New Music: Blending styles, audiences and technologies

Allan Kozinn of the New York Times wrote an article, "For New Music, Cross-Pollination and Big Crowds" which is about "young composers who are equally at home in classical music, rock, jazz and world music and whose work speaks to audiences with similarly unbounded interests." This is the same sort of sentiment I've often touted on this blog, new music needs to look at those composers who are blending styles of rock and jazz into classical mediums, pulling rhythms or flavors from world music and elements from minimalism or atonality into something new, fresh and listenable. That last bit is probably most key, the music is enjoyable to listen to.

In another article from the New York Times, this one by Anthony Tommasini, "Classical Music That Dared to Be Different" it speaks about pieces performed this year that broke boundaries. One of the most prominent in my opinion was the internet broadcast of the New York Philharmonic's performance in North Korea. "Along with millions around the world, I watched the concert streamed live over the PBS Web site at 4 a.m. New York time. (The concert was later televised in an evening broadcast.) Somehow, sitting at my desktop computer and seeing the Philharmonic play live in North Korea, where the Internet is banned, seemed tangible evidence of barriers falling."

Add to that the simulcast performances of operas from New York, London, Berlin into film houses everywhere and we begin to see how technology is spreading the wealth of classical music to areas that previously only longed for it. These new mediums are also creating new revenue streams for classical performers.

What all this means is classical music is far from dead. There is a new explosion of talent, technique and technology that is exploring new worlds of music and exposing new people it.


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