The trio job was on the rooftop terrace above the Time Warner Center. It's a deconstructivist corner pavilion that looks south and west and north: over the streets of Manhattan and the shipyards on the Hudson, along Jersey City and the mansions tucked into the cliffs of the Palisades, and -- most shockingly -- out to the blurred hilly horizon beyond. From that height, not only do the cars and people seem toylike and small down in the fretworked streets of Manhattan, but the city itself shows its tight geographic limits. These days, I rarely see my city from vantage points much higher than street level. This sweeping view of Manhattan provokes in me a dizzying cognitive dissonance, a pleasant conceptual seasickness. My endless city is not endless. From this height, in the particular perspective, an unencumbered evening sunlight slices golden and uninterrupted across the horizon towards sunset.Read More
Q: How do practitioners of new music define themselves?
A: International New Music English, or INME.
There is a distinct language that composers and performers use to describe themselves, their works, and their interests. This language both reflects and performs the goals and identities of experimental music communities: its use indexes knowledge, authority, connection with an experimental lineage, and perhaps most importantly, a sociolinguistic connection with other practitioners.
Cross-posted from Cacophony Magazine, a Chicago-based contemporary music magazine.Read More
We are none of us inviolable. We are none of us free to craft affectual experiences without taking responsibility for those creations.
We do not have the artistic right or social license to signify recklessly, simply because we feel bored or creatively limited or unsatisfied with our current domain and have chosen to play within the bounds of another—with no examination of the contexts of ethics and consent that underwrite that craft.Read More
I should provide a preliminary disclaimer for the collection. I have come to realize that the 2016 Darmstadt Summer Course is not a coherent document, as I had perhaps rather naively expected, but rather a bustling microecosystem, with concurrent strains of thought-life that perhaps coexist but certainly do not necessarily interact. The more people I meet, the more I realize that our experiential knowledges of this course have the potential to be extremely divergent.Read More
A hot early spring brought Alaska to full flower by the time I arrived in mid-July. In these hazy summer days, hot flares of fireweed dart along the roads and up the hillsides, early blueberries are bursting ripe from their stems, the familiar trails around Anchorage's surrounding Chugach State Park are fretted with lush green overgrowth.Read More
As the rain died down and passed, I stood in the parking lot to watch the heavy, receding clouds. Lightning flickered inside them, illuminating their tumescent bellies, as frequent and gentle as breath. Where the clouds parted, I saw the sunset slowly unfolding behind them as the evening wore on.Read More
This is a piece I wrote one year ago. I was living in Chicago, finishing my undergraduate studies at Northwestern, and becoming interested in the process of making field recordings in public spaces and then finding satisfying ways to describe them. I am about to start doing so again.Read More
The train comes and it is a revelation: it is nearly silent when stopped at the station, but as it pulls away and gains speed, a layered crescendo emerges and structures itself in layers upon layers of rich, keening noise. The floor hums, the tracks sing, the third rail howls below us at a rising frequency; then, as the train slows into the station, each level fades until all that is left is the constant fundamental pitch of the grid and the sweet shimmer of the LEDs and track lighting in the car.Read More
1. The state of things becomes tangled, mingled like thread, a long cable, a skein. Connections are not always unravelled. Who will unravel this mess? Imagine the thread of a network, the cord of a skein, or a web with more than one dimension, imagine interlacing as a trace on one plane of the state that I am describing. The state of things seems to me to be an intersecting multiplicity of veils, the interlacing of which bodies forth a three-dimensional figure. The state of things is creased, crumpled, folded, with flounces and panels, fringes, stitches and lacing.Read More