From The New York Times:”Freelance Musicians Hear Mournful Coda as the Jobs Dry Up” but…
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.