Posted inEssay

Clothing the Future

Drummers, as a species, are generally granted asylum from the dictates of onstage formal dress. Their counterparts in classical percussion, however, are not so liberated: When Mike Truesdell, then a graduate student in percussion at the Juilliard School, arrived backstage to a fall 2011 solo performance in a t-shirt, he was promptly asked to change. […]

Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

Weather Patterns

“You are the sky,” says the Tibetan Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön. “Everything else is just the weather.” Chödrön offers this as a guide for dealing with strong emotions—a more tangible variation on “this too shall pass.” Emotions arise and, while they feel like they may fully inhabit every pore of our body, they rarely leave […]

Posted inInterview

Questioning Posterity

When La Boîte à Pépites (The Jewel Box) was announced as a new record label for women composers, I was cautious in my optimism. But founder Héloïse Luzzati shared a vision not about exclusion, but about uplifting voices: a project whose goal is not to record a composer just because she is a woman, but […]

Posted inInterview

The Responsibility of Connection

On Saturday, October 15, the International Contemporary Ensemble presents “Peyvand (پیوند),” a program of works featuring the ensemble (currently celebrating its 20th anniversary). What began as a collaboration between IntCE with Composers Now and the Cheswatyr Foundation—which commissioned a work by Niloufar Nourbakhsh to honor the life and legacy of philanthropist Cece Wasserman—grew into a […]

Posted inBreaking

Unveiling

On September 13, a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman named Mahsa Amini was detained by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s “morality police” in Tehran. Three days later, she died in police custody. Protests erupted around the country, and while their causes are manifold, they have been led by women and take as their primary target what Iranian […]

Posted inInterview

Anti-Angelic Aesthetics

The harp world is small and isolated, often ignored by media outlets. But changes are afoot among those who play the instrument at the highest level. New repertoire and collaborations are on the rise, as are different ways of thinking about the harp’s past and why it’s an instrument overwhelmingly played by cisgendered women. (An […]

Posted inInterview

Together on the Way

Born in 1955 in Rheinberg, Germany, and raised in Westphalia, Eva-Maria Houben’s musical career commenced at the age of 12 when she began playing organ in Sunday services at the church where her father worked as a presbyter. Subsequently working as a teacher at both school and university level, she has written numerous books of […]

Posted inInterview

Becoming Sound

On stage, there is something of a Monsieur Hulot-esque quality to Joëlle Léandre. She hunches over her big double bass, leaning forward with furrowed brow, huffing and puffing as she plays, sometimes letting those huffs and puffs emerge as full-throated vocalizations, each one a triumphant bof! of simultaneous exultation and exasperation. Watching her solo set […]

Posted inStuff I’ve Been Hearing

For Your (Re)consideration

Patricia Petibon, La Cetra, Andrea Marcon: “La Traversée” (Sony) BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sakari Oramo, Peter Donohoe: “Dora Pejačević: Piano Concerto & Symphony” (Chandos) Giulia Semenzato, Kammerorchester Basel: “Angelica Diabolica” (Alpha) We’re in the middle of a renaissance for historically-maligned women: Tonya Harding, Monica Lewinsky, Britney Spears, Lorena Bobbitt, and Pamela Anderson are among those whose […]