What, Revisionism Already?

I’ve been too busy recording a new CD to take note, but in response to my postminimalism essay composer Galen Brown has started his own history of postminimalism over on Sequenza 21. It’s in installments, and he got to talking about conceptual art, and I don’t know where he’s going with it yet, so it’s kind of a cliff-hanger. I look forward to Episode 2.

For years I’ve wished some younger Kyle Gann would come along and take over the responsibility I still feel of chronicling music of my generation. I strongly suspect that the Village Voice, under new and less idealistic management, would no longer hire a person to do this, but it might be worth a try. Of course, Tom Johnson’s devout fans were terribly disappointed in Greg Sandow, and Greg’s fans were just as disappointed with me, and so if someone does come along and make a career out of describing and contextualizing the new music, he or she’ll likely make no friends among people who like what I do. But I’ll root for him anyway.


  1. Chris King says

    Well, for what it’s worth, you have caused me to think about getting into music journalism–and if I did, I’d want to cover the classical music of my own time. I’m still a wee thing though, a rural Tennessean in his last semester of high school, as in the dark on his future as he ever was.
    KG replies: Well thanks, that’s very flattering. I’m glad to know about you, and best of luck. Want some free unsolicited advice? Take a lot of philosophy classes. I took about a dozen and read widely in philosophy, and, teaching me to think about things from a variety of viewpoints, it did more to make me a critic, I think, than anything else. Of course, I never took a journalism class, and I have no idea what those do for you. Keep me informed if you ever move in that direction.

  2. says

    So wonderful to read your mature reflections on the work you have done since the many years ago when we worked on New Music America ’82. 2007 is the 25th anniversary of that splendid production. As I retire from my post at the Illinois Arts Alliance and reflect on my past career, I celebrate our mutural accomplishments on behalf of “new music” and your continuing efforts in this important arena. Blessings.
    KG replies: Hi Alene, wonderful to hear from you, and thanks very much. Congratulations on your reitrement – seems much too soon.
    For the rest of you, Alene was the PR Director of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art who persuaded them to host New Music America in 1981-2, and who directed it with my composition teacher Peter Gena. They hired me as administrative assistant, and Alene was the one who drew attention to the fact that I was a good writer, and introduced me to the local Chicago critics, whence I got my entrée. So if you don’t like what I write, it’s all her fault that I’m writing it.