Cornell Orchestras earned 2nd place in the collegiate orchestras category for the 2013-2014 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. Announced at the League of American Orchestras National Conference in Seattle, WA on June 5th, the awards are presented each year to orchestras of all sizes for programs that challenge the audience, build the repertoire, and increase interest in music of our time. Since 2008, Cornell Orchestras have garnered one of the top three prizes six times due to their strong commitment to new works and living composers. Composers featured this year include: Roberto Sierra, Joseph Phibbs, Niccolo D. Athens, Lou Harrison, Ian Doyle, Ray Li and Soundspace Team, James Spinazzola, and Tania Leon. Congratulations to Cornell Orchestras!
In recent decades, experimental music has flourished outside of European and American concert halls. The principles of indeterminacy, improvisation, nonmusical sound, and noise, pioneered in concert and on paper by the likes of Henry Cowell, John Cage, and Ornette Coleman, can now be found in all kinds of new places: activist films, rock recordings, and public radio broadcasts, not to mention in avant-garde movements around the world.
The contributors to Tomorrow Is the Question (edited by Benjamin Piekut) explore these previously unexamined corners of experimental music history, considering topics such as Sonic Youth, Julius Eastman, the Downtown New York pop avant-garde of the 1970s, Fluxus composer Benjamin Patterson, Tokyo’s Music group (aka Group Ongaku), the Balinese avant-garde, the Leicester school of British experimentalists, Cuba’s Grupo de Experimentación Sonora del ICAIC, Pauline Oliveros’s score for the feminist documentary Maquilapolis, NPR’s 1980s RadioVisions, and the philosophy of experimental musical aesthetics.
Taken together, this menagerie of people, places, and things makes up an actually existing experimentalism that is always partial, compromised, and invented in its local and particular formations-in other words, these individual cases suggest that experimentalism has been a far more variegated set of practices and discourses than previously recognized. Asking new questions leads to researching new materials, new individuals, and new contexts and, eventually, to the new critical paradigms that are necessary to interpret these materials. Gathering contributions from historical musicology, enthnomusicology, history, philosophy, and cultural studies, Tomorrow Is the Question generates future research directions in experimental music studies by way of a productive inquiry that sustains and elaborates critical conversations.
“Tomorrow Is the Question brings together eleven essays with a pithy and thorough introduction that beg new questions for experimental music studies from a global perspective. This book will set scholars on new paths waiting to be trod.”
“This book explodes the traditional map of experimental music. Rather than drawing a new one, the authors invite us on a journey of global exploration, where we encounter a creative landscape of astounding richness and diversity.”
-Anne C. Shreffler, Harvard University
“Tomorrow Is the Question provides a welcome break from conventional approaches to the study of experimental music. The result is a stimulating collection of essays that highlight the rich and irreducible variety of experimentalist practices. By opening up these new avenues, this book will have a decisive impact on future research in this field.”
-Bernard Gendron, author of Between Montmartre and the Mudd Club
Fang is currently a Research Assistant Professor of Composition in the University of South Carolina’s School of Music. Congratulations Mandy!
Two pieces by Norbert Palej (DMA, 2008), The War and the Poet and Rorate Coeli, were included on the program for Centaur Records that was nominated for a JUNO Award on February 4th, 2014. The recording was nominated for Classical Album Of The Year Vocal/Choral and features soprano Shannon Mercer and Toronto’s group of twenty-seven (g27) chamber orchestra, with Eric Paetkau conducting. The program also features Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été. The awards will be handed out at ceremonies on March 29 & 30 in Winnipeg. Congratulations Norbert!
Naxos Classical has released a new CD of orchestral works by Roberto Sierra, Sinfonía No. 4 / Fandangos / Carnaval (Nashville Symphony, Guerrero). Sierra’s works have been performed by orchestras, ensembles and festivals in the Americas and Europe. Major commissions and performances include: the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Houston Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, and Phoenix Symphony.”Picking works for a recording is always a delicate balancing act,” Sierra said of this new work. “In this case the conductor, Giancarlo Guerrero, wanted to make the Sinfonia no. 4 the central work, since he premiered the piece with the Nashville Symphony; he also wanted to do Fandangos, which was the first work of mine he conducted. Then, there was the question of a work to complete the CD. After discussions we both agreed that Carnaval was the ideal companion piece.” Please visit the Naxos Classical site for full CD information; or to read a full review, see Grego Applegate Edwards’s Classical-Modern Review.