Category: ecstatic

Classical Composition and Crack Cocaine

Who was Mozart’s audience? I used to have a composition teacher who urged me to imagine my audience when writing.  Although Mozart envisioned a large audience–a wide swath of the public–how could he even imagine the audience of the age of the Internet? [“How would they even get the jokes?] It used to be that... Read more »

Ecstatic Marathon Countdown - #3 - John Matthias & co.

After a couple hours of Ecstatic Music, I needed a break. Little did I know I would miss something good: John Matthias, Adrian Corker, and Andrew Prior. Fortunately, I only missed their first piece, What Happens, and got to see the second, Cortical Songs. The latter is for solo violin, played by Matthias, which is... Read more »

Ecstatic Marathon Countdown - #4 - Kate Moore

About midway through my experience at the 7-hour Ecstatic Music Marathon, Lisa Moore and Ashley Bathgate, both of the Bang on a Can All Stars, took the stage to play Lisa Moore’s Velvet. [Moore and Moore are no relation.] After several high quality but greatly varied performances, my mind’s ear felt broken wide open, ready... Read more »
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Ecstatic Marathon Countdown - #5 - Jefferson Friedman

Ecstatic Marathon Countdown - #5 - Jefferson Friedman
I had somehow never heard of Jefferson Friedman when I heard his 3rd String Quartet at the Ecstatic Music Marathon. Informed by the classics of string quartet literature–Bartòk, Shostakovich–Friedman somehow manages to thoroughly digest the models to produce something integrated and organic. He wrote his 3 string quartets for the Chiara Quartet who gave a... Read more »

Ecstatic Marathon Countdown - #6 - Nico Muhly

Ecstatic Marathon Countdown - #6 - Nico Muhly
There were almost 20 different performances at the Ecstatic Music Festival Marathon concert.  Of the 7 best things I saw, Nico Muly’s Keep in Touch was #6 and really helped me to better understand why he is so absurdly relatively famous right now.  [He’s no Black Eyed Peas, but he’s been featured in the New Yorker (but not... Read more »

Ecstatic Marathon Countdown - #7 Buke and Gass

Ecstatic Marathon Countdown - #7 Buke and Gass
Unbate your breath, the Ecstatic Music Marathon is now streaming online.  Last month, I was in New York for the kickoff of the Ecstatic Music Festival, which continues through February and March, featuring a wide array of hip, genre-deconstructing composers.  The opening Marathon was 7 hours long, so to save you from sifting through wheats... Read more »
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critical remarks on nico muhly's diacritical marks

“Form ever follows function.”  Though said about architecture, this aphorism may also explain why contemporary composers struggle with form: they are unclear about the function.  Nico Muhly’s new string quartet Diacritical Marks, premiered Wednesday at New York’s Kaufman center (as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival), broke from traditional forms, instead of just 4 movements,... Read more »

Ecstatic Marathon: Nadia Sirota & Nico Muhly (pirate video)

He’s been featured in the New Yorker, worked with Björk (Guðmundsdóttir), jónsi, and is working on an opera for the Met; so it’s safe to assume you’ve heard of Nico Muhly.  [He also got 5.1 and 7.4/7.8 from Pitchfork.  Which means he’s tied with Missy Mazzoli’s Victoire.  Let the arch-rivalry begin.] I saw him perform... Read more »

nyc: ecstatic marathon - overview

nyc: ecstatic marathon - overview
I couldn’t sleep last night.  I got home at about 22:30 from the Ecstatic Music Marathon, talked with my friend about it, drank some cider, sat down to write, tried to write this very sentence (and couldn’t), wrote some other sentences (see below), and finally cashed in my chips about 0:45–or tried to. It’s like... Read more »
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