Can performances in unexpected places strengthen new music’s impact?

Posted on: January 9, 2012

Thursday (1/5) on NewMusicBox.com, Alexandra Gardner writes, “A thoughtful blog post by composer Daniel Wolf addressing the concept of ‘public’ spaces (which, as he points out, are not actually as accessible as one might suppose) has got my brain churning about musical performance in unrestricted places. By that, I mean the sort of place where unsuspecting folks would happen upon a musical performance (or whatever sort of performance) and pause to check it out, or run away screaming, or… well something. … As much as I enjoy attending concerts in the sorts of venues where one would expect to hear music, the delight that buskers and street performances can provide makes me hope that even more composers will take advantage of the possibilities of music making in communal spaces. Although it is not a new idea, it hasn’t been widely implemented, despite the successes of works that have fared well in such a context. Recent examples include Lisa Bielawa’s Chance Encounter, which has been presented in multiple locations, John Luther Adams’s Inuksuit which has enjoyed both indoor and outdoor performances, and composer James Holt’s recent presentation of Thruline, in which cellists performed the Prelude from J.S. Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G major on every Coney Island bound F-train subway platform.”

Posted January 9, 2012