Monthly Archives: October 2003

The Right Rite

Consider the irony. In 1940 there was Fantasia, the hat-in-hand appeal by the Walt Disney Studios to secure a blessing from the citadels of High Culture. Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring was the big number, its 33 minutes hacked down by a third, its sequence of events deranged, its scenario a ludicrous if colorful number […]

Earth, Sky and Regions in Between

Photo by Jay Blakesberg In Santa Monica there was In C, Terry Riley’s first great work, now approaching 40. In Costa Mesa there was Sun Rings, Riley’s latest great work, in its first local hearing. The music of the years between these two strange and wondrous masterpieces forms a body of creativity like nothing else […]

Life as Music

The office of composer laureate does not yet exist here; if it did, John Adams would be the hands-down choice for occupant. In the quarter-century since his works reached their first thunderstruck, cheering audiences, he has found within his soul the appropriate music for a swath of American history that includes Richard Nixon’s visit to […]

Their Country, 'Twas of Thee

Two recent items from the University of California Press, too small for the wisdom they contain, provide some interesting insights on American music making and creative attitudes over the last several decades. One is Paul Bowles on Music, a collection of writings by the late man-of-many-arts during the years (1935–46) of his gainful employment as […]