarize in some permanent form your most basic feelings about being alive. Life seems so transitory that it seems very attractive to be able to set down in either words, or tones, or paint, or some way some sort of permanent statement about the way it feels to live now today. So, that when it's all gone people will be able to go to the art work of the time and get some sense of what it felt like to be alive." From recording of Aaron Copland in conversation with Vivian Perlis

Aaron Copland - born 14th November 1900, Brooklyn, NY; died: 2nd December 1990, Tarrytown, NY.

Picture credit -
Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
For the story of Copland's McCarthy hearing take An Overgrown Path to 'Tis the gift to be free
An American Tragedy Debuts Tonight at Met

Now that it's clear that Dr. Atomic hasn't blown everyone away, (I heard that moaning) the attention of the relative handful of Americans who care about new opera turns to tonight's premiere of Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy at the Met. Based on the 1925 Theodore Dreiser novel, which was itself inspired by a sensational real-life murder case that drew national headlines in 1906, the story would seem to be a perfect fit for Picker who has been drawn in the past to naturalist stories with complex, humanistic overtones. His 1996 opera Emmeline, which debuted in Santa Fe and was staged at the New York City Opera in 1998, is a heartbreaking New England Oedipus story and one of the few genuine masterpieces of American opera to emerge in the last decade.

Although Picker's principal teachers were guys whose work I find too gnarly by half--Charles Wuorinen, Elliott Carter and Milton Babbitt--his stage work has an emotional--vibrantly human--core that lifts it out of the academic ghetto and places it squarely in the realm of the universal. His music is as complex as it needs to be without sacrificing any of its raw visceral power.

The splendid cast includes Nathan Gunn, Susan Graham, Patricia Racette and Jennifer Larmore. James Conlon is the conductor. The librettist is Gene Scheer and the director is Francesca Zambello, both of whom collaborated with Picker on his last opera Th�r�se Raquin, which had its world premiere at the Dallas Opera in 2001 and was subsequently performed in Montreal and San Diego.
Dream Music for Waking States

Call it the New York City marathon for lovers of postclassic music or even the Ring for solo cello. Charles Curtis will launch on Saturday a series of seven concerts over fifteen days in intimate New York venues of works created for him by La Monte Young, Eliane Radigue and Alvin Lucier, as well as a major composition by early Minimalist Terry Jennings, and Morton Feldman's Patterns in a Chromatic Field. The series is titled Waking States and will open Saturday night at 8 pm with La Monte Young's three and a half hour Abstract #1 (2003) from Quadrilateral Phase Angle Traversals with Dream Light,actually a setting of a combination of elements of Young's magnum opus The Well-Tuned Piano with raga and Dream Music. The Young program will be repeated on December 10 and 17 at the MELA Foundation Dream House, 275 Church Street (between Franklin and White). Reservations: 212-925-8270

Says here in the program notes that "These mostly concert-length works treat time, frequency and human experience as an undivided state of awareness; over the long durations of the individual works, and the series, sound elicits unique qualities of sentience, focus and attentiveness." To which I say: But, if so, to what extent? But, it looks like a great project. See complete details.

Cary Boyce has posted a long and thoughtful piece in the Composers Forum with many helpful tips about how to get your music played. Don't miss it.
In praise of Paul Dessau

I was in Berlin at the weekend, and a concert in the beautiful Konzerthaus gave an interesting glimpse of the values of the communist music czars. The Konzerthaus, which dates from 1821, was gutted by fire in 1945. It was sumptuously restored during the last years of communist rule in East Berlin in the 1980's, and thirty-six composers identified as all time greats were honoured with busts in the main concert hall.

There are some interesting names among the chosen composers, none more so than Paul Dessau. This German composer fled when the Nazis came to power in 1933, and expressed his antifascist beliefs through his music. He collabarated with Bertolt Brecht who he followed to Hollywood (The photo to the right shows Dessau with Brecht behind him). During his time in Hollywood he composed for a number of movie studios, including somewhat unbelievably scores for Alice in Wonderland and other animated Disney films, surely the ultimate clash of ideologies? In 1946 he joined the US Communist Party, and in 1948 returned to Germany and settled in the GDR. His music is influenced by his Jewish background. His 1974 opera Einstein had a notable production at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in West Berlin in 1978 with a cast including Theo Adam and Peter Schreier. In January 2006 a festival featuring six of his film scores is taking place in Lugano, Switzerland.

For the full listing of the thirty-six honoured composers, which contains some other interesting names including Hanns Eisler, for more about Paul Dessau, and for the full story of the historic Konzerthaus take An Overgrown Path to Music history rewritten.

Picture credits - Dessau and Brecht - Michigan State University Department of Theatre
Report errors, missing images and broken links to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
Fascinatin' Rhythm

This just in. The Young Eight, an African-American string octet, is holding an Emerging Composers Competition. In the spirit of equal opportunity, applicants may be of any race, sex or ethnicity but the compositions submitted must display "African, Caribbean, African-American, or Latin rhythmic or tonal influences." Hey, it worked for Gershwin and Mick Jagger.

As part of ASCAP's Thru The Walls showcase this Thursday at The Cutting Room, Corey Dargel will perform songs from his forthcoming CD, Less Famous Than You. 7pm, 19 West 24 Street, between Broadway and Sixth Avenue.

The Naxos Blog picks Witold Lutoslawski as composer of the month...Tom Myron has joined the iPod generation...Lawrence Dillon has discovered the source of originality...Alan Theisen considers Frank Zappa...Carol Minor reviews the nearly forgotten Marion Bauer...Blackdogred celebrates the 30th anniversary of Patti Smith's Horses and writes about a new Stephin Merritt project.

And, just below, Jeff Harrington picks a fight with Pliable.
BBC thinks again on free downloads

The BBC has decided to limit the scale of its free music file downloads during the upcoming Bach week (16th to 25th December) -

'Nothing will happen without consultation and, should it happen, it will be nothing on the scale of Beethoven,' a Radio 3 spokesman said.

In some quarters this decision is being interpreted as another victory for the 'evil' record companies, as expressed by the Open Rights Group -

'We find the complaints of various parts of the recording industry not only selfish but short-sighted.'

This decision by the BBC is not selfish or short-sighted. Nor is it about caving in to pressure from the recording industry. The BBC has realised that its 'shoot first, aim later' experiment with the Beethoven Symphony downloads put at risk not just record companies, but the jobs of many more important individuals in the music supply chain, including musicians, producers, arrangers, and composers.

The BBC remembered that it has complete control, including broadcasts, public performances, touring, and programmes, of five leading orchestras, plus the BBC Singers. They also have total control over the world's largest live music festival, the BBC Promenade Concerts. This employs musicians ranging from the Berlin Philharmonic to Ravi Shankar.The BBC has one of the largest commissioning budgets for new music, with an annual spend in excess of �350,000 ($630,000). This commissioning budget is larger than the turnover of many independent record companies.

I see the internet as an essential part of the future of classical music, and continue to promote it vigorously. But I also passionately believe that musicans' jobs are more important than free classical music downloads. Thankfully the BBC now seems to have come to the same conclusion.

An Overgrown Path visited the BBC's music downloads at Holy smoke - what a lot of downloads!, Download doomsayer, Music-like-water and BBC Beethoven plays, and plays, and plays...

Heads-up to the excellent The Well-Tempered Blog which led with this story
Picture credit - Creative
Report broken links, missing images, and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
Send Lawyers, Guns and Money

The American Music Center is looking for a few good opinions. Ian Moss sent the following note, which I'm passing along, sans wiseass remark:
The American Music Center is launching an initiative to investigate and identify the needs of contemporary composers. Through a partnership with students at the Columbia University Business School, we are conducting a nation-wide survey in order to better understand how AMC can continue to serve the music community. If you are not currently an AMC member, we would appreciate it if you would take a moment to respond to this short survey by clicking on this link.
Doctor Atomic continued

'The story of the withdrawal of Oppenheimer's security clearance is not covered in Doctor Atomic, which ends with the first test in 1945. I haven't seen the opera, but was impressed by the positive response it received. However, from a distance, ending it at the Trinity test seems a bit like ending the Ring with the Ride of the Valkyries.'

Read some musings on Robert Oppenheimer, Doctor Atomic and Musicians Against Nuclear Weapons in a review of a fascinating new book, 109 East Palace, that continues the Manhattan Project story from where Doctor Atomic leaves off. 109 East Palace by Jennet Conant is the story of the extraordinary secret community of scientists at Los Alamos in New Mexico that, in a race against the clock, created the two bombs that were dropped on Japan, and ended the Second World War. At the centre of the community was the project's director, the legendary J. Robert Oppenheimer (right), the Doctor Atomic of John Adam's opera.

For the full story of Doctor Atomic continued take An Overgrown Path over to The radiance of a thousand suns.

109 East Palace by Jennet Conant is published by Simon & Schuster ISBN 0-7432-5007-9
Picture credits:
Robert Oppenheimer - Gallery M
Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
Kurt�g Wins Grawemeyer

While my faith in superlative statements is far from strong, I think he's the best alive we have. His music manifests the sort of unmediated expression that marks the truly liberated muse. Gy�rgy Kurt�g is this year's Grawemeyer winner.
Long Time Passing

Where have all the war protest songs gone? Blackdogred wants to know.

Alex Ross has a piece called The Evangelist on David Robertson in this week's New Yorker...Kyle Gann writes about Andr�s Schiff's problems with Janacek's meter...Our own bloggers seem to be still recovering from typtopham poisoning.
Annie Proulx chooses uptown music

Uptown music featured in the musical choices of Pulitzer Prize winner, and author The Shipping News, Annie Proulx (right) when she appeared on BBC Radio 3's Private Passions programmes. Her chosen music ranged from John Adams through bassist Charlie Haden and guitarist Pat Metheny's 'Beyond the Missouri Sky' to Jelly Roll Rag played by the Uptown String Quartet. This quartet was known in the '90s for exploring Afro-American music, and also worked with drummer Max Roach, but they now seem to have dropped off the contemporary music radar.

To find out more about Annie Proulx's Private Passions follow An Overgrown Path.

Programme broadcast on 14th July 2001.
Listen to the latest BBC Radio 3 Private Passions programme
with this link.
Information reproduced from
Private Passions by Michael Berkeley, published by Faber ISBN 0-571-22884- 4
Image credit -
Entertainment Weekly

Please report broken links, missing images, and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk


12/19/2004 - 12/25/2004 12/26/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/02/2005 - 01/08/2005 01/09/2005 - 01/15/2005 01/16/2005 - 01/22/2005 01/23/2005 - 01/29/2005 01/30/2005 - 02/05/2005 02/06/2005 - 02/12/2005 02/13/2005 - 02/19/2005 02/20/2005 - 02/26/2005 02/27/2005 - 03/05/2005 03/06/2005 - 03/12/2005 03/13/2005 - 03/19/2005 03/20/2005 - 03/26/2005 03/27/2005 - 04/02/2005 04/03/2005 - 04/09/2005 04/10/2005 - 04/16/2005 04/17/2005 - 04/23/2005 04/24/2005 - 04/30/2005 05/01/2005 - 05/07/2005 05/08/2005 - 05/14/2005 05/15/2005 - 05/21/2005 05/22/2005 - 05/28/2005 05/29/2005 - 06/04/2005 06/05/2005 - 06/11/2005 06/12/2005 - 06/18/2005 06/19/2005 - 06/25/2005 06/26/2005 - 07/02/2005 07/03/2005 - 07/09/2005 07/10/2005 - 07/16/2005 07/17/2005 - 07/23/2005 07/24/2005 - 07/30/2005 07/31/2005 - 08/06/2005 08/07/2005 - 08/13/2005 08/14/2005 - 08/20/2005 08/21/2005 - 08/27/2005 08/28/2005 - 09/03/2005 09/04/2005 - 09/10/2005 09/11/2005 - 09/17/2005 09/18/2005 - 09/24/2005 09/25/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/02/2005 - 10/08/2005 10/09/2005 - 10/15/2005 10/16/2005 - 10/22/2005 10/23/2005 - 10/29/2005 10/30/2005 - 11/05/2005 11/06/2005 - 11/12/2005 11/13/2005 - 11/19/2005 11/20/2005 - 11/26/2005 11/27/2005 - 12/03/2005 12/04/2005 - 12/10/2005 12/11/2005 - 12/17/2005 12/18/2005 - 12/24/2005 12/25/2005 - 12/31/2005 01/01/2006 - 01/07/2006 01/08/2006 - 01/14/2006 01/15/2006 - 01/21/2006 01/22/2006 - 01/28/2006 01/29/2006 - 02/04/2006 02/05/2006 - 02/11/2006 02/12/2006 - 02/18/2006 02/19/2006 - 02/25/2006 02/26/2006 - 03/04/2006 03/05/2006 - 03/11/2006 03/12/2006 - 03/18/2006 03/19/2006 - 03/25/2006 03/26/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/02/2006 - 04/08/2006 04/09/2006 - 04/15/2006 04/16/2006 - 04/22/2006 04/23/2006 - 04/29/2006 04/30/2006 - 05/06/2006 05/07/2006 - 05/13/2006 05/14/2006 - 05/20/2006 05/21/2006 - 05/27/2006 05/28/2006 - 06/03/2006 06/04/2006 - 06/10/2006 06/11/2006 - 06/17/2006 06/18/2006 - 06/24/2006 06/25/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/02/2006 - 07/08/2006 07/09/2006 - 07/15/2006 07/16/2006 - 07/22/2006 07/23/2006 - 07/29/2006 07/30/2006 - 08/05/2006 08/06/2006 - 08/12/2006 08/13/2006 - 08/19/2006 08/20/2006 - 08/26/2006 08/27/2006 - 09/02/2006 09/03/2006 - 09/09/2006 09/10/2006 - 09/16/2006

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to this feed listing