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!
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.
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
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.
Instrument Studies for the Eyes and Ears
Hey Composers and arrangers! Here is a very helpful resource for learning how to write for the instruments of the orchestra! Although this is pretty basic material, each instrument is accompanied with a video that demonstrates the different timbers you can create using certain notations. I use this site often when writing out orchestral parts and it saves a lot of time from having to do individual research of each instrument.
“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.
Music review from
A Computer Scientist on Bach
Last week on “On Being,” Krista Tippett interviewed Bernard Chazelle, who is Eugene Higgins Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University. Some of his approaches to listening, thoughts, and insights about the music of Bach were fascinating.
Bernard Chazelle on “On Being” with Krista Tippett
Chazelle also keeps a fairly extensive blog on music. I haven’t explored all of it yet, but here it is!
Online Orchestration Manual
Here’s a great resource for those who don’t feel like spending your life’s fortune on the Kennan, White, or Forsyth texts. Best of all, this online database contains audio files that exemplify various orchestral scoring techniques from the repertoire. Very cool!
This site is part of a larger project called “The Sound Exchange,” that makes orchestral resources available online. The project is headed up by the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen (whose music has come up, variously, in studio class, and was featured prominently in a recent iPad advertisement)
Be sure to supplement your open-source learning diet with generous portions of IMSLP scores of Stravinsky, Rimsky, Mahler, Holst, and Vaughan-Williams, Bartók, and/or Lutosławski (just kidding, Lutosławski isn’t on IMSLP).
The Yaybahar is a remarkable new acoustic instrument invented by Turkish musician, Görkem Şen.
The instrument sounds something like a cello in outer space. Read more about it on The Creators Project.
What do you think we have to do to convince MSU to buy one?
Leo Brouwer is a Cuban composer, conductor, and guitarist. His music was featured during Composer Idol (sadly, he didn’t make it to the last round).
Ivette submitted this video of his piece for guitar, Un dia de Noviembre to give a sense of what his music is like. I think it’s especially appropriate for the season as the snow begins to fall this week.