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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 […]

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The Insurmountable Wall

In July 2019, the Aspen Music Festival and School staged a concert production of Rodger and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific.” This was a performance of the show’s 2006 revised concert score, a score that had preserved Pacific Islander stereotypes and an anti-Japanese racial slur. It was so offensive to one student in the orchestra that he […]

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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 […]

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Time and Labor

I first heard about Terre Thaemlitz a few years ago, under her DJ Sprinkles moniker, as my thing for electronic music became a thing, and friends shared her tracks with me, particularly the dubbed-out reworks of some of his sample-heavy deep house. As my dance music taste got progressively darker and harder, I heard less […]

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Malleable Structures

The composer and performer Tyshawn Sorey was in Berlin recently as the very first Artist in Residence at the Berlin Festival’s JazzFest. At a concert on November 2, he played an array of highly differentiated sounds, combining subtly with his trio colleagues Christopher Tordini and Cory Smythe. For large chunks of the work, Sorey’s face […]

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Composites

Saturday night in one of Europe’s big cities, and concertgoers pour out of underground stations and cabs, tickets and programs in hand, dressed to the nines—a star-spangled cavalcade of cultural exchange and high-brow entertainment. Some will trace what they hear with prepared anticipation, some might not know what will be played at all, but all […]

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A Continuum

When I first emailed Uri Caine to set up this interview, he was headed to Barcelona for a concert. When we finally spoke over the phone a week or so later, he’d just driven back to New York from the Newport Jazz festival. He’s a busy musician, performing across the world (before Newport he was […]

Posted inPlaylist

A Daniel Grossmann Klezmer Playlist

Daniel Grossmann is the conductor and music director of the Jakobsplatz Orchestra in Munich, which focuses on Jewish music. In this playlist, he tells us the brief story of his relationship with the frequently underestimated—particularly in his home country—genre of klezmer. I hate klezmer. Or do I? Right now, it seems to me, Germany is […]

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Beauty is a Process

Miami-based composer and saxophonist Matthew Evan Taylor’s career has formed an impressive arc—from playing jazz and blues in Mississippi, to being signed with rock band Moses Mayfield to major label Epic Records, to receiving his doctorate in composition. These days he is engaged in composing and performing new music and opera, and is an active […]

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