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Starting to hear the name a lot...anybody else also hearing the name? Or the actual music? I might be interested.

 

 

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22 hours ago, JSngry said:

Starting to hear the name a lot...anybody else also hearing the name? Or the actual music? I might be interested.

 

 

Sounds interesting to me.

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Listened to "Play". Sounds OK. Does not really work as a whole, IMO, but a lot of nice hooks. Sounds like a Hollywood film composer who decided that he needs to go wild.

Will listen some more.  

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Just heard the name in the last week or so. Catching up on my magazine backlog and read an Alex Ross (I know....) review of some of the goings-on around the LA Phil's centennial season, and he totally raved about Norman's new work "Sustain", and the way he described it, the way it worked, sounded very much like something I wanted to hear, if nothing else, just to hear the process.

And of course, it's only very recently been premiered, so there's no records or videos yet(?). But I started Googling the guy, and it turns out that he's a "hot name" in contemporary composer circles, which in and of itself doeswn't impress me, I mean, is this guy for real or is this a case of the flavor of the decade having gotten the fix in, you know, or more accurately, I DON'T know, so I poked around the web some more and found enough samples to say, yes, I might indeed be interested, let's see if anybody else is too.

What I definitely DO like is the very energetic break away from Glass-ian minimalism. I've been tired of that for about as long as it's been around (although enough music that has grown out of that is just fine), The guy's 39, so he's not a kid, but in today's environment, I think it also means that he's still going to grow (or at least evolve). So, we''ll see, eh?

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in a good way or a bad way?

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So much going on - exciting but, as with so much modern music - never really sure what I’m hearing and why...

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Yeah, I totally get that. But that makes me wonder if that's also what's really going on in life too. If we really sorted out the details (and surely we should?), would we be happy, pissed off, or even more confused?

Which I guess leads to another question - if we never got to the technology of recording (sound and/or otherwise), would we even be where we are now? Is the assumption now that it's ok to not be immediately comprehensible because either, there will be the record to live with, or else, you know, nothing else is, why should this be, take this one now, the next one when it comes along, etc.

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Recording has had a huge effect on how we listen, to be sure. Without recordings we would all know so much less about what music is and how it can work, and music itself has developed based on that knowledge, on that level of audience familiarity with the rules in general, with certain pieces and performers in particular, and in many genres relies on recording and the attendant studio technologies for its existence. It also makes us lazy as listeners - we can rely on repeating a recording to learn it without firm attention - and it also makes us better: we do learn it, we learn to appreciate every nuance (or notice its lack)... and so on. I like to hear new music for the first and only time when I can, to remind myself what that is like. Many refections on this but the office beckons!

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The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has posted a video of its performance of Norman's "Play" from a few months ago in November. This is the latest revision of the piece. Cristian Măcelaru is the conductor. (The orchestra live streams its subscription concerts every week -- one performance out of the set.) 

 

 

Edited by Mark Stryker

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How was the piece received, by audiences and by players? And how did this work come to the orchestra?

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

How was the piece received, by audiences and by players? And how did this work come to the orchestra?

Much enthusiasm all the way around. The piece came to the DSO by way of the orchestra's artistic administrator, Erik Ronmark, who has a sharp ear for contemporary music -- he's a classically trained saxophonist and co-founder of a group called New Music Detroit.  

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Interesting. It sounds like it would be a challenging, fun piece to play - if you were inclined to finding fun in that type of thing. Don't have to tell you, not all players are.

I can only hope that when our DSO gets it's new people in place and they get to fully drive the bus, we see programming like this as part of the overall diet. The John Adams gig last weekend was the only time this season that our DSO is programming a living composer. When asked what he though about that, Adams response was "I don't know what to say about that."

I think he does, but didn't.

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