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 just returned from Kyiv (Kiev in Russian), where I visited the Kyiv-Lavra Perchersk Monastery, a beautiful, mystical, and fascinating place. But the core of the place for a musician is the sung service in the orthodox chant style. Those monks ROCK, and the acoustics (Lavra is the equivalent of "cathedral") are stunning. I'll post some sound files soon for your listening pleasure.
But it shows you where composers as diverse as Tavener and Rachmaninov draw their power and influence. Ivan Moody, a Tavener disciple, still writes in a style reminiscent of the eastern orthodox church. It gives me much hope to see composers writing more choral music these days, and working with choirs in interesting and complex ways. I wonder if any of Y'all are currently working on pieces influenced by past choral genres and how that's working out for you? Do you see interesting innovations on the horizon of choral genres? Giles Swayne comes to mind...
posted by Cary Boyce