Posted inInterview

“Stop Touring, Take Mushrooms”

Pekka Kuusisto and I have turned up to the interview looking vaguely similar. Two pairs of glasses, lots of short, dark-blond hair, and two not dissimilar jumpers meet on the screen: mine, a sludge-green skiing fleece borrowed from my dad; his, a bottle-green Icelandic-knit sweater made by his mother-in-law during lockdown. Kuusisto is an intense […]

Posted inPages Turned

Neither Peak nor Trough

At university, a composition lecturer once described his artistic endeavor as freeing “music from the baggage of serious high art music, without actually throwing away the bags.” A similar description applies to the classical music publishing industry today: discarding the baggage accumulated by “history of music” books of old, while retaining the means with which […]

Posted inPlaylist

A C Major Playlist

Some days, I sit at the piano and doodle, playing nothing in particular for some unspecified period until I eventually stop. What happens next depends entirely on the amount of music I’ve chewed through the previous week: adventurous or gentle, thickly slathered or flimsily constructed. Little is uniform in these twiddling sessions, save for the […]

Posted inBreaking

1,000 Symphonies In Your Pocket

There’s faint live music as I walk into Battersea Power Station. Around the corner from Apple’s giant, glass-fronted reception area, a man is performing an extremely committed rendition of Modest Mussorgsky’s “The Great Gate of Kyiv” on a public piano to a crowd of exactly three people, in the middle of an enormous shopping center. […]

Posted inPages Turned

In The Sonorous Air

It’s my first time visiting Berlin in springtime. Incapable of shaping my own destiny, I find a tongue-in-cheek itinerary for a couple of politics-themed hours in the German capital, designed for irony-addled people with time to burn. I decide to follow the plan with slavish sincerity, heading from Alexanderplatz down Karl-Marx-Allee towards Cafe Sibylle, a […]

Posted inInterview

Pain and Transfiguration

Often the most interesting nuggets of interviews arrive when questioning dissolves into chatting. “Sorry, that previous answer was a bit wishy-washy,” Robin Ticciati says on reflection: Following the tenor David Butt Philip’s recent Times of London interview, where he advised young UK singers to head abroad for the betterment of their careers post-Brexit, I’d asked […]

Posted inPages Turned

Aesthetic Camouflage

What do you do?” The Outline asked in 2019. “I’m a podcaster–vlogger–model–DJ,” they replied, rhetorically and hyphenatedly. The gig economy has brought with it a host of new containers (like the egregious “multi-hyphenate”) to describe artists who traverse multiple creative pursuits—artists who a generation ago might have been called a dandy, a flâneur, or, more […]

Posted inBreaking

Agility, Fragility

Much like Harrison Birtwistle, I feel like I’m always writing the same piece, albeit one that’s more wordy, more political, and much more depressing. Following the lead of Arts Council England, who made a mess of both the announcement and communication of their National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) funding reallocations in November, the BBC too garnished […]

Posted inEssay

In For a Pound 

09:31 11/2/2022 It’s a sunny, fall day in Lyon, and an email appears reminding me that I am young.  To be young in the opera world is to enter a transient realm, between the strictly policed age brackets of young artist programs, and an audience demographic fetishized by arts marketers; where young can mean anything […]

error: This content is protected