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49 minutes | 9 days ago
S1.E10 - Cast Chat
Rosy, Blaire, and Adam discuss the #MeToo movement’s impact on the music industry, community music schools, and higher education, and the practices and resources institutions are implementing to address power disparities that jeopardize safe environments. The cast then chats about the burgeoning use of technology in higher education, from the rapidly changing landscape of recording technologies to the methods in which students and faculty members prepare and present performance in the studio and the concert space—and the affordability and accessibility of all these “new” tools. The cast also considers the evolving approaches to coaching ensemble musicianship online and the shifting expectations and outcomes of these new methods. Soundweavers explores the triumphs and tribulations of the chamber music community through conversations with emerging and established performers, composers, and educators. Through dialogue, trialogue—and sometimes even tetralogue—with guest artists and ensembles, we delve into what it means to present contemporary and traditional classical, jazz, and folk music in today’s ever-shifting gig economy. Resources discussed in this episode: The BIT Collective Stephen Humphries, “Is The Music Industry Finally Facing Its #MeToo Moment?”, The Christian Science Monitor Shannon Lee, “When Will The Music Industry Have Its #MeToo Moment?”, Forbes Zoë Madonna, “Classical Music Saw a #MeToo Backlash in 2019”, The Boston Globe Helen Pidd, “Chetham’s Music Teacher Jailed for Sexually Abusing Pupil”, The Guardian Kalia Vandever, “Token Girl”, Medium “Teaching Music in the Age of COVID-19”, College Music Society International Coalition of Performing Arts: Aerosol Study The transcript for this episode can be found here. For more information about Soundweavers, please visit them at their website, Facebook, and YouTube.
40 minutes | 16 days ago
S1.E9 - The Society for Chamber Music in Rochester
Co-Artistic Directors Juliana Athayde and Erik Behr of the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester join us to discuss strategies for effective programming, making space for young composers, building a large roster of performers, integrating jazz improvisation and classical repertoire through baroque and blues concerts, developing institutional practices to ensure a legacy, working effectively with board members, the art of balancing family with orchestra and teaching and administrative work, and streamlining priorities in a post-COVID world. The Society for Chamber Music in Rochester (SCMR) presents Chamber Music concerts featuring musicians of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Eastman School of Music as well as selected local and visiting artists. We perform great works of chamber music of all periods and styles. Our outreach mission reaches and teaches students of all ages and inspires chamber music’s ongoing creation through composition competitions and commissions. The transcript for this episode can be found here. For more information about the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
49 minutes | a month ago
S1.E8 Castle of Our Skins
Ashleigh Gordon, the Artistic and Executive Director of Castle of our Skins, joins us to chat about her work leading a collective dedicated to celebrating black artistry through music. We discuss how she and co-founder Anthony Green developed COOS from individual grad school projects to a multifaceted concert presenter and educational organization. We speak about several of their initiatives, such as their Shirley Graham DuBois Creative-in-Residence Program, Beauty in Black Artistry blog, and edutainment recital and workshop series. We finish with advice on how to use one’s platform to provoke conversations on becoming ever better. Described as a “charismatic and captivating performer,” Ashleigh Gordon has recorded with Switzerland's Ensemble Proton and Germany's Ensemble Modern; performed with Grammy-award winning BMOP and Grammy-nominated A Far Cry string ensemble; and appeared at the prestigious BBC Proms Festival with the Chineke! Orchestra. Ashleigh has performed in the Royal Albert and Royal Festival Halls (London), Konzerthaus Berlin and Oper Frankfurt (Germany), Gare du Nord and Dampfzentrale Bern (Switzerland), Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Lee Hysan Concert Hall (Hong Kong), and the 180 Degrees Festival (Bulgaria). Ashleigh is co-founder, Artistic/Executive Director, and violist of Castle of our Skins, a Boston-based concert and educational series devoted to celebrating Black Artistry through music. She is a 2015 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award and 2016 Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award recipient, a 2019 Brother Thomas Fellow, a nominee for the 2020 "Americans for the Arts Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities,” and one of WBUR’s “ARTery 25”, twenty-five millennials of color impacting Boston’s arts and culture scene. As an advocate of social change through education, Ashleigh served as viola instructor in the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra's Intensive Community Program, a rigorous string instrumental program that provides instruction to populations often underrepresented in classical music. She has presented lectures on citizen artistry and entrepreneurship, workshops for fellow educators on Caribbean folk songs, and served as a guest panelist at the Sphinx Connect Conference and Chamber Music America Conference discussing diversity in classical music. She is an Instructor of Teaching Artistry at the Longy School of Music at Bard College. Resources discussed in today’s episode: Shirley DuBois Creative-in-Residence Program Castle of our Skins Beauty-in-Black-Artistry Blog The transcript for this episode can be found at here. For more information about Castle of our Skins, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
46 minutes | a month ago
S1.E7 Amy Williams
Composer Amy Williams joins us to discuss her youth surrounded by amazing composers and performers in her living room and her early professional years embarking on crazy projects like transcribing Conlon Nancarrow’s music for piano four-hands with her duo partner Helena Bugallo. She speaks with us about collaborating closely with and tailoring commissions to specific performers and ensembles. We also chat about her role as Artistic Director of New Music on the Point, where she connects superstar performers and composers with young emerging artists, fostering collaborations lasting many years. The compositions of Amy Williams have been presented at renowned contemporary music venues in the United States, Australia, Asia and Europe, including Thailand International Composition Festival, Ars Musica (Belgium), Gaudeamus Music Week (Netherlands), Dresden New Music Days (Germany), Musikhøst (Denmark), Festival Aspekte (Austria), Festival Musica Nova (Brazil), Roulette and Bargemusic (New York), LA County Museum of Art, Piano Spheres (Los Angeles) and Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. Her works have been performed by leading contemporary music soloists and ensembles, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, JACK Quartet, Ensemble Aleph, Dal Niente, Wet Ink, Talujon, Empyrean Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, California E.A.R. Unit, Dinosaur Annex, International Contemporary Ensemble, h2 Saxophone Quartet, Bent Frequency, pianists Ursula Oppens, Corey Hamm and Amy Briggs, and bassist Robert Black. Her pieces appear on the Albany, Parma, VDM (Italy), Blue Griffin, Centaur and New Ariel labels. As a member of the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo, Ms. Williams has performed at important new music festivals and series throughout Europe and the Americas. The Duo has recorded four critically-acclaimed CDs for Wergo (works of Nancarrow, Stravinsky, Varèse/Feldman and Kurtág), as well as appearing on the Neos and Albany labels. Ms. Williams was the recipient of a Howard Foundation Fellowship for 2008-2009, a Fromm Music Foundation Commission in 2009 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015-2016. Ms. Williams has taught at Bennington College and Northwestern University and is currently Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the Artistic Director of the New Music on the Point Festival in Vermont. Resources discussed in today’s episode: George Lewis, A Power Stronger than Itself The musical excerpts heard in today’s episode were composed by Conlon Nancarrow and Amy Williams and performed by the Bugallo-Williams Duo and the JACK Quartet. The transcript for today’s episode can be found here. For more information about Amy Williams, please visit her at her website.
52 minutes | 2 months ago
S1.E6 Twelfth Day
The genre-bending violin and harp duo Twelfth Day joins us to discuss their work weaving the Scottish folk and Western classical traditions, songwriting, infusing their music with other stylistic influences, their collaborations with artists Québec to Brazil to Malawi to Mongolia, the album and EP recording process, their Routes to Roots project, writing business plans and grants, and writing music that makes you think. Why limit yourself to a label? That’s the mantra of Twelfth Day, the duo that has been challenging its broad spectrum of listeners with its genre-bending music for almost a decade. Though Twelfth Day wear their rich and varied experience with pride – their folk roots, their classical training – they are more than a simple product, an exponent of their practice. It is their inherent curiosity, their need to understand through experimentation, that compels them to reach for new ways and means. It results in music that combines their technical proficiency and deep knowledge of their instruments with their desire to make soulful, meaningful and intuitive music, that you would expect from musicians who have grown up learning music by ear; passing, trading and improvising with musicians from other genres, other cultures. Resources discussed in today’s episode: Twelfth Day’s Podcast: Figuring Out How to Be at Home Twelfth Day’s Album: Cracks in the Room Twelfth Day’s Patreon The transcript for this episode can be found here. For more information about Twelfth Day, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, and iTunes.
48 minutes | 2 months ago
S1.E5 Cast Chat
Rosy, Blaire, and Adam discuss the immediate and lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements. The cast chats about how musicians are grappling with the sudden move to remote interactions, prompting the rapid embrace of livestream concerts, recording activities, online teaching and coaching, and social media projects. They also consider the many ways in which the music world must address racial inequality, investigating how artists can strive toward a more inclusive world through programming, commissioning, and improving access to educational opportunities. The team finishes the podcast with a discussion about the ongoing #MeToo movement and its impact on the music world more broadly. Soundweavers explores the triumphs and tribulations of the chamber music community through conversations with emerging and established performers, composers, and educators. Through dialogue, trialogue—and sometimes even tetralogue—with guest artists and ensembles, we delve into what it means to present contemporary and traditional classical, jazz, and folk music in today’s ever-shifting gig economy. Resources discussed in today’s episode: Chamber Music Connection June in Buffalo George Lewis, “A Small Act of Curation”, on-curating.org loadbang, “George Lewis”, loadbang’s Power Chats, 29 June 2020 Sara Ahmed, On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2012). Community MusicWorks Castle of our Skins fivebyfive Anthony Tommasini, “To Make Orchestras More Diverse, End Blind Auditions,” New York Times, 16 July 2020. The BIT Collective Anastasia Tsioulcas, “Top Music School Finds Sexual Abuse Allegations from Violinist ‘Credible’” from National Public Radio on 23 September 2020. The transcript for this episode can be found here. For more information about Soundweavers, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
49 minutes | 3 months ago
S1.E4 JACK Quartet
John Pickford Richards of the JACK Quartet joins us to discuss the evolution of the ensemble from a fledgling student group to an international powerhouse for contemporary music; navigating personnel changes; strategies for working with both new and familiar collaborators; recording over forty-one albums; managing JACK Studio for commissions, workshops, and recording projects; and approaches toward improving inclusivity with careful programming and personnel. Hailed by The New York Times as “our leading new-music foursome”, the JACK Quartet is one of the most acclaimed, renowned, and respected groups performing today. JACK has maintained an unwavering commitment to their mission of performing and commissioning new works, giving voice to underheard composers, and cultivating an ever-greater sense of openness toward contemporary classical music. Over the past season, they have been selected as Musical America’s 2018 “Ensemble of the Year”, named to WQXR’s “19 for 19 Artists to Watch”, and awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Resources discussed in today’s episode: - JACK Studio The transcript for this episode can be found at here. For more information about the JACK Quartet, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, and Vimeo.
44 minutes | 3 months ago
S1.E3 Michael Frazier
Composer Michael Frazier joins us to discuss his compositional philosophy and methods, whether the ensemble or the idea comes first, the conflict between using specific techniques versus writing what you hear, Takemitsu’s concept of ma, repurposing different types of music, and the need to explore the many musical styles beyond traditionally European classical music. Michael also talks with us about making electronic music accessible to new audiences and incorporating novel sounds, styles, and approaches in performance. Michael Frazier is a composer of acoustic, electronic, and electroacoustic music currently residing in Rochester, New York. Frazier’s works are an amalgamation of a variety of sound worlds and aesthetic backgrounds where slowness, patience, and a focus on harmony guides his compositional approach. He received a Bachelor of Music in Composition from the University of South Florida and Master of Arts in Composition at the Eastman School of Music, where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Composition. Resources discussed in today’s episode: Michael Frazier, Melic Silhouettes (Trio Alexander) The transcript for this episode can be found here. For more information about Michael Frazier, please visit him on Soundcloud.
49 minutes | 4 months ago
Anni Hochhalter and Julian Hernandez of WindSync join us to discuss their work connecting with listeners by exploring various modes of performance beyond the traditional sit-down-and-play model learned in school. We talk about the ways in which they engage new audiences through outreach initiatives and chamber music festivals. Anni and Julian also chat about how they manage touring and scheduling while also balancing freelance careers, and the path that led them to where they are today. WindSync has established itself as a vibrant chamber ensemble performing wind quintet masterworks, adapting beloved music to their instrumentation, and championing new works by today’s composers. The quintet eliminates the "fourth wall" between musicians and audience by often performing from memory, creating an intimate connection. This personal performance style, combined with the ensemble’s three-pronged mission of artistry, education, and community-building, lends WindSync its reputation as ”a group of virtuosos who are also wonderful people, too" (Alison Young, Classical MPR). Resources discussed in today’s episode: - Erberk Eryilmaz, Raki Havasi for Woodwind Quintet and Davul You can find the transcript for this episode here. For more information about WindSync, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
51 minutes | 4 months ago
Andy Kozar and Jeff Gavett of loadbang join Soundweavers to discuss their role in cultivating a new sonic landscape. We explore loadbang’s promotion of their eclectic instrumentation through commissions from a diverse array of emerging and established composers, their call for score competition, partnerships with a wide range of presenters and other ensembles, and their YouTube Power Chats. We also chat about Andy’s and Jeff’s approach to balancing two ensembles with other freelancing and teaching, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on their work, and the musical styles bleep bloop, squeaky gate, fire in a pet shop, and space whale noises. New York City-based new music chamber group loadbang is building a new kind of music for mixed ensemble of trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet, and baritone voice. Since their founding in 2008, they have been praised as ‘cultivated’ by The New Yorker, ‘an extra-cool new music group’ and ‘exhilarating’ by the Baltimore Sun, ‘inventive’ by the New York Times and called a 'formidable new-music force' by TimeOutNY. Creating 'a sonic world unlike any other' (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), their unique lung-powered instrumentation has provoked diverse responses from composers, resulting in a repertoire comprising an inclusive picture of composition today. Resources discussed in this episode: loadbang’s Power Chats, Longy Divergent Studio You can find the transcript for this episode here. For more information about loadbang, please visit them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
21 minutes | 5 months ago
S1.E0 What is Soundweavers?
Founders Adam Cordle, Blaire Koerner, and Rosanna Moore discuss the launch of Soundweavers, a podcast exploring the triumphs and tribulations of the chamber music community through conversations with emerging and established performers, composers, and educators. This episode previews the structure of each episode and introduces the team.
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