Hearing the lone voice

Community Perspectives: on Hearing the lone voice
June 26th, 2013

I suspect this is an unspoken truth about the “New Music scene”, though I don’t have any metrics to support it:

The “New Music scene” is primarily made up of smaller cliques of like-minded composers and performers. If these cliques stay together long enough, they develop systems of mutual support. Festivals, collectives, granting organizations, critics, record labels, blogs, and residencies grow up around them, primarily serving their interests and advancing their aesthetic. The loners and iconoclasts largely remain outside the sphere of these cliques, rarely gaining their attention and the benefit of their energies but also avoiding the potentially homogenizing influence of their aesthetics. Of course, no scene (if it is even self-aware) thinks it’s music is homogeneous and it’s members or followers will always argue the contrary position (unless the scene’s self-similarity is the whole point).

I try to reserve qualitative judgments based on one’s “scene”. Just as a great composer may spring from a clique of lesser peers, a lone iconoclast may be ignored for inferior work. I don’t think the outsiders necessarily write better music. I simple perceive a system of taste-making at play in New Music.

Addressing the imbalance of visibility and influence, I hope this site can someday become a place where New Music composers and performers working in greater isolation (of a geographic, social, or aesthetic nature) may be heard with greater ease. I suspect there are many more striking original voices out there than I imagine. I’m looking forward to a process of discovery.

Do you think your music doesn’t fit in somehow? Are you a maverick, an iconoclast, a lone voice? Are you exploring new sonorities, structures, techniques, theories, or technologies? Are you combining new or existent ideas in a way you don’t think others are? Share your music and tell us why you think it’s different.

Community Perspectives is a moderated blog where you can post your music and thoughts in response to topics and discussion prompts as well as read and listen to what others post. You can view this as a virtual discussion, festival, symposium, conference, gallery, and round-table all wrapped into one. Learn more.

Filed under: Hearing the lone voice

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 at 9:27 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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