- In the battle to make the orchestra relevant, the “all we need is a sponsor” weapon is getting a trial run this weekend at Carnegie Hall. Under the “put your spin on tradition” moniker, the energy drink Red Bull is promoting a performance of DJ Radar and Raul Yanez’s Concerto for Turntable. A slew of conservatory kids (focus groups apparently want their crossover orchestras young and perky) have been recruited to perform this bit of scratch notation, a piece that’s been making it’s way around the scene since 2001. “Other progressive musical pieces” are also promised.
- In addition to toting around all your Apple gadgets, here’s another way to flaunt your status as cutting edge creative type—design your own ringtone. No more embarrassing pre-programmed theme songs alerting you to an incoming call. Shocking new applications of the tone row just waiting to be explored!
- Some might fantasize about building a robotic prom date, but now composers who can’t get no satisfaction from an ensemble might go the same route. See Kurt Coble’s Partially Artificial Musicians.
- Apparently our brothers and sisters writing challenging fiction are in a tiny boat made by the same manufacturer as the one new music is in. There’s a fascinating essay by Ben Marcus in the October Harper’s Magazine that, with a few name substitutions, would be like looking into a mirror—a world characterized by “no sales, little review coverage, a small readership, and the collective cultural pull of an ant.”
- But actually, writers might have it slightly better than us. Several at least make the Top 100 Public Intellectuals list out this month from Foreign Policy and Britain’s Prospect magazine. Jaron Lanier, who happens to be a composer, made the list for his work with virtual reality, but otherwise composers and musicians didn’t make the cut. Though knowing what we do about overachievers, it would be surprising if there weren’t also a few amateur concert pianists among the nominees.
- And Allan Kozinn [NYT] finds that “rock stars who become interested in classical music are bizarrely conservative.” Discuss.
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