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Play It, Sam, Play It

Some music critics have a habit of making public lists of what they're listening to, but even the self-described obsessives with "short" lists on repeat got nothin' on me, a frequent one-album-at-a-time-thank-you-very-much kinda girl. This is something of a twisted truth, since it doesn't count the listening I do specifically for work. Personal preferences aside, the realities there dictate that music consumption be done in a very organized, task-oriented manner. Writing a record review or … [Read more...]

He’s Got the Whole World

Composer (and, it could be noted, fashion hot shot and TED intellectual) Eric Whitacre's latest virtual choir has been released upon the internet. For whatever precision the performance might lose due to the method--many voices in individual bedrooms spanning the globe--it gains exponentially by connecting them, easily surpassing any previously heard live performance by the sheer impact of linking so many persons at latitudes and longitudes around the world. Choir: Ultimate Edition, … [Read more...]

When the Usual Instruments Just Won’t Do

Not that an iPhone and a couple Wiimotes actually make this setup cost effective, but who knows where Suzuki-trained/medical-schooled Tim Soo's idea might take him or others. Beyond Guitar Hero, we might hope. Warning: Bruno Mars cover ahead! [via Mashable] And another great one from Tim Smith, and I'll skip all the forest/tree jokes so you can get right to the music. [via ClefNotes] … [Read more...]

WATCH LIVE TONIGHT: New Music Town Meeting

UPDATE: The archived footage of the presentation has now been posted here if you missed Friday night's live stream. *** You might have heard this bit of new music news already, but the American Music Center (the kindly people who employ me) and Meet The Composer have announced their intention to merge into a new advocacy and service organization, New Music USA, which will focus on grantmaking and media. The American Composers Forum will take over the membership and professional development … [Read more...]

An Orchestra in My Left Hand, A Soloist in My Right

A violinist in a former life, I have spent some quality time with Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. However, I have just been schooled by Alexander Hrustevich, a Ukrainian-born accordion player. Do not be fooled! If you look closely, I'm pretty sure the kid has eight fingers on his right hand and/or is obscuring a small army of sweating musicians just out of the frame. But seriously, let us marvel at the wunderkind as he manages to cover the solo line and the entire orchestral accompaniment with … [Read more...]

Building a Symphony Out of YouTube

Ladies and Gentlemen, the man who made Maroon 5 and Craftsman tools sound interesting: Kutiman is back with a new one, proving there's more than one way to compose a YouTube Symphony. [via waxy] … [Read more...]

Let’s Get Political, Artistically

When the racist, ill-informed shouting gets a bit loud on the internet, I tend to run away. But for those who are more creative and less confrontation-averse than I, there's another option: pick up a guitar and try to change the world by laying down some slightly biting, sarcastic lyrical content. Alexandra Wallace has reportedly since left UCLA. Meanwhile, Jimmy is riding this wave to Internet celebrity. This is art designed for social networking: talent and idea and (often) news peg … [Read more...]

Preach It

I jumped into a cab to get back to my house this sunny Sunday morning, and inadvertently got taken to church. The driver had the windows down and the radio cranked, enjoying some particularly high-energy preaching. Due to the decibel level, I quickly found myself lost in the vibrations and then, as she really got rolling, totally hooked on the fabulous kick she gave to the end of each phrase. More on Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie is here. … [Read more...]

Singing With Your Mouth Full (Of Candy)

In an interview with the composer Ken Ueno a few years ago, we got to chatting about his awesome work Zansetsu, which involves extended vocals, amplification, and Pop Rocks. I recall asking him what would happen to the work should the world's supply of the essential candy run out, and if my memory has filed his answer away correctly, he suggested that he would supply a recipe and that the performer could make his own as part of the work's performance practice. For those who would like to get … [Read more...]

Who Turned On All These Lights?

It just got a little brighter around here, didn't it? Just a month shy of Mind the Gap's 3-year anniversary, the refresh is a welcome reminder of how far we've come here at the intersection of the performing arts, pop culture, and technology, and the interesting new things that continue to pop up every day. Personally, I'm pretty sure my non-computer-owning self circa 1995 would find it impossibly bizarre to see my current life in which I am rarely separated from my laptop, my iPhone, my Kindle … [Read more...]

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