Saturday, April 16, 2005

Making lists, checking them twice

The new music blog world is alive with list-making these days. Although tempted to respond with a list of my own, I'll limit myself to remarking that memories of musics past are fragile, observers are local, and documentation (scores, recordings) survive only with caprice. Three of my favorite pieces from the eighties -- Information White-out by Michael Peppe, Ron Kuivila's Alphabet, and Orlando, he dead by Douglas Hein (performed by the Cartesian Reunion Memorial Orchestra) -- have completely vanished from the radar. I don't know why -- maybe too West coast, perhaps too far outside of the most prominent academic circles. Also, the non-U.S. pieces that make it across the pond seem rather arbitrarily chosen; while I may have the advantage of having lived on both sides, it's unfortunate to see lists that miss Walter Zimmermann's Lokale Musik, Gordon Monahan's Piano Mechanics, or anything by Clarence Barlow, Jo Kondo, Jeney Zoltan, or Boudiwijn Buckinx.

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