Eberhard Blum : graphic artist and musician

[Excerpts from Eulogy for Eberhard Blum written by Volker Straebel.] In his life and in his work, Eberhard Blum (1940–2013) established a continuum of the musical and the visual arts. As a leading exponent of new and experimental instrumental, vocal–verbal, conceptual, and interdisciplinary works, Blum defined contemporary performance practice as much through the strength of … Continue reading Eberhard Blum : graphic artist and musician

Nomi Epstein : compositions centering around sonic fragility

Nomi Epstein, D.M.A, is a Chicago-based composer, curator, performer and music educator. Her compositions center around her interest in sonic fragility, where structure arises out of textural subtleties. Her music has been performed throughout the US, Europe, and Asia by such artists as ICE, Ensemble SurPlus, Mivos Quartet, Wet Ink, Dal Niente, Noble Fowl Trio, … Continue reading Nomi Epstein : compositions centering around sonic fragility

Was John Cage the greatest composer of the 20th century?

Who was the greatest composer of the 20th century?  This was the question asked recently on a popular Classical Music forum.  Many names were put forward: Bartok, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, my choice was Cage, but even some argued for Mahler. This raises the question how could a composer that died in 1911 be considered the greatest … Continue reading Was John Cage the greatest composer of the 20th century?

Antecedents of Ambient Music

It was English musician, sound designer and conceptualist Brian Eno who first officially coined the phrase “ambient music”. In the sleeve notes to his 1978 opus Ambient 1: Music For Airports he defines it as music "designed to induce calm and space to think".  Eno's concept of "ambience" is music that can be either actively … Continue reading Antecedents of Ambient Music

Serialism, Indeterminacy, Musique concrète and Minimalism

    Around the middle of the 20th century several new compositional styles (while not emerging entirely new) came to represent dominant streams, almost establishing a kind of “common practice”, for at least a few years.  While these methods of composing have lost much of their initial momentum, their influence continues to effect composers even … Continue reading Serialism, Indeterminacy, Musique concrète and Minimalism