Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gangs of New York

I was watching Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York yesterday on Netflix and, while the movie doesn't have anything specifically to do with the arts, it nonetheless provides a glimpse into the class conflicts and divisions in mid-19th century New York City.

For those who haven't seen the movie, it opens in 1846 and shows a battle over the Five Points area of NYC between Irish immigrants and the "nativists" - Americans who were born on U.S. soil and believe that immigrants should have no right to live in America. I won't give away the plot, but it is basically a tale of revenge and justice between the son of one of the Irish immigrants (Leonardo di Caprio) and "Bill the Butcher" (Daniel Day-Lewis) the nativist leader.

Some interesting things I got out of the first part of the movie:
1. Scorsese's portrayal of NYC is shocking, even for someone familiar with history. The complete squalor that the immigrants live in is stunning. This squalor is also sharply contrasted with the decadent lives of the rich in another part of town.
2. The Irish, most of whom are very recent immigrants, have a starkly different culture from other Americans. They have strange rituals and dances, and some in particular "come from a deep part of the old country, and no one knows what they're saying, but they love to fight the police."
3. Bill and his nativists, rather than simply wiping out the immigrants, do their best to assimilate them. When the movie jumps forward to 1862, Di Caprio's character finds that many of his father's most loyal followers have become acolytes of Bill. They now wear the clothes of the nativists, suppress and exploit more recent Irish immigrants, and do their best to eliminate their own Irish accents and origins. This seems in line with mid to late 19th century thinking about "educating" audiences and essentially, "making them like us."

So, I'm not saying that Gangs is a great film or entirely historically accurate (though it did win some awards for production design and period accuracy), but it is worth seeing at least the first 45 minutes if you haven't seen it before.

Possibilities for the Future

In the time that I have been attending this class I have redirected my thoughts towards the future of classical music more so than I first believed I would. Upon finishing the book Highbrow Lowbrow I felt a personal responsibility to react to what I had learn of the world past and create a brighter future for the world of classical music. I ruminated on the possibilities of contribution I could make toward this goal and found the answer is very hard to come by. After further reading with Music: A Very Short Introduction I realize that one of points Nicholas Cook resonate with me strongly.

The point Nicholas Cook makes that caught my eye more than the rest is the hierarchy of roles that come into play when attending a classical concert. The idea that Music itself as an entity is the top of the pyramid followed by the composer, that is only the genius composer, who merely writes Music's will on paper. Next is the conductor who reenacts the composers intentions leading its sheep (the performers) down the correct path. At the bottom of this pyramid lie the audience whom if deemed worthy may receive this blessing from the quasi-god known as "Music" (Capital M intentional).

While I do believe music is a very influential part of culture and life, I am skeptical to very it in such godly terms in which the tradition might lead us to. That is, for the planets themselves to revolve around a system that is clearly man made and not universal to the world, but one kind of culture alone seems a bit far fetched. Allowing myself to understand that this concept is quite possibly out of date also allows me to feel it possible for our generation to come up with a more innovate one that might resonate with the public and perhaps even ourselves greater than the one in place now.

I have never thought about music outside of performance as deeply as I have since entering this class and I believe that says something about our culture today. I suspect that many of my fellow students, rather they be longing to perform, compose, or conduct have thought much outside of how they can make their dream come true in such a shirking world. In other words how to make their dream come true with so few jobs available to them.

I personally have not thought much outside of this because I have in a sense been told that this is just the way it is and all I can do is try my hardest and say my prayers that something works out. This to me is a very bleak and depressing world to approach. Until now in attending this class have I realized that this world does not necessarily have to be the world I accept if I choose to do something about it. While I have my ideas as to what may have expand our world others may have different ones, but I would like to hope that everyone has something in mind other than just accepting the fates and hoping for the best.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Testimonial

Hello friends, I have more of a testimonial today, and less a continuation of a line of our conversation. It has been a rough couple of days in my family world, and it is in these really hard times that I remember how much music means to me. In the last few days, I have had bits and pieces of so many comforting compositions float through my head, and provide a comfort I really need. Some of this music I have not listened to for years, yet, there it is, fresh as the day I first heard it.
Removing myself from my current situation, I find this fact really encouraging for the long-term engagement of new music-lovers. If we can get just one person to have a powerful connection to a piece of music, it will really stick with them for life. The music we love is both powerful and eternal, and that is a real light in darkness.

My website

I will follow the previous trend and post the link to my website as well:



Cultural work entry on Wikipedia?

Hi all,

I have to admit, I'm still struggling a bit with the definition of "cultural work." Perhaps we can discuss it again tomorrow?

Nevertheless, I noticed that there is not an entry for "cultural work" in Wikipedia, though the term is mentioned in several biographies as sections (for example, John Doe: Early Life, Education, Cultural Work). Perhaps we can, as a class, contribute a new "cultural work" entry to Wikipedia?

Please let me know what you think.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

While reading this weekend...

Hello Everyone,

While I was reading "Music: A Very Short Introduction" by Nicholas Cook, and it really made me think about pop music's and classical music's lasting qualities. Thinking about most popular music, a song will be listened to and spoken about for certain amount of time, but all of a sudden, no one will ever speak about it after a few months or a year at best. If you think about Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart, and any of these "classical" geniuses, you realize we are still talking about their music almost 300 years later. Even if you think about certain jazz musicians such as John Coltrane, people might say that he is a "legend" or a "genius," and he died over 40 years ago.

I don't want to say in this post that classical music or jazz music is "real" music and all others have no lasting qualities, but I just want ones reading this post to think about how we treat music. Do we listen to something like we are reading a book, and never read it again? Do we treat it like a movie, where we watch it once, might watch it again because it was so deep that we missed a few things so we rewind and replay the scenes? Do we treat music like text books, to sort of "show" that we are educated - like certain pieces we have heard or studied show a right of passage in a way? Sometimes if I'm learning a piece of music or studying/transcribing a solo - another fellow colleague or one of my teachers will be impressed by this "work" that I did, almost showing an accomplishment instead of just an enjoyment of diving deeper into the music by just understanding. Also the way we may play a concert, we may never look at the piece/sonata/symphony again after a one time performance - either because we are sick of the piece, or because the audience that listens to us doesn't demand of it.

The common listener who might not know much about music does not have to necessarily hear a piece and think about all these things, but I just want everyone to realize and be aware of the evolution of music, of how we think about it and how we treat music and their musicians. Look at our public schools for instance, it is not important I guess to have music or art in a child's life because the schools don't want to spend the money because they can't afford it, and it is the first program to cut because it is considered the least important and just an extracurricular activity. There are many talented musicians out there, but they don't receive the great recognition they deserve, many musicians out there are poor, and part of the reason for this is because our society places it as a low point to other things in the world. Music has been an important part of my life, and I want others to experience this joy that I have received through music.

Is it a big deal that we think of music differently today and we treat music as a "one-hit wonder" or talk about an artist's music hundreds of years after they die because we realize how important these composers are to music history? I also want to pose the question of how we will think of the popular artists today 50 or 100 years later, and will certain history books speak about how Eminem, Lady Gaga, or Jessica Simpson were powerful figures in the early 2000s and late 1990s. I was listening to Jamin' 9.45 one early afternoon, and heard "Back in the day Buffet," and they played a Ludicris song from 2000, and said that this was "old school." I feel definitely feel old, and when I think of old school I think of Mozart symphonies or even John Coltrane's Giant Steps not Ludicris' "What's your Fantasy."

These are just some things I thought about when reading about popular music and classical music in this week's reading. I hope some of you guys can build upon this thought or agree/disagree with what I am saying.

Matthew's Link from the Previous Post


Alex Ross Op-Ed

Hello All!
Saw this in the paper this morning, and I thought that I would post it as food for our on-going conversation. Enjoy!


Alex Ross on the MET's new Ring Cycle.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

From a Composer's Viewpoint

I recently spoke with a fellow composer about his compositional process. Evaluating our dialogue from within the framework of Nicholas Cook's ideas about 19th-century constructs opened my eyes to just how readily we (the supposedly "educated") accept the validity of those constructs. "When I wrote in the 80's," he said, "I avoided 3rds and 5ths like the plague. Of course, we all know about that era; composers couldn't use even remotely triadic materials." Couldn't? Or wouldn't? And why? Why are we so influenced by what the academic masses tell us we can or cannot do? (And yes, there are elitist "masses"--masses cultivated by critics who exploit herd mentality just as shamelessly as the purveyors of popular culture do!)

The composer continued: "This is one of my favorite compositions. It's essentially abstract in nature." He handed me the score. "I had been writing a lot of rhythm-and-blues numbers at the time, and I wanted to return to my greatest love: contemporary classical music." Two things immediately struck me as interesting in these statements: 1) This composer saw his rhythm-and-blues and his classical contemporary composing as two entirely separate entities, each with an affixed hierarchal value (he had to "return" to the exalted form after dabbling in the lower), and both immoveable within separate spheres, unable to overlap. 2) This piece that he labeled "essentially abstract in nature" was accompanied by a page-long program note.
"This contains no programmatic elements," he wrote in the program note. And yet a piece lacking programmatic elements was somehow enhanced by a program note?

I love what Nicholas Cook says about this in his typically clear and astute way: "Within the concert hall, 'pure' [instrumental] music reigns supreme. But the victory of music against the word [in the 19th century] was a flawed one. For as word was eliminated from music it began to fill the space around music. The paradox lies in the fact that if music needs to be explained through words, then it must stand in need of explanation, it must be in some sense incomplete without it."

When I was applying for grad schools, I very nearly removed the following statement from the biography on my website (for the very reason that the academic world seems to look down on programmatic music): "Words, to me, are music. I can't read a well-crafted poem or listen to a theatrical performance without musical voices threading their way through the spoken narrative. When setting a text, my own voice joins with the writer's in a unique way to form a new, or rather, renewed creation. Almost every piece I compose is inspired somehow by a poem, a theatrical idea or even just a word or phrase. Tonal music originally developed from vocal models, and my style tends to be governed by the lyricism and melodic phrasing associated with vocal writing, no matter my medium." Now I'm proud of myself for leaving it be.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Personal Website

Dr. Jackson asked that I post the link to my personal homepage:

Erica's Website

I haven't listed or uploaded samples of any of my most recent compositions, and my biography is outdated as well. Maybe posting a public link will motivate me to update! :-)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Placido Domingo and the L.A. Opera - creating music of the future?

Hi all,

I found these articles in the LA Times.

L.A. Opera to deliver 'Il Postino' premiere on Thursday

Placido Domingo Says L.A. Opera's 'The Postman' Is Special Delivery for Latinos

Placido Domingo renew contract with L.A. Opera through 2013

The most fascinating thing is the opera premiere, though. It is a new work with a Spanish libretto that draws on popular culture (it is based on the 1994 film "The Postman"), and it is no accident that Domingo (like Gustavo Dudamel with the LA Phil) is trying to appeal to the heavily Latino population of L.A. I would also guess that this target community is not prone to listening to lots of classical music.

Daniel Catán, the composer of "Il Postino," has a fascinating history:
"An almost preternaturally amiable chap, Catán is the product of a mixed Anglo-Latin cultural upbringing. Descended from Russian-Turkish-Jewish immigrants, he was born and raised in Mexico City and later studied philosophy at the University of Sussex in England and music at Princeton University with Milton Babbitt. Among his influences he cites Stravinsky, Ravel and Alban Berg. He and his wife, a professional harpist, have two grown children and make their home in South Pasadena."

This sounds like the future of classical music to me: music that is rooted in the tradition of Western art music, but is nevertheless forging out in new directions and trying to reach new audiences in exciting ways!

Explorers and Couch Potatoes

Minnesota State University currently offers a course entitled, "Explorers and Couch Potatoes: Active and Passive Media." The class seems to be geared towards media writing majors, and it provides an in-depth analysis of the two major types of audiences in the world of contemporary media: the active audience and the passive (the explorers and the couch potatoes). The course description makes it clear that modern media writers must approach these two audiences in very different ways, and it defines the gulf that separates the two audiences in very clear terms (see the chart below).

For me, one of the most provocative points that Levine makes in Chapter 3 of Highbrow/Lowbrow deals with classical music's shift from cultivating an active audience to demanding a passive one. Levine writes: "To make art possible, performers and audiences had to submit to creators and become mere instruments of the will, mere auditors of the productions of the artist." He goes on to explain that, by the turn of the century, classical music no longer belonged to the performers and their audiences; instead, it belonged to an immortalized classical canon. Symphonies and operas had become gallery artworks, meant to be accepted according to a set of criteria established by music critics. Audiences no longer attended concerts of classical music with the idea that they themselves would be expected to pass judgement. They no longer threw tomatoes when disgruntled or shouted raucously for encores. Instead, they came with the proper attire (no three-foot hats allowed!) and the proper mindset, sitting passively and accepting whatever type of "art" was offered. Classical music had become a mode of one-way, rather than two-way, communication.

The gulf between explorers and couch potatoes was widened even further by the advent of film. In a movie theater, audiences were removed from the performers by much more than just a curtain and a spotlight. In fact, nothing at all was required of such an audience; nothing spectators could say or do would alter the performance to any degree.

Read the description of active and passive audiences below, and tell me what you think about 21st-century music and the type of audience it demands. Does contemporary classical music cater to an active or a passive audience? What about aleatoric music? Popular forms? Should we be trying (as modern composers and performers) to reach out to an active audience, a passive one, or both? Is there a way to approach passive audiences on their own terms and re-teach them to be active listeners? (If the text below gets cut off for some reason, you can visit the original site here: http://www.mnstate.edu/hanson/MC210/MC210_active&passive_media.htm)

Active (Newspapers, Magazines
& the Internet)
Passive (Television & Radio)
About half of all American adults read a newspaper daily (readership is weighted toward greater age, education and affluence; somewhat stronger in suburban and rural settings)About two-thirds of all American adults watch TV news (consistent across all ages, education levels, incomes and other demographic data)
Active audience seeks out information of interest ("pull" strategy)Passive audience receives information with little focused effort
Newspapers reach mass audience limited by geography. Magazines may appeal to general or specialized interests. Internet sites may serve either.Generally broadcast to mass audiences, limited by extent of signal. Cable TV has introduced more specialized targeting. Radio formats also permit some degree of "narrowcasting."
Readers are usually fully engaged in the act of readingViewers/listeners are often distracted ... their attention must be captured first
Readers must be literate in English Literacy isn't a factor — commonly used by children, non-native English speakers and others who get little from the printed word
Substantial cost factor (subscriptions, newsstand purchase, computer & Internet access) — though library users can access at no personal costLittle cost for access to local stations beyond buying the TV or radio — though cost is a factor in access to cable or satellite services
Audience has greater interest in public affairs — usually well-versed in our cultureBroader audience whose interest in public affairs can't be assumed. Often serves as introduction to our culture
Nonlinear or "random access" format — reader can easily pick and choose material of personal interestLinear (sequential) presentation of information — audience can’t skip around or go back
Time element is wide open, depending on reader's needsBroadcast and viewed in "real time" (though TV programs can be taped for later viewing or references)
Text media are well-suited to provide in-depth material including details and background informationBroadcasts provide generally weak format for providing details and background; usually focus on summaries and overviews
Relies mostly on words to portray emotion, action, drama, humor. Strong format for presenting emotional, dramatic and humorous content (visuals and sounds)
Audience is primarily seeking informationAudience is seeking a combination of entertainment, relaxation and information

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How to make it happen (?)

In this week's New Yorker, there is an article about James Dyson, the inventor of the vacuum that bears his name, written by John Seabrook. In one section he talks about the initial US launch of the vacuum. When it came to the US in 2002, most retailers were selling cheap vacuums that sold for about $100, and here was the Dyson priced at $399. It seemed absurd. Who would spend that much on a vacuum?!?!? Yet, within the first months of it being on the market it sold 10 times the initial projections, and went from being carried in one chain store, to six. What was it that made it so successful? Dyson knew that by sticking to his guts and trusting the design and capability of the vacuum, people would come to realize just how much better his product was. Seabrook states that;

"Dyson had grasped what the companies trying to make hundred-dollar vacuum cleaners had forgotten: that a lot of people... are willing to pay a premium for a machine that will deliver an emotional experience."

Doesn't that just say it all. We, as musicians, don't need to change our product, we need to re-brand ourselves! We have a product that has been tested over hundreds of years and packs a strong "emotional experience", but we've put it in an old ratty box. We need to run away from the old ideology that makes classical music about being "intelligent" or not; "educated" or not; "cultured" or not. We need to remind people that art music is about life, about love, about loss, about grief and joy. We need to help people connect with the music we love, and have honest emotional experiences.

article on james levine - boston.com


An interesting article about the upcoming season of the BSO as well as James Levine recovery from surgery - this upcoming year will be his 7th year as the music director of the BSO - it leaves a lot of unanswered questions of his health as well as his future of directing the BSO in the air...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Some sad local news - Charles Ansbacher

Charles Ansbacher, director of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, dies at 67

In response to the "Blame Game"

It is known throughout the world that history, will and forever more be condemned to itself. We "artists" always feel neglected by the general population...however maybe it is them who feel neglected by us. I find it irresponsible in todays culture to commit oneself to music, and only study one genre and/or style. We live today...in a culture where almost every piece written can be heard, a culture that can literally store an entire library of recordings on a device that can now fit in our pocket. Classical music is no longer at the forefront of our day simply because it is not required as it once was...but maybe that is our fault. Maybe we could try and understand the words of Tony Blair in saying, "people...need to take more responsibility". If things need to change, we need to change them. I agree with everything that was written...however I find myself pointing the finger at me, rather than others...

Re: two worlds collide

Hey everyone, this is my first post, I'm new to this "blogging" concept, and it is interesting. I enjoyed reading your post Jaunter, and I have to say I'm a saxophone player at a conservatory, and that just doesn't sound right either. Usually someone who plays saxophone is a street musician or plays in clubs without an educated background. If you think of some of the best saxophone players, none of them really had an education, but were either self taught or had the natural talent without having the education. Today there is already a prejudice I believe between where people go to school, instead of how good of a player they are. If a musician does not go to a conservatory like Julliard, people assume they do not know much about music - Once you say a particular school, people immediately start to judge your talent as a musician. Our craft requires extreme precision with no error. If you do a test and get a 60% that is considered passing, when you are musician, if you hit only 60% of the notes, you are considered extremely bad. The point to all of this is that people usually judge musicians by their background, and I agree with you Jaunter, that there is a great deal of prejudice among the music world as well as the whole world -


Two worlds collid.

I believe that it isn't intimidation, but the sense of not belonging to the scene itself that the general public is feeling. Because people feel like they do not belong to the social group and are even shunned from it, they retaliate with negative reactions towards it.

I often find myself torn between two worlds. The world I was raised in and the world I want to be a part of. The world I was raised in is one of the general public and more specifically the low to middle class African-American diaspora. In this environment I often feel embarrassed to admit that I am a classical musician and usually won't admit it at all. Too often people including my own family would tease me for appreciating and being apart of something so out of their own culture. This is also the reason that I am afraid to admit my true background in a conservatory setting. I fear that a will not be accepted into this world if I admit just how far placed my own cultural background is from the conservatory.

It is the fear of prejudice that has been cast from both the general public and classical music appreciators alike that there is such a divide in the two worlds. If this prejudice were to disappear and people truly became accepting of others, then they would be able to accept one another into new worlds unexplored. New worlds in which if they open themselves to it could be a sea of pleasures they once thought was a swamp.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Some thoughts on musical divergence and schism

Hi all!

I am excited to join this fascinating online conversation! I really enjoyed our first class and I am looking forward to our discussions for the rest of the semester.

For my first post, I wanted to run an idea I have had for some time by the community and get your input. Several years ago, I was wondering about the issue that many of us have already brought up: why, in our modern times, does classical music suffer from a "stigma" of elitism and snobbery? In addition, it seems that many regard classical music as being boring, out of touch, and wholly irrelevant to our modern times? Though classical music has never been popular in my lifetime, it nevertheless seems that just a few generations before mine, classical music was certainly more popular and generally accepted than it is today. So, what happened?

My theory (which I admittedly have not seriously researched) is this: starting in the period following World War I, the arts gradually began to move away from focusing on aesthetics and public appeal. Some of the movements representing this shift are Dadaism (visual art), strict twelve-tone composition (music), and avant-garde poetry (literature). As the pendulum shifted away from creating aesthetically pleasing works, it swung towards an increased emphasis on the artist and, in particular, the medium or method used to create the art in question.

For example, Arnold Schoenberg is remembered less for his music than for his system of musical composition. Visual artists like Jackson Pollock are remembered for how they produced their works (i.e., paint splatters, or something like "Canvas, covered with layers of graphite mixed with fecal matter and human hair"). Writers like Kenneth Goldsmith who wrote Fidget (a recent work of poetry in which he wrote down every action he performed for 24 hours) are remembered for some innovation of composition, not for the writing itself. In each case, the work becomes almost irrelevant - what is important is the artist and his/her technical method of production.

By the 1950s and '60s, some aspects of these artistic movements had become nearly anti-public and openly confrontational with the audience. The public, alienated from the arts that used to fulfill their entertainment needs, sought something new to fill the void. In stark relief to art music (which unfortunately was considered the descendant of classical music and had, in my opinion, become quite elitist) true "pop" music was born: short, easily listenable tunes that made no attempt to challenge the audience in any way. Pop was created to be the ultimate definition of aesthetically pleasing art - a welcome relief for a public that had grown tired of being simultaneously both ignored and shocked.

I believe that this massive schism caused the most damage to the field of music, where two entirely separate, radicalized and fragmented super-genres came into being: on one hand the "ivory tower" of academic art music, and on the other, easily digestible and disposable commercial pop.

Of course, these are rather broad and sweeping generalizations. And like all generalizations, I'm sure parts of it are false. But I do think that there is something to this argument. At the very least, it is our responsibility as musicians to do all we can to heal the wounds that have been inflicted on music, and close the rifts that so widely divide classical music from all other genres.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Blame Game

Who's fault is it--this modern phenomenon that has locked contemporary classical music behind the doors of conservatories and widened the gulf between composers and the general public? When did academia become so elitist and exclusive, and when did our modern audiences turn off their ears to new developments in the classical realm? Why are the various camps and counter-camps in modern compositional thought so often hostile one to another? What, exactly, has changed in the process of communication that we call music over the past century?

Like many of you, I am coming into this class with more questions than answers, and the more questions I ask, the more questions I seem to find. But as complicated as the situation becomes and as difficult as it is to pin the blame (is there even blame to pin?), these questions must be asked. They are vital to us, as musicians, and to the future of classical music. If we don't understand where we've gone wrong and where we've gone right in the past, how are we to construct the future?

We, as classical musicians, work tirelessly training ourselves to be good performers or composers. But if our performance/composition doesn't connect with an audience, then our attempt at communication has failed (no matter the level of our technical proficiency), right? I think so. Then what's the solution? Do we write/perform to suit the general tastes of the broadest possible audience (the lowest common denominator)? Do we continue writing/performing in highly academic ways, hoping that some day our audience will "get it?" Do we try mingling the two--reaching out to our audience with new and interesting ideas from within an accessible framework? I certainly lean toward the third possibility, but I think there might be a completely different perspective altogether. What if we stopped focusing so much on training composers/performers and started training listeners? Now, I'm certainly not suggesting that we send every child in America to a music conservatory and teach him/her the finer points of set theory and counterpoint; I'm suggesting that we help our audience understand things musically on an intuitive level. I have an inkling that something of this kind might be accomplished using Eurhythmics, but I need to let my ideas percolate a little longer. :-)

In the meantime, check out this youtube video that I posted about a year ago:


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Food for thought...

There are only a few shows on TV that I watch on a regular basis, but one that I really try to see is Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations." There is just something in the mix of beautiful locations, his free-wheeling prose, and incredible food which captures my attention. On the most recent episode, he has returned to Paris to mark the occasion of his 100th episode. This is kind of a homecoming for the show, as the very first episode, some six seasons ago, was filmed in the same city. This time though, the focus of the show was to examine a shift in the food-world of Paris; from the high-cuisine of the Michelin star-rated restaurants, to a more casual and simpler way to dine. What he found was that these new 'rogue' chefs DIDN'T throw out the old to create something wholly new, but rather they built upon what had come before them. They stripped off what was anachronous and created a dining experience that was more at ease with itself in the context of our contemporary culture.

As I watched the show, I couldn't help seeing connections to the Prologue in "Highbrow Lowbrow" and to our current musical world in the States. Could we fire up our concerts and recitals by boiling-off some traditions that no long serve us? Should we really roll our eyes when an excited audience member claps between movements of a symphony? Do fancy gowns and tuxedos really guarantee a better performance? Given an attentive audience, could Schubert songs return to ale houses and still retain their sophistication?

I seem to have more questions than answers as I begin this semester, but for today, I just wanted to offer a little food for thought.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Welcome, Colleagues!

Welcome, colleagues from Longy School Future of Classical Music '10!

As soon as you can, please make your way to Alex Ross's blog, www.therestisnoise.com. He keeps his ear close to the ground; he has a feed; and he provides a list of other music blogs as well (see below. You will also enjoy Greg Sandow's blog, http://www.artsjournal.com/sandow/.


Subject :Alex Ross, No. 3 (list of music blogs)
Link URL :http://www.therestisnoise.com/2004/11/music_blogs.htm

Subject :The Source
Link URL :http://www.thesource.com/
Category :General
Description :"covering hip-hop music, politics, and culture"--Wikipedia
Subject :Vibe
Link URL :http://www.vibe.com/
Category :General
Description :"features R&B and hip-hop music artists, actors and other entertainers"--Wikipedia
Subject :ArtsJournal
Link URL :http://www.artsjournal.com
Category :General

More to come. Help me grow the list!

Looking forward to reading your posts and to seeing you Tuesday!