A couple weeks ago I was approached by Lebanese cellist, Ribal El Kallab, to answer some questions for a thesis project on Arabic music that he is working on. I’ve been given permission to post his questions and my responses. If you are interested in my general background in music from the Arabic and Middle Eastern world, please visit this link.
For some information on the usage of cello in Arabic music, please view my blog post Sunday Spotlight on the Non-Western Cello: The Cello in Arabic Orchestras.
Continue reading “Interview answers for an Arabic Music thesis project by Ribal El Kallab”
So there’s been a lot of chatter about diversity (or lack thereof) in Classical Music and Orchestras the past few weeks. Just some examples: Holly Mulcahy’s piece about diversifying orchestra audition excerpts; Eric William Lin’s discussion (with wonderful interactive graphs) of NY Phil’s rep over 175 seasons; Rob Deemer’s unveiling (in a little more formal venue) of the massive database of Women Composers that he and his students have been curating for some time; and, of course, Anne Shreffler’s piece about the Canon’s Invisible Hand which I discussed previously.
Continue reading “American Orchestras that already regularly play music by POC”
A few weeks ago, I started re-reading Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
’s “Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature
(1986) and for some reason this time reading it brought me back to the time when I quit playing the cello (right out of music school). A couple weeks ago, I mentioned here on my page
, that I was slowly saying farewell to most Western Music (I’ll have to qualify that at another time). I mentioned some of those reasons in my latest blog post
a couple months ago, and was in the middle of a couple of posts clarifying some things (one of which is this post).
Continue reading “Decolonizing the Musical Mind”
I do a lot of covers. In a sense, I spend most of my musical life doing covers. Playing a Beethoven Symphony? Cover. Playing a 14th century Turkish Mevlevi song? Cover. Playing a piece I wrote? Cover.
“But you’re playing an original tune, not a cover,” you might say. Well, as I’ve been saying for the past couple of decades, “If you’re not improvising in real time, then you’re just covering yourself.” In other words, “Original” music can also be “Cover” music.
Continue reading “There are covers and then, there are Covers”
When I blogged some time ago about music literacy, I mentioned the tired trope “I like to everything except Rap and Country,” which seems to be a response given when someone wants to show a cosmopolitan or open musical taste. Plenty of pixels have been typed about the class and race issues associated with the phrase and I won’t rehash them here as I think that only tells a part of the story that the phrase frames.
Continue reading “The Parochialism of “Everything Except Rap and Country””