“As New Composers Flourish, Where Will They Be Heard?“
This article is copyright protected, so just a couple of notes.
“…the world of young, inventive and often populist composers is exploding…These young composers may hold the key to classical music’s future, and the future they create might not be what you expect. Increasingly they have come to consider the machinations of the big-ticket musical organizations — and debates about how to get them to accommodate new music — as beside the point….”
This article is an in depth look at the new serious music universe. This universe includes the new composers themselves, their record labels (or the lack of them) and the venues which they find amenable to their musical pursuits. Among the labels mentioned are “…New Amsterdam, Cantaloupe and Tzadik, all composer run and stylistically freewheeling….” To this list, I might add Innova, from American Composers Forum, St Paul, MN.
Among the venues we find Le Poisson Rouge, Cornelia Street Café, Galapagos, The Stone, Issue Project Room, Roulette, all in New York City. Composers noted in the article include Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Du Yun, Judd Greenstein, Caleb Burhans, and Bryce Dessner. The only groups I saw noted were ETHEL and Victoire. But others which might have been included are ACME, ICE, yMusic, eighth blackbird, and itsnotyouitsme.
Not at all mentioned in the article (if I missed it, I hope that someone will correct me), is New York Public Radio’s 24/7 New Music web stream Q2. This stream takes these and other composers and musicians out to a wide world, with an international listenership. A stand-out at Q2 is the work of Nadia Sirota. She hosts a four hour program which includes several themes, e.g, Hope Springs Atonal. Her program streams at noon and midnight. Two other standout focused programs are Hammered! which is concerned with keyboard music, and The New Canon.Also important to the success of what has been called “New Music” are two programs on WNYC, New York Public Radio’s original outlet service. For thirty years, John Schaefer has been bringing new composer to the public on the nightly program New Sounds. For a somewhat shorter time, we have been able to hear them on John’s other program, Soundcheck.
Something that I personally would like to see added into the mix for New Music would be the advent of long form music videocast. The best examples I can cite for this are three videos produced by and for ICE, which were made available at Q2. Just to give one example, the music of Steve Lehman in a 46 minute video can be found here. I just actually searched this up also at Google Video here. Both of these examples are free to the public.But, I would personally like to see these videos made available at the music groups’ web sites, based upon a membership fee for a user id and password, and then some sort of fee, maybe $5 or $10 as a “ticket” price. This would greatly universalize the availability of musical experience to populations living no where near to actual concert events. To whit: ICE just did a heavily promoted concert in Chicago. But, I am in New Jersey. I might be very interested in that musical experience. So, if it were made available from a videocast archive, and if I was registered with ICE, I could pay a small “ticket” price and have that experience.
This is a huge and important article. The items I note as missing from the article do not in any way diminish its thesis or importance. See the full article here.
This is copyright protected, so just a few notes.
By STEVE SMITH
Published: August 9, 2011
“In 2007 Claire Chase, an accomplished flutist and an ambitious, industrious organizer, spelled out her hopes for the International Contemporary Ensemble, which she founded in 2001 with a group of fellow graduates of the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio.
‘ We want to become the first large-scale, flexible contemporary ensemble in the United States that is as important and indispensable as a city’s symphony orchestras, opera companies and theater companies,” she said in an interview with The New York Times in 2007.
Four years and countless memorable events later, Ms. Chase and her colleagues are serving as artists in residence this year at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center.
The International Contemporary Ensemble, led by Pablo Heras-Casado, playing on Monday evening at the Kaplan Penthouse, Lincoln Center, as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival.
You can find the full article here.
You can check out ICE in concert, several videos at Q2
Cooling down with some of Mostly Mozart’s hottest musicians
Monday, August 01, 2011
Mozart and Stravinsky were both pretty badass. Forgetting even the latter for a minute (and the riotous Rite of Spring), the former revolutionized music in so many ways—from developing the piano to unabashedly writing a hugely class-conscious opera at a time when the waves of French Revolution were already approaching shore. In tandem with Haydn, Mozart created the classical music language.
That’s why we’re so excited to see the International Contemporary Ensemble continue to play a major part in Lincoln Center’s annual Mostly Mozart Festival. This year they play three concerts, including one all-Stravinsky program and another program that pairs Mozart with contemporary composers. They emphasize size and scope, old and new, grand and delicate and in doing so ask audiences with each piece they play: What makes it revolutionary?
We ask that question of Claire Chase (ICE’s fearless flutist) and Josh Rubin (its cutting edge clarinetist) while hearing some of ICE’s latest works in tandem with pieces by Stravinsky and based on Mozart. While we only have Claire and Josh for half an hour—they’re joining us from rehearsal!—we’ll hear a full hour of music with additional music by Matthias Pintscher and Michael Finnissy, both of whom are featured in ICE’s Mostly Mozart programs.
See the full article, with some interactive features here.
Live from (Le) Poisson Rouge on May 31, 2011
[Streaming video and streaming audio currently at this web page.]
“In the third and final ICELab of the 010-2011 season, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) presents Hollow Skies, featuring the music of percussionist and composer, Nathan Davis. May 31 marked not only this final ICELab event but also the release of ICE’s Bright and Hollow Sky record on the New Focus label, the result of a three-year long collaboration with Davis who is also an ICE musician.
Described by executive director Claire Chase as a “poet in sound”, Davis is known for his intricate exploration into sound possibilities; in typical percussionist style, he takes everyday, ordinary sounds and illustrates their vast possibilities in a beautifully organic way.
Hollow Skies opens with ICE bassoonist, Rebekah Heller performing On Speaking a Hundred Names, written for Rebekah herself and electronics. The piece is a beautiful and virtuosic exploration into the possibilities available to the bassoon, including microtones and multiphonics. The Bright and Hollow Sky is a quintet for flute, clarinet, trumpet, guitar, and percussion with electronics, which Davis wrote in 2008 for ICE. Concluding the evening is the world premiere of On the Nature of Thingness, featuring soprano, Toni Arnold and ten instrumentalists. A three-movement work, the movement titles are:
I. Study of the Object
III. An Outside with an Inside in it”
I recently “attended” three hour long concerts by ICE, the International Contemporary Ensemble, led by Ms Claire Chase. I attended them on line, courtesy of Q2 the 24/7 New Music stream from New York Public Radio.
Here are a couple of links to the videos still available at Q2
You can “attend” the concerts, and then go to the ICE web site and “buy a ticket” by making a contribution of financial support. I paid $10 for each.
So, today at The Record from NPR/music, we have the really wonderful Lara Pellegrinelli writing about Ms Chase: Following Claire Chase: A Week In The Life Of A Working Musician.
I often give a few lines from an article to entice the reader. But, Laura is such a good writer, I just cannot pick out any text without diminishing the rest of her article.
So see the complete article here.
Mario Diaz de León
“Dazzling electronics, visceral drones and extended techniques mingle in the otherworldly works of Mario Diaz de León. Expertly handled by the illustrious members of ICE, listen to their exciting portrait of this composer from (Le) Poisson Rouge here on Cued Up.
MDdL’s music is clearly its own language, with a whirlwind of textures and ancient-sounding note-choice all wrapped up into one hallucinatory package. If you listen closely, it owes a debt to some pretty disparate worlds; Romanian spectral composers/magicians like Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram, American noise artists like Wolf Eyes and Sejayno, and obscure Algerian flute music have all been cited as music that MDdL checks out on a serious level. It’s one thing to reference “diverse influences” in one’s music, but MDdL actually synthesizes it in a meaningful way.
Hosted by Ann Heppermann, listen in this Sunday at 2 p.m. to hear ICE navigate a set of works titled Mansion Cycle for two alto flutes, percussion, and stereo electronics; a bass clarinet and electronics duo called The Soul is the Arena; and a world premiere, Portals Before Dawn, for flute in C, alto flute, clarinet / bass clarinet, piano, synthesizer and percussion.
After you visit these sites and view these concerts, feel free to visit the ICE web site and “buy a ticket” to the concert by making a contribution.
These internet videocasts are in the forefront of the bleeding edge of a new paradigm. And, folks, just like PubRadio, they cost money to produce and bring to you.Fr
“The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) launched their collaborative commissioning program ICELab in March 2011 with an evening of music written by Mario Diaz de León. The second concert of this series took place on April 19 at (Le) Poisson Rouge with a full-length work titled Impossible Flow composed by saxophonist/composer, Steve Lehman.
Steve Lehman has long been respected as a virtuosic saxophone player, firmly entrenched in the experimental jazz scene of New York. Also developing an equally strong reputation as a composer, for the 2010 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards, Lehman was nominated for composer of the year, alto saxophonist of the year and record of the year for his album Travail, Transformation and Flow. Lehman’s works have been performed by the likes of the JACK Quartet, So Percussion, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin and members of the Argento and Wet Ink Ensembles. His influences are as far-reaching as performer/composer Anthony Braxton, composer Tristan Murail, basketball star Allen Iverson, electronica duo Autechre and drummer Damion Reid.
Lehman’s work for ICE, Impossible Flow is a co-commission between ICE and the Manhattan New Music Project. It is a full-length, four-movement work:
1. Impossible Flow: Prologue
3. For McCoy Tyner, Tristan Murail, Anthony Braxton and Alexander Scriabin
4. Impossible Flow: Epilogue
Don’t forget to poke around the Q2 Live Concert archive for more exciting live performances at your fingertips.”
This concert can be viewed at the web page.
Live from (Le) Poisson Rouge on March 30, 2011
“In January, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) received a $340,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which supports ICELab, the group’s program for developing and presenting new repertoire by emerging composers. The program places teams of ICE musicians in collaboration with six emerging composers each year, and the ensemble will be responsible for twenty-four world premieres over the next four years. This performance on March 30 at (Le) Poisson Rouge marks the inaugural ICELab concert featuring composer, Mario Diaz de León.
Mr. de León
Read more about this artist/composer, ICE, ICELab, and Q2 Live Concerts here. Also, watch a very good long form video of the concert at Le Poisson Rouge.
First, I am not nor have I ever been a musician. I am simply an avid listener, a passionate New Music and Jazz listener, with a computer. I cannot even type very well.
But, is it really so bad? Not for some, who have taken the D.I.Y approach, formed new groups, sometimes with interchangeable members, and put themselves out in the public view.
Maybe this dynamic goes back to the seminal D.I.Y group, Bang On a Can, “Formed in 1987 by composers Michael Gordon, David Lang and Julia Wolfe. B.O.A.C “is dedicated to commissioning, performing, creating, presenting and recording contemporary music.” B.O.A.C even has its own label, Cantaloupe Music. And, of course,there are the Bang On A Can All-Stars.
Bang On A Can All-Stars.
While B.O.A.C paved the way, there are now a number of other very worthy groups who have formed up to present themselves to the public.
First to my mind is ACME, The American Contemporary Music Ensemble
Then, there is ICE, International Contemporary Ensemble, mentioned in the article.
Check their web site and look at their concert schedule. They range far and wide and frequently.
A group about which I only recently learned is yMusic, “an expandable group of performers actively engaged and equally comfortable in the overlapping classical and pop music world.”
Do you know the group Ethel, this string group has been around since 1998. It is safe to say that thye are world famous.
There are two common threads here, and they are both very important: these groups are basically smallish new music and contemporary music groups; and I leafrned about all of them at Q2 , WQXR’s 24 hour “New Music” web stream.
So, is it really so bad for freelance musicians, probably, although even most professional journalists are capable of some hyperbole. But maybe the lesson is, what my father did, start your own business.
Gte your group together, get some compositions that either members of the group compose, or existing works, and go out and sell yourselves. Can you do it alone? Sure, if you are Maya Beiser. But, she is pretty rare.