I would love to experience an outdoor performance of a John Luther Adams composition. I discovered his music thanks to this inaugural episode of Meet the Composer, an excellent podcast hosted by world-class musician/interpreter Nadia Sirota. The episode deftly reconstructs Adams' soul-search as a composer. I love the shift that occurs when we get to Alaska:
Every episode of Meet the Composer is worth a listen. I admire how it plunges into the world of contemporary avant-garde music in a way that retains less initiated ears like mine. *Fun fact: Sirota played the viola on Edo Van Breemen's original score for Fractured Land .
Bliss in an art gallery goes something like this: scores of gregarious zebra finches free in a room full of rock instruments. It's called 'from here to ear v19' and it's a captivating installation/live show by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot. What I found most surprising was the level of activity in the room, not coming from us transfixed human spectators but from the birds themselves: hopping on guitar strings, feeding, singing, attempting to build a nest on a guitar, snoozing in the sand... the whole had an air of purposefulness and order far from the disarray I had expected to find. Here's a great article in Slate that clarified some questions I had. It even goes into how birds of the same species can develop different dialects based on environment, something I've always wondered about since observing urban chickens and wondering if they would develop different calls to cope with the loudness of the city.
this is my favorite Ideas episode. Fascinating approach to history. With this in mind what does today's music forecast? See link for a listen:
It's often been said that WW1 created who we are today: geopolitically and culturally. Robert Harris explains how music -- classical and popular -- both prefigured and reflected the war in the years leading up to the unprecedented destruction and after.
Sparse highlights from the great spinning sphere of publication.