Alex Ross: 2015 Notable Performances and Recordings

“Generally, it was a formidable year for new music—so much so that my ten notable recordings are entirely contemporary, with dead composers demoted to the honorable-mention category. Many of these works have an intangible quality in common, one that’s hard to name. Sonic landscapes shimmer before one’s ears, but they are too irregular and restless to be classified as minimalist or ambient. Instead, they suggest an ominous stasis, an unstable stillness.”

Read more at The New YorkerScreen Shot 2015-12-15 at 2.06.58 PM

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Choral Music by Ivette Herryman Released by Walton Music

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A new piece by MSU DMA student Ivette Herryman Rodríguez has been published by Walton Music, a division of GIA Publications.The piece can be seen featured on their “2015 New Releases” page. The title, “Sigue” (Continue) and is inspired on a poem by Nicolas Guillen, Cuba’s national poet. Musically the piece recreates the Cuban genre known as Son, which is a hallmark of Cuban Music.

The MSU Women’s Chamber Ensemble will close their concert on Saturday with a performance of the piece. Congratulations, Ivette!

Voicing Poetry featured on UCLA’s online journal, “Echo”

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This week, UCLA’s online journal, “Echo,” featured a story about our recent collaboration with the Center for Poetry at MSU, Voicing Poetry. The blog is edited by recent MSU graduate in musicology, Patrick Bonczyk. Check it out via the link below!

http://www.echo.ucla.edu/voicing-poetry/

Telling Science Through Music: the Crossroads Project

“The audiences would understand it on an intellectual level,” says Davies. “The science is pretty self-explanatory and very compelling.” But they didn’t seem to personally connect with the information. They understood it, but they weren’t feeling it, he says — and weren’t taking any action.

It was as if he were informing people about the dangers of smoking, and then watching them go out afterward and light up cigarettes.

Davies became passionately interested in finding ways to change people’s behavior when it comes to climate change.

But how?

He left Oxford, England and quantum optics for Logan, Utah and a job at the Utah State University Climate Center.

One day it occurred to him that maybe music was the answer. His idea was a hybrid event: one that sort of combined a lecture on climate with a musical performance — performance art and performance science.

(read the rest and listen to the String Quartet commissioned from Laura Kaminsky).

MSU Composition project “Voicing Poetry” featured on local NPR

Philip Rice (center) and Cindy Hunter Morgan (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Current State host Mark Bashore talks with two of the artists who worked on the project. Philip Rice is a student in composition at MSU, and Cindy Hunter Morgan is a local poet and lecturer in the English department. See the full story and listen to the broadcast here.

“The Source”: New Oratorio about WikiLeaks

Continuing with the topic of scandals and current events as topic for dramatic musical works—here is a piece on NPR about a new oratorio to premiere at the Brooklyn Academy based on the WikiLeaks debacle. Before there was the story of whistle blower Edward Snowden, there was Chelsea Manning and her disclosure of military documents to WikiLeaks. Now there is composer Ted Hearnes and a new oratorio using these documents as well as the identity struggles of Manning due to his sex change.

Submitted by Ricardo Lorenz