Don't Call it a Comeback: Experimental Music's Rebirth StoriesThis issue of Musicworks features experimental music that has been reborn in a variety of ways. From restaging Cage and Duchamp's Reunion, to repurposing English renaissance music for new opera, to finding one's way through writer's block, the music and musicians featured in this issue have risen from the ashes to create exciting new sound worlds!
Nico Muhly-Old-Fashioned Innovationby Julian Cowley
Article Summary:New York-based composer, blogger, and gourmand Nico Muhly, in London for the staging of his debut opera Two Boys, talks about the pleasure and the craft of composition. He discusses the usefulness of his musical training at Juilliard, the lessons he gained from the experience of working for Philip Glass, and the discipline of making arrangements for pop songs. He reflects on his preference for narrative clarity and coherence with reference to his undergraduate study of English literature, while the devotion to the Anglican choral tradition that is clearly audible in some of his music is traced to his days as a boy chorister.
Clint Conley and Hildegard Westerkamp: Don't Call it a Comebackby Jonathan Bunce
Article Summary:This article examines two very different artists-American post-punk rock musician Clint Conley, of the Boston quartet Mission of Burma, and Canadian composer Hildegard Westerkamp, an early member of the World Soundscape Project-and their on-again, off-again relationship with musical creativity. These two artists' stories illustrate how creative dormancy is very much a part of the creative process, and show that, while life issues sometimes make pressing demands on our energies, so that finding the space to create becomes ever more challenging, the instinct to make art can still assert itself with commanding force.
Brian Ruryk: Post No-Wave Guitar Noise.by Nick Storring
Article Summary:Brian Ruryk has long been a part of Toronto's experimental music community. He has developed a highly idiosyncratic sound, employing maimed guitars, junk being hurled every which way, and rapid-fire pause-button edits. Taking cues from musique concrète, the abstract end of guitar improv, and no wave, Ruryk's current work has won him the support of the local noise community. Yet his gestural and dense work has never neatly fit anywhere. This article charts Ruryk's move through various scenes over the span of his more-than-three-decade career, and discusses his peculiar aesthetic and approach.
Cage, Duchamp: Reunion of REUNIONby Chris Kennedy
A look at the restaging of REUNION, the 1968 chess match between Marcel Duchamp and John Cage. In 2010, two of Cage's colleagues and a few inheritors of Cage and Duchamp's legacy performed during an all-night festival that both paid homage to and reinvented the original occasion.
How to make a light-controlled mixer: Go to the dark side and start controlling sound!by Rob Cruickshank
In this iteration of our DIY, resident tech guru Rob Cruickshank takes gestural sound control old school! We give step-by-step instructions on how to build a simple passive circuit, based on light-dependent resistors that mix two audio signals, based on the amount of light falling on its sensors.
Sound Bite: Writer Nick Storring profiles electroacousitc wunderkind Adam Basanta.
Sonic Geography: This issue features "the Kitchen Chorus" by Ingrid Rose, the first place winner of our inaugural Sonic Geography Writing Contest.
In the Works: Trombonist Scott Thomson talks to Gloria Lipski about the development of AGOrienteering, the latest in his cartographic compositions for musicians and audiences.
Visions of Sound: Composer and sound artist Sarah Peebles has build and installed a wunderkammer-cabinet of curiosities called Pollination Wunder Station at the Tree Museum in Bracebridge, Ontario. Part bio art, part sound installation, and part sculpture. It is one in a series of audio bee booths that are amplified habitat installations for solitary nesting bees and wasps.
Festival: Stuart Broomer reports on the FIMAV and Blair K. Ellis reports on the OK.Quoi?! Contemporary Arts Festival
Recordings:Tim Hecker's Ravedeath, 1972 and Standard Form Records
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