Composers Forum is a daily web log that allows invited contemporary composers to share their thoughts and ideas on any topic that interests them--from the ethereal, like how new music gets created, music history, theory, performance, other composers, alive or dead, to the mundane, like getting works played and recorded and the joys of teaching. If you're a professional composer and would like to participate, send us an e-mail.
I've been enjoying your site for about 6 months now - great work. I'm a conductor who is starting a new music ensemble in the Easton, PA area and I'm looking for music written for non-specified instruments, aka 'open instrumentation'. Could you forward this to the composers on the site, or post it somewhere they would see it?
Here's an argument against downloading that I haven't heard before.
posted by Jerry Bowles
Message from Taruskin
I woke up this morning and, before checking Sequenza21, checked my email, to find a message from Richard Taruskin:
Hi. Quite something, that review. It show the power of reputation. You reviewed the book you expected from me, not the book I wrote. Your hysteria was very heartening. The best confirmation I get that my take on the history of 20c music is accurate are the reactions of those left high and dry, and you seem to be the highest and dryest. RT
The review in question is in the issue that I guess is just out (I haven't seen it yet) of Tempo. It was of The (five volume) Oxford History of Western Music by Taruskin, which I spent about six months at the beginning of last year reading. I spent about three months on the review (which largely consisted of direct quotations from the book, incidentally). I had heard that Taruskin was known for sending nasty emails to people who wrote reviews he didn't like, and I guess this is proof of it, although it seems pretty mild to me. I actually took pains--lots of them--to try to make the review as cold-blooded as possible, so it didn't seem particularly hysterical to me. I've certainly seen (and done) worse. I have a feeling his message was largely boilerplate, anyway.
I replied that I had reviewed the book I read (which I read just about every word of--a lot of them more than once), and I knew I was high and dry, anyway.
I can't post the actual review, so if anybody's interested, they'll have to look for it at some local library.
posted by Rodney Lister
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Throngs of Fans Descend on S21
Some of the responses to Roger's previous post suggest that we should not allow Sequenza 21's Composers Forum to become dominated by pop-music oriented discussions. I believe this attitude is unhealthy.
We are all surrounded by commercial music, and one could understandably argue that we should not give airtime (so to speak) to music that doesn't need our support to thrive. At the same time, because we are surrounded by it, commercial music naturally influences us, so let's talk about it! For the record, Roger doesn't write music like Rufus's, but no one should feel discouraged from talking about and advocating commercial music that has influenced his or her own creative work.
My work is heavily and overtly influenced by commercial music. The label that's putting out my first CD in April wants it to be commercially successful. I do too. I'd hate to imagine that that would preclude it from being discussed on S21.
posted by Corey Dargel