Friday, April 11, 2014

Opera, Music, and the Future of Contemporary Music

Pauline Oliveros
Cover of Pauline Oliveros
What has been most interesting with the aftermath of creating the world's first machinima Opera Libertaria:The Virtual Opera has been the resulting interest in virtual production. Online collaboration used for Libertaria has proven that one does not need a massive budget or even extensive opera company connections to create a large scale opera project. I have spoken about virtual production in various places including Buffalo State and the Hartford Women Composer's festival. An upcoming article in the Percussive Arts Society periodical Percussive Notes goes into further details about the opera's online collaboration and how it is possible today for the contemporary musician to create astonishing works with a little bit of technology and imagination on their side.

English: Icebreaker live at Queen Elisabeth Ha...
English: Icebreaker live at Queen Elisabeth Hall, September 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There's been much debate on whether classical music has essentially buried itself by insisting on only promoting works there centuries old. Many smaller musical groups have combated this by commissioning new work and promoting contemporary music. Many of us forget that when Beethoven or Bach or Mozart created their first works these were contemporary works and were not antiquated works of old. The music was relevant. It was now. It was new. This rich newness is what classical music has lost as the largest musical organizations decided to stick to arcane music that only appeals to a very small segment of a population in the past century.
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My hope is that with projects like Libertaria and other projects by incredible composers we will move classical music into the 21st century before it's too late.
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