Okay, you probably already do know the composer Nico Muhly. He and his music are well-loved and well-listened to, and his Twitter feed is funny and inappropriate. (See this photograph. Twitter is nuts; so is the Internet.)
But really: did you know that he is also a funny and interesting writer? I really admire the way he lays it all out there on the blog. Last year I was flabbergasted by his post about struggling to get recordings, even informal ones, of his own works. Before reading that, I’d had no idea what composers of orchestral music were going through in that regard. He seems willing to venture into territory that could possibly maybe get him into trouble, while actually getting lots of people to nod their heads vigorously because what he’s saying is true. And it’s just generally lovely to get to go to a composer’s website and get to know him/her, to hear his/her unique voice.
Here I am going to reproduce two cool things he has said in his blog posts. And then you are going to go read the whole thing(s) and delight.
My instinct, as a performer, is to rush — a funny thing happens to me once a month, where I’m playing with a pre-recorded tape, and when an audience is there, I’m Absolutely Positive that an Imp or a Gnome has crept into the computer and slowed down the recording by 25%. I have never performed Skip Town without feeling that I am being punked by the tempo gods.
Right at the top of the show, a mysterious rhombus of projected light appears on a scrim. The supertitles go off for about five minutes. It’s one of those things where you start imagining everything else going wrong: singers falling off the stage, the piccolo player spontaneously combusting, the cables holding the screens contorting into serpentine glyphs and strangling the baritone.
See? Funny because it’s true. Happy reading and Happy Friday.
(Also in You Should Know territory: Spektral Quartet’s new blog! I’m loving (and possibly stealing?) the idea different series for each quartet member. Check it out for an inside look at this cool quartet of players and thinkers.)