An Argument For “Canceling” Beethoven?

“He was the most performed composer in America in 2019-20, with over double the number of performances of Mozart (the second most performed). Being a guaranteed ticket-seller and donor pleaser, he keeps reappearing in concert programmes to the exclusion of other, more diverse composers. In the neo-liberal world, where audiences prefer the familiar, such attitudes to programming are unlikely to change unless there is a mass cultural boycott (i.e. ‘cancelling’) of composers like Beethoven.” – Varsity

The Pandemic Has Decimated The Live Music Business, Along With All Its Unsung Heroes

Yes, musicians and music venues have been horrendously hard-hit. But “not enough has been said about the workers who make live music tick – the people whom fans and gig-goers barely know about. Managers and tour managers, festival staff, sound technicians, promoters, and booking agents and their long-suffering assistants.” How to help them out at this point? – The Guardian (UK)

A Composer With Hearing Loss Says Beethoven’s Music Encodes The Experience Of Being Deaf

Gabriela Lena Frank says that she can tell, from her own experience, some of what the composer was doing as he lost more and more of his hearing. “More pitch distance and difference, and more vibration and resonance, create a recipe for happiness for a hearing-impaired person, trust me. A more dissonant and thick language, with clashing frequencies, also causes more vibration, so the language does get more physically visceral that way, too.” – The New York Times

The Look Of The Sounds Of Jazz

When animators were trying to illustrate the sounds of the new Pixar film Soul, they needed some non-traditional ideas, like … watch a jazz pianist play. “Along with video, they were able to digitally save the notes that were being played. That digital stream could be reverse-programmed into the animation in a way that worked almost like a player piano signaling to the animators which key was being played with each note. So when you see Joe at the piano, he’s playing exactly the notes you’re hearing.” – The New York Times

Capturing The Music Of The Northern Lights

Scientist Karin Lehmkuhl Bodony, who lives in rural Alaska, realized some years ago that, if she could get at least four miles away from human-created electrical sources, she could record the sounds that the aurora borealis makes on a very low frequency receiver. Now she’s worked with composer Matthew Burtner to, in a way, transcribe the aurora’s music: “Rather than a composer writing the notes on the page and the musician playing the horn, the northern lights were playing the horn and writing the notes on the page. So I took myself out and let the lights paint that.” – The Guardian

How The Vienna Philharmonic Has Pushed Through The Pandemic

They went on a tour of Japan last month; since they got home, they’ve started a Bruckner symphony cycle under Christian Thielemann and played Strauss and Webern program under Zubin Mehta. Chairman Daniel Froschauer and general manager Michael Bladerer talk with a reporter about the orchestra’s commitment to playing together live and why it’s important. – The New York Times

Music As Advocacy Storytelling

“The way Ian Urbina tells it, musicians and journalists are both storytellers — one using sound, the other leveraging words. That kindred connection is part of what led the 48-year-old to launch, about a year ago, his venture The Outlaw Ocean Music Project. As of early November 2020, over 400 musicians from more than 60 countries have translated his stories into music that is heard by millions globally on more than 200 music streaming platforms, including Spotify and Pandora, according to Urbina.” – San Francisco Classical Voice