Music After the Fall: Modern Composition and Culture Since 1989

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Univ of California Press, 2017 - History - 368 pages
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Music after the Fall is the first book to survey contemporary Western art music within the transformed political, cultural, and technological environment of the post–Cold War era. In this book, Tim Rutherford-Johnson considers musical composition against this changed backdrop, placing it in the context of globalization, digitization, and new media. Drawing connections with the other arts, in particular visual art and architecture, he expands the definition of Western art music to include forms of composition, experimental music, sound art, and crossover work from across the spectrum, inside and beyond the concert hall.

Each chapter is a critical consideration of a wide range of composers, performers, works, and institutions, and develops a broad and rich picture of the new music ecosystem, from North American string quartetsto Lebanese improvisers, from electroacoustic music studios in South America to ruined pianos in the Australian outback. Rutherford-Johnson puts forth a new approach to the study of contemporary music that relies less on taxonomies of style and technique than on the comparison of different responses to common themes of permission, fluidity, excess, and loss.
 

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Contents

Merzbow on stage at the Boiler Room
13
Mediation and the Marketplace
24
Bang on a Can Marathon World Trade Center New York
41
Freedom Choice and the Body
51
Masonna live at Fandango Osaka
66
Digital Translations Displacements and Journeys
87
Worldwide Flows Networks and Archipelagos
120
Spectacle Scale and Excess
162
Ruins Memorials and Documents
206
Gaps between Past and Present
232
Recommended Listening
265
Further Reading
279
Notes
309
Index
331
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About the author (2017)

Tim Rutherford-Johnson is a London-based music journalist and critic. He was the contemporary music editor at Grove Music Online and edited the most recent edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Music. He has taught at Goldsmiths College and Brunel University, and since 2003 he has written about new music for his blog, The Rambler.

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