Watch this video and tell me you don’t think that this will fundamentally change music, pretty much all genres, the day after it comes out (September).
Jun 10 2008
Jan 16 2008
It may be old news to some of regular music blog readers, but I think some of the tips by conductor Kenneth Woods – Oh no! More tips…. Now it’s the poor composers…. might be of interest to S21 readers. The rehearsal tips alone are something every composer should memorize. The notation tips, might be controversial, but they’re what I have been doing since I got our of grad school. Always using Italian for instructions, notating as simply as possible, etc. His story about the recent composer in residence process as seen through an arts community was also fascinating. Thanks to Maestro Woods for sharing his expertise with the new music community!
Jan 14 2008
OK, here’s an idea I’ve been working on for a few days… it attempts to combine ALL the projects/ideas into one. What it attempts to do is this:
1. Empower and pay performers – get them excited to be involved
Well… now here’s the idea:
1. Participating cities/regions will have one coordinator and one core standard ensemble for each concert. (Pierrot quintet, string quartet, etc). That means less setup, less coordination, easy to replicate or do again. By using a Pierrot quintet style group, we can have duos, trios, etc.
The main things I tried to do in thinking up this process was to remove the hassles we experienced in putting on the last S21 concert. Not too many performers, pay them well, make them the stars. Shorter pieces, no setup hassles and recording as part of the thinking. Get each performer/composer to agree to the license BEFORE the concert.
The numbers can be debated… my thinking has been to develop an easily replicable process; to make S21 a concert/commissioning/performance venue. The shortness of the pieces, I recognize is problematic, but we represent a huge cross-section of composers here. How can we be inclusive and have plenty of variety?
Nov 23 2007
Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to keep up with the spam attacks our little wiki have suffered and have been forced, because of bandwidth charges, to take it temporarily down. I don’t mind spending a few bucks for the new music world; I’m just not that interested in spending bucks for creepy botboys.
I’ll be looking for some plugins or other solutions in the meantime. Sorry for any inconvenience. All of the data is fine – including a zillion links to sex toys, viagra, ciallis in our articles and then there’s the spam stuff too! Just kidding… and stay tuned.
P.S. It’s back up. I upgraded to the latest version and installed two new spam-blocking systems. One, unfortunately, requires that you verify you’re not a bot by typing in 2 words. Any help, removing all of the krrrrrap those jerks put into our wiki would be appreciated.
Oct 23 2007
After his spectacular Spoleto Festival performance of the 16 piece Violin Futura set, Piotr Szewczyk continues to promote the series with a new video and an upcoming gig at the Santa Fe New Music Festival, February 2nd.
Oct 19 2007
In the interest of furthering dialog between our 12ET brethren and our more flavorful microtonalist artists I present this provocative YouTube recording of America’s favorite band, Van Halen attempting to close a set with their signature cheeseburger – Jump.
As many of you know, we also run a new music wiki here. It’s got lots of user-created content, links to very cool MP3 files through our Listening Room and a lot of lists of performers, and opportunities. Recently we’ve come under attack, not from SpamBots but from a new type of bot which seemingly means only to destroy wikis. We’re not the only one being attacked, but it has seemingly focussed a great deal of attention on our little homebrew music information site.
If you check out the Recent Changes you’ll see auto-generated usernames and very slight random text modifications to a bunch of articles, maybe your article. It’d be really cool if we could get the wiki cleaned up, but for that to happen, it’ll require a few more worker bees than me and David Toub. Please give it a look if you can and remove the random texts. They seem to only preface articles with obviously unreadable words.
And if you haven’t written an article about your favorite contemporary composer, performer and musical technique please add to our wonderful collection of articles. For those that don’t know, the wiki gets a lot of traffic. And please read the Getting Started page before you start writing. We insist that composer pages be not merely self-promoting, but informative. Thanks!!
Oct 13 2007
My father-in-law, Alfred Russell, died a few weeks ago. He was an amazing painter and a really eccentric person. He was one of the hottest Paris/New York abstractionist painters in the 40′s and 50′s. Ad Reinhardt was the best man at his wedding; he got Rothko his first teaching job; was friends/enemies with all the big names but because of his notorious provocateur spirit he never got rich while all of his equals sold their souls to the rich for millions of dollars. A famous article in October Magazine started the trend, when he lamented the ‘easy abstraction’ of the minimalists – mainly poking at Rothko and later Reinhardt.
He was a big modern music fan, amateur flutist and close friend of Edgard Varèse who in a Paris cafe once wrote him a solo flute piece which has never been premiered. I’ve got a mimeograph of it somewhere in a closet he gave me, but we’ve been looking for the original for years to prove it’s legitimacy.
Roberta Smith writes about him today in the New York Times – Alfred Russell, Painter with a Classical Style Dies at 87. Here are a few of his paintings from our site – Works of Alfred Russell. No need to offer condolences…
Oct 09 2007
So who’s going to help break the back of the mega-music corporations by buying – at any price – at your price – for nothing – a download of the new Radiohead album In Rainbows? I did it this morning and I feel good about it. I’m now promised an email with a download URL for the entire album tomorrow.
For those who haven’t been paying attention to the world’s greatest art rock band, their new album is downloadable tomorrow – without the cooperation of any record company. You pay what you want. You can pay $.01. You can pay $10.00 – that’s what I did. They deserve it and I’d like to see this business model work. And get this, they don’t even have a record company any more. They’re supposedly taking bids on who will get their hard copies into the record stores. Have any S21 readers bought the album? How much did you pay?
FWIW, I currently give away for free, all of my albums and scores and as far as I know was the first musician in the world to do that, starting in 1991. I even caused the L.A. Times to write an article about the other Harrington, David, from Kronos, about how he was freaking out the music world by giving away music back in 1995. I had to call them and ask them to issue a retraction.
But the model I’m thinking of switching to for my albums and scores is this – pay what you want. I think it’ll work and at the same time, it’ll keep poor people, poor students, from being discouraged from learning and listening to my music. It’ll mean setting up some type of PayPal system and hiding from the tech-savvy haxxors but I don’t think it’ll be that much trouble. When I get it done, I’ll post an article here about how to do it. We can all use a little money, and this model nicely allows for a hit album to benefit the artist directly and financially. For kids without a credit card I’ll probably implement a questionnaire/honor system, forcing them to describe their deepest fears about music.
However, from where I’m sitting, unlike the rock world, the new music world isn’t burdened by the record companies. It’s burdened by referral networks, academic networks, and critics who refuse to pay attention to the online world. For the new music world to become truly independent, democratic and egalitarian it’ll take this type of new thinking that Radiohead has begun. By selling, even at any price, I believe it’ll create less of the appearance at my website, which is totally natural, that I can’t give this sh*t away. Haha…
Excuse the LOLCAT reference in the title of this article if you don’t get it.
P.S., the Coen Brothers movie shoot on our street in Brooklyn Heights I mentioned in comments a few weeks ago is finally over. Here’s some pics for anybody that is curious. It was exciting and exhausting. And our garden may never be the same.
May 26 2007
With news that Apple is suing the manufacturers of the iGasm it occurred to me last night that this perhaps was a possible new venue for contemporary music. I brought up the subject with a few friends over beers and the debate began, ‘What piece of avant garde music would be the ideal iGasm driver?’
Steve Reich? Philip Glass? Xenakis? Ferneyhough? The winner at the table seemed to be the genre of noize punk. Driving 200 BMP noise. But who knows? Maybe your music could be a hit at this latest of new music venues extended! What piece of music would drive the adventurous iGasm user into sensory overload?