As regular readers of NewMusicBox know well, there’s something special about the stories told by musicians. Whether they’re reminiscing about family history, sharing the memory of meeting a favorite collaborator, or revealing the impetus behind an important piece, artists offer unique and compelling insights into their lives and the work they create—and often the broader world at large.
New Music USA was proud to present NewMusicBox LIVE!, a special program that featured three very different artists and the work of this site, during the Ear Taxi Festival in Chicago (October 8, 2016). Shulamit Ran, Nicole Mitchell, and Andy Costello each took the stage and, using both their words and their music, pulled back the curtain just a little bit further on the motivations and inspirations that fuel their creative lives.
We’ll be posting all three presentations for you to view this month on NewMusicBox. Here we begin, as we did in Chicago, with Andy Costello’s playful exploration of communication and the power of the unexpected in performance. Utilizing short pieces drawn from multiple authors, Costello follows a throughline built around “masking the mode of your communication. Music is about that a lot of the time. We use words to speak to one another and we use music to communicate on a different level in a different way, so this is something I’m exploring in my work.”
Since May of 1999 when the site first launched, NewMusicBox has profiled hundreds of amazing music makers. It’s been very important to us that artists have a platform to speak for themselves, and they have told us some unforgettable stories. Some of them have had some particularly vibrant memories of Chicago, and we also shared just a few highlights with our gathered Ear Taxi audience in October. Check it out below.