“Politics is proving to be fertile ground for composers looking to connect with an audience,” writes James Chute in Wednesday’s (12/12) New Music Box. “Du Yun’s 2017 Pulitzer-winning Angel’s Bone … offered an allegory on human trafficking…. John Luther Adams’s Become Ocean and Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields both gently raise contemporary issues (climate change and the culture of coal), and both won Pulitzer Prizes. [Younger composer] LJ White’s … compositions include pieces that are overtly political, such as his most recent work, Shuffled ‘Notes from “A Guide to Drag Kinging” ’, based on a poem by Franny Choi and commissioned by Pushback, a new ‘modular contemporary music ensemble’ … formed earlier this year…. White … has also just completed a work for [Steven] Schick and the La Jolla Symphony…. White’s new orchestral piece for La Jolla, Community Acoustics, is inspired by phenomena in natural ecosystems… Schick, who commissioned the piece and is music director of the La Jolla Symphony, increasingly eschews the term ‘political music,’ and in a new commissioning program he and Brenda Schick (his wife) are putting together, he’s focusing on music with ‘optimistic social values,’ of which White’s piece is the first commission.” Click here to read Symphony magazine’s article about how orchestras and composers are responding to political events. 

Posted December 14, 2018