Music

Long-lost BSU festival of new music posts… (1)

Trying to write about an event that you’re working always turns out hard for me. Rather than let the event pass with only one measly post, I’m going for a post-post-mortem review or two. Friday night’s concert might have been the most whiplash-inducing mix of styles I ever experienced. It certainly encourages some thought about […]

Frederic Rzewski in the NY Times

In advance of two concerts, the New York Times has an article on Frederic Rzewski. It’s an interesting piece.  Rzewski, known for composing a number of pieces with strong left political references, completely downplays political ideology. While his political beliefs come through clearly in the body of his work, he understands that classical music isn’t […]

Ball State University Festival of New Music, intro

The 38th annual Festival of New Music is underway, with guest composer Thomas Wells giving a talk to our composition seminar yesterday. Wells is particularly interested in pedagogical and historical aspects of composition, and provided some fascinating history about his student days at the University of Texas, Austin. I might be more interested in this […]

race and the arts

Barack Obama’s speech on race was one of those rare political occurrences where the discourse was elevated. If you haven’t yet read it, you should. While the speech and the subject is being discussed and dissected virtually everywhere you turn on the net, it isn’t surprising that the arts neighborhood is uniformly silent. It’s just […]

Marin Alsop, Gender and Race Politics in Music

Alex Ross has written about Marin Alsop, Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony, in The New Yorker. The hire has been hailed as the first woman to conduct a major orchestra in the United States (with “major orchestra” meaning one that plays year-round). Alsop is a big supporter of new music. Ross writes that “in […]

It's Grammy Time, eighth blackbird style

The nominations for Grammy Awards were announced last week. While the classical category nominations get lost amid the pop hoopla, major kudos go out to eighth blackbird for their nomination for Best Chamber Music Performance! Their album, strange imaginary animals, was recorded at Ball State University in the summer of 2005. Two other people related […]