The 4th Annual New Music Gathering
The Latest Update
NMG2018: Summary and Future Plans
The 2018 New Music Gathering at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee was, for us, not just a successful musical event, but by our reckoning a major step forward for our organization for many reasons. For one, after four years of experience, we have honed our production mechanism—everything from the application to the planning to the conference itself—to a more efficient point. We also took what we hope is one of many steps toward a conference that is genuinely more broadly representative of the panoply of musicians in our industry, which is not just the mandate of our mission but also a genuine cultural need. We were very pleased with the wide swathe of concerts, panel discussions, and presentations we fostered, and as always, it made us more stern in our commitment to years five, six, seven, and beyond.
Going forward, New Music Gathering, entering our fifth year, is looking to both expand and solidify: to carry on figuring out new ways to become a comfortable place for the extant diverse population of musical souls, as well as to get more solid footing as an organization. We intend to establish a board, seek help in enlarging our application pool, cultivate more widely-spaced outreach, and offer more substantial compensation to our keynote artists, all without abandoning the grassroots nature that has been our way thus far.
We are of course grateful to NewMusicUSA not just for this grant (though it was phenomenally helpful) but for the continuing support of the parallel track of the advocacy we do.
New Music Gathering is an annual three-day conference dedicated to the performance, production, promotion, support, and creation of new concert music. Founded by composers and enthusiastic new music advocates – Lainie Fefferman, Daniel Felsenfeld, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Matt Marks, and Jascha Narveson – NMG aims to be a comfortable mix of informal and organized, friendly and rigorous, sociable and challenging, and grassroots and establishment. It is not a site of commerce, it has no high organizational overhead, and it’s not a place for the founders to further their own artistic aims. It strives to create a “safe space” to rehearse and ventilate notions – ranging from the “practical” to the “academic” – critical for the continued success of the art form, something that cannot exist separately from those who make it.
With concerts, lecture recitals, roundtable discussions, panels, and one-on-one consultations with industry professionals, NMG is not only a conference in the traditional sense, but also a collective place for creativity to grow, improve, solidify, and, above all, get personal.
This May 17-19, 2018, we’ll be hosted by Boston Consevartory at Berklee, exploring the theme of “Accessibility” –anything from enabling new audiences, to providing new professional opportunities, to contemplating ideas of musical language: the quest to tear down barriers and cultivate an active spirit of invitation. Our free submissions for this year have closed, and we will be presenting over 100 presenter/performers in addition to our keynote speaker vocalist/WQXR host Helga Davis and headlining performers composer/performer Pamela Z, JACK Quartet, and Boston’s Dinosaur Annex.
Past hosting institutions have included San Francisco Conservatory of Music, surrounding the theme of Artist-Led Ensembles; Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, exploring the theme of Communities; and Bowling Green State University under the theme of Support. Keynote speakers have included Claire Chase, Marin Alsop, and Steven Schick; Headlining performances have included those by Claire Chase, ICE, Kronos Quartet/Wu Man, So Percussion, Kathleen Supové, Steven Schick, and New Music Detroit among others. Attendance and applications have grown in number each year, and we are pleased to accept more people each year in a hope to be as inclusive as possible.
“..it was the panels and discussions that made the Gathering into something more than just another new-music festival, which are plentiful now…What the Gathering offered..was a glimpse at how that magic happens.” – Allan Kozinn of The Wall Street Journal
“the process is all about building community among composers, performers, and the audience, a community filled with the love that permeated every room we entered at The New Music Gathering. The take-away from all these presentations left many participants with a feeling of ‘I can do this!’” – I Care if You Listen
WHERE YOU COME IN
We want to make our 4th conference even better than the first three, and we need your help offsetting the costs of: travel, honorariums for headlining artists/keynote speaker, and documentation to enable the events that happen at NMG to be available to the public.
Percussion, author, and educator Steven Schick gives his keynote address at NMG2018 in Bowling Green University on “Support.” The keynote was released on The Log Journal’s publication site, and a transcription may be found here:
Schick: “Action on a social level is not simply a matter of making music as well as possible…What would you do if you were brave?”
We are honored to present composer/performer and media artist Pamela Z as one of our headlining performers for 2018. A pioneer of live digital looping techniques, she processes her voice in real time to create dense, complex sonic layers. Her solo works combine experimental extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text, and sampled concrète sounds. She uses MAX MSP and Isadora software on a MacBook Pro along with custom MIDI controllers that allow her to manipulate sound and image with physical gestures.
In addition to NMG’s headlining performers, NMG features over 100 performing acts and presenters who offer lectures, panels, and discussion each year. Looking toward exposing attendees to ensembles that are doing great things beyond the often-celebrated coasts, we were proud to feature chamber ensemble Latitude 49 who gave an energetic and thoughtful performance of composer Gabriella Smith.
Start and End Dates
05/17/2018 — 05/19/2018