Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Open Mike in Second Life

HD Artists in Second Life (That's me) is offering an "open mike" on Sunday, July 6, 2008 from 1 pm PST. Music: modern classical, ambient. minimalism, noise, etc. Please email me or IM me in-world (Flivelwitz Alsop), if you wish to perform. I hope it will be a successful concert!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Spreading out

Trying to get your music out into the public arena is not the easiest thing in the world. I send a little post off to websites that discuss music, I sat "Could I list my website on your page?" Some of them reply in a friendly manner, some reply like I asked them if I could poo on their dining room table.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


The clarinet first appeared in the orchestra in the Classical period, Mozart liked the sound of it, and soon it was part of the standard orchestra we know today. I like the clarinet too,. It's smooth and silky, and blends well with many instruments. I've been working on a piece for clarinet and band, and you can listen to it, if you wish. I call it a Pastoral. I have used a pedal point which runs throughout, with the ensemble moving about that point.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sci Fi

I was just reading about science fiction operas over at Kyle Gann's PostClassic blog. The opera he discusses (Aniera) by Blomdahl is quite engaging - it's obviously 12 tone, but kind of like a gentle Wozzeck in space.

It made me think, I wonder how many science fiction operas there are? Besides this one, I can think of:

Philip Glass 1,000 Airplanes on the Roof
Tim Risher The Moon Moth (well of course I'm going to list my own piece)

There is a list in Wikipedia, but you can go there yourself and see if they are all correct. I wonder when the first Doctor Who opera will appear?


Trying to sell your music is not easy. I have set up my site now, it's here. At the moment I am only selling the music in PDF files. I think this is easier and cheaper:

1) There is no paper, the purchaser only has to print the music his/herself. That's convenient.
2) It's cheaper, because there is no postage for sending bulky packages.

Of course, the purchaser can order the pieces in copied and bound form, if he/she wishes.
I hope to expand the site to include other composers as well, however, at the moment, it's enough just to sell my own music.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Practical Music

I'm thinking about "practical" music - music written to be included in the workings of society, like church service or rituals (graduation, ceremonies), parties, shopping, exercise. Hindemith had his "Gebrauchmusik", where he would write music for whatever he was asked to do, whether it be for mandolin, tuba and timpani. THis, however, doesn't lead to practical music, music used for something, just the "art for art's sake". That's fine, but there is more to it than that. The inclusion of new music in the rituals of our life leads back to a more utilitarian use of muisc (or maybe this should be a question), but does it mean that it loses its "art"? Maybe with some composers, yes (think of Telemann and his turgid "Tafelmusik" or the endless supplies of "background" music that is still available). But then again, composers like Bach, Perotin, Monteverdi, Schuetz, etc, writing music for specific reasons and writing music of artistic worth. They were, of course, writing for churches that generally knew great music, nowadays we are surrounded by "mega-churches" that are more interested in music that sounds like "Cats" except with religious words, dripping with "feeling", and then claiming that that's what the "audience wants".

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Choral Society of Durham

Last night the Choral Society of Durham gave its first concert. I mention this because I sing in the CSD. The concert was "Soldiers, Sailors & Celebration, A Concert of Opera Masterpieces." As it was sponsored by the Center for Slavic, Eurasion and East European Studies at Duke University, three of the artists were Russian - Marina Tregubovich (soprano), Dmitry Karpov (tenor) and Aleksandr Smoridkin (piano). The second soprano was Elizabeth Byrum Linnartz, faculty at Duke. The concert consisted of works by Gounad, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Dvorak, Mozart, Donizetti and Verdi. Not really too varied, but well done (if I say so myself). The soloists sang with verve, the Russians with that amount of vibrato one expects from the Eastern style of vocal training (I notice it too with the brass instruments; very bright and cutting). This is not my favorite kind of concert, as you can tell from reading my blog, but it was quite fun. Listening to it makes me understand more where the 20th century musical got its start. The Dvorak especially made me think of Dorothy yearning to see the end of the rainbow, Mother Superior advising Maria to climb every mountain. Dvorak did it better of course, with the Song of the Moon, sung by Elizabeth Byrum Linnartz.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ciompi Quartet

Ok, coming up on Saturday, September 17 is a concert of the Ciompi Quartet here in Durham, NC. They will be performing one old work - String Quartet in E-flat Major by Joseph Haydn; one sort-of-old work - Verklärte Nacht by Arnold Schoenberg, and one fairly new work - Black Angels for electric string quartet by George Crumb. It is $15 for general public and $8 for students. If you haven't heard the Crumb piece, you should really go, it's one of his best pieces and worth the time. It will be at the Reynolds Industries Theater(on Science Drive on the West Duke University Campus).