Two articles on programming: first, an interview with violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja on her "Bye, Bye Beethoven" project and programmatic ideas to promote and perform music beyond the canon, and second, a overview of canonical issues in the concert hall and how the arguments for continuing current programming practices break down under examination from Dave Molik for NewMusicBox.
How can you connect audience members with the music of today?
Here are two articles, one from New York Times and the other from Washington Post that are all about engaging the public with new composers and new music. The Times artlcle uses a clever format - asking well-known artists to talk about new works and composers that excite them. Instead of getting a rather dry summary of the music or premise of the work, the reader gets an enthusiastic and personal endorsement from a valued source.
When programming music, it's easiest to select works that we enjoy hearing or playing, or those that match our aesthetic taste and experience. I hear a lot of students (and faculty!) talk about how they're not fans of music that requires extended techniques or that lacks a discernable melody because it's just not what they enjoy. AND THAT IS OK. But here are a few things about aesthetics and where they can both help and hinder our experience of the world.
First, this is a great video introduction to different concepts of aesthetic appreciation. While not focused on music, it's easy to apply the concepts to compositions, performances, recordings, and other musical objects and experiences.
Artists are always on the lookout for new techniques or sources of inspiration, but there can be a fine line between borrowing and tokenizing the music or art of others. Here are two articles about instances of tokenization or appropriation. They may not have all the answers, but they'll definitely get you thinking about how you use music from outside of your own traditions.
Here's a great checklist of factors to plan for/consider when collaborating with a composer as a performer...or vice versa.
It's probable that if you shake up the repertory you perform, someone - an audience member, a colleague, an instructor, you mom - might ask, "Why are you playing music by someone who is [race, color, religion or creed, national origin or ancestry, sex (including gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity, age (old OR young)?" What do you say in response? Before you plunge into an answer, take some time to explore what it means to be an ally or how to confront bias effectively.
The Native American Council's website contains not only a Sovereignty Statement for Iowa City but information on what is a statement, what is land sovereignty, tribal treaties in the state, and more.