Every winter I always look forward to Viva 21st Century 25 hour marathon of concert music written since 2000, hosted by the heroic Marvin Rosen on Princeton’s WPRB radio. I didn’t get around to contributing anything to this year’s broadcast – hopefully next year. In the meantime, the archived mp3 files (available till the end of January) make for fascinating listening, a real diaspora of work that I – and I think most Americans – wouldn’t otherwise get to hear, both from well- and lesser-known composers.
Since 2005, Marvin Rosen has held a yearly 24-25 hour marathon during the December holidays of new “concert” music as part of his “Classical Discoveries” show on Princeton, NJ radio station WPRB, devoted to music written within the previous ten years or so. This heroic and invaluable endeavor offers music by a panoply of composers from around the world, from the well known to the not so much. In the latter category, I’ve had the great honor of being included in the roster twice, last year with my Opus 20 songs for low male voice and piano.
Catching up on this fantastic panorama of contemporary concert music, generally during the holiday break from my Day Job or afterwards, is one of my favorite ways to immerse myself in concert music and exposes me to hosts of composers I might otherwise never get to know. Like Will Robin’s newer but equally invaluable Symphomania, I can’t recommend this series enough. Happily you can access it at your own rate and leisure at http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org/aboutmr.html.
As I further my advocacy for the #5to9 artist, or composer with a day job, it’s seemed overdue to delve back in to the work of the pioneer in this area, as in so many: Charles Ives. These gorgeous, probing accounts from the Seattle Symphony under Ludovic Morlot of Ives’ 3rd and 4th symphonies, as well as the haunting “Central Park In The Dark”, have been inspiring reminders that, while you may have to make your living outside of music, that needn’t compromise the quality or adventurousness of your creative output. Sometimes being outside of the crucible can free you up, as proved by these beautifully performed remarkable works.