C’est un faux pas vrai, mais non?

Nicolas Horvath, the French pianist who commissioned my homage-to-Philip-Glass piano piece Going to Bed, is finally giving the piece its long-delayed European premiere. It's part of an all-night program, June 27-28, titled First French Night of Minimal Piano Music, way at the very end, at the Protestant Temple in Collioure in southern France. Looks heavenly. France is not a country I would have expected to pick up on my music, but I've had several performances there in recent years - perhaps significantly, none in Paris. My piece is based on … [Read more...]

Saving Music from False Consciousness

Many of you were invigorated by my colleague John Halle's provocative article "Occupy Wall Street, Composers and the Plutocracy", which I posted in this space last year. He's now written a kind of historical prequel, tracing the changing relationship between music and leftist politics through the 20th century: "'Nothing is Too Good for the Working Class': Classical Music, the High Arts and Workers’ Culture." I find particularly intriguing a mid-century view articulated by Hanns Eisler that “simple music does and can reflect only simple … [Read more...]

End of the World 7.0

I am perhaps a little overly susceptible to end-of-the-world scenarios, despite having lived through a few that came to nothing. But I'm a little freaked out about this, and hope that someone knows more than I do. My laptop went dysfunctional from a rare condition two weeks ago - the screen simply went blank and would no longer transmit light, though happily the hard drive, logic board, and desktop remain operational. When I considered the possibility of buying a new laptop (the ill one is less than two years old), I was warned that I would … [Read more...]

Fitting Homage


The kindly editors of Ashgate Press are scurrying to cross all the final t's and dot the i's of The Ashgate Research Companion to Minimalist and Postminimalist Music, with the expeditious assistance of the book's three editors, Keith Potter, Pwyll Ap Sion, and myself. The goal is to have it published and available by October, to sell at a special price to the attendees of the Fourth International Conference on Minimalist Music in Long Beach. (The regular price, I understand, will be around $150; it's one of Ashgate's hefty, library-aimed tomes, … [Read more...]

Time-Keeper and Track-Skipper

What an unexpected pleasure to see New Music Box absolutely dominated this weekend by my long-time comrade-in-arms Robert Carl - unexpected because, though we've been trading e-mails lately, he never mentioned it was coming up. Two Chicago grad students who managed to get East Coast teaching jobs within a couple of hours of each other, Robert and I have been talking regularly for more than thirty years. I used to think we were from different sides of the tracks, but actually Robert skips all over the tracks. I believe I once described him as … [Read more...]