“Matthew Guerrieri dives deep into something particular about the early days of computer music in the United States. It got its start, quite literally, in the off-hour downtime of the military-industrial complex.”
“It was our audiences in these spaces who would raise their hands and say ‘Well what was the composer feeling when they wrote that because I heard this.’ And then they would tell us a story or anecdote of their life that exactly reflected where the composer or where we as performers exactly were in our emotional life. So this was actually one of the most astute and emphatic and engaged audiences that we’d encountered in our lives.”
Not that much. “In two major respects — fewer weeks of work and a smaller permanent orchestra — the agreement was in line with what management had been seeking. But the musicians noted that … further cancellations would be destructive for everyone involved; and that a long strike would hurt their colleagues in the company’s other unions, which had already agreed to new labor deals when the orchestra walked out.”
“Music has become very open source. The channels in which you discover new artists have changed drastically. We can’t have our culture curated by robots; it has to be people who know what they’re talking about. We need cultural wayfinders who are willing to take risks.”
With an ensemble of six vocalists and 18 instrumentalists, the 80-minute “Place” obliquely yet obsessively mulls gentrification; displacement; the powers and limitations of white male privilege; and the intersection of shifts in communities and families, including the birth of Mr. Hearne’s children and the breakup of his marriage.
Whew, don’t forget 8-tracks! The important bit is that, after a precipitous and intense decline, music sales are inching upward again.
Theory: “McCartney may have made more people happy—gapingly, tinglingly, mind-cancelingly happy—than any other artist, alive or dead.”
Gupta founded the Street Symphony in Los Angeles, working with homeless musicians and audiences. He says the audiences “would raise their hands and say ‘Well what was the composer feeling when they wrote that because I heard this.’ And then they would tell us a story or anecdote of their life that exactly reflected where the composer or where we as performers exactly were in our emotional life. … So this was actually one of the most astute and emphatic and engaged audiences that we’d encountered in our lives.”
Alert: All of the songs are – if you like pop music, of course – pretty good. “The album has been the gift that keeps on giving.”
Mitch Winehouse said his daughter’s fans have “been clamoring for something new from Amy, but really there isn’t anything new,” so he and the rest of her family “felt this would be a tremendous way for Amy both to revisit her fans through a hologram, and also an incredible way to raise money for our foundation.”
It’s very hard to write about music in fiction without ending up sounding like a music critic or a musicologist. What can you say? “The adagio was sublimely moving”; “Everyone who heard the symphony acknowledged it as a work of genius”; “His technical dexterity at the keyboard made the audience gasp.” It doesn’t quite fly – the author is asking the reader to take too much on trust.
When the violins glissando, they’re the answer to the question posed by his left hand. It’s like he’s squeezing the music out of the air. Then the moment is gone. His left hand is back to supporting the right hand with small, occasional jabs in the air. The violins play thousands of other notes that night. But for those two seconds, because of this little gesture that nobody asked for, the music feels just a little bit like magic.
Intended to update music copyright law for the digital era, H.R. 1551 (formally the “Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act”) accomplishes three key things: making sure songwriters and artists receive royalties on songs recorded before 1972; allocating royalties for music producers; and updating licensing and royalty rules for streaming services to pay rights-holders in a more streamlined fashion, via a new, independent entity.
“In a press release sent out Thursday evening, the company bitterly criticized the musicians’ union for rejecting the proposal and, for the first time, raised issues about the company’s financial stability and future viability. … The musicians responded by calling the offer ‘a bogus PR stunt.'”
“Abandoning its past practice of adding competitive routes and bigger planes on a whim, the likes of American and United now have figured out that in order to be profitable they must limit capacity. Better to charge more per seat than risk a half-empty plane. … That’s exactly what the Lyric Opera of Chicago has been trying to do” — and it’s what its orchestra musicians are striking over. Chris Jones points out that, when it comes to culture in a city like Chicago, the economic arguments for limiting supply are not the only important factor.
“Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday for multiple counts of fraud, including the failed festival in the Bahamas last year where the 26-year-old lured hundreds of millennials with the help of celebrity investors like Ja Rule and Instagram celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid.”
The Berlin-based Korean composer, who has already had three major works performed by the Philharmonic, receives the biennial award just a week after the orchestra premiered the previous prizewinner’s commission — Louis Andriessen’s Agamemnon.
“Alas, it’s hard for me to see how the Met can realistically hope to reinvent itself other than by razing its superannuated theater and starting from scratch. Nor am I sanguine about the long-term prospects for, say, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, whose home is the 3,563-seat Civic Opera House and which was just shut down by an orchestra strike, or the San Francisco Opera, which performs in the 3,126-seat War Memorial Opera House. (The Vienna State Opera House, by way of comparison, has 2,220 seats.)”
He prides himself in understanding all the technical processes which go into creating a great violin and he makes around 8 a year. He even knows the whereabouts of most of his instruments and gets to see them from time to time as the musicians who commissioned them often become friends.
The stolen Strad resurfaced in 2015, several years after the death of the apparent thief, a violinist with a checkered career, when his ex-wife turned it over to the F.B.I. The bureau returned it to Mr. Totenberg’s three daughters, Amy, Jill and Nina Totenberg, who decided to have it restored and sold — but who wanted to make sure it wound up with a musician, not locked away in a collection.
Reporter Julien Hanck visits Warsaw and talks with two jury members and all six finalists about the challenges and joys of using instruments from Chopin’s own lifetime and about their own experience with those pianos. (One prizewinner had been playing them since he was 12, another started as a harpsichordist, and one finalist had never played anything older than an early-20th-century Erard.)
“[The collector] referred to Mahler’s ‘spectacular banalities,’ Wagner’s ‘voluptuous debauches,’ and Weber’s ‘inanities.’ … ‘Why give us so much … that nourishes the idle, the ignorant, the lazy, the debauche, to whom in music the only thing is the cheap emotional orgy?” Yes, the Barnes and the Philadelphians are building two programs out of this — and they should be good ones.
In its court filing, dated Aug. 31, the BSO argued that Rowe and Ferrillo’s work are not comparable, stating that “the flute and the oboe are not comparable instruments, nor are they treated as such by most major orchestras in the United States.” It added that “each instrument has its own pay scale at leading orchestras around the country, including the BSO.”
According to the orchestra’s statement, while the Lyric’s budget grew from $60 million in 2012 to $84 million in 2017, the weekly salary for musicians increased an average of less than 1 percent annually and, when adjusted for inflation, decreased by just over 5 percent since 2011. The orchestra is represented by the Chicago Federation of Musicians.
“Construction crews are working prestissimo on converting the former Warner Grand Theatre into a state-of-the-art performance venue for symphonic music [to open in September 2020]. … [And] management is using the fresh start to plan future user experiences. Experiences-plural is deliberate: They plan to appeal both to concertgoers who want to leave the outside world behind and immerse themselves in music, as well as folks who wants to stay wired and connected.”
Kirill Serebrennikov has been confined to his home for well over a year on embezzlement charges many say are trumped-up. Zurich Opera House had engaged Serebrennikov to direct Così fan tutte two years ago and decided to go ahead, figuring that he’d be released by now. No such luck — worse, he’s not allowed to use the internet or even a telephone. Shaun Walker reports on how Serebrennikov is managing to stage the production anyway.
This is the third such accusation against William Preucil, who has been suspended by the orchestra while management investigates the initial claim. As with that first allegation, both of the women who have just come forward say that the incidents happened during private lessons with Preucil.
“Given my experiences in Mexico, my lingering question has been, “Who decided, or why do we feel, that we must upend our programming in order for people of targeted ethnicities to comprehend and enjoy classical music played by a live orchestra?” It strikes me as suspiciously odd that, for all our talk about the universality of classical music, administrators, and, certainly some musicians, when they think of specific ethnic groups, must suddenly condescend to them, patronizingly and awkwardly changing what we do to suit all the clichés.”
Why doesn’t folk play a larger part in environmentalism? There is wonderful and powerful music already out there; Karine Polwart and Nancy Kerr are among the artists writing environmental material. And there’s a fascinating new project, Songhive, that highlights the plight of Britain’s native bees. But much more can be done to poetically explore the environmental challenges we face as a species, the politics that underpin the damage we are doing and how as humans we are responding.
Spotify speaks to this silent majority of music fans. Audiophiles, object fetishists, anti-capitalists, musicians – these groups noisily protest Spotify, but are marginal compared with the number of ordinary listeners, who never read the liner notes in the first place. For many people, music is just for mood, something to work, exercise or have sex to – situations that Spotify usefully caters to with playlists such as Productive Morning, Extreme Metal Workout and 90s Baby Makers.