Iannis Xenakis was a brilliant composer who has an almost cultish following. When I was in college, mentions of the word Xenakis were often accompanied by Ozzy Ozbourne-esque fists of rock and tongue-waggling. Why would a post-war, Greek-French composer, mathematician and architect be the source of such rabid devotion?
In my opinion, the influence of folk music on classical music is often underrepresented. Music History is taught as a linearly-evolving thing, perhaps diverging along French and German lines (Ned Rorem famously divided all Classical Music into “French,” and “German,” regardless of the composer’s nationality). There’s more to composers, however, than their arty predecessors.
The connection between music and dance is maybe as old as the genres themselves. People were compelled to move from the minute rhythm appeared on the scene and compelled to make music since the inception of purposeful artistic movement. Weirdly, the daily lives of Classical musicians and dancers too often rarely intersect.
There’s no doubt that electronics, indeed electricity has had a huge impact on classical music; the recording industry alone has revolutionized the way we play, interface with, listen to, and share music. Similarly, the impact of electronics and electronic instruments on the composition of classical music has been monumental; in fact we are only just beginning to understand the possibilities of these new technologies.
You may have noticed we've got a thing for composers over here at Q2. It was, ergo, really only a matter of time before we started our new Composer Intoduction series.
A hot tip: If you ever find yourself in sophomore Music History class, arm yourself with the following information, as it can be referenced for approximately one-half of the questions on your mid-term.
New Music is flush with chamber music these days! Small ensembles of virtuosic musicians are popping up left and right. But how does an ensemble of saxophone, electric guitar, piano, and percussion fit into the classical canon?
Q2 artist-in-residence, violist and black-belt new music champion, Nadia Sirota takes center stage on Maximum Reich with a 2-hour daily exploration of that day’s particular theme and featured music. The seven daily features of Maximum Reich cover the breadth of his output, from the early days to his recent Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet, from percussion to choral music, from solo tape to large ensemble. If you’re Dante, and you need a Virgil in the musical universe of Steve Reich, this is for you.
This past month, I’ve been involved in a particularly lovely version of my freelance life, working on some fantastic projects all over the world.
Over the past year and a half, WQXR's Nadia Sirota has been working with Meredith Monk and her ensemble on her new performance piece, Songs of Ascension. Sirota interviewed Monk as they prepared to perform as part of this week's Next Wave Festival at BAM.
So the Finns now have healthcare, dental, Rautavaara, saunas and BROADBAND. I'm having jealousy issues.
Yeah, New York is pretty great. We've all heard the spiel a million times: bustle, energy, culture, sleep deprivation.... As well-worn as this notion may be, it's also true! Eight million individuals living so close to one another spawn cultural evolution with unbeatable depth and speed. But, you know, this is all super biased. I love this city hard...
Nico Muhly's piece Keep in Touch is performed with the composer on piano and Overnight Music host Nadia Sirota on the viola. The composer describes the work as "a lament, a sort of chaconne divided up into sections by more freely composed cadenzas for the viola."
Happy birthday Elliot Carter. The New York-based, Pulitzer Prize winning composer turns 100 years old today. His birthday's being celebrated all over the country with concerts featuring his complicated, thorny, and inspiring music. WNYC's Nadia Sirota is a musican herself, and she had these reflections on the importance of Elliot ...