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Artifacts

An Interview with Jakob Ullmann By · Photography · Date 06/23/2016 I studied music theory with the composer and writer Jakob Ullmann in Basel, from 2011–2013. For this interview, we met him at his home in Naumburg, Germany, on a rainy Sunday. Books on new music lined the corridor; books on religion lined his study. […]

Posted inEssay

Program Music

Recently, I played a series of symphonic movements for a class. Some were by Mozart, and others by other composers. With a little practice and guidance, the class picked up a rough impression of Mozart’s style, as distinct from the other works. The last piece I played was by David Cope’s software Experiments in Musical […]

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Voids

An Interview with Rebecca Saunders By · Date 06/16/2016 I met the composer Rebecca Saunders in her Berlin studio on a bright afternoon last week. Her new score was taped up around the wall; a page detached itself and floated to the ground. We started by talking about how we were not going to talk […]

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Changing The System

I met the composer Christian Wolff for this interview some time ago in Hamburg, Germany. There were a few other people in the room—from the festival klub katarakt, which had a commissioned a new work from him—and I asked Wolff if he felt like performing an impromptu version of his prose piece “Crazy Mad Love.” […]

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Coordinates of Value

As part of our partnership with ricordilab, we spoke with the composer Liza Lim about her duties with this competition and the benefits and limitations of composition competitions in general. VAN: Composers often complain that hyper-complex-looking scores have an advantage in competitions. How much does the way the score looks impact your decisions? Liza Lim: […]

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Unfinished Business

For Intro, we speak with the musicians who don’t show up in press releases. We hope to portray a diversity of background and experience in classical music. This is the second interview in an ongoing series. Occasional contact keeps memories vivid. When I think of Eli Marshall, I remember a crisp, sunny autumn morning and […]

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Listening, Not Hearing

The American composer, performer, and humanitarian Pauline Oliveros performed a two-day Deep Listening Intensive and Sonic Meditation alongside her partner, author and dream specialist Ione, and jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran and his band, the Bandwagon, on April 1 and 2 as part of the 2016 Artists Studio at the Park Avenue Armory in […]

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Patriarchal Structures

This interview took place in November 2015, and is reproduced here in an abridged version. We spoke with Neuwirth about the persistence of the patriarchy in classical music, the new generation of women composers, and her recent and older works. VAN: I feel there’s an imbalance between the genders in our musical society. Are quotas […]

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Homecomings

For Intro, we speak with the musicians who don’t show up in press releases. We hope to portray a diversity of background and experience in classical music. This is the first interview in an ongoing series. Andrew Trovato is a pianist, composer, and childhood friend. In the course of two long Skype sessions—he was lying […]

Posted inHistory

Black Magic

On the evening of March 7, 1983, the French-Canadian composer Claude Vivier went for a drink at a bar in the Belleville neighborhood of Paris. He picked up a young man there and brought him back to his apartment for sex. The man then stabbed Vivier to death. If, before he fled, the killer had […]

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