The New Rules (part 1)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If you have been following this space, you have had the privilege of witnessing first hand, a composer composing in the most traditional (notated untradititional) sense, to then flip everything over on its head. As for the former, I used to blog regularly about my compositions as they were notated, clean, and eventually “shaped” to a realization to my expectations. An early example of the approach I used is not too dissimilar to Conlon Nancarrow’s piano studies.

I have visited both sides of the gigantic scale of new “classical” (“amaranth”) music and here I am reporting back.

Not since the days of MIDI – or as an even better example – the first synthesizer – have things evolved this fast and changed so dratically. To put it bluntly, digital audio workstations are the Holy Grail of new classical music. But in this case (as opposed to MIDI/synthesizer), its insanely here and now – relevant to mainstream art and (for lack of a better term) the avant-garde, without apology.

I will happily continue to notate music. However, the symphony, I can solidly attest to, is not located at your nearest concert hall anymore. Your symphony is located inside someone’s computer which can regenerate any experience, record live (improvisations of all varieties), and invent (the key). Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, I believe would be the first to agree if they by some miraculous chance were somehow shuttled to our present time.

In this sense, the tradition of “old” classical music needs to be carried on now more than ever. The legacy of counterpoint, voice leading, etc., definitely has value moving forward into the new universe of music. The fact that one can get away with composing new music without learning the foundation of classical music is a point worthy of stopping at and digesting. I will go into this further to some extend by way of Part 2. I hope you revisit this topic as I will point out my opinion regarding potential shortcomings of the new composer which I guarantee will surprise you.


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