Just a few items today, as I wind down toward vacation.
There’s a strong piece on videogame music on San Francisco Classical Voice, the thorough, lively website that covers classical music in the Bay Area. It’s not a comprehensive look at the subject, since it’s an interview with one producer/composer, who’s hosting a videogame concert with the San Francisco Symphony.
But still the piece raises all the right questions, and in a thoughtful though playful way. You know, like the old chestnut: Is videogame music art? The real point, as the piece stresses, is that it’s a huge phenomenon, music with a tremendous number of fans, who’ll reliably turn out to hear it live. Some of whom, from what I’ve heard from the Gamer Symphony at the University of Maryland (a hugely successful student group that plays this music) don’t play the games.
The piece is literate, too:
Indeed, these concerts have become very sophisticated syncs of music, image and pyrotechnics — with that game lingo underneath that only the likes of William Burroughs could truly appreciate, the vocabulary world of twitchy, skins, party sharks, turtles, and tweenies, and he who would be pwned.
If you forgive the way it spells its name — or ignore it, or, maybe best of all, embrace it — Sinfini Music is a website that manages to be both fun and serious, presenting, explaining, promoting, and in general (to use their own phrase) ‘cutting through” classical music for people new to it. I’ve watched the site for a while, and really can’t praise it enough. Its only weakness, in fact, is that it’s localized in the UK, and covers the British music scene. Would love to have something like it for the US. Or, more useful, maybe, for various US cities.
The design and content are completely contemporary, something I can’t often say about classical music sites. Or anything that the classical music world presents. And the serious content is unabashedly serious. They’ve recruited Paul Morley, an intellectual pop critic, to look at classical music from the outside, and today on the site there’s a piece smashing into one of Britain’s newspapers, the Independent on Sunday, for abandoning its arts reviews.
Take a look, and see what you think. You can also subscribe to the Sinfini Music newsletter. (I hope the link works. I’m not having much luck connecting to it just now, though that may be because my Internet is oddly glitchy today.)
Finally, I want to rerecommend Marlissa Hudson’s video, introducing her entrepreneurial recording Lust, a project that she guest-blogged about. I know I talked about the video when I presented Marlissa’s posts, but it, too, is an example of terrific design and production, of a kind we almost never see in classical music. And manages, at the same time, to be entirely down to earth.
Marlissa may be one artist working alone (well, with terrific collaborators from outside classical music, but still without support from any of classical music’s usual gatekeepers). But she’s setting a higher standard than most of us manage to reach.