Q2 Music

Ever-Expanding Access into the Minds of Today's Most Brilliant, Colorful and Idiosyncratic Composers

We here at Q2 Music will always strive to bring you the best and brightest in new-music. But now we are beginning to explore the spaces between the music. You will now be able to hear the voices of the composers themselves as they provide exclusive, concise introductions to subsequent music.

Q2 Music affirms its commitment to enshrining the insights and wisdom of today's composers. We will archive these introductions online and continue to add more composers to the mix both in-stream and online. Check back as we look to add more of your favorite composers to this page!

John Luther AdamsTimothy Andres | Mason BatesDerek Bermel | Tyondai Braxton | Martin BresnickGavin Bryars | Caleb BurhansElliott CarterChou Wen-chungJacob Cooper | John CoriglianoSebastian Currier | David Del Tredici | Avner Dorman | Osvaldo Golijov | Michael GordonJudd Greenstein | JacobTV | Scott JohnsonAaron Jay Kernis | Phil Kline | David Lang | Lowell LiebermannIngram Marshall | Missy Mazzoli | Meredith MonkPaul MoravecNico Muhly | Angélica Negrón | Per Nørgård | Paola Prestini | Steve Reich | Poul RudersEsa-Pekka Salonen | Morton Subotnick | Michael TorkePeteris Vasks

Recently in Composer Portals

The Witty and Reverent Musical World of Timothy Andres

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Born in 1985, Timothy Andres (occasionally billed, somewhat insouciantly, as “Timo”) works in the post-dogmatic era of contemporary American composition. This means, among other things, that Andres feels as much at home recomposing (and playing) Mozart’s “Coronation” Piano Concerto as he does taking part in a street performance of Mauricio Kagel’s Eine Brise (for 111 bicyclists).

Comment

Meredith Monk: Songs That Defy Time and Country

Monday, April 09, 2012

Sitting at the crossroads of installation art, extended vocal technique and non-score-based rehearsal processes is one of America’s late-20th century masters: Meredith Monk.

Comment

Lowell Liebermann: Strains of Serious Melancholy

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

"Lowell Liebermann," wrote one critic, "has achieved a reputation of writing some of the most melancholy, even gloomy, music on the planet." Why was this, the writer wanted to know—had something terrible happened to him that wasn't hinted at in his biography?

Comment

Morton Subotnick at Play in the World of Electronic Music

Monday, March 19, 2012

Morton Subotnick has almost as many pioneering credits to his name as he does compositional ones. A leader of the San Francisco Tape Center in the '60s – a place where Terry Riley, Pauline Oliveros and many others took some of their earliest aesthetic steps – Subotnick has consulted (or commissioned) the building of synthesizers from the ground up, and also recorded the first electronic-music album meant just for listening, instead of live-performance miming. (So radical!)

Comment

Scott Johnson: Pioneering 'Speech-Melody' and Hybridism

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Composer/guitarist Scott Johnson is an inventor of a technique of generating a piece of music based on recorded speech and approximating it with musical notes.

Comments [1]

Ingram Marshall: Hypnotic Clouds and Washes of Sound

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Some of Ingram Marshall's earliest recordings are of solo, semi-improvised performances, playing an Indonesian flute and singing falsetto to an accompaniment of prerecorded electronics and live tape delays. They are mesmerizing—thick, swelling, fragrant clouds of music.

Comments [2]

Tyondai Braxton: Carnavalesque and Rapturous Abandon

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

While it is true that Tyondai Braxton's father is the revered composer and improviser Anthony Braxton, their music might as well come from two different planets (neither of which is Earth). Light-years away from his father's liberated, happily baffling ensemble experiments, Braxton fils sounds more like a long-lost son of Zappa, his compositions as gaily colored, as rigidly constructed, and as outrageously, extravagantly pop as a life-size sculpture in Lego blocks.

Comment

Michael Gordon: A Rare Balance of Exquisite Distortion

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Bang on a Can collective—Michael Gordon, wife Julia Wolfe, and fellow Martin Bresnick student David Lang—took a shared fascination with modernist dissonance, minimalist process, and rock volume, and turned it into a new kind of New York institution. They founded festivals and a record label, and collectively composed evening-length works like the oratorio Lost Objects (2001) and the opera Carbon Copy Building (1999).

Comment

Phil Kline: Cascades of Vigorous, Multi-Dimensional Sound

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Phil Kline is a composer of the Bang on a Can generation, championed by that collective and sharing with them good deal of common aesthetic ground, fusing an experimental sensibility and minimalist processes with rock sonics and vigor.

Comment

Sebastian Currier: On the Verge of Dissolution and Disorder

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Like many of his contemporaries, Sebastian Currier approaches classical music with a sort of double-consciousness—infatuated with its traditions, but well aware of its limitations. Is rock music to blame?

Comment

Angélica Negrón: Infusing Magic into the Delicate and Remote

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Angélica Negrón's music is a whisper. A young composer, she has crafted a small oeuvre of concert works, each suffused with a kind of compassion, as if regarding something very small and delicate, but without condescension. She samples tiny noises, seemingly trivial sounds, and turns them into music.

Comment

Missy Mazzoli: Raising Vacillation to High Art

Monday, February 06, 2012

Perhaps only an artist with Missy Mazzoli's self-evident clarity of purpose could have raised vacillation to an art form. Her early mentor Meredith Monk toys with handfuls of pitches, making slight variations, but playfully as well as meditatively. It's the tension created by the relentless forward motion of Mazzoli's music, that ticking pulse, that gives the music the sense of a choked-up faltering between pitches.

Comments [1]

Aaron Jay Kernis: A Colorist of Dynamic Proportions

Sunday, February 05, 2012

You'd be forgiven for thinking that, despite his unassuming physical presence, Aaron Jay Kernis is some kind of extrovert. Listen to these titles: 100 Greatest Dance Hits, New Era Dance, Too Hot Toccata, Superstar Etudes.

Comments [1]

Paola Prestini: Composition as Poetry and Choreography

Saturday, February 04, 2012

For decades, rising composers, young composers working in aesthetics not yet embraced by the mainstream institutions of classical music—concert halls, symphony orchestras, universities—have had to find audiences by building and leading their own, brand new institutions. Paola Prestini has helped to build and lead VisionIntoArt, a multimedia performing arts collective, building bridges between the worlds of music, film, dance, theater, and poetry.

Comments [1]

Judd Greenstein: Pulsating Complexity with Indie-Classical Populism

Friday, February 03, 2012

Few composers personify New York's young new-music scene in quite the same way as Judd Greenstein. As a composer, he has been commissioned by the ETHEL string quartet and by the Minnesota Orchestra. New Amsterdam, the label he co-founded with composers Sarah Kirkland Snider and William Brittelle, serves as an umbrella for many of the city's most celebrated young composers and ensembles, including his own NOW Ensemble of new-music virtuosos. In 2011, he inaugurated the Ecstatic Music Festival, bringing together indie rock, jazz and classical music for a series of cross-genre concerts and collaborations.

Comment

Paul Moravec: Mining Tonality for New Intricacies

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

With the attention Paul Moravec received after his Tempest Fantasy won the Pulitzer Prize for music, one might have hoped that this would have put to rest the tired dialectics suggesting that tonality and complexity.

Comments [1]

Derek Bermel: Travels in Ethnomusicology

Monday, October 17, 2011

After his clarinet was stolen from a Paris phone booth, Derek Bermel explains, he gave up busking to become a goatherd in the south of the country. He has studied the music of Yemen in Jerusalem, the music of Thrace in Bulgaria, choro music in Brazil, and in Ghana the music of a xylophone-like instument called the gyil, and conducted a choir of emotionally disturbed boys at a residential center in New York City.

Comment

Nico Muhly: At the Intersection of the Vibrant and Sacred

Monday, October 10, 2011

Nico Muhly has already managed to build not one, but around three or four careers for himself as a composer. With his work on movie scores and indie-rock albums, he has one toe inching towards pop-culture recognition, while keeping one foot firmly in the classical mainstream with a substantial body of pieces composed for the likes of the New York Philharmonic and the English National Opera. 

Comment

Steve Reich: An Era-Defining Maximalist

Saturday, October 01, 2011

With very few sudden, radical changes — just a handful of constant elements smoothly, gradually building and developing — the way that Steve Reich's musical language has come together, over his decades-long career, actually resembles the structure of his own music.

Comment

Osvaldo Golijov: Blending the Disparate and Ecstatic

Monday, September 26, 2011

Osvaldo Golijov is an Argentinian of Eastern European Jewish descent living in Boston at the start of the 21st century, and his music is in many ways an exploration of what, exactly, all of that means. Here he introduces his best-known works.

Comment