Monday, March 28, 2016

Composing is a lonely craft, But we can't do it alone

So, this article wasn't quite what I expected. The author, who is a composer, sort of went on and on thanking people-literally, he thanked pretty much everyone who played a part in getting him to where he is today, but he made an important point about connections to people and the role that they play in composing. This aspect of the article sort of reminded me about the Milton Babbitt article we read, and how he thought composers should only write for themselves. The author of this piece at one point says how surprised he is every time he hears a composer say they do not factor in the audience when writing. He expresses that music is the best way of communicating, and it gives an important insight about someone that couldn't otherwise be expressed. He continues to discuss how much one could learn during a concert, especially of new music, and how it brings the community together. We talked about the tradition of music and communication in class a few weeks ago, and I fully agree that it can be one of the best ways of bringing people together. I understand the importance of making music authentic to that composer, and that they should only be writing what they feel and want to write, but I think then sharing that music with others is a way to keep the communication tradition alive.

Reading via Longy Orchestra

Reading via Longy orchestra

 Last week I went to Pickman hall with my friend Shijia Zhan whom is current longy and she is a composer.
  They have four pieces and doing reading with orchestra. This is my first time come and see the reading. It's really new for me. There has four piece all composed by our current student. And I ask them what means reading? "It's like play the piece and see where need to change and where need exchange the idea and see if there are available to play. Also composer can here their piece via orchestra and check it "
  For me this is a really hard and has a lot of challenges. I just a listener sitting there and I can feel very nervous even i am not a composer .I don't need to answer any questions. And you need to know a lot of detail and skill for each instrument. And make it all possible.
  The other thing I think languages is really important. Not just the speaking skill. Like which word you pick up it's really important. You need to let people know which way you need to go. So this is really engage me.
  Composer it's really cool thing in the world!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Proposal Final Draft

   I want to talk about a new form about opera performance.

  Last Sunday, our school has a show performance Schumann & Argento. There has different piece

and different singer in different room. And they will just performance in their charters. And the

audience they come to the room and they can't have any conversation with the performance, after that

just follow the line and keep walking.

  I think this is a very interesting form and style to find the new way to make music different and they

can know more or deep inside the story.

  So I want to talk about this things and finish my final draft.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Project Idea

For my project I was thinking of editing the wiki page about Eric Whitacre's piece, "Sleep." The page has little to no actual information and some of what is there is inaccurate. I wanted to do some research about the piece, how it was commissioned, who it was written for, and the story behind the change of poetry. I want to include a complete text and analysis of the piece itself. I realize I may struggle to find a lot of historical information as the piece is modern and by a living composer, but that is why I want to add something to wikipedia about it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Music in the brain

For the first time, scientists identify a neural population highly selective for music.

My friend, a condensed matter physics researcher told me recent scientific result from MIT group. Music and speech are elementary behavior in our life. From the international survey, people consider that music is a source of pleasure and positive emotion. Although music is very important for us, we do not know how our brain response to music and how music affect our emotion. Scientists have long wondered if the human brain contains neural mechanisms specific to music perception. Now, for the first time, MIT neuroscientists have identified a neural population in the human auditory cortex that responds selectively to sounds that people typically categorize as music, but not to speech or other environmental sounds. When I read this article, I realize that this research result is not only important for neuroscientists, but also for us.

 Classical music is in an embarrassing condition in this century. In the modern society, everyone feel high pressure from job, family. Most of us release the pressure and relax ourselves by listening music. Due to the promotion of popular music and time-limitation of us, more and more people are interested in popular music rather than classical music. The popular music emphasizes syncopated rhythms, slurred pitches, disjunct melodies, and other anti-classical elements. Add the fact that cuts in education have meant little has been taught about classical music and we have current situation -- difficulty getting audiences to concerts. The scientists in MIT media lab are investigating whether the music-selective population identified in their study contains subpopulations of neurons that responds to different aspects of music including rhythm, melody, and beat. This research should give us a direction for classical music education. As we known, if we want to develop classical music, we should attract audience and get them to concerts. From my perspective, we should give more effective classical music education in campus to help people to cultivate the habit of listening classical music.
How to give effective classical music education is an essential problem we must deal with. In this report, neuroscientists are going to investigate where region of brain involved in processing music. And they will give the evidence that music can affect some emotional components in our brain. As we know the relationship between music and brain, we can give every student effective music education according to personal characters. The classical music and popular music is different, everyone is also different. When we know how our brain response to different style music, the composer can create melody what people want to hear. Although classical music face a terrible time, we can change this condition using the scientific tool from neuroscientists. If you want to read this article.

please chick this link: in the brain

Monday, March 7, 2016

Why Pastiche Has Taken Over New Music

This was a very interesting article about how pretty much all new music is recognizable or a cross blend of different genres. The author makes a lot of points and provides evidence from the pop world to the "classical" world that composers/writers are using influences that can be instantly recognized by the audience. It doesn't seem like a bad thing at all, talking about how pastiche exists in every art form now a days, and that we are experiencing an "ideological shift."This all seems fine and just sort of expected, until the author brings up originality, specifically the "death" of it. I can't quite decide wether or not pastiche means the complete death of original writing..I feel that it definitely has its place, but I hope that we will see completely original works that won't be recognizable at all so that we can truly keep having new music brought into the world.

Drumkit for contemporary classical ensembles

In THE WALL STREET JOURAL, I've read the article “Wilco’s Drummer Goes Classical.”

 Glenn Kotche, best known as the drummer for the alt-rock band Wilco, has provided the backbeats and grooves for the band plus occasional tonal color since 2000. Also he has been composing for classical ensemble and collaborating with some of the world’s leading contemporary classical ensembles including the Kronos Quartet, the Silk Road Ensemble, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, So Percussion, and eighth blackbird.

 “Those lines between classical music and rock have long vanished. People are just open to good music and good experiences." he said.

 He lives in his world with rhythms, tones, patterns and sonic textures- the building blocks of music. In fact, Delta Faucets once hired him to create the sounds backing a series of commercials promoting its touch system products, which he did by using the sounds of water. He said, “Water is like a mallet hitting a surface and hitting a surface with force- that’s a percussion instrument.”
He can find music in everything, and is good at constructing them together effectively.

 I watched Wilco's performance and his latest work “Drumkit quartets." I felt similar to listening to the drum solo of the band’s song when listened to “Drumkit quartets, No.54 (Vienna)” To percussionists, what or where are the borderlines between some genres including classical music?EndFragment The specific technique? The styles? The instruments they use? I'm interested in his career and what he has been doing in the fields of both rock and classic music. It's pretty experimental.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Composers, the Audiences

      "WHY DOES ANY ONE WRITE A PIECE OF MUSIC?" This is the beginning of the article "Composers' Whys Affect The Whats" by Bernard Holland published on New York Times in 1996. Sometimes, I like questions, they make me think a lot, thus acquire a lot. Back to this question after I tried to ask myself the same thing, I realized that, turns out, for such a long time, some the pieces that I have done and some that are still working on are somehow just only for meeting my requirements for school. I am not saying that I was not passionate during created these music. To the contrary, I do loved the pieces no matter I have done already or still during the process, each pieces could stand for me as a significant step of my career of compose. The thing I am trying to point out is that I often start with a piece because the requirements from school or competitions. Is that a good thing to keep doing with? Honestly, I do not know.
        From my perspective, composer is the one who used musical language to sharing the truth of his/her own artistic voice. Yet, in some ways composer is also the one who is try to engage with people by used musical language. In this way, the composers sometimes are pandering to try to guess what people want to hear. This brings another question. Should audiences necessarily come first? When I started to learn composition, there are numerous kinds of books are talk about how to compose music. Moreover, I took different classes since middle school for learn to compose music. However, None of those books or the classes I took have told me which one should come first, the audiences or the composers themselves. 
         The article has mentioned that "Earlier in this century a lot of listeners felt intimidated for not "understanding" a lot of contemporary music. Now they are beginning to understand that they just don't like it." So, why are we still making the music that unacceptable for most of audiences? Because the wheel of music history needs us to push towards a brighter future? I doubt it. One thing, however, I never doubt about is everything is exists for a reason. As same as music, each time period of a musical style is exists for a reason. Actually, I am kind of believe that good music is always the controversial one. Also, the most successful concert, to some minds, might be the one that is not attended by anyone.

See article, click here

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Classical Music and Social Justice II

Three of Berlin's orchestras (the Koncerthausorchester, Berlin Philharmonic, and Staatskapelle) recently gave a concert exclusively for Syrian refugees. Led by Simon Rattle, the concert was meant to be gesture of welcome to those who had been displaced from their homes. Iván Fischer, the conductor of the Koncerthausorchester, even gave a welcome speech in Arabic.

The concert was well received, and gave the refugees a sense of belonging and comfort. One Syrian school teacher found the music to be "optimistic" and morale boosting in the face of the many challenges faced by herself and her fellow refugees in finding asylum. Others were reminded of similar concerts they had attended in their own homeland during more peaceful times. And still others were introduced to music they had never heard before, saying that they were excited to hear more of it.

Outreach like this opens the door for orchestras to act as ambassadors. While Germany has opened its doors to refugees, the refugees have been met with much hostility from German nationals who disagree with the decision to grant the refugees asylum. Germany is not alone in this. Citizens of many other countries have spoken out aggressively against their governments' decisions to accept refugees. Creating a concert specifically for refugees goes a long way to say that not only are they allowed to exist in the country, but that they are welcome to enjoy themselves, and to take part in the culture.

The concert also opens an accessible avenue for new audiences to experience music they may otherwise be unfamiliar with. The orchestras, rather than bemoaning a drop in ticket sales and concert attendance, have sought out a group in need of goodwill, and have opened their doors to invite them to attend their concerts. This gesture, in addition to giving some comfort to refugees, also creates the potential for larger audiences at future concerts.

In addition to this concert, the Koncerthausorchester has also produced an Arabic staging of Saint-Saëns' "Carnival of the Animals", and the Berlin Philharmonic has started an outreach program encouraging musicians to bring refugees to their rehearsals and concerts.

Again we see the potential that the classical music industry has for making a powerful statement for social justice, and for creating change in the lives of the disadvantaged. It would be wonderful to see American Orchestras follow suit, and to create similar programs.