Posted inBreaking

Level Out, Level Down

Today’s offer of investment from Arts Council [sic] of £17 million over the next three years will allow us to increase our national presence by creating a new base out of London, potentially in Manchester.” That last Friday’s public statement from English National Opera was spun by some as a successful outcome sums up the […]

Posted inReview

 Love, Anger, Agency

Kate Molleson begins Sound within Sound: Opening Our Ears to the Twentieth Century with a loud call for change. “I write this book out of love and anger. The love, because I want to shout from the rooftops that classical music is gripping, essential, personally and politically game changing. The anger, because I can’t shout proudly about a […]

Posted inReport

The Pitch of Living

“I’ve been interested in the 432 Hz conspiracy theories for a while,” began an email from my editor at VAN. “Would you like to spend some time using the 432 Player, a website that adjusts all your music to 432 Hz?” I consider myself a very online person, and yet, through a mixture of willful […]

Posted inOpinion

A Piano Down a Mine

Is classical music funny? The Witty Ditty Industry, made up of (mostly) white men in their 30s, would probably reply singing “Of course not!” Their retort would be snappily harmonized, with enough panache to make whoever questioned their authority look a bit silly; but not quite enough commitment to suggest this retort is entirely ironic. […]

Posted inInterview

Romantic Comedy

Kieran Hodgson is more of a comic actor than a stand-up. An excellent impressionist, his earnest, if ironically-titled, YouTube series “Bad TV Impressions” made him a viral lockdown hit. Yet he’s more interested in constructing narratives, on topics ranging from Lance Armstrong to the European Union, than improvisatory muscle-flexing. At London’s SoHo Theatre, he recently […]

Posted inInterview

Digging

Cassie Kinoshi’s compositions appear on her SoundCloud in a couple of unassuming annual collections. The six-minute clips are given generic titles like “Compositions: Instrumental Showreel 2020.” But beneath their utilitarian form lie collections of substantial creativity. “Afronaut,” a gritty Afrofuturist track from the Mercury Award-nominated SEED Ensemble, sits alongside “If She Could Dance Naked Under […]

Posted inEssay

Universal Partisanship

“I am a child of Europe, I am a liberal cosmopolitan. My family is the genetic equivalent of a UN peace-keeping force. I can read novels in French, and I can sing the ‘Ode to Joy’ in German…[encouraging shouts from audience] ‘Freude, schöner Götterfunken’…” This from a bitter “Remoaner,” lamenting the UK’s dismal exit from […]

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