Showing posts from April, 2011

Italian music in Boston

Tonight, don't miss the new music ensemble L'arsenale in Cambridge, MA: these great performers from Italy are playing music by composers Beat Furrer , Salvatore Sciarrino , Federico Costanza , Riccardo Vaglini , N. Buso, and Michele Tadini . Suggestioni, a festival of Italian music This event is part of Suggestioni 2011, a festival of Italian music in the United States. I am thrilled because both co-founders are composers, and friends. Gabriele Vanoni is a fellow Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University's Music Department , while Davide Ianni is a Ph.D. candidate over the river at Boston University , where he works with Joshua Fineberg . I hope they will get to collaborate with another remarkable composer of the same generation: Daniele Bravi . I just spent two great days in Roma, where he was a wonderful host. We have known each other since we were both fellows of the seminar De musica at Villa Medici with Pascal Dusapin . And we had a great time in Strasbourg, too, when

Analog synths rule... for education

I just got my first analog synth: a Waldorf Pulse . Today, most electronic music students work first with digital technologies, given the more and more accessible price of computers. That's one more reason why music schools should certainly keep on investing in analog gear. Analog synthesizers that I would suggest as teaching tools include the Moog Voyager series, or in the vintage ones, the Korg MS-20 : students can work at home with the iPad iMS-20 app or with Korg's own software emulation . Of course, at Harvard, we had 24 hour access to the Huseac studios, with their prototype Serge synthesizer and Buchla 100 modular synth ... Hard to replicate! I chose a Waldorf Pulse because it is rack mountable, and because of its extensive MIDI capabilities, including complete SysEx commands. That's great when you want analog synths to work nicely with modular digital environments such as Cycling 74's Max . But I'm surely going to use it for educational purposes too: I'

Harvard, Jazz, and graduate students, too!

This week-end, Harvard is celebrating 40 years of jazz , and the Boston Herald finds this is cool . The jazz program at the college has been lead by trombonist Tom Everett since 1971! If you're in the area, don't miss the concert on Saturday in Sanders Theater. The 1972 Harvard Jazz Band! But remember that Dudley House , the graduate students center at Harvard, hosts a dynamic jazz program as well! One of the great recent events was the performance of Mary Lou Williams ' Zodiac Suite, a project led by my friend Michael Heller. Make sure you read the fascinating article written by scholar Ryan Banagale: a comparison of the Dudley House performance with historical recordings .