Music That Resists An Audience

Since my previous post, reflecting on a simple reason why audiences are so small for new music concerts, I’ve had a wave of comment come my way, either directly on the blog (you can read for yourself) or via twitter or rebloggings or facebook sharings, even emails sent directly to me. It was fascinating to see the kaleidoscope of angles taken when referring to the piece. To some it was a piece about the fragmentation of audiences in the 21st century; to others it was about what a venue/artist partnership looks like; to others it was a checklist of great ideas for audience building. And the post has been shared by visual artists, choreographers, jazz musicians and pop producers. Amongst the positive responses are lines like “I’d kiss you. But then people would talk.” (thanks Rebekah!) and “Well written punchy piece by @ElissaMilne delivers knockout blow to new music narcissism then picks it up off the mat.” (thanks Séan). And “What she said”,

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ISCM Thursday May 6 lunchtime (a belated commentary)

Much delayed: my review of the fabulous (but not so fabulously named) “Young and the Restless” concert given by Ensemble Offspring as part of the ISCM World New Music Days. Middle of the day, middle of the metropolis, this concert was programmed at the Riverside Theatre complex in the smaller sized of the two theatres. This meant that the quite large (by contemporary music standards) crowd really did fill the space, and one found oneself making both eye contact and conversation with fellow audience members – not the norm, by any means, at a new music concert. The concert was a sampling of music by composers under the age of 35. Once upon a time someone the age of 35 would consider themselves far from young, but for at least the last decade youth has been bureaucratically bestowed upon anyone under the age of 40, so this representation was certainly youthful by these standards. The first work Item 1, 2,

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