Tuesday, January 18, 2011

old posts 25

Your blog can be viewed at http://classicallounge.com/Philmusic/blogs
NMB reply
By: Philip Fried Date: Jun 20, 2007 - 09:07 PM

Colin Holter has mentioned that music seems to lack  room to experiment that other artistic mediums have.

"I am, [fond] of the appealing experiential qualities of another medium that music does not possess."

As I remember there is a whole industry of "classical" recordings that leave out the "boring" parts of Mozart, Beethoven etc, and excerpt only the "most memorable passages." Evidently for some even the classical mainstream is too taxing and not user friendly.

As I have mentioned before and in my site music lessons, we are very accepting of intellectualism in every art form-except for music. On one level its familiarity -- simply put more people can read text, than read music.  For example; James Joyce is widely accepted as a writer, even among musicians, while Schoenberg is still a controversial figure. Go figure!

That said, I don't feel that music has any artistic or intellectual limitations.

Phil's page

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Join the Team!--NMB
By: Philip Fried Date: Jun 16, 2007 - 08:30 AM

Urban Renewal
By Frank J. Oteri

Tuesday, June 05, 2007, 1:44:04 PM

I spent the majority of last week in Charleston, South Carolina, where the 2007 Spoleto Festival USA was in full swing. This was only my third trip to Charleston, and my second during Spoleto. But this time around I witnessed firsthand what the festival's General Director Nigel Redden meant when—during a talk with the Music Critics Association of North America—he stated that the most appealing aspect of Spoleto to him was that it completely took over the entire town in a way that other, similar-type events like the Lincoln Center Festival (which Redden also oversees) could never hope to do.

Everywhere I went, I was reminded of both the Spoleto Festival USA proper and its humbler, more fringe-ish sibling, Piccolo Spoleto—a second festival, completely independent from its namesake, which happens every year at the same time and more than doubles the total number of cultural offerings available to audiences who happen to be in Charleston a few weeks prior to the beginning of summer. Virtually every storefront sported either this year's Spoleto poster, which reproduces the famous Chuck Close rendering of Philip Glass, or the luminous Piccolo Spoleto poster which reproduces a painting by local artist Elaine Berlin, or both. I was so entranced by Ms. Berlin's paintings that I bought one of them.

But I had an even bigger epiphany with the Philip Glass image. While I was having lunch with colleagues at the outdoor café of one of the local hotels and talking about music (what else), an elderly couple came up to us to ask a question. They had stayed overnight at the hotel to break up a long car ride back to New York from Florida and were wondering who that man was whose face seemed to be everywhere in Charleston. They figured out it was the Spoleto poster and assumed it had to be some sort of musician and since I was talking about music, they assumed I might know who it was. What remarkable publicity for a living composer! I believe that if more people were exposed to such images, more interest would be generated in this music almost instantaneously.

I've often commented that the reason everyone in America knows Britney Spears is because it is impossible not to: her image literally saturates the American landscape. Imagine if the landscape of America could similarly be saturated with an image of an important living American composer. This week, at least in Charleston, it is. Now, perhaps, is the time to traipse across the rest of the country and put up posters of Steven Mackey, Joan Tower, John Corigliano, Chen Yi, Ornette Coleman, and countless other folks whose music could and should be reaching more folks than it's currently reaching.

can't agree more
By davidcoll - coll@berkeley.educoll@berkeley.edu

i've written a couple times on NMB a flippant comment, basically that it all just comes down to money- this is definitely connected to advertising. Spending time now in paris, and seeing in other cities here in europe the much bigger budget for advertising, i think it helps generate this curiousity that you mention....studies have probably shown that it really doesn't make a difference, and that no one will go to the concert anyway...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007, 6:38:54 AM

By Daniel Wolf - djwolf@online.dedjwolf@online.de

I don't quite get it: a musical "urban renewal" is to take the form of exporting a group of composers associated with East Coast urban centers (your list: Steven Mackey, Joan Tower, John Corigliano, Chen Yi, Ornette Coleman)? It strikes me that the more urgent task is recognizing and giving adequate support to local activity than seeking validation and gentrification through an establishment seal of approval. The life of music is in its diversity, and the life of our cities is likewise found in their distinctive identities, which is a natural pairing of common interests.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007, 7:23:03 AM

By Colin Holter - cholter2@uiuc.educholter2@uiuc.edu

I agree with Frank 110% (although I too am a little skeptical of his list of composers to "push").

Wednesday, June 06, 2007, 8:30:41 AM

Poster Children
By Frank J. Oteri - editor@newmusicbox.orgeditor@newmusicbox.org

I knew I was heading toward deep murky waters when I compiled what to me was a somewhat random list of names which I spelled out in the essay above mostly to make a larger point.

Please remember that I ended this brief ethnically and genderally diverse group with the caviat "and countless other folks." The five I chose are all folks whose music has been getting a lot of circulation nationally as of late which is why I thought mentioning them was not inappropriate.

To claim the list is East Coast-centric is also a bit disingenuous. Indeed Mackey is currently based in Princeton but he was born in Germany and grew up in California. Chen Yi spent time in New York but was born in China and is now based in Kansas City. Etc. Etc.

But, once again, I never said that these are the five folks we should be toting at the expense of everyone else. Why is it that whenever a composer in our community starts reaching a larger audience there's a backlash? Are we that self-centered? I've often said anyone's success in this racket is success for all of us and I really believe that to this day. So, let's starting putting up those posters already!

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.comphilmusic@aol.com

“Why is it that whenever a composer in our community starts reaching a larger audience there's a backlash? Are we that self-centered?”

Dear Frank:

True, some of us composers are self-centered, but that is not all of it. Colleges and Universities are by their very nature competitive. So, some of this has to do with our “professional” allegiances which are not unlike the way we support sports teams. Of course we root for “our” team and want the other teams to lose and their players to mess up. When another team is successful, even if we like some of the players, our team is not happy. Even if our team always “loses” and another team always “wins” that just makes our support for our team even stronger as well as dislike for the winners. That their doesn’t seem to be any referees in the game, only gatekeepers, does not help. This may not be rational or true of course. If true, it certainly doesn’t create the best environment for new music but for many it’s just the way it is. Also on another issue many suspect that “the larger audience” has nothing to do with audience acceptance at all but rather with “gatekeeper” acceptance.

Being a disinterested independent thinker is harder than it looks.

Dr. Phil

Phil’s Page

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culture war(s)
By: Philip Fried Date: May 27, 2007 - 06:20 PM

Sometime back G.H. Brown misunderstood a posting of mine about the "culture wars."  What he thought I was talking about was the war between high and low culture rather than the social political war over the so called "good" and the "evil".

At the time I was a little surprised at his remarks as I knew of no such war. Anyway, if there was or is a war between high and low culture in the arts it is only in Mr. Brown's mind as a war implies a struggle and popular culture overwhelmed everything in its path years ago.  Also, a war has allies and enemies and I don't see this occurring.  Rather everyone is lining up to cross over and to work with  pop stars or to be pop stars if they can,  The, lets call them the  "classical fringe," who might constitute an enemy to the current trends are so marginalized that they don't exist (if they actual exist at all).

Most professionals can read the writing on the wall and if they don't need the current arena of public life for themselves they want their students to succeed so they play ball too.   Of course the trends will change again as they always do.  For now popular culture is king.  By the way, I love it too only I don't do cross-over--well I did it once--please don't tell!

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grandstanding and intimidation
By: Philip Fried Date: May 12, 2007 - 10:05 AM

The reason why I am reprinting this nasty "flame attack" on myself is this;  is seems that my post was not carefully read nor was it understood (or perhaps it was understood too well) rather I was flamed for questioning a self appointed new music authority.  Instead of addressing my points,  the subject is changed  to attack the "straw man" who would be left out in the cold if NMB becomes merely a commercial promotional site.  The main point remains; is NMB a non profit advocate or is it a commercial music promoter?

By the way if this is what is meant by "Expressing an honest negative criticism"  we could all do without it.

Eight is Not Enough
By Frank J. Oteri

Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 1:26:23 PM

Today is a special day here at NewMusicBox: We're celebrating our eighth anniversary on line. It's hard to believe that we've been doing this for 96 months, 416 weeks, or 2,922 days, depending on how you're counting. But there's so much more to do.

Over the years, friends have said to me things like: How much longer can you keep this going? Aren't you going to run out of people to talk with? Aren't you going to have to start recycling ideas at some point? But no matter how long we've been doing this, it seems like we've still only scratched the surface. That's how much is going on out there. I know that for me, every month is still a process of discovery. And I hope that anyone reading this site feels the same way.

At the end of this week, the staff of NewMusicBox will burrow itself away for a day-long retreat to project site content for the coming year. But we'd also like to hear from you. What topics would you be interested in us developing further? Who should we focus on whom we have not spoken to yet? What other components would you be interested in seeing on this site? All suggestions are welcome.

By curioman - darren@curiomusic.com

Congratulations on eight years. Thank you so much for all you've done and brought to the the composer community. I can say for myself that some of the interviews you've done have changed my entire outlook on music. There are too many to mention, but I particularly liked the James Tenney interview and his ideas on form/sound vs. theme. I cannot say enough how invaluable your impact has been for me. I am so grateful for NewMusicBox. And I wish you another 8(0) or more incredible years!

As far as what I'd like to see... more Radar coverage (especially of Atlanta where a lot's going on! -- see AtlantaComposers.com :), more information on things like Creative Commons and how it can be used to our promotional advantage, more coverage of electronic distribution (how we can sell on eMusic, iTunes, etc.), new trends like crowdsourcing and online collaboration, oh, and how about off the wall things like contemporary music in Second Life?

A composer I'd like to see profiled is Patricia Van Ness. Thanks.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 2:36:07 PM

I'll Play You Mine if You'll Play Me Yours
By coreydargel - corey@automaticheartbreak.com

Happy birthday, NMBx!

Since you asked...

First, a couple of small things: Make the feature interviews available as video podcasts. Also, as a supplement to Counterstream Radio, create a weekly audio podcast or mp3-blog highlighting one or two pieces of music that composers have made available as free downloadable mp3s, along with commentary by NMBx contributors. Feature a variety of rotating curators who select the mp3s and comment on them.

Second, a bigger thing: Publish reviews!* Album and concert reviews could be written by composers and performers who serve on a rotating basis for a period of, say, three to four months every two years. Some readers may balk at the notion of composers and performers being “reviewed” by their peers, but this is common in other media; it’s more fun than reading a review by a detached “critic;” and it allows readers the context to understand more fully how individual composers/performers (and how composers/performers in general) think about music and respond to each other's music.

*I know, I know, there are worries that our community is too small and fragile to risk alienating anyone with a potentially critical review. On the other hand, passionate feelings and passionate points of view are lamentably rare in this magazine. A group of people with similar goals and experiences who are wary of, or discouraged from, expressing critical opinions about their peers’ work results in strained and ultimately insincere relationships. Expressing an honest negative criticism may, in fact, enhance and affirm the genuineness of a positive response. There are plenty of composers and performers out there who I think would be pleased to participate in such a project, as reviewers and reviewees.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 3:20:09 PM

Lurking for Seven
By mryan - mryan@choirworks.com

I'm really very grateful for NMB. I've been lurking here, reading posts for seven of those eight years and it is such a blessing to be able to hear so many different perspectives on the state of the art of music.

As far as subjects for the future of NMB, I have enjoyed and would love to read more features on the business side of the reality of living as a composer: building relationships, publishing, the commissioning process, starting a new music ensemble, marketing new music concerts, etc.

Here's to another 8 years (and more). All the best, M. Ryan Taylor

Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 3:26:12 PM

Interview request
By Chris Becker - beckermusic@yahoo.com

I'd love to see an interview with Greg Tate on this website.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 3:49:46 PM

NewMusicBox Birthday
By bob schneider - abschnei@aol.com

Happy birthday to you.i always enjoy visiting your site and learning from it. Keep up the great work! P.S. Reqest you consider interviews with Dan Asia,Duo46 ,Karl Korte and Jorge Liderman.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 4:14:34 PM

I'd like...
By dalgas - dalgas@speakeasy.net

A few more cover interviews with composers in slightly more out-of-the-way locales. Work's getting done every day in Jacksonville, Dubuque, Lexington, Flagstaff, Boise, Eugene, etc... It shouldn't all be terra incognita. Each of these places has composers with a story, one that I think would give a aspiring composers a lot of insight into possibilities for a life in music no matter where they are in the country, and not just in two or three of the largest metropolitan areas.

Steve Layton

Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 4:54:49 PM

By toddtarantino - todd@toddtarantino.com

Congratulations on your birthday. I second Corey's recommendation about reviews. I seem to recall NMBX reviewing new recordings a while back. Also wasn't there talk about the calendar returning at some point?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 7:35:56 PM

Peer Review
By Chris Becker - beckermusic@yahoo.com

One of the reasons I keep coming back to NMBx is because there are no reviews. Most musicians, dancers and artists I know don't read reviews or if they do don't treat them all that seriously. I'm all for more coverage of concerts, recordings and other composer related projects. But I personally don't want to see reviews on the site.

I think the passion the staff of NMBx has for music comes across in the quality of the writing, photos and coverage we've seen over the past several years. The Diamanda Galas interview really moved me (and moved me to explore my own Armenian roots) as did the archived interview with Leroy Jenkins.

I would ask for less chatter actually and more straightforward coverage. I'm not slagging critics - honestly, my own relationship to music criticism has changed dramatically over the past five years (i.e. I've actually gotten reviewed and seen both good and bad results of it). But I am not missing it on this website.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007, 12:24:11 PM

maybe not reviews...
By mmcginn - martin_mcginn@hotmail.com

but possibly a "round-up" or list of current releases, future releases, or releases we might have missed, etc. would be a nice addition to the site.

Congrats on 8 years.

Marty's Page

Wednesday, May 02, 2007, 12:55:23 PM

Sorry...one more...
By Chris Becker - beckermusic@yahoo.com

Yes. A round up sounds good. Especially if it focuses on members of the AMC.

And I like Corey's suggestion insofar as it opens the door to exposing the AMC's composer members to each others work via this website, NewMusicJukebox and Counterstream radio. Right now, these three sites sort of float along in their own bubbles - and a lot of the musicians being touted on these respective sites aren't necessarily (correct me if I'm wrong) AMC members. That's a weird disconnect - but thanks to the net, there are many creative ways to address this. And again, Corey offers some provocative suggestions in this regard.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007, 1:06:37 PM

Congratulations New Music Box!
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Personally I love the music box's open forum for ideas the best, so perhaps a guest blogger or two to take the discussions in different directions might be interesting. Unfortunately many composers of my generation and later are not net savvy, or commercially recorded for that matter, so I think that too much focus on the “net life” would box out a lot of interesting artists. Anyway, the last thing that I would want is for the NMB to become a publicity machine for the new music powers that be.

Again congratulations.

Phil’s Page

Wednesday, May 02, 2007, 1:47:00 PM

Not-so-distant neighbors
By siconesis - ivan.sparrow@gmail.com

Congrats to all NMB staff and other people who have been involved in the making, sustaining and development of this beast (in a good way!).

I'm a composer from Mexico. I've noticed that generally when musicians here and in the U.S. look for what's going on abroad, there's a tendency to reach to the other side of the ocean and fail to hear to our north or south (depending where you are). There's plenty of interesting and important music and events going on both places, but there's no real communication.

I know NMB is a space intended for U.S. music, but I think we can now be beyond the notion of isolating musical communities. We are close neighbors and there's a lot we can share. I hope NMB will be interested in broadening its reach so it can enrich its own environment (that of north american music), and the same for us folks over here in Mexico. Maybe some beneficial ties can be established.

Greetings to all and happy birthday.

Ivan Sparrow (ivan.sparrow@gmail.com)

Friday, May 04, 2007, 1:52:32 PM

Net Savvy
By coreydargel - corey@automaticheartbreak.com

Unfortunately many composers of my generation and later are not net savvy... so I think that too much focus on the “net life” would box out a lot of interesting artists.

I wonder how these "many" composers were able to log on to the internet in the first place. Or perhaps they read print-outs of NMBx at their local library?

God forbid an internet magazine would actually take advantage of internet technology!

Perhaps you were joking.

Saturday, May 05, 2007, 10:51:49 AM

Nemesis adjunct...
By JKG - dialhead@mail.com

Yes, I like NewMusicBox, even if some of the diatribe in here gets a bit stuffy for my taste. I have been exposed to much interesting music, even if after listening to some pieces I found them dull and uninspiring. As a tonalist, I can certainly say however, that the struggle between holding fast to the past and that of rejecting the past in favor of the nihilistic present remains intact. Fortunately for some contributors, I owe much less to their composition teachers than they do (whether they appreciate that or not, or in any event feel reviled by my stance). There is much going on lately about how to reach audiences with serious music, and how the practitioners of serious music have so alienated them. This will continue to remain a genuine problem for the untalented, as most folks just aren't interested in hearing a glob of sounds for the sake of hearing a glob of sounds - no matter how many dissertations are written about the matter. NewMusicBox will continue to prove an invaluable source of getting past those hurdles, even if it means rightfully damning some "modern" music to abject obscurity.

Saturday, May 05, 2007, 2:13:20 PM

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

"I wonder how these "many" composers were able to log on to the Internet in the first place. Or perhaps they read print-outs of NMBx at their local library? God forbid an Internet magazine would actually take advantage of Internet technology! Perhaps you were joking."

Corey, so the race then, is only for the swift?

Many of the composers mentioned on this and other blog spaces actually have no real presence on the web and I also think they don't pay much attention to it either. Anyway, they don't seem to take part in the blogs. Rather it is their students and professional admirers as well as music industry folks (including publicists) and Universities who create and maintain a web presence for them. If you don't have that support then you don't have a presence --unless you are net savvy or hire someone.

As for the rest of us I think we are on the net, aren't we? :)

Phil's page

Monday, May 07, 2007, 5:43:32 PM

USPS to Online Magazines: Stop Promoting the Internet
By coreydargel - corey@automaticheartbreak.com

There are plenty of composers who make at least one of their pieces available as an mp3 download or streaming audio file on their websites. It is possible to do this without spending money, and with minimal knowledge of HTML, web design, etc. These audio files are then available to anyone with an internet connection and the know-how to click on a hyperlink, and it would be an extremely fun and educational project for NMBx to present a sort-of "curated" compilation of the millions of mp3s out there.

You argue that such a project discriminates against less web-savvy composers. Are you suggesting that composers who take the time to disseminate their music on the web should be punished because other composers choose not to take advantage of this technology? That seems a bit ridiculous, like arguing that we shouldn't listen to the radio because it discriminates against composers whose music has not been recorded.

Monday, May 07, 2007, 7:57:26 PM

By Colin Holter - cholter2@uiuc.edu

I'm with Dargel. The year is 2007. Get with it.

Monday, May 07, 2007, 11:38:51 PM

on topic
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

As the net rapidly becomes just another mainstream media outlet (as it seems the most strident here want) these folks are afraid that sites like this that might chose to remain independent and not subsumed into that comercial mainstream. Such sites would risk becoming relegated to the status of cable access TV that is; irrelevant to the big picture, not a "player". Then again, by choosing not to become just another cog in the wheel they might become something far more important. There is a difference between advocacy and promotion.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007, 5:15:06 PM

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Mr. Bell plays the violin
By: Philip Fried Date: Apr 13, 2007 - 11:02 AM
? By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

 “In fact, the whole thing was a publicity stunt concocted by the folks at the Washington Post.”

 As a publicity stunt this is simply an artificial situation created to create “buzz” so the less said about it the better. If they want publicity from me they can pay me for it just like they paid Mr. Bell. I so dislike being taken advantage of. Phil’s Page
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newmusicbox reply
By: Philip Fried Date: Apr 13, 2007 - 11:01 AM


By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Some of the absurdity of this thread is related to the lack of interest in the central question of why Mr. Ferneyhough, and other composers as well, love the WWE? Is it because deep down us esoteric composition types are just “men/women of the people”? Or is it because American culture at its worst is really at its best? Perhaps as composers we find some resonance with the rigged and choreographed pageantry of the WWE? Maybe we like cheap thrills-I know I do.

A few years back some article on MENSA noted that many of its members were interested in GLOW -the gorgeous ladies of wrestling-- that made the news for about a half a second. Shocked am I that no one took my interest in Roller Derby seriously. Anyway a thread becomes absurd when s hijacked off the topic and into realm the of axe grinding. Me? Never!

Phil’s Page

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By: Philip Fried Date: Apr 4, 2007 - 08:02 AM

Oh, whatever! Phil Fried
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Never is the entire history of what we today call classical music (old or new) has it ever been popular (populist) music. Never -- as in, not ever.

Not True! Toscanini, and through him, classical music was very popular in the 1940-1950.

Phil’s Page

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Geographical complications
By: Philip Fried Date: Mar 23, 2007 - 07:33 AM

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com philmusic@aol.com

"It's time you and your new music brethren got it through your heads that by its very nature classical music, new and old, is and has always been an elite enterprise,"

Then again one might ask where we are talking about. The United States and UK? Perhaps. Canada, where pop musicians can be government supported through their radio? Europe? Certainly not today and even yesterday not entirely. Japan and Asia? I'm not sure about that one either.

Perhaps these other countries don't count. By the way, were their any Italian rock bands on the lists? That’s not snobbery that’s jingoism.

I remember how hard it was to convince kids of the fact that the Rolling Stones earned more money than your typical Orchestra member—they just wouldn’t believe it.

Also, there is a certain amount of controversy among “rock writers” over bands like ELP which are not considered “true” rock bands as they have too much “classical” technique. So its ok to have an Ivy League degree in English literature and “rock” but if you have a performance degree in an instrument you can’t. Go figure. Phil’s Page

Wednesday, March 21, 2007, 11:42:25 AM

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new music box etc.
By: Philip Fried Date: Feb 21, 2007 - 08:47 AM
I’m not Philip Fried, but I play him on TV. My point was not about hypnosis but about those folks who come to concerts and disturb others because they have their mind elsewhere for the duration. Not as an escape from the music mind you, but because of short attention spans. So look deep into my blog, look deeper, deeper, your mind is getting focused …so focused; you are in a state of utter relaxation yet awareness. You want, no need, to go to a new music concert pay cash and listen attentively. You will not leave even the music make you sleepy so sleepy. At the final applause you will applaud politely, find the composers and give them each $10,000 dollars. You will then wake up refreshed and remember everything.

I was going to say that I don’t use my real name because I’m a wanted man. Since I happen to be a composer who is going to buy that excuse?

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newmusic box response
By: Philip Fried Date: Feb 13, 2007 - 05:45 PM

How to listen, or not!
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com philmusic@aol.com

On the other hand I was at a symphony concert and the women next to me kept searching through her purse looking for stuff for about 10 minuets-not taking anything out mind you -- just poking around it making distracting sounds. I wish she had left the concert, since she was not prepared to listen or care if others did. I think that if its not a professional situation there is nothing wrong with leaving a concert or a movie if you don't want to hear it (and this isn't the only reason why people leave concerts). Distracting or disrupting other who want to listen is another issue and I am against that. Personally, I would rather have people leave a performance of mine instead of them falling asleep or thinking "did I leave the bedroom light on?"

Phil's Page

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 8:39:31 PM

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newmusic box response
By: Philip Fried Date: Feb 13, 2007 - 05:45 PM

How to listen, or not!
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com philmusic@aol.com

On the other hand I was at a symphony concert and the women next to me kept searching through her purse looking for stuff for about 10 minuets-not taking anything out mind you -- just poking around it making distracting sounds. I wish she had left the concert, since she was not prepared to listen or care if others did. I think that if its not a professional situation there is nothing wrong with leaving a concert or a movie if you don't want to hear it (and this isn't the only reason why people leave concerts). Distracting or disrupting other who want to listen is another issue and I am against that. Personally, I would rather have people leave a performance of mine instead of them falling asleep or thinking "did I leave the bedroom light on?"

Phil's Page


Your blog can be viewed at http://classicallounge.com/Philmusic/blogs

By: Philip Fried Date: Mar 23, 2007 - 07:25 AM
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com philmusic@aol.com

There is a certain difficulty inherent in describing musical "sounds" with words alone. If I am hearing you correctly Colin I think that your saying that your musical rhetoric, for all its wonderful content, is not "brilliant" enough. Brilliance is something that is generally understood immediately as its easy to notice. Brilliance is a fine thing but its not the only thing that makes a composition interesting. To be known as a "brilliant orchestrator," for example, is a back handed complement. Phil's Page

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responce to galen brown
By: Philip Fried Date: Mar 15, 2007 - 08:36 PM

pander handling
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com philmusic@aol.com

Dear Mr. Brown: I didn't realize that the best way to solve a problem, in this case pandering, was simply to define it out of existence.

I mean no disrespect, I just strongly disagree.

Phil's Page

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newmusicbox replies
By: Philip Fried Date: Mar 15, 2007 - 08:21 AM
Some more quotes and an explanation! By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

No one ever lost money underestimating the taste of the American public –P.T. Barum Never give a sucker an even break etc. etc. etc.

On a serious note, I might use steady beat for educational purposes. In this way new and challenging musical concepts might be approached and understood individually rather than all at once.


Phil's page Wednesday, March 14, 2007, 2:32:02 PM

Eschews on the other foot By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

“Such a generalization would be equally erroneous if applied to music that intentionally eschews steady beats.”

Dear Frank: I don’t seem to understand your negative comments on my educational quote, which I think is neutral, and stands quite well. For example; I have used "Opera Trance" to introduce 1-4th graders to the operatic voice before I give them the "real" thing.

Oh, I said, “steady beat” what I meant was “dance beats”- but the concepts are similar—taking something familiar as a bridge into the unfamiliar.

Rather it seems that you are responding to my other observation that implies that adding a “dance beat”, to the music in question is dummying down and can also be a gateway to popular success.

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Ok Frank, I understand but lets go back to Colin's point.

"it's seductive to think that I can gain instant credibility with ordinary listeners by dropping some phat 808s. "

I'm afraid that there are already some composers trying to do just that - and thats what my Barnum quote was all about.

the old switcheroo By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

“The ability to improvise with a steady beat is no more or less challenging than to improvise without one.”

True Corey, but the point here is not what is challenging for the musician—but what is challenging for the general audience.

perhaps this topic needs more refection By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Colin I thought you were talking about dance beats (which tend to be very steady) in particular. What you say is true about “ the distinction between "no beat" and "a complex and investigative use of rhythm." The questions about rhythm and meter and the approaches of composers to these issues are many, various, and endless. Yet for me it’s the results that count (because the results are the music )-- not so much the theory or the ideas behind them which can confuse as well as illuminate. For example; a lot of composers use precompositional plans that look very similar but sound very different. I have some stuff about rhythm on my page.

Its great to hear from composers who are trying to find their own sound by way of their own musical backgrounds. That is the way to go. Also, can great music come from a dance beat? Why not? Yet, The question of pandering has, and will always, remain with us. Phil's page

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com

Dear Frank: Thank you for your personal comments--that took some courage I think.
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responce to Colin
By: Philip Fried Date: Mar 14, 2007 - 11:20 AM
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com "is it unethical to take advantage of their ignorance (in the most nonjudgmental sense) and cultural conditioning (in the most judgmental sense) to do so?"

Colin, the wages of sin is money. Or, perhaps you would like to meet my very successful friend Faust?
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By: Philip Fried Date: Mar 12, 2007 - 11:36 AM
“How do composers tell audiences what's on our minds when our definition of music differs so dramatically from theirs?” Colin its true that commercial music in a commercial society rules—but wait, people are also very accepting of the unfamiliar if it is put into the right context. Many successful concerts are based on the proper context (ok, spin) for the works included. Also, many folks who say they hate “classical music” don’t mind similar stuff when they hear in films—they don’t even realize that it is modern or post-modern classical at that. I’m hopeful. “…How can we perform our duty as society' conscience if we can't communicate with society?” I’m not sure of your meaning here—do you mean because most folks don’t listen or go to concerts or are you saying that “concertgoers” don’t care for the unfamiliar? . If the unfamiliar is the crux here then find a way to reach out. Don’t leave the job to others. An additional reality check for us composers is the financial paradigm change from the traditional fat/thin times, to a new paradigm where it’s always fat for some always thin for others. Anyway all you can do is your
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"Jeering at elders is an important right of passage for young composers. "
By: Philip Fried Date: Mar 8, 2007 - 10:18 AM
"Jeering at elders is an important right of passage for young composers. " I wonder how Brahms fits into this. Perhaps he was never young. Anyway, if jeering at ones elders is just an expected "right of passage" then there is no real meaning to it at all. Some folks continue to jeer all their lives. On another topic, Aaron Copland was one composer who did great things for the younger generation of composers. Who has taken his place? Phil's page
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By: Philip Fried Date: Mar 3, 2007 - 05:52 PM

Busoni-I think is the one major influence on composers today that everyone overlooks.  Even more than neo-classical Stravinsky, and pre-dating him, Busoni composed music that was emotionally cool and objective.  Composers from Carter too Glass fall under this spell.

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history etc.
By: Philip Fried Date: Mar 3, 2007 - 05:47 PM
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com philmusic@aol.com

History also holds great sway when we talk about music. Looking back at Belinda Reynolds's Walden School love-fest, and the gushing responses left by readers, all of this makes me wonder if we classical music types place way too much emphasis on history.

Dear Randy:

I don't think its a question of too much history, rather its a question of whose history we accept for our own.

Oh, I did not post on that particular "blog".

Phil's Page

Friday, March 02, 2007

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a thought
By: Philip Fried Date: Mar 1, 2007 - 10:16 AM
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com “The famous "Midwestern orchestra sound" is a good example of the former. More than one observer has noticed that a great deal of large-ensemble music from the Great Plains states is, to quote Galen Brown, "really well orchestrated," "quasi-tonal," and "as big and loud as possible." A problem that is not addressed here is the difference between those works that are performed in; University sponsored concerts, public institutional concerts, grant related concerts- readings and alike (some of which are related to these other types)- and self-produced concerts and those works that are not. This seems to be a proscribed world, but how can you discuss the many non-tonal Midwestern symphonies that have not been performed? I suggest that the next time you see a film think about what’s just outside the frame-the stuff the director doesn’t want you to see. Phil's Page
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reply newmusicbox
By: Philip Fried Date: Feb 23, 2007 - 07:46 PM

I don't get it?
By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com philmusic@aol.com

"I don't think we can make any blanket statements that can confirm what a California, New York, Illinois or any other state composer is. "

The only blanket statement, that I can make is that they are good in bed. I use one all the time. Most of the composers I know use them too.

I hope that dosen't offend anyone.

Beach, Blanket--Bingo!

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com philmusic@aol.com

Well, I guess I'm out, and loving it!

When your contrapuntal, you can’t be disgruntled!

Phil's page

By philmusic - philmusic@aol.com philmusic@aol.com

Oh, Corey, I just love it when you speak French.

Phil's Page

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