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Showing posts from December, 2012

NMR Artist Spotlight: Elena Ruehr's Averno

New Music Resource interviewed talented contemporary composer Elena Ruehr about her newest release Averno, her musical inspiration, and some practical insights for today's emerging artist.
This fall Avie Records released Averno, Elena Ruehr's album of music for chorus and orchestra featuring American poets:  Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, and Louise Gluck. The recording features the Trinity Choir, Wall Street, Julian Wachner conducting, with Novus NY Orchestra. Soloists are Naumberg/Queen Elizabeth winner Stephen Salters and award winning soprano Marguerite Krull.

NMR: Your latest album, Averno, was released by Avie Records and includes music combined with American poetry. Tell us more about this project's inspiration and production.

Ruehr: The project came about initially through a commission from the Jebediah Foundation and the interest of conductor Julian Wachner and Baritone Stephen Salters.  Julian had commissioned a work from me in 1995 called Cricket, Spider, Bee,…

NMR Composer Challenge: Experimental Music Exercise

The New Music Resource Composer Challenge

This composer challenge is meant to expand your ideas about music and test your creativity. The time limit forces to you to simply create without thinking about editing or what you can or cannot logically do. 

After you have completed your sketches, reevaluate them
Think about how these ideas may work musically, how they can be improved upon, and how you would accomplish them. Think about how these ideas may change depending on scenario and location. How can you make your idea original? 

Share your sketches and thoughts on the challenge in the comments below. NMR would love to hear about your ideas! 

The NMR Composer Challenge
You have 10 minutes to sketch 5 musical ideas for the following scenarios:

1. You have a trio (percussion, electronic keyboard, and poet) that will perform for 30 minutes live online. You have one rehearsal.

2. You are performing a solo work using your primary instrument and recycled metal parts. The work needs to be ten min…

NMR Artist Spotlight: Machinima Guru Lucinda McNary

(Exclusive NMR Interview with Director, Animator, and Machinima Guru Lucinda McNary)

NMR: Tell us a little bit about yourself. When and how did you become involved in filmmaking and machinima?

McNary: I was born in Kansas City, Missouri and both my parents were artists and my father was also an architect.

All I ever wanted to do was draw and paint and then I discovered film making and found I loved animation because of the artistic element.

I went to college and majored in Biology as at one time I wanted to be a doctor. I moved to San Francisco in the mid sixties and then New York in 1968. Then I came back to Kansas City in 1981. I met my husband Mark here and we moved to St. Louis in 1994 and moved back here about 6 years ago as he got a good job here. 

I am married and have 18 year old twins, a boy and a girl who we adopted when they were 6 years old.My husband is Mark McNary and he is a DBA and Systems analyst. He is a wonderful husband and a wonderful man.

I got involved i…

Counterargument: New York Times "Is Classical Music Dying?"

(This post is written in response to retired musician Les Dreyer's New York Times article "Is Classical Music Dying?" Dreyer opened up the conversation to the readers, posting a selection of responses, as well as a writer's response. I encourage you to review the original New York Times article.)

In this article (and subsequent writer's retort) Les Dreyer contends that classical music is dying to the likes of the "cacophony of rock and the neon glitter of “American Idol”.


While Les Dreyer does have many valid points that any classical music lover (or composer/performer like myself) can appreciate, there is a clear generational/demographic bias that scoffs at one reader's request that classical music concerts allow the audience members "rock-n-roll". 

Dreyer retorts, "What on earth does emoting with our bodies and voices have to do with classical music? Would you let out a yell of joy during a Mozart opera, or a m…