Tuesday, January 18, 2011

old posts 14


Then again...
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"I don't believe that composers of new music sell out. The money's not good enough."

I've been trying to sell out for years! No one will make me an offer!

Phil Fried, Lilliput University, where small minds make small decisions!

Friday, May 02, 2008, 11:46:14 AM

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a positive NMB reply
By: Philip Fried Date: Apr 21, 2008 - 05:20 PM

Ok folks. I've had it up to here with the negitivity--so this time I try to find someway to explain my position, and the position of artistic types everywhere, with this.  As this is a provocative post I think it works!


By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

There can be a difference between a composer's vision and what they have to do to reach the mass "audience".

Viva la difference!

Phil Fried

Thursday, April 17, 2008, 11:44:04 AM

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performers who blog
By: Philip Fried Date: Apr 16, 2008 - 09:17 AM

Blogers who are performers create conundrums for us composers that they might not be aware of.

Of course we want them to perform our work, and in the blogesphere since there is no separation or distance between bloggers it is up to the performer to create distance if needed.

Reactions can be as follows:

   1. we want to be performed so we brown nose
   2. we realize that we won't ever get performed so we get snippy
   3. we mis-read the que's of the blogger -this is easy to do as frequent references to their "important" composer clients can look like bragging about their "private" party.
   4. Of course a blog and a resume are not the same- thought I expect there are many who use the blog for promotional purposes(in that case responses are irrelevant anyway)

 I myself took umbrage at one performer who mentioned about-"when we send them compositions" -evidently there really was no open call.  Another problem is language-that is many hide their sonic prejudices behind a veneer of "new music performer."

   1.  Be up front about what your repertoire and preferences are. -everyone respects that
   2. Be factual about performance possibilities and commitments- time is all
   3. be helpful



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NMB things get hot in Minnesota
By: Philip Fried Date: Apr 14, 2008 - 11:17 PM


The odd thing about be positive about music composition--is that everyone hates it! I have said before that it is easier to criticize other folks ideas than come up with your own anyway this blog dissolves and Chris saves it --I also stand up for myself as you can see best to read above link!

Chris is even handed here-Dennis doen't like this survey--perfers his own--well thats another topic-- Corry or Mr. "D" wants to place himself at the center of this thread even though I am talking to Dennis-- he uses "weasel" words to placate Dennis -- here he doen't seem to understand my objections to Dennis's argument--I love Dennis-an American original-but that does not blind me to unfairness.

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

I am surprised that Teachers College is interested in this--I thought they were all about k-12 education? (I posted some similar on sq21)

Phil Fried

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Of course an academic study with controls is in general to be preferred to an anecdotal one. Doesn't the College Music Society do something like this? Don't they collect data from their members?

Of course that would only involve those who were CMS members leaving us independents out.

Perhaps a survey--I took this one, might be used to show just how much we "do" for America rather than just what we "want."

Phil Fried

now that you mention it..
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"..Heh. What could that be? Dennis.."

Actually in old Minnesota there was a study done that showed just how much the arts created in generated income for the State-tourism, taxes events, parking etc.

Phil Fried

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com


You seem quite angry-and I don't seem understand your point. please explain.

Phil Fried

why leave out details?
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

this is it!

MN arts
Phil Fried

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Well that's "one" way to interpret the data.

Phil Fried

I disagree with Dennis's argument--the problem here is that Corey thinks my comments are about him and not Dennis further Corey has never hesitated to be direct in his--as you see]

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Dennis, I disagree with your "reading" of the data--Lets move on.

Phil Fried

Friday, April 11, 2008, 11:34:32 AM

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Dennis, I disagree with your "reading" of the data--Lets move on.

Phil Fried

Friday, April 11, 2008, 11:34:32 AM

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Least I repeat myself. LOL

Phil Fried

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Yes, I think its fair to say we all have agendas.

Phil Fried

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Yes, Chris-I thought your comments were thoughful.

Phil Fried

Friday, April 11, 2008, 1:28:56 PM

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Its seems that some folks are really more interested in rehtorical gamesmanship than the issues themselves.


Phil Fried

Friday, April 11,

Is this post long enough?
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Odd, I thought I was just standing my own ground when the ruff stuff started happening. If I misinterpreted anyone’s "motivation" I have regret.

I didn't think that I expressed "against" anyone except that I was "for" Chris and the MN web site. Rather I merely refused to be drawn in to what seems to me an unfair (all or nothing -everything has to be perfect or its all wrong) attack.

I was not disagreeing with "content" I do agree with Dennis that the artist, unless they make da big bucks, is not respected in America-capitalism ya know. Rather I was trying to avoid this win at all costs prove I'm right prove I'm wrong banter. Which I have to say is pervasive. I admit I was defensive but why not? Corey you call me on the carpet---only then do you call for calm from all of us. I don't expect you to be Gandhi but it looked a little --well anyway.

Though I do present my opinion it is never my intension to try convincing others that it is correct. As to the importance of my own opinion I have no illusions.

Perhaps I am mistaken there as well.

Phil Fried

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to DC sequenza21 rply
By: Philip Fried Date: Apr 6, 2008 - 09:13 PM


For me this music never lets loose. Just when you want or expect a “song” (towards the end)you don’t get one –too composed for me. This work is also very dependent on its title for its ironic content as it could be about any business trip (if I heard the text correctly there is no mention of war at all). David, supporting American soldiers who lay down their lives for our country is not the same as supporting the government that sent them. Illustrating a dead soldier’s experience which is real, of course ennobles them. Perhaps you might wish to create a work of a different character maybe something about Abu Grahib or the government who sent them??
Phil Fried
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even more nmb replies
By: Philip Fried Date: Apr 6, 2008 - 05:12 PM


Some folks who find that facts do not interfere at all with their point of view, bloging for them is to spin their web insights which are a self created world--that in itself is interesting --but not always their content.

on second thought

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"...Virtuosity is dying (I think, and hope)..."

Kotch, have you looked at youtubes top music vids? some fast guitar eh?


As to Mr. Connick, Schadenfreude is not an opinion.

Phil Fried Friday, April 04, 2008, 2:12:41 PM


The problem here is different;

Mr. Stone in essence describes his difficult life as a successful composers, traveling the world without mentioning --well the details. Nothing better describes the difference between those who are insiders that is those who blog from inside NMB and those who are outsiders.

Chris Becker asks for answers, yet we can see how the academic world of composition tries to show how its victimised, and thereby loses all sence of preportion.

they call me Dr. ...

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

I have a day job as a licenced elementrary instrumental and classroom music teacher with the Saint Paul Public schools. This fact sometimes places me in some very odd situations, you do pay a price for independence- but its worth it.

a question of scale?

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"..They receive a small stipend (currently $21000) that's just enough to scrape by;.."

$21,000.00 small?

Well I'm moving to Lilliput.

Phil Fried

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"..Unless one is full-time at a reputable institution..."

Todd, please forgive me--but would you kindly provide us with a list of disreputable institutions.

It could save us all a whole lot of time and trouble. respectfully,

Phil Fried

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"..As to how far 21K will go in NYC, that's not even worth arguing about..."

Todd, I am aware that not all folks, or graduate students, have the same financial needs, resources, or responsibilities. Its still seems like a lot of money.

Phil Fried, professor at Skidroe U. a most disreputable institution.

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nmb reply
By: Philip Fried Date: Apr 3, 2008 - 03:15 PM


Lets be big for a change

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

I think that there are a lot more similarities between and within composers than we usually acknowledge. For example; there are those composers who use sound as a building block, and those composers "who" use sound as an end in itself.

Perhaps its too simplistic. Phil Fried

Friday, March 28, 2008, 12:20:55 PM

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Darcy James reply--something new rhythm
By: Philip Fried Date: Apr 2, 2008 - 06:15 PM


The bass line mentioned would work very well with irrational measures as it includes only two different durations;eighth notes and quarter note triplets. really-two different tempos So;

2/4, 4/quarter triplets, 2/4, 3/quarter triplets,
2/4, 4/quarter triplets, 2/4, 4/quarter triplets(sorry no good symbol on keyboard)

The bass part will sometimes align with the "uber beat" 4/4, but not always. Thats enough to upset the rhythmic apple cart.

Phil Fried


This is, in fact, exactly what Kyle Gann proposed, and exactly what I did in the final example in the original post.

As discussed in my followup post (and elaborated on in the comments), the original notation aligns with the 4/4 grid provided you are subdividing in 3.

Posted by: DJA | 02 April 2008 at 07:59 PM

oppsey--thats what happens when you don't follow up!
Great go'in Kyle, but in my own defense I might point out that there might be a difference between 2 measures 2/4, 2/triplet quarters-- and single combined measure [2/4 plus 2/3 quarters].
oh forget it!!!

Posted by: Phil Fried | 02 April 2008 at 07:11 PM

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NMB again!
By: Philip Fried Date: Mar 27, 2008 - 08:03 PM


lets be big for a change
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

I always thought that the great struggle in music was elegance VS emotion. All other musical issues stem from this.

Phil Fried

Hazards of the job...
By Chris Becker - beckermusic@yahoo.com

The problem is what the artist "sees" doesn't always jibe with what the audience "sees." And I think it is the artist's job to do just that - broadcast honestly what they are seeing out there in the world. But this often results in bad reviews, pelted fruit or being burned alive at the stake :(

Tuesday, March 25, 2008, 1:53:20 PM

n a positive note...
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"..- broadcast honestly what they are seeing out there in the world. But this often results in bad reviews, pelted fruit or being burned alive at the stake :( .."

Why the negativity Chris? Artistic honesty is just as likely to create a successful career. Especially if one--dare I say it--finds their audience.

Phil Fried

Tuesday, March 25, 2008, 5:33:05 PM

By Chris Becker - beckermusic@yahoo.com

"Artistic honesty is just as likely to create a successful career."

Sorry, Phil. I was just trying to be melodramatic while making a point.

I'd only add that if as a composer you've composed and presented to the public a piece you believe in but it isn't being embraced by a large or beyond a niche audience, that certainly doesn't mean you the creator have done something "wrong" and are in need of an attitude adjustment. In fact, it may indicate that you are indeed onto something very profound that folks around you might need some time to catch up with.

There's a great emphasis in New York City on composers being "professional" and engaging in "audience outreach," and sometimes, I think this celebration of a business like demeanor and good public speaking skills distracts us from whether or not people are being moved by the music of such pros...Think of your contemporary musical heroes and heroines; didn't they all at some point in their careers piss someone off? Do they have an album that noone bought at the time but now people revere as a "desert island disc"? Did they ever have to fund their own work, argue with a producer or disengage from society for awhile in order to maintain their artistic honesty?

I don't think things are so simple when it comes to our audiences. And I can't craft what I do thinking about such things. I want to take my audience into a timeless zone when I play. But people either get you or they don't. And sometimes you get those blank looks back atcha. Or a cup of beer thrown at your head :)

P.S. I want to add that most of my collaborators would not describe me as "negative." Quite the opposite. And I do have writing, public speaking and networking skills that I have put to use in order to get my music out there. I'm not sure if this comes across via the blogosphere - but I feel I have some perspective on this issue, and I just want to share it. Honestly :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 10:04:27 AM

Ups and downs
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Your right Chris. Composers can have many more downs than ups and they hurt. By its very nature being on the edge means that you can get worn down.

Perhaps you might understand that different composers, and in different locations and times, can have very different experiences.

I myself was part of an outreach with the MN Orchestra. They asked me to compose something "extreme." Wow! I went to town as they say. As a independent serial composer that was incredibly gratifying for me especially when many "new music ensembles" won't perform this "style." One experience like that can float you emotionally for years.

Before we moved to MN, when we lived in NYC I couldn't get arrested! Well, I'm a patient man, with a short memory.

Phil Fried

Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 11:02:39 AM

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yet again NMB replies
By: Philip Fried Date: Mar 25, 2008 - 05:22 PM


Colin questions the over emphasis of warhorses in concerts.

I disagree with 4change as there is a lot of educational materials out there.

good idea
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"..I'd like to see more composers take an active interest in pedagogy..."

I think that there is a great deal of great material already out there-though a lot of it is hard to find, and some of it is out of print. Recently. Nikki Melville commissioned 12 composers with this idea in mind. I'm sure there are many others I don't know about. Perhaps we could make a list or promote the ones we (AMC) have?

Phil Fried

Wednesday, March 19, 20

"WR" crashes the party flamin' composers in that nasty self satisfied way that folks get when they are not really involved

time will tell
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"..If current levels of institutional lethargy and intellectual uncuriosity remain stable, no composer born after 1950 has even the slightest chance of pushing the warhorses out..."

The question as who will compose the next warhorse, is not a question that can be answered by us composers. One of the challenges of being a composer is that much of our career depends on the activity of others; conductors, colleagues, panels, and of course, the public. The good news is that new music continues to have a place in "public" concerts.

Reginald De Koven was very popular in his day yet he did not have any lasting success. Anyway, time will tell for all of us.

Phil Fried

Monday, March 24, 2008, 3:26:12 PM

say what?
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"..My point was, of course, that IF you want to complain about yet another Rach. 2 performance, you should try to be more realistic about why it's being performed instead of new music. .."

Nope. I couldn't disagree more.

Not "instead of new music"--perhaps instead of Brahms or Mozart.

Phil Fried

Monday, March 24, 2008, 4:01:43 PM

are composers delusional?
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com


Well, perhaps no more than other artists and certainly no more delusional than those folks who claim that the "canon" is a closed book.

Phil Fried

Monday, March 24, 2008, 11:03:09 PM

Ryan joins the party again to say everyone is wrong

the needs of the many...
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"..You omitted the portion where he said he speaks from a perspective of the audience,.."

I thought people only spoke for themselves.

Hate is not an opinion. Or is it?

Phil Fried

a flame is a flame is a flame
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"..I sure didn't intend hate, and am sorry if that's what my posts conveyed. .."

"..Second, the idea that someone hanging out here has what it takes to write a piano concerto that, if performed, will be as adored by the audience (and therefore, by pianists) as the Rach 2...well, that's a joke, right? .."

WR I hope you don't mind if I question your, and Ryan's, veracity. As to us making "you" unwelcome?

Have a nice day

Phil Fried

Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 10:16:21 AM

balme and flame?
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"..I just think that most composers do not have the interest or the tools or the know-how to discuss aspects of music beyond their specific discipline and training...."

Why is that so many unnamed posters feel or pretend to feel that their limited personal experience with composers (or their "friends" experience) is somehow the "central experience" of the new music world of our time?

I know that the bar for the internet is set really really low but there is a difference between opinion and fact.

Phil Fried

Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 2:09:03 PM

only because you made me
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"..I'm saying that I think performers get exposed to new music too late in life, .."

Well 4 change I just have to point out that you are very uninformed.

On the elementary k-12 front - there is too much leveled original, new music out there--so much in fact that the numbers go into the 10's of thousands. go check with MENC. What we could use, that is what we educators who teach instrumental music could use, is not original materials as we have way too much--but high quality arrangements of --dare I say it-the classics in all ensemble types.

Phil Fried

Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 7:21:31 PM

Exactly as it should be
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"..Phil, I often agree with the things you say here, but this statement is just dishonest...."

Naturally, Ryan I expect everyone to question my veracity as well.

My apologies if I was too strident or defensive, but my behavior right or wrong does not excuse anyone else's bad behavior.

Let me ask this; why is it so hard to make a statement in support of an idea without recourse to negativity?

Phil Fried

Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 7:31:11 PM

$20,000.00 dollars
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"..I don't mind at all. So, do you, then? Have what it takes to write a Rach 2?..."

Commission me and find out.

Phil FRied

Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 8:51:40 PM

cash up front-please
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

You should also commission:





David Cole

and the whole NMB crew!, and thanks for asking!

Phil Fried

Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 8:59:50 PM

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