Posted inEssay

Binky Listens

On a 2014 episode of the beloved Canadian-American kid’s show “Arthur,” everyone is getting into this really weird band—except for Binky. Known among his classmates for having refined musical taste and talent, Binky decides to listen to the band only after another character, Muffy, teasingly suggests that “it might be too sophisticated” for him. “Too […]

Posted inProfile

Studio Metaphors

“I don’t even know what it means,” Morton Subotnick admitted, when I asked if his music could be called psychedelic. We were sitting in his hotel lobby on a Friday afternoon, a few days before his concert at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter. The influential experimental/electronic music composer’s appearance fit right in the spirit of their program. […]

Posted inProfile

Excavated Timbres

By the time he started pursuing a formal education in the avant-garde, John McCowen had already traversed to both ends of the spectrum of rock popularity. During the 2000s, he was singing and screaming in hardcore bands at house shows around his native Carbondale, Illinois. Then, in 2009, he was playing flute and sax in […]

Posted inInterview

Sun Energy

The Baltimore-based interdisciplinary artist Liz Durette recontextualizes the Fender Rhodes, an electric piano best known for its classic rock connotations (heard in The Eagles, The Doors, The Doobie Brothers, and the like), as the outlet for her solo improvisations informed by classical theory. The instrument is the basis for Durette’s setup heard on her two […]

Posted inReport

Rage and Cringe

In our time, a unique jargon has developed for talking about internet memes. This jargon correlates with certain pop cultural tendencies; it expresses emotions people have felt before, but have never been able to convey as concisely as they can now with a new set of colloquialisms. Probably the most affective and distinctive emotion is […]

Posted inReview

Vulnerable to the Unknown

The setup itself, two pianists and two percussionists, is not conventional. Yet it formed naturally, without a deliberate plan. This naturalness elucidates why giving a title to each member of Yarn/Wire is perhaps misleading: there’s a fluidity to the quartet that shatters and belittles the relevance of the principles imposed on being a pianist or […]

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