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 inEssay

Sound Is The Placebo

“It hasn’t got any FLAPS!” A man in a pinstriped suit shouts at a customer trying to sell him a limited edition John & Yoko box set. I am in a very niche shop of cultural ephemera in Cecil Court, near Leicester Square, and the proprietor is not amused. Situationist posters sit next to first […]

Posted inInterview

Flying Blind

Musicians who feel that their instruments have been mishandled by airlines like to unleash avalanches of outrage on social media, followed by petitions and calls for boycotts. British Airways recently tested tempers when gate agents refused to take three of the Kronos Quartet’s instruments on board. The quartet responded with a pledge to boycott the […]

Posted inReport

Ambient Indifference

I live in London, but generally, I try to avoid using the tube, favoring buses, cycling, or walking where possible. In comparison to the subterranean transport systems of continental Europe, I find it expensive, loud, and surprisingly inefficient. This is perhaps the fault of its age, for London’s underground system is the oldest in the […]

Posted inPlaylist

A One-Hit Wonder Playlist

There’s something tragic about the one-hit wonder. Take Vanilla Ice: despite the ubiquity of his 1990 hit song “Ice, Ice Baby,” he had to start hosting a reality home improvement TV show called “The Vanilla Ice Project” on the DIY network in 2010, and his Wikipedia biography refers to him as a “handyman” first and […]

Posted inInterview

Good Giggles

The first time classical music humor on the internet was funny can be dated to approximately September 22, 2016, the launch of the page Classical Music Memes for Contemporary Teens. Once ruled by “Bach to the Future” and “You Can’t Handel It” type jokes, classical music humor now referenced Ferneyhough and conservatory anxiety and caused […]

Posted inProfile

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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