The point of my…

…”Technology or culture” entry, which I posted yesterday. As I didn’t quite get around to saying,  it’s that technological changes, these days, are also changes in our culture. Which means that classical music institutions can’t just use new technologies as if they were just more tools for doing the same old things.

I’ve also thought of a much shorter way to make my point about Magnus Lindberg. But I’d better catch up with the comments first. There’s a lot of book stuff happening behind the scenes, and of course it’s eating at my time.

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  1. says

    Just wanted to let you know about our mini-festival.

    SoundCrawl is a one-day mini electroacoustic music festival coinciding with our city’s monthy Art Crawl (gallery hop). We placed speakers in 7 of the participating spaces (including 2 in a nearby church) for the evening. By incubating our event inside the existing event we were guaranteed a steady crowd, and relieved of the burden to draw our own audience. It also put the work of our composers before a curious and bohemian, non-academic audience, hopefully turning some “ears.” We were also fortunate that our city’s Art Crawl takes place inside a unique old building, which gave us benefits like a roof and steady power, and the opportunity to host a Mainstage in the atrium, giving us a focal point as a festival, and an additional performance space.

    We set up twitter hashtags for each of our 30 composers, allowing the audience to give feedback in real-time. We received only 20 tweets during the event, a fairly small number given the size of the audience (800ish)

    We look forward to building this into a digital arts event, incorporating video and interactive arts as well.

    I read your blog with great interest, and look forward to joining the ranks of “new music promoters” who can hopefully make art music of all stripes valuable to society at large again. Great, captivating work is being produced all over the globe, it just needs help finding an audience.

    Yours in spirit from Nashville,

    Kyle Baker



  2. says


    I have said now so many times, “…it’s that technological changes, these days, are also changes in our culture…” these changes, to web streaming and mp3 downloads, I think that they are the new reality in which composers and performers are going to need to figure out how to exist.


  3. Janis says


    You know how a typical orchestra is laid out:

    Why not use a quick java applet (any orchestra can hire a java programmer to do this) that will assemble the tweets from various members in each section and have a live “voice bubble” over each section of the orchestra showing the tweets in real time? Not during a performance, not during a rehearsal, but ALL THE TIME. 24/7.

    You can do this more easily with a youth orchestra or a somewhat radical one, and they’d have to be instructed to get a Twitter account and use it assuming that the public will see it, so they don’t do stupid things like make drunk tweets about getting laid with their brother’s wife that will come back to haunt them.

    Then, just make a feed of the various tweets and lay them out so that tweets that come from certain sections (no more granular than that, I imagine) pop up as they are made, fading in and out over the course of a day. There are already freeware Google Earth tools that do this, where pictures of users and little text bits will fade in and out all over a world map, as users take webcam pictures and then upload them.

    I found a gorgeous orchestra layout online here from someone named Julian Hector. Imagine this online on an orchestra website with little voice bubble popping up here and there, fading in and fading out, with tweets from the musicians. “Exhausted after last night’s rehearsal,” fades in over the principal horn, and fades out as “Broke an E string last night, damn it” fades in over one of the violins, and “Detroit won last night, woo-hoo!” fades in over the timpani. (I doubt that conductors would participate, though.)

    This’d be easier with younger musicians who are probably already tweeting or can be persuaded to, and who know the sorts of things that the medium is used for.

    It would make the musicians seem more accessible and real, and make the orchestra seem like a persistent living thing that exists even when an audience isn’t listening to it, which of course it is.

    Just one idea.