Getting around

I’ve written a piece about composers and their audience for Peabody Magazine, a publication of the Peabody Institute. It’s the kind of thing some people might call a provocation, but I don’t mean it that way. i think it’s about a simply truth — that classical composers on the whole don’t have a true audience, and that they ought to go out and find one. Which I hope will be part of what happens as I continue working at the University of Maryland. (At College Park, by the way, since I’m thinking some people since I didn’t say otherwise, think I might be at the Baltimore campus.)

You can find my Peabody piece — called “Building an Audience” — here.

And some time ago I did a video interview for Live 2.0, the very stimulating blog by Jim McCarthy, the smart and savvy CEO of I fear I look like a zombie, thanks to the low-cal webcam on my laptop (unless I really do look like a zombie!). But Jim and I had a good conversation, he looks fine, and you can the links to the two-part video here and here.

For more encounters with me live, speaking only, no video, here are some links:

  • My talk to people from British orchestras, on technology (audio only).
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  1. says

    I totally agree with you! We need to find our audience day after day. That’s the real tough part of our journey as composers. We need to practice, we need to listen, we need to record, we need to criticize us, we need to a lot of stuff, but to find our audience! How should we eat that?

    I believe in our music evolution (composer’s evolution) as a main part of the strategy, sounds like a long ride home but I think it’s the most enduring one. We need to use facebook, twitter, buzz, a blog, torrents, the whole web, but in the meantime we need to evolve so when someone glance at us we are appealing enough to keep listening.

    Good thoughts, Xavier. We should open a discussion of this on the blog. How do we use all these media/techniques? What have people tried? What worked?

  2. says

    Loved your Tunis talk–“end of Western Hegemony”–very nice! though I would include Western Pop music with the Western Classical, obviously! 😉

    Listening to the Norfolk lecture now.

    Thanks for listening, Jon!

    Western pop music in some ways is already an example of the end of western hegemony, because (I’m not saying anything new here) the beat is ultimately African, and came into western pop because of African slaves in the US.

    But as the world functions now, the role of western pop (largely British and American) is double-edged. On one hand, it’s a hegemony that local cultures fight. And on the other hand, it’s a global sound that local cultures join. I’m sure you know much more than I do about blends of western pop and local styles (Rai, Afropop in all its varieties, so much more), but I know it’s a huge thing, worldwide. In Tunisia, we went to wonderful concerts of traditional Tunisian music, but every time I rode in a cab, the driver was listening to music that was plainly a western-Tunisian blend.

    One of the other speakers on my panel in Tunis was a woman from India, whose subject was the current state of Indian classical music. She was all for blends of it and western styles, a little to my surprise.