By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
GIVONY: I will use as my “institution” the phalanx of independent labels specializing in nebulous genres such as post-rock, electronica or intelligent dance music. I would include Kranky, Temporary Residence, Warp, DFA, Constellation, Domino, Carpark, Leaf, Cantaloupe, Tomlab, Kompakt, Fat Cat, Alien8, Morr Music, Ghostly, et al. Labels do the perennially thankless and financially perilous job of developing new talent, who go on to make remarkable records that everyone steals, nobody bothers to pays for, and the majors later lure away with promises of improved distribution and marketing. These are the people building bridges between popular and classical music.
PALLETT: I’m going to come clean. When I think of new classical music, I feel like I need a cup of coffee and an Advil. I write it, listen to it and enjoy it, but honestly, I don’t think that any classical-music form — except the opera — has relevance to a large audience anymore. It’s retrogressive, but also totally intoxicating. Really, who needs an audience when we have our private little concerts to bask in our own technical virtuosity? Show off some idiomatic oboe writing? Why not?
But seriously, I love new classical music, but the world prefers Amy Winehouse, and so do I. New classical composers are fighting an uphill battle for any sort of relevance: trying to make any headway against the huge volume of amazing pop music out there, and also, trying to reinvent forms and ensemble choices that have existed for centuries.
This whole exchange we’ve had seems ?to have been geared toward “opening pop ears up to new classical music,” but this is a very old-guard conceit. I think that the quicker young classical musicians stop writing chamber music and symphonies, and instead start making albums, the ?better. Sorry we’re butting heads! I hate being so cantankerous to strangers, but that’s all for now.
Alex Ross will give a multimedia tour of 20th-century music at the Los Angeles Public Library on Thurs., Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. On Fri., Oct. 26, he will appear at USC’s Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities.
In January, Wordless Music will produce the U.S. debut of Popcorn Superhet Receiver, a composition by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood.