A daring new work from a rising star, Theresa Wong’s The Unlearning unflinchingly examines the modern horrors of war, raising and expressing in avant-garde and world folk music forms the central question: What does it mean to be an artist in a time of war? In this interview, Wong discusses the influence of Goya’s The Disasters of War on her new project, her collaboration with Carla Kihlstedt that was central to The Unlearning, and of the deep philosphical and existential lessons she learned in tackling the big subject of our age.
Composer Miya Masaoka and video artist Michelle Handelman discuss the origins of their new project: the personal stories and the ideas that their work address, the artistic impulse to create a socially and politically engaged form of art, and offer their thoughts on why it is important for us to resist.
Composer and electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick discusses the latest project, From Silver Apples of the Moon to a Sky of Cloudless Sulphur IV: LUCY, a collaboration with visual artist Lillevan, and talks about his influences, and the prescient early insights that propelled his extraordinary career and art.
Maura Donohue, Koosil-Ja, and Kora Radella, along with composer/musician Ross Feller, gathered to discuss the dynamic intellectual, social & artistic landscape of their current practices in experimental dance, and to reveal, through reflection, the provident lessons from the past. What resulted was a passionate and insightful roundtable discussion from which emerged the meaning of dance as a vital artistic practice that exists in an active engagement with the world.
Pianist Denman Maroney, percussionist Andrew Drury, and bassist James Ilgenfritz discuss their unique band – and its idiosyncratic spelling – influences, and the ways in which they explore, challenge, and navigate through the open terrain of jazz in light of its history and with a nod to the future.
The music of Mario Diaz de Leon covers a range of ideas, imagery, and emotions that not only cross genres but also the transition from youth to adult and back through reflection. A composer who writes elaborate and stunning works for classical ensembles in a number of configurations and instrumentation, Diaz de Leon retains the passion, ideals, and conviction of his youth through the metal and punk genres that first inspired and defined him. In this interview, Diaz de Leon discusses his influences, which range from Sepultura, Slint, Ligeti, and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and offers an insight into the thoughts and motivations behind his music, from works for the classical stage to the throbbing intensity of underground clubs
A self-taught composer, performer and poet, Jaap Blonk has collaborated with the finest musicians and ensembles in the field of contemporary improvised music, such as Maja Ratkje, Mats Gustafsson, Joan La Barbara, The Ex, and the Ebony Band. In this incisive interview, Blonk previews the two works that he will be performing at Roulette, and discusses his formative years as a young musician, the Dutch arts scene, and recounts his infamous, raucous & funny stint as the opening act for the UK punk band, the Stranglers. Also: Blonk’s detailed introductory liner notes Kurt Schwitter’s Ursonate.
In Part Two of our Feature on The Ängsudden Song Cycle, composer and clarinetist Mike McGinnis shares his thoughts and reminiscences on the excellent players who came together to help make his imagination come true as a real thing in the world – music – with a animated gif of artwork by the artist MuKha.
In a crowded field of guitarists here, there, and everywhere, Mary Halvorson and Brandon Seabrook stand out for the unique ways that they each explore and re-engage with the possibilities of the “new” through the guitar as an instrument of performance and as the nexus of cutting-edge compositions. The two Boston natives and current Brooklyn-ites discuss their upcoming performance, influences, and give a shout out to the – er – Boston Celtics.
In this interview, part one of a two part feature on the composer and the Song Cycle, Mike McGinnis talks about the interpretive processes behind his magnum opus, previews the upcoming multi-media spectacle, and his vision of the deep forest as an ongoing cycle of reflection, improvisation, and creation.