Today (Wednesday, September 8 ) the remaining 30 composer-contestants in the Project 440 competition are being featured in a 24-hour marathon on Q2. The internet radio station will be featuring works by the composers, including a number of private recordings, many of them live, previously unavailable for the delectation of new music listeners.
The contestants are all vying for one of 4 commissioning slots for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s 2011-’12 season.
It’s pretty daring for these emerging composers to share unreleased recordings with the world. It demonstrates a few things:
-In the internet/social media age, there’s been a change in attitude about sharing music hot off the presses. Recordings that might have been kept under wraps or only shared in private hearings or small masterclasses are now posted on the web; oftentimes, warts and all.
-Q2/Project 440 must have had these composers working overtime to get their music cleared for broadcast.
-The composers are being very thoroughly vetted for this commissioning opportunity. Individual web pages, blogging, dealing with comments and votes in a public forum, and now carrying a leg in a broadcast marathon!
Whoever wins this thing will have been tried and tested – and will also have been given a great deal of visibility. One can question how well the reality program model translates to selecting a composer of concert music – one can even have fun selecting the contestants who shoulda’ woulda’ coulda’ been up there – but there’s little doubt that this is an extraordinary way to introduce the next generation of new composers to the audience.