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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

thingNY creates largest commission of experimental music in the history of email spam

In late October I received an email message that said:

We are thingNY, a collective of composer-instrumentalists based in New York City. On Saturday, December 19, 2009, we will be presenting a concert called SPAM, based on responses we get to this very email. Congratulations! If you're reading this email, you've been selected to write us some music…

I thought "that's cool," wrote the deadline into my calendar, and promptly got back to work on a paid commission. Then, a couple of days before the final deadline, they sent a reminder. Their timing was good: I was in the middle of a writer's block on my commission. So I sat down and wrote CLIMATE CHANGE in about 7 hours for the full band and sent it off.

I had been reading a lot of Naomi Klein, and remembered one particular passage from an article on the Copenhagen Climate Conference on her web site that I went back to as the source material for the narrator part for the piece. After performing some analysis of the text, I extracted keywords that define the structure of the piece. It was a great breath of fresh air to write…and as soon as I had finished it and hit the send button, I got back to work on a piece that had been blocked (the 2010 commission). Logjam gone!

The work will be presented this Saturday night in New York City, along with compositions from:

Jude Traxler, Heber Schuenemann, David Finlay, Eli Stine, Juliana Steele, Kyle Gann, Marina Rosenfeld, Scott Wollschleger, Sally Williams, Kathy Supove, Moritz Eggert, Daniel Goode, Luciano Azzigotti, Greg Kirkelie, Carr, Joe Kneer, Joseph Nechvatal, Mary Jennings, Brian McCorkle, Paula Diehl, Johnny Kira, Pall Ivan Palsson, Michael Cooper, Emily Koh, Terence Zahner, Joshua Kopecek, William Brittelle, Christian Gentry, Gabrielle Gamberini, Aaron Feinstein, Douglas DaSilva, Greg Pfieffer, Brad Baumgardner, Dave Golbert, Paul Burnell, Jim Legge, David Morneau, Andrea La Rose, Holly Eve Gerard, Gary A. Edwards, Brian McCorkle, Matthew Reid, Gail Noor, Jonah Bloch-Johnson, Greg A Steinke, Tania Leon, Alexandra Fol, Lucy Koteen, Luca Vanneschi, Sarah Prusoff, Ilias Pantoleon, Luis Menacho, David Simons, David Snow, David Drexler, Mike von der Nahmer, Martha Mooke, Art Jarvinen, David Wolfson, Neil Lyndon, Piotr Grella-Mozejko, David Broome, Matt Malsky, Linda Joe, Greg A Steinke, Nate Trier, Mats Eden, Mort Stine, Ophir Ilzetzki, Yianni Naslas, Jane Stuppin, Jessica Quinones, David Snow, Mark Stephen Brooks, Christopher Fulkerson, Ryan Muncy, Barry Seroff, Emanuel Ayvas, Stephanie Miller, Beth Tambor, Pauline Oliveros, Michael Gordon, Adam Reifsteck, Janet Maguire, Jiri Kaderabek, Marilyn Shrude, Joe Hallman, Mimi Kim, Doug Yule, Jeffrey Young, Tom Lopez, Andrew Griffin, Gene Pritsker, Winnie Sunshine, Sima Shamsi, Wally Gunn, Carl Danielsen, Mike Hanf, and Erin Rogers.  

Here's their advert:

thingNY presents: SPAM
Sat. Dec. 19, 2009  - 7:00pm

The University of the Streets
130 E 7th Street (at Ave. A)
New York, NY
Admission: $15 at the door
$10 at

thingNY will boldly state that it has created the largest commission of experimental music in the history of email-submitted spam. Hundreds of new works, words and images from all over the globe, including composers, performers, artists, the Bloomberg administration, peers, subordinates, ordinates, our moms, automated responses, vacation replies and perhaps one or two threats.

We are thingNY, a collective of composer-instrumentalists based in New York City. thingNY is a not-for-profit collective of composer-performers who exist (1) to create, promote, and perform bold and imaginative experimental and improvisational concert art music of the highest caliber, (2) to champion the music of exciting emerging and established composers with skill and enthusiasm, and (3) to collaborate across disciplines with other artists in order to bring new music to new audiences.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Go to Decimating the Arts in Canada blog post.

The final report from the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage is in and clearly states that cutting the Grants to Specialized Music Recording and Distribution grants is bad for the music sector and bad for the economy. Now it is up to the Federal Government to decide to do the right thing and restore this very small percentage of their total budget.

Click on the link above to read a press release on the subject.