Alex Ross: The Met’s “Klinghoffer” Problem

For a little while, it seemed as though the controversy over John Adams’s 1991 opera, “The Death of Klinghoffer”—a dramatization of the 1985 Achille Lauro hijacking, during which members of the Palestine Liberation Front murdered the Jewish-American businessman Leon Klinghoffer—was beginning to fade. When the opera was first seen in New York, at BAM, in 1991, it sparked outrage in onlookers who felt that it unduly favored the Palestinian point of view, not least because the score begins with a lamenting chorus of Palestinian exiles (“Israel laid all to waste”).

Read the rest at newyorker.com

 

Mark Phillips: Choosing a Graduate School in Music Composition

For those of you looking to continue studying composition at the graduate level, here’s an essay from the Society of Composers,  Inc. (SCI) on how to choose a good grad program.

One point worth noting—a vitally important one—especially for undergraduate students to consider: “there are very few jobs you can get with a master’s degree in composition that you could not get with a Bachelor’s degree.” This means that if you are thinking about a master’s degree, it should be for two reasons: 1) personal edification (i.e. to make you a better composer), or 2) as a stepping stone to a PhD or DMA.

There is a lot of good advice in this essay, but Phillips leaves some things out. Maybe current grad students can weigh in on pros and cons?

http://www.societyofcomposers.org/students/gradschool.html

Submitted by Ben Montgomery

Robert Beaser: The Reconstruction of Rome

Here is a link to a really cool article composer Robert Beaser wrote for the New York Times a few years ago. He talks about his time at the Rome Prize fellowship in both 1977 and 2011 and how the experience changed, and how that reflected on the changes in art music between now and then. Check it out!

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/27/the-reconstruction-of-rome/

Submitted by Joe Krycia

5 questions to Jonathan Berger

From I Care if You Listen:

Now in its seventh year, the 2013 Music & Brain Symposium begins on April 12 at Stanford University. The brainchild of Jonathan Berger, professor at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), the conference brings together a multi-disciplinary group of musicians, scientists, and academics for two days of performances and presentations. This year’s symposium focuses on the phenomenon of auditory hallucinations.

Submitted by Charlie Cooper

Read the whole interview here.

9-Beet Stretch

beets

From Scandinavian sound artist Leif Inge comes a transcendent soundscape made out of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. By stretching the recording to 24 hours with no distortion or pitch shifting (achieved through high-quality granulation), the piece is fundamentally changed from a goal-oriented tonal work with a dramatic narrative to a slowly-evolving sonic environment more closely resembling micropolyphonic works of Ligeti or post-minimalist pieces by John Luther Adams and R. Murray Schafer.

The source recording is from Naxos, conducted by Béla Drahos with the Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia and Chorus. The work can be heard streaming 24-hours a day—click here to download the internet radio station link (open in iTunes or VLC Media Player).

http://www.xn--lyf-yla.com/

New Music Detroit: Strange and Beautiful Music VII

New Music Detroit will present Strange Beautiful Music VII this Saturday (Sept. 13, 2014).

New Music Detroit will host a 6-hour event for new music including two world premieres: John Zorn’s “Trilogy” and a work by Detroit native, Frank Pahl.  New York-based violinist, Todd Reynolds, will join us for a set of composition and improvisation.  NMD will perform Detroit’s premiere of David Lang’s “Death Speaks”  with special guest, Shara Worden. Also featured are GVSU’s New Music Ensemble, Miles Brown Quartet, Donald Sinta Sax Quartet, and Clem Fortuna.

Get more details on the NMD website.

NPR: New music from “My Brightest Diamond”

My Brightest Diamond’s new album, This Is My Hand, comes out Sept. 16.

“Worden’s music feels simultaneously micro-orchestrated and entirely, ecstatically spontaneous. She has in common with former bandmate Sufjan Stevens an exceptional knack for world-building, as well as an ability to cultivate intimacy through flawless, complex production with a beating heart. This Is My Hand is a paean to the work of human hands, in the same way 2011’s All Things Will Unwind celebrates beauty born of human struggle.”

Read the whole article at npr.org