Brian Eno: Active Surrender

Brian Eno (Photo by Matthew Anker) A category of music referred to as “ambient”—made popular by musicians including Brian Eno, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, The Orb, Aphex Twin, Tangerine Dream, Popul Vuh—is often coupled with the music of the “holy minimalists”—Arvo Pärt, John Tavener, Henryk Górecki, Alan Hovhaness and Sofia Gubaidulina. Whether electronic or contemporary […]

Creative DNA

From my early days: Graphix 5, from 1977 David Cope is a Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of California at Santa Cruz (my alma mater). In a segment on Radio Lab over the weekend, he described an extraordinary project he began in 1981 when he was suffering from a serious case of composer’s […]

Interstitial Delights and Other Joys

The Goat Rodeo ensemble (Chris Thile, Aoife O’Donovan, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Stuart Duncan) performed Tuesday night at House of Blues. Photo: Jeremy Cowart Interstices are everywhere, in and around every field of expression. They can be found by diving into the margins between big obvious things. And sometimes those in between zones open […]

Forms Change

Robert Plant I call it “squinting”—you will have your own term. You’ve chosen a favorite musician, probably in your teen years, and the relationship grows through awkward phases…Along the way, you find yourself squinting to keep seeing what made you fall in love…In pop music, which is a worse deal for the aging than painting […]

White Light

Portion of an image by Anna Hepler from her show at the Portland Museum of Art this summer ____ This unexpected report from the New York Times: Jane Moss, vice president for programming at Lincoln Center, talks about her ideas behind the 3 week long White Light Festival, an event that is explicitly based on […]

Genius Jason

A quick shout out for Jason Moran who was awarded a genius grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Jason is a friend and an extraordinary musician. This is so well deserved! Previous posts on Slow Muse about Jason: Light Seekers Jason Moran and The Bandwagon: Milestone Jason Moran in Cambridge Jason Moran

Coyne’s Law

Lowell Lieberman, composer My sister Rebecca is a musician and composer, and I’ve been piggybacking off of her exquisite ear for most of my life. She first introduced me to the music of Lowell Lieberman 20 years ago and we have followed his music making with a quiet reverence ever since. His approach to tonality […]