"Is It Music If Nobody Hears It?"
An essay by music critic and author Kyle Gann.
L'inhumaine: the audience riots!
DSL/Cable modem 56k modem (2:50s)
This video clip from the 1923 French film "L'inhumaine" was actually filmed at a George Antheil concert, presumably without his knowledge. There had been riots at previous Antheil events, so the crafty filmmaker Marcel L’Herbier planted friends in the audience to incite another one. He set up several cameras to catch the action. An actress stepped on stage during the Antheil's performance (to match the plot of the film)
which added to the confused looks on the audience's faces. Many famous people of the 1920s Paris art scene can be seen in this film. Ezra Pound, Fernand Léger, Erik Satie, Darius Milhaud, Man Ray, Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Francis Picabia, The Prince of Monaco, James Joyce, and Sylvia Beach are supposed to be visible. Can you spot them?
Bang On A Can
Since 1987, Bang on a Can has presented more than one hundred and fifty musical events in New York City, ranging from a tribute to Morton Feldman to performances of Harry Partch's music on the original instruments.
"Who cares if you listen?"
Milton Babbitt's infamous 1958 article in High Fidelity Magazine.
In addition to host Suzanne Vega and San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, this show includes the voices of these composers, performers, and scholars:
Milton Babbitt: "Interview" (50:21s)
Martin Bresnick: "Interview" (70:46s)
Wendy Carlos: "Interview" (73:08s)
Elliott Carter: Interview (67:59)
Steve Reich: "Interview" (71:39s)
Mikel Rouse: "Interview" (43:59s)
David Del Tredici: "Interview" (34:49s)
Aaron Copland: "Interview" (1977) (19:36s)
Aaron Copland: "Interview" (1977) (41:26s)
Aaron Copland: "Interview" (1977) (59:46s)
John Adams "Interview" (29:00s)
Additional related interviews
Philip Glass "Interview" (59:00s)
John Corigliano "Interview" (29:00s)
What's the composer's responsibility to his or her audience? Should the composer consider the audience at all?
Listen to the program (59:00s)
Playlist from the show
GEORGE ROCHBERG: "Serenata d'estate"
GEORGE ROCHBERG: String Quartet No. 5, 1st movement (Concord String Quartet/New World Records 80551-2)
WILLIAM BOLCOM: Symphony No. 5, Foxtrot (American Composers Orchestra/Russell Davies/Argo 433 077-2)
MILTON BABBITT: "Reflections for Piano and Synthesized Tape" (New World Records 80466-2)
AARON COPLAND: "Symphonic Ode" (San Francisco Symphony/Tilson Thomas/RCA 09026-63720-2)
STEVE REICH: "Piano Phase" (Nonesuch 79451-2)
STEVE REICH: "Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices, and Organ" (Nonesuch 79451-2)
ELLIOTT CARTER: Double Concerto Harpsichord, Piano and Orchestra (The Contemporary Chamber Ensemble/Weisberg/Elektra Nonesuch 79183-2)
JOHN ADAMS: "Shaker Loops" (Orchestra of St. Lukeâ€™s/Adams/Nonesuch 79360-2)
JOHN ADAMS: "Grand Pianola Music," 3rd movement (London Sinfonietta/Adams/Elektra Nonesuch 79219-2)
GEORGE ROCHBERG: String Quartet No. 6, 3rd movement (Concord String Quartet/New World Records 80551-2)
PHILIP GLASS/SUZANNE VEGA: "Freezing" from "Songs from Liquid Days" (CBS MK 39564)
EVE BEGLARIAN/KITTY BRAZELTON: "Machaut a Gogo" (Dadadah/Accurate Distortion AD 1003)
MICHAEL GORDON: "I Buried Paul" (performed by Bang on Can) (Cantaloupe CA21001)
MIKEL ROUSE: "The End of Cinematics" (Exit Music)