For some of the last two weeks, I was blogging on a  special ArtsJournal blog leading up to the American Symphony Orchestra League's just-concluded conference. The subject was, more or less, the state of the arts, and the need for arts organizations to engage audiences in a much more vivid way. If I'd been the least bit organized, I would have noted this here, while it was happening, and maybe even crossposted some of my many entries. But to tell the truth, even while I almost obsessed with that blog, I was discouraged. My view, simply put, is … [Read more...]

Quotation of the day

From Pauline Kael's essay "Trash, Art, and the Movies": We generally become interested in movies because we enjoy them and what we enjoy them for has little to do with what we think of as art. The movies we respond to, even in childhood, don't have the same values as the official culture supported at school and in the middle-class home. At the movies we get low life and high life, while David Susskind and the moralistic reviewers chastise us for not patronizing what they think we should, "realistic" movies that would be good for us--like … [Read more...]

Hear my symphony

I'd like to invite everyone to listen to my recent symphony, in one of the world premiere performances the Dakota Chamber Orchestra gave in April. Well, in a composite of two of their performances, which I edited from recordings I made. I'm grateful to the musicians for giving me permission to put this recording online. To hear the piece, follow the link, and scroll down the page till you find the symphony. You can listen to the live performance, hear my old computer demo, and download the score. I'm not going to be shy about this piece. I … [Read more...]

Happy all night

From time to time, I've talked about new ways of giving concerts that seem guaranteed to work -- new ways of giving concerts that reliably attract large, new audiences. So here's another one. Put on a new music marathon in an attractive public place. Don't sell tickets. Make it free, let people come and go. Then stand back and watch your success. New Yorkers will recognize this non-formula -- it's the Bang on a Can marathon, which has been going on for 20 years, but this year and last was presented in the Winter Garden, a relaxed and … [Read more...]