SoundNotion 99: An Audio Accident

This week we plug our “Cage-Baiting” episode Jan. 20th with Daniel Asia, early samples from Tod Machover’s A Toronto Symphony, Opéra de Montréal streams a full day of work, Simon Rattle a free agent after 2018 and Eric Whitacre has beautiful hair (duh).

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  • “The Heat of the Moment” – very nice – I lol’ed.

  • Interesting video about the British initiative to create one-handed instruments. One possibility that I see is building an instrument based on the Chapman Stick, or touch guitar. A person could easily play very complex passages on an instrument like this. And coupled with some sort of digital device operated via foot pedals – there could be little to no limitation with a system like this.

  • sam

    Thanks Anthony for the comments and the ‘Heat of the Moment’ props. I’m familiar with the Chapman stick which is a great idea – Take a look at the show notes for a link to other efforts at producing one-handed instruments. A saxophone technician has already built a fully chromatic one-handed saxophone, although facility and speed are an issue which is to be expected.

  • Marketing is an interesting beast, particularly for classical music. You comment on several issues in the opera world that is a current trend. Yes, opera companies have trended toward beautiful people because beautiful people sell tickets. This is true for visual advertising as well as people on stage. If you look at what classical music solo artists look like, you’ll see there is a large proportion of beautiful people who play extremely well (Nicola Benedetti is a great example, fantastic violinist and stunning visually).

    They have to compete and in the commercial music world (pop, rock, urban…) sex sells. The music is still important. Opera companies don’t tend to hire singers who can’t sing, but they do tend to lean toward singers who look the part, more than just select people for their voice. Performances are a visual medium too. If we feel the music is so important to complete ignore the visual aspect, we’re giving music too much power (BTW, I’m a composer saying this). While I don’t want only beautiful people to get the roles, the way around this is to write roles that need non-beautiful people.

  • TwtrSymphony was originally created by musicians who met on Twitter – hence the name.

    The reason for the brevity is because Music Directors only listen to roughly 2 mins of a new piece to decide if they want to do it or not. So, what we’re trying to do is give composers a chance to promote their music.

    Thanks for the plug!

    Chip Michael

  • sam

    Thanks for the comments Chip. The entire crew on SoundNotion is a bit skittish about the idea of writing orchestral works. As Dave says, ‘It’s like entering the lottery, but it takes a year of your life to buy the ticket.’ We’re all fans of the idea of giving composers the chance to get something out there for orchestra without such a huge time commitment. Keep us informed on how things are going for you guys and when you release recordings. Thanks for watching.