This past summer I was required to create remixes of tunes I never heard because another composer missed their deadline. I had to have four remixes done for a dance performance in two day. This put me in quite the creative quandary. How was I going to keep this creative project from crashing 120 miles per hour into a concrete wall? I decided that the easiest solution was to dig into my hard drive and remix some of my old tunes. This approach worked for two of the remixes, but I became troubled when the remixes just sounded stereotypically like me. To avoid this performance turning into an obvious self-love fest , I decided that I needed to find somebody else’s music to remix.
In New York, operating in the realm between classical and experimental and electronic music that’s so well-established in that city, there’s a young composer whose music is – to resort for once to a much-misused word – ravishing in its smooth sonic beauty, Adam Cuthbért: it’s a quality that is pronounced in his piece “Rikai アダム・カスバートの「理解」,” included in the playlist, and even more evident, perhaps by virtue of the omission of the visual accompaniment, in the tracks he’s uploaded on his…
A new friend from Amsterdam known only as Musicuratum, whom I met via the budding community of the newly and heavily upgraded Soundcloud, recently did me the biggest honor a composer can be done: he listened to ALL of the music I've posted on the internet. Seriously, I don't think even my mother has taken that time. As if that wasn't enough to earn my eternal gratitude, he wrote this feature on his blog after we conversed for a while via Soundcloud's messaging system.
Do make time to peruse Musicuratum - I'm rather amazed with the sheer quantity of curated content his blog contains. It's yet another reason to join Soundcloud, and above all a really beautiful testament to the size of the body of good music that's out there on the internet, waiting to be discovered.
This may start to become a series, because making these is just too much fun. This was done with the same setup, same tools as last night’s, but with the drums added. It’s also good to note that this one didn’t crash my software – I think the trick to managing over 30 loopers is to clear the loops from memory as soon as they become obsolete. It’s kind of like whack-a-mole on the Launchpad at the moment… gotta be an easier way to maneuver that.
Preface: The Soundcloud link is a recording I did while composing, or improvising, or experimenting, or whatever. After I did that, I wrote this while it was uploading. Many of these ideas appeared during that time. Anyway, I have no idea whether this is indicative of the way the improvised piece I play at the Firehouse will sound, but I found it interesting enough to listen to it again a few times and share it here.
Let’s talk about Dog Days, because it’s a relatively rare circumstance for a piece of art to compel me to hop on a bus to New Jersey two weekends in a row. This post-apocalyptic opera was so dense with subtleties in the score and staging, topics of existential crises, and straight up gorgeous moments of performance, there was too much to fully absorb with just one viewing. But as I sit here trying to write about it, I’m finding it somewhat difficult to pinpoint what specifically lured me to a second performance.
And a bare warning for the rest of this post, I will be merciless with spoilers. It’s rather difficult to talk about the important stuff without spoiling the best scenes.
by Adam Cuthbért
Recently, I wrote a response to the prompt, “tell us about your musical life” for a music festival application.
I found there was quite a bit to tell – my undergraduate music school experience was not a routine four-and-out era of hard practice before waking up one morning to realize great success had been achieved. It was a confusing time for me not because I was unsure of whether I wanted to be a musician, but because I didn’t know how I wanted to be a musician. The desire to make auditory art into a career and lifestyle was always a certainty, but despite having drunk a lot of orchestral Kool-Aid, I still always felt like a black sheep whenever I picked up my horn. While I’m never certain I’ve “come home” to a community that wholly understands me [nor am I even slightly certain I wholly understand myself], I still think wading through confusion makes an interesting story. So I want to share it with you.