Writings

January 25, 2010

In a way, this is a tale of two cities

This past November I went to my hometown, Miami Beach, for a performance by the New World Symphony of my orchestral work, Gotham, a three-movement symphony that takes the city of New York as its subject. It is part of an ongoing project of 'film symphonies' that I am creating with filmmaker Bill Morrison to capture the aura of cities.

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October 31, 2009

What is the hottest thing in music right now? A pair of video games ─ Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Anyone can play. The games allow you to become a member of the band. Each game offers a range of pop music hits on game controllers that look and feel like guitars and drums. What makes these video games so much more impressive than 'air guitar' is that through the use of something called the instrument game controller the player actually experiences the visceral feeling of performing music. You can even improve if you practice.

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April 1, 2007

I’m writing from Sicily, where I just arrived with my ensemble, the Michael Gordon Band. We’re playing a concert at the Etna Festival in Catania. As I’m sitting here in this beautiful Italian hotel, I’m thinking about how lucky I am to be able to travel around the world playing music.

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March 22, 2007

(...) Concerto Köln, which has about 30 members, is a collective: They own their work and manage themselves. The members are involved in the creation of every project. This is very unusual. Orchestras usually are run from the top down. The board of directors hires the management, which hires the conductor and the orchestra. The low people on the totem pole are the musicians, whose professional lives are dictated to from above. Here with Concerto Köln, and with a few other orchestras that I have worked with (mostly in Europe), management is hired by the orchestra.

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March 13, 2007

(...) One question I’ve asked in recent years is, If I don’t like your politics can I still like your art? Or put a simpler way, would you want a fantastic painting hanging on your wall that was made by a Nazi? It may sound like a bizarre question, but anyone with Carl Orff, Richard Strauss or Herbert von Karajan CDs in their collection should give it some thought.

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March 5, 2007

(...) I have always felt uncomfortable with the word “classical.” It sends an instant message to most people that you are involved in something other. And, vainly, I am very aware that classical music has the squarest image on the planet.

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