Listener Poll: Your Suggestions for a Maverick Playlist

Help Schedule March 30, 2012: The Final Day of American Mavericks on Q2 Music

Monday, March 12, 2012

Your music suggestions help constitute the final day, March 30, 2012, of our American Maverick festival. Help our new line-up of hosts, Phil Kline, Fred Sherry, Mary Rowell and Michael Tilson Thomas himself, know what trail-blazing, renegade composers have most impacted you and shattered your preconceptions about what music is.

Send us the titles of some of your favorite music by "maverick" American composers and, if you're so inclined, a few words on what "maverick" means to you, and include them the comments section below. We'll tally the results over the next two weeks.

Here are some definitions to help you along:

  • Maverick (etymology) = an unbranded calf, after Texas rancher Samuel A. Maverick (1803-1870) who refused to brand his cattle.
  • Maverick (vernacular) = someone who makes his makes or his own rules, breaks paradigms, ruffles feathers, blows your mind.
  • American = someone born in America or who has come to call the United States home.
  • Music = organized sound (per John Cage)

Your suggestions will be played on Q2 Music as part of the final day (March 30) of our festival celebrating the maverick spirit in American classical music, so leave your comments while you still can!

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Comments [21]

Chip Michael is a true maverick! His avante-garde approach to composition takes a ground-breaking lead in redefining music. He is both culturally relevant and yet never stagnant in his work, with a fresh approach in every new stride.

Mar. 29 2012 12:56 PM
Devin Hughes from Denver

Music of
Chip Michael
Austin Wintory
Ozie Cargile

Mar. 29 2012 11:39 AM

If John Cage defines maverick, then a piece whose rhythms are based in a sequence of prime numbers is archetypical,

Mar. 24 2012 12:54 AM
Taron Cochrane from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Composer Chip Michael is hands-down a Maverick.
MInd-blowing music blended with a die-hard passion for the genre AND creative genius with a heart of gold...

Exhibit A: Follow the @twtrsymphony on Twitter!

Mar. 19 2012 12:46 AM
Barrett Lindstrom

Chip Michael. His "Genus Cumulinimbus" piece is a fantastical piece that brings together wonderful high points seamlessly with lulling melodies. One can envision being on a heavenly roller coaster looping through the clouds.

Mar. 18 2012 02:10 PM
Andrew Fleming from Livingston, Scotland

For a true maverick composer, one must journey to LA where you will find Chip Michael. His complex rhythms and intricately woven beat structure is thrilling and exciting and is leaving audiences across America and Europe desperate to here more. I first heard his work in Edinburgh, Scotland and recently traveled to the American Midwest to hear more. Wonderful, Truly wonderful. To hear true musical beauty go to

Mar. 17 2012 08:22 PM
Janet Bordeaux from Pasadena, Ca

When you link the words "maverick" and "composer" in one sentence, the first person to pops into my mind is Chip Michael. Each new piece of his that I hear is created with his own rules of rhythm and balance. He creates moods with percussive action, often without drums. He challenges his musicians to come to a higher level with varied tempos, dynamics, articulations, and meter. To play Chip Michael is an experience as a performer! I absolutely adore his dance inspired Dança apaixonado, and his Impromptu 1,

Mar. 17 2012 07:42 PM
Michael Ormond from Cincinnati

I have had the pleasure of discovering Chip Michael's music via twitter. While there is a rhythmic complexity to his work it is so natural. His works challenge the listeners as well as the performers which creates a much more enriched experience all around. Mixed, rare and complex meters can be found throughout his compositions. It is truly amazing.

Tribal Dance is a particular favorite of mine. There is such energy and purity to the sounds which the rhythm creates a trance like motif. I certainly encourage everyone to give him a listen.

Mar. 14 2012 10:27 PM
Erica Sipes from Blacksburg, VA

One of the most energetic, creative, collaborative composers I have had the honor of working with is Chip Michael, who I see has already been mentioned by several other folks. It's not hard to understand why. Chip makes a point of reaching out into the world of performers in order to inspire and complement his own work.

One of the first pieces that got me hooked was the piano concerto that he's currently working on. He sent me an audio file and the score a while back and with the opening, I was captivated. As a pianist, I was left wanting more and wanting to find a way to someday perform it.

Mar. 14 2012 09:17 PM

I had the pleasure of meeting Chip Michael on twitter, and his compositions certainly qualify as "maverick." Rhythmically unique yet steadfastly classical in scope, this is a 21st century composer that should not be ignored.

Mar. 14 2012 06:52 PM
Janet Horvath from Saint Paul MN

Perhaps not so new as a composer but certainly has been a big influence on me Osvaldo Goliov. Loved his
Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra (2002) which we premiered here in MN and also his wonderful writing for cello.

Mar. 14 2012 03:00 PM
Janet Horvath from Saint Paul MN

This piece for cello, marimba and guitar is a great combination by Chip Michael. I like the rhythms and sonorities of these complimentary instruments.

Mar. 14 2012 02:56 PM
Anna Rose from Murrieta, CA

Chip Michael: This exciting artist is exploding the paradigm of 21st Century music! He is the epitome of "Maverick", evidenced by unique odd rhythm, changing the way we think about dance rhythms in classical music.

Mar. 14 2012 01:24 PM
Eddie Louise from Santa Ana, CA

Chip Michael is a new up-and-coming composer who is a Maverick in many ways.

First: His music plays with rhythm and meter, subverting the expectations of players and listeners alike: 31/19 anyone? See: Dance Apaixonado

Second: Music is his second career - he earned his Master's in Composition at age 48 after a successful career as a Software Engineer working for such companies as AOL, Netscape and Novell.

Third: He is the organizer and founder of the world's first Twitter Symphony @TwtrSymphony ( a truly maverick approach to making music together. Over 100 musicians world-wide have joined and are preparing their auditions now.

Chip Michael is the classic outsider - a 'young composer' who isn't young, a composer of dances that have uneven meter and a maestro for a virtual orchestra.

Mar. 14 2012 12:32 PM
Aric Clark

Chip Michael for his unique rhythms: "Danca Apaixonado", "Tribal Fire"

Mar. 14 2012 11:41 AM
Sam from Brooklyn

Some of my favorites:

Charles Ives - 'Central Park in the Dark'
Ingram Marshall - 'Alcatraz'
John Chowning - 'Stria'
Michael Gordon - 'Decasia'
Steve Reich - 'Pendulum Music'
Raymond Scott - 'Reckless Nights and Turkish Twilights'
Alvan Lucier - 'I am Sitting in a Room'
Henry Cowell - 'Rhythmicana'
Anything by Thelonious Monk

Mar. 14 2012 10:34 AM

Here are several of my favorite pieces from some of my favorite American Mavericks—fiercely independent musical thinkers whose work seems to me nonetheless thoroughly “In the American Grain” (to quote that great literary American Maverick, William Carlos Williams):

Robert Ashley: Automatic Writing
David Behrman: On the Other Ocean
Glenn Branca: Dissonance
Ornette Coleman: Sleep Talking
Laurie Spiegel: Appalachian Grove
John Zorn: Hockey

--Jim Eigo

Mar. 13 2012 05:23 PM

John Medeski has been working on some truly stunning solo material. Until it's recorded, I'll vote for the full Medeski Martin & Wood. Definitely American mavericks, combining virtuosic musical skill with an acute sense of fun and humor. How about their piece 'Amber Gris'?

I think all this from Tyondai Braxton should be balanced with some post-Tyondai Battles. 'White Electric' is the way to go. Incidentally, David Byrne chose a Shabazz Palaces song, and Shabazz Palaces recently did an excellent remix of 'White Electric'. It's all connected.

Lastly, more Matmos - I like 'For Felix (And All The Rats)'

Mar. 13 2012 12:05 PM

George Antheil- Ballet Mechanique

Mar. 13 2012 05:13 AM
Max E. from Brooklyn

Central Market by Tyondai Braxton
Six Pianos by Reich
John Luther Adams in a quiet, self-effacing fashion

OK, I can't stop at just 3

O Superman by Laurie Anderson
Dolmen Music by Meredith Monk
Mass by Lennie Bernstein (the man needs more recognition as a daring composer!)
How about some Bobby McFerrin? Circlesongs?
Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F
Les Moutons de Panurge by Fred Rzewski
anything by Ingram Marshall, John Zorn, Gottschalk

maverick - I always think of the myth of Athena/Zeus, as in a god who springs fully-formed and clad in the raiments of battle from his/her forefathers'... foreheads.

Mar. 13 2012 12:52 AM
Mr. Tremolo from manhattan

Music for 18, Steve Reich
Zippo Songs, Phil Kline
that crazy hocket piece that Meredith Monk wrote
grand Duo, Lou harrison
Ballet Mechanique, George Anteil
the solo cello pieces by philip glass (but only those)
Grand Pianola Music, John Adams
Dark Sisters, Nico Muhly
Voices of Light, Richard Einhorn
everything Michael Gordon ever wrote.

Mar. 12 2012 06:50 PM

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