SoundLives

SoundLives

SoundLives, a NewMusicBox podcast, is brought to you by New Music USA, the resource for adventurous creators and listeners in the US and beyond. This program is funded in part by: the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs – and listeners like you.

Episodes

October 19, 2022 55 min

Elena Ruehr’s prolific output is a by-product of her maintaining a consistent composing schedule (five hours every day from Noon to 5:00pm) as well as her never-ending inspiration from the visual arts and her constant reading (four books a week), plus her desire to communicate with listeners. As she explained to Frank J. Oteri in this hour-long conversation about her music which features excerpts of nine of her compositions, "I...

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Victoria Shen's needle nails technique, which was appropriately earlier this summer in a Beyoncé video, is just one of many new approaches to making sounds that Shen (who performs under the moniker Evicshen) uses in her provocative performances and installations. But even though all the sounds she makes, and often all the devices she uses to make them as well, are her own creations, she is ambivalent about describing herself as...

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While the idiosyncratic graphic scores of 2022 Pulitzer Prize winning composer Raven Chacon are stunningly original in their conception and have been recognized as works of visual art in their own right (several are in this year's Whitney Biennial), they have a larger social purpose. WARNING: A little bit after the 44 minute mark in this hour-long podcast there is an excerpt of a musical performance involving shotguns.

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For Anthony Davis, whose compositional aesthetics are an amalgamation of several different musical traditions (jazz, Western classical music, gamelan), different kinds of music recall different emotional states and experiences in terms of what the music implies. So it's inevitable that he has devoted so much of his compositional energies to opera, and in particular to using the operatic medium to tell stories that either deal w...

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How we perceive sound on a psychological level as it unfolds over time is key to the sonic experiences that Sarah Hennies creates. Despite the extremely broad stylistic range of her output, everything from her early collaborative work as part of an experimental rock band to a multimedia documentary to extended duration solo and chamber music compositions for various instrumental combinations, it all shares a concern for extremely p...

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Composer, arranger, conductor, and teacher Alice Parker has been a fixture of the choral music community since working with the legendary Robert Shaw Chorale when she was fresh out of college in the late 1940s. As she explains to Frank J. Oteri. Parker has devoted herself almost exclusively to music for the voice, since she strongly believes that people find their common ground through
singing together. Read more at NewMusicBox:
h...

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For Huang Ruo, music--like theater--exists in a four-dimensional space. As he explains to Frank J. Oteri in this latest episode of NewMusicBox's SoundLives podcast, there is also a larger purpose in most of Huang Ruo's work, whether it is to call attention to stories of people, particularly Asians and Asian-Americans, whose voices have often not been heard, or to provide an environment for reflection and healing.

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Among the recurring themes in talking with composer-pianist-conductor Matthew Aucoin is generosity and risk-taking, something that is in abundance in Aucoin's own music as well as his personality. Over the course of an hour, Aucoin talks with Frank J. Oteri about his opera Eurydice, which was just performed at the Metropolitan Opera; the first commercial recording of his music; his just released new book about opera, The Imposs...

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NEA Jazz Master and three-time Grammy Award-winner Terri Lyne Carrington was practically born into jazz, but she is not a traditionalist. By embracing elements from rock, rhythm and blues, and hip-hop into her own compositions, she is making music that is very much about the present moment. And in founding the Berklee Institute for Jazz and Gender Justice and now partnering with New Music USA on the new Next Jazz Legacy program, Te...

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Spending an hour chatting with Renée Baker about her more than two thousand musical compositions and perhaps almost as many paintings was inspirational as well as motivational. Especially during this time when the ability for anything we do to have a certain future seems somewhat precarious at best. But Renée does not let anything deter her and while her music is extremely wide ranging and gleefully embraces freedom of expression, ...

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"Music is supposed to have meaning," says Dr. Adolphus Hailstork whose music captures the tribulations and the occasional triumphs of African Americans in this country. Hailstork's 80th birthday year got off to an impressive start with a performance of his music as part of the Presidential Inauguration ceremony of Joe Biden. Since then there has been a world premiere of a concert aria he composed to commemorate the cent...

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A week after her first live concert performance since the pandemic, composer & percussionist Susie Ibarra talked with us about: a year of making music under quarantine; her collaborative approach to working with other musicians; her explorations of jazz, classical music, traditional Philippine music, and even indie rock; drums as melodic instruments; and the gender stereotyping of percussion in different genres and cultures.

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For the past 20 years, Ricky Ian Gordon has been creating works for the stage—operas, musicals, or one-of a-kind music/theater hybrids—and getting them produced one after another, seemingly without a pause. But 14 months ago, everything came to a screeching halt as the world went into lockdown due to the pandemic. Read a full transcript of this conversation over at NewMusicBox: https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/ricky-ian-gordon-my-way-o...

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The only thing that is almost as exciting as watching and listening to a multimedia performance by Pamela Z is to hear her talk about it which she does for almost an hour in a fascinating conversation with Frank J. Oteri that spans a wide range of topics including: creating and performing during the pandemic; her artistic beginnings as a singer-songwriter and how she transitioned into an experimental composer; a difficult encounter...

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Judith Lang Zaimont is defiantly unwilling to be typecast for creating music in a particular style, which makes her music always a welcome surprise. NewMusicBox editor Frank J. Oteri talks with her constant reinvention and re-evaluation of her music for solo piano, chamber ensembles, orchestras, and Jewish religious services. To read a complete transcription of this podcast, visit NewMusicBox: https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/judith-la...

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Valerie Coleman is committed to storytelling through her music, no matter the idiom. NewMusicBox editor Frank J. Oteri talks with her about her early realization that she is a composer and what a composer's responsibilities are. To read a complete transcription of this podcast, visit NewMusicBox: https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/valerie-coleman-writing-music-for-people/

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Julie Giroux, who creates music primarily for wind band, takes musicians and audiences on a journey that is a real sonic adventure and, at the same time, is always fun. NewMusicBox editor Frank J. Oteri talks with her about the ins and outs of the wind band (including an in-depth discussion of her own wind band symphonies), her career in Hollywood (which led to her being the first female composer to win an Emmy), her wacky arrangem...

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Kris Bowers is among the humblest and most introverted composer/performers which is astounding considering his accomplishments—winning the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition at 20, a daytime Emmy four years ago, and now one of the most in-demand composers for film and television, most recently scoring the popular Netflix series Bridgerton. And yet it all makes sense when you begin exploring Bowers’s incredible ver...

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