In order to get itself out of the red, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will tap its endowment, draining one third of their nest egg.
Sounds Like NowA blog by saxophonist Brian Sacawa
Archive for March, 2006
In just weeks, live concerts by the New York Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, including the LA Phil’s fresh “Minimalist Jukebox” series, will be available for download on iTunes. Beginning tomorrow, you can get Lorin Maazel conducting the last three Mozart symphonies and by April 4 you should be able to pick up tracks from the “Minimalist Jukebox.” As reported in yesterday’s New York Times, both orchestras have shown signs of hipness by jumping on the digital bandwagon and joining a new initiative by the Universal Music Group built on its Deutsche Grammophon and Decca recording labels. The NY and LA Phils are the first two orchestras that will offer downloadable live shows, but negotiations are currently underway with 10 other US orchestras as well as groups in London, Paris, and three German cities. Participating orchestras will offer about four concerts per season through iTunes. Contemporary composers and new music aficionados undoubtedly stand to gain the most from this service–that is, if orchestras choose to offer programs that include premieres rather than programs of old warhorses. Gone will be the days of waiting years for a recording of a new work to become available for public consumption. And in a world where we joke that “premiere performance” is often code for “last performance,” at least there is the possibility that the new work will live on in recorded form, being accessible almost immediately for those who couldn’t make it to the premiere to discover.
Two interesting stories from today’s Weekend Edition Sunday:
- Did you know that pipe organs can be a source of pollution? Organ builders in the European Union are having to search for different metals to build their pipes with as a mean of adapting to a new EU environmental directive aimed at reducing the amount of lead in electronic devices.
- What side of the authenticity argument does Norwegian baroque guitarist Rolf Lislevand come down on? His new CD Nuove Musiche, which features percussion, theorbo, clavichord, nyckelharpa, and a jazz-tinged double bass as the back-up band for vocalist Arianna Savall should be an indication.
I’m in Austin for a performance of Michael Djupstrom’s Walimai this Tuesday at the Music Teachers National Association National Conference. Mike won their national composition competition with the work and will be here fulfilling roles as faithful collaborator on the piano and national award recipient.
“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Hybrid Groove Project played to a packed Room 232 last night at the University of Arizona School of Music. Dubble8 prefaced the main show with a mellow and introspective 30-minutes solo set. The Project’s style of musical presentation, which is to synthesize elements from traditions as diverse as modern classical music, free jazz, funk, and break-beat electronica, is partly designed to deliver “New Music” in a fresh and engaging way, attempting to remove the traditional barriers and pre/mis-conceptions about what new music is and to whom it appeals. To that extent, it was extremely encouraging to see a largely “young” audience at last night’s show. In the spirit of collaboration, we were joined on “Every Time” (Tucson remix) by Brian Ten Eyck (our team‘s sprinting stud) on didjeridou and Brian Ellis on the Hammond B3 organ. Here’s a short video clip of the show. Apologies in advance for the poor sound quality. They don’t outfit small digital cameras with the best microphones.
Justin Schell has a review of last month’s SPARK Festival over at NewMusicBox. My recap is on the way . . . I promise.
I made a quick incursion into Philadelphia yesterday for a performance and question and answer session with Marshall Taylor’s saxophone class at Temple University. My original plan was to perform a concert with composer/pianist Michael Djupstrom, since he’s currently living in Philly, but alas, he is on a concert tour with his piano trio. As a result, I had to improvise somewhat, playing four pieces with CD playback–J Anthony Allen’s Hyperacusis, Memories of Xiaoxiang by Lei Liang, Getting to Know The Weather by Eve Beglarian, and Billie by Jacob ter Veldhuis. It was a good sampling of different sound worlds and compositional possibilities with the medium. The students were extremely attentive and asked many wonderful questions. It was fun to share a bit of what I do with some new folks. Speaking of that, I’d better get going. I’m giving a master class at Morgan State University here in Baltimore in about an hour and a half. And I need to catch a cab.