Latest Posts

Junior Bach Doesn’t Stop

One of my proudest accomplishments is the creation and institutionalization of the Junior Bach program at Peabody. In it, Peabody composers teach middle school students from the St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, and prepare them for the first world premieres of their lives. The Academy itself is Jesuit, and draws its...

Always Carry Drums

I have a rule about this. It has broader implications, but for me it starts from putting on shows. And it’s this: Always Carry Drums. Here’s what I mean. If you’re putting on a show, and you’re not a drummer, at some point you’re going to be standing around, having...

These YouTube Videos Are Part of my Libretto

There aren’t any words, but they’re part of a script, not a performance. I’ve talked before about the dumbshow at the beginning of Summer’s Twilight. I don’t want to write a vamp with a few sound effects to be played underneath the mime. I want to score the physical beats...

It isn’t favors, it’s awesomeness

I got it wrong about the favors. In my last post I talked about exchanging favors, and owed debts for previous non-monetary transactions. I wanted to connect it to stuff previously done with money, and I mistakenly thought about it as an exchange of value in far too concrete a...

The Favor Economy

This morning, Diane Ragsdale linked a great TED talk from 2005 in her brilliant-as-usual post on institutions supporting artists at her ArtsJournal blog, Jumper. Diane’s post is great, but I want to react mainly to the TED talk. Yes, it’s six years old. That’s why the video’s so SD looking...

louisck.net

Louis CK Inspires a Thought Experiment

You’ve probably already heard about this. Hilarious and vulgar-but-never-mean comedian Louis CK directed, edited, and published his own stand-up special without a big production company. Sold it just online. $5, no restrictions. Much cheaper than the $20 region-restricted DVD a big publisher would have released. We’re three days from release...

Ian Rosenbaum tries out a monologue

Last night I went over to Ian Rosenbaum‘s place, and we went over some of the sketches I’ve got for the new scene 1 of Summer’s Twilight. As usual with a marimba part, you think some things are hard when they’re easy, and you think some things are easy but...

More things Amanda Palmer is doing right

I wanted to tell you guys about this brilliant piece of practice session/marketing/bringing in the audience that Amanda Palmer did, and I thought I’d try out storify to help with the whole embedding-a-ton-of-tweets thing. Let me know how it works! Also, how much do you love the phrase “party on...

More on arts and sciences

I entered this discussion from the point where it causes me personal discomfort: when discussing my career, my art and my work with more quantitative people, I sometimes confront the opinion that what I do is easy, or that I am missing something because I’m on the artsy side of...

May I revise and extend my prior remarks?

My last post, about the weird prejudice in technical fields that the arts are easy and artists lacking intelligence, got a great response. It’s a difficult issue to talk about, and I’m glad that what I wrote hit home with some people. If I’m very lucky it’ll make it a...

Why does everyone think we suck?

Artists have a terrible reputation. I find it kind of insulting, but on the other hand I can understand where it comes from. Almost my entire family and most of my friends are deeply technical, scientific, quantitative people. And I’m an artist. These people don’t think less of me for...