“Various tropes are repeated over and over again, like a riff you’ve heard too many times before: an aspiring bassist being told by a music teacher that bass is for boys, or a teenager being asked by her dubious male classmates to recite a band’s entire discography in order to prove her fan cred. The narrative gets even more disturbing and specific when you start charting the testimonials of women who pursued careers as musicians, sound engineers, executives, and journalists.”
“Lost amid popular memories of kitsch – of waterbeds and pet rocks, mood rings and self-help books – is the story of a more complicated decade. The enduring sway of Born to Run isn’t just thanks to the music, which stands up strongly, four decades later. It stems also from the unique time and place in which Americans first came to know Bruce Springsteen.”
“Why don’t you create performing arts organizations like sports teams? For example, why not have fan clubs for various artists? Why don’t you have them sign autographs? At one point I got them to make baseball cards for all the musicians. There’s a lot to learn in the way sports are marketed, how they’re delivered, and how broadly they’re accepted. Sports is the most successful of the performing arts; and in any industry don’t you try to learn from the most successful?”
David Patrick Stearns: “If music is the universal language it’s often proclaimed to be, why has nothing close to a consensus emerged on the two high-profile opera openings of the summer? … The division is emblematic of a continuing split between composers who draw from such past tonal composers as Samuel Barber and those arising from a more recent modernist past; Cold Mountain belongs to the former and Written on Skin the latter.”
“The eight instruments were packaged in a shipping truck and checked in as oversized baggage at Barcelona on 19 August. However the truck failed to appear at its destination and airline staff were unable to inform Kulosa of its whereabouts.” The instruments were returned on August 23, even as some airline reps continued to insist they knew nothing about them.
The survey usually asks things like “What was the most important/ influential/impactful event to happen in the music business [this year], and why?” This year, it’s “Who is the most devious executive in the music industry?” and “Which artist’s private behavior belies his/her sterling public persona?” Most controversially, the questionnaire casually asks readers if they believe singer Kesha’s accusations that her ex-manager sexually abused her.
“At a time when so many of our everyday choices get gussied up in the language of ‘curation,’ playlists and d.j.s (particularly celebrity d.j.s) have taken on an elevated role. The playlist has become a kind of biographical shorthand, a way of communicating something essential about ourselves through the performance of taste. Of course, taste and relatability mean something different when they involve someone with drones at his disposal.”
Selling tickets wasn’t a problem. “The festival, whose name means ‘sounds of wisdom’, is held every February. For the past 12 years, it has attracted thousands of international visitors to the Tanzanian island. Festival promoter Yusuf Mahmoud said the target was to raise $200,000 (£130,000) before the dates for 2016 edition would be announced. But so far only $42,000 has been raised, he said.”
An exploratory study finds emotion regulation may be “a secondary outcome of music listening. Rather, the “fundamental drivers” of our thirst for music appear to be the intense emotions a given melody produces, the way it facilitates reminiscing, and—as we age—its ability to produce transcendent experiences.
Lawrence Brownlee: “I talk to my agent to schedule as much time as I can at home without hurting my career. But if you’re in this business, you have to be out and about so people will see you. I do hate leaving my wife and kids. I’ve missed so many milestones, especially my son with his special needs. I’ll come home and I’m amazed at some of the things he can do.”
“Today, the ASO is showing signs of financial health not seen in more than a decade, a condition which musicians and management agree bodes well for restoring the musical standards that had previously elevated the orchestra to critical acclaim, international prominence and a seemingly endless string of Grammy Awards.”
“Philadelphia Orchestra associate conductors are like U.S. vice presidents: They have huge exposure, a bit of dirty work to do, and ascend to the boss’ job only in dire circumstances. Nonetheless, Philadelphia’s Cristian Macelaru (once associate conductor – new title, ‘conductor-in-residence’) is making a more-than-vice-presidential career for himself” – including important gigs filling in for the late Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and the ailing Pierre Boulez.
“Unlike the more formal records of Feldman or Cage speaking or writing, you’re privy in these conversations to the two men working ideas out rather than presenting finely worked philosophies or arguments. It’s like being given access to their combined creative process at a key moment in both of their musical lives.”
“So far Apple’s new service has had a mixed reaction in the music and tech press, and its impact on the music charts over all has been minimal. In a comparison of Nielsen streaming data for a dozen popular albums, most had increases of 10 to 20 percent in the week that Apple Music’s numbers were first incorporated into the charts, but had flat results or even a loss the next week.”
Yes, the programming is still restricted to ten operas, the theater seats are still hot and uncomfortable, you can still wait years for the privilege of buying tickets, and a Wagner descendant is still in charge, public funding or no. But the Richard Wagner museum is now far more forthcoming about the unsavory parts of the family history, production styles are about as Regiefied as anywhere in Germany, and (a huge change) about a quarter of the tickets are now available for purchase – by anyone – straight from the box office.