roll the dice

What is aleatoric music? Before today, I had never heard of it; but, I don’t think I’m alone. As I write this blog, spell check is alerting me of a misspelling and has “no suggestions.”

aleatoric ˌā-lē-ə-ˈtȯr-ik, ˈtär music

Music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work’s realization is left to the determination of its performer(s). The term is most often associated with procedures in which the chance element involves a relatively limited number of possibilities. Wikipedia

read more →In other words, roll the dice and see what happens.

Sounds like a disaster, right? Wrong! There are many successful examples of aleatoric music in classical music and otherwise. Let’s run through some of the top contributors:

Henry Cowell Experimental classical music, Aleatoric music

Mircea Florian Psychedelic folk, New Wave, Avant-garde jazz

Leo Brouwer Folk music, Film score, Atonal music

Also, in this category is 20th-century Polish composer Lutosławski, who was inspired deeply by the aleatoric methods of American composer John Cage. In this month’s #LACO205 podcast, music director Jeffrey Kahane and composer-in-residence Andrew Norman compare the aleatoric methods of John Cage and Lutosławski. The podcast concludes with a live rendering of aleatoric music featuring Kahane and Norman on piano performing a 25 second composition by Norman.

The #LACO205 podcast is not to be missed and available only for a limited time. Make a $25 #LACO205 online contribution during the month of May to receive this exclusive podcast.

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make a fashion statement with LACO

On September 16, 154 Days ago and Day 1 of the #LACO205 challenge, LACO staff and musicians all received a #LACO205 t-shirt.

read more →This t-shirt represents the Orchestra’s goal to generate a donation a day for the 205 days of our concert season. Its design encapsulates everything about LACO’s largest social media fundraising campaign: optimism, passion and guts.

Personally, #LACO205 deserves more than what this t-shirt offers. Our Orchestra helps make great music possible for thousands in the greater Los Angeles community. The large, bright neon lettering asking supporters to “bring great music to life” is not enough. I need a bolder fashion statement for a cause which one Friend of LACO claims, “brings life to life!” So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and reference a very handy DIY site.

Visit our Facebook page to see pictures of the complete process as well as my final “look.”

Now, it’s up to you. Take the opportunity to help bring great music to life and look good while doing it! Make a $25 online donation this April and receive a #LACO205 t-shirt. Be sure to show off your “new look” at the upcoming Orchestral series concert on April 26 & 27.

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you are my inspiration

Wagner. Beethoven. Chopin.

From the looks of it, these do not look like men who love…or are sensitive…or have many feelings other than maybe anger…irritation…or general disgust. How then did these legendary figures compose such beautiful music full of emotion and passion? Where did their inspiration come from?

read more →Limelight Magazine shares 10 Classical Music Muses in honor of Valentine’s Day

  • Alma Mahler inspiration to Gustav Mahler
  • Clara Wieck inspiration to Robert Schumann AND Johannes Brahms (scandalous!)
  • Countess Josephine von Brunsvik inspiration to Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Péronne d’Armentières inspiration to Guillaume de Machaut
  • Kamila Stösslová inspiration to Leos Janáček
  • Harriet Smithson inspiration to Hector Berlioz
  • Cosima Wagner (daughter of Franz Liszt) inspiration to Richard Wagner
  • Countess Delphina Potocka inspiration to Frédéric Chopin
  • Isabella Colbran inspiration to Gioachino Rossini
  • Peter Pears inspiration to Benjamin Britten

Read more about the top ten classical music muses and their influence on the world’s greatest composers at limelightmagazine.com.

YOU, our patrons, inspire us at LACO. You help bring great music to life and we love you for it. To show our appreciation, this February when you make a donation of any amount you will “get pinned” with a #LACO205 button. We hope you accept this small token of our gratitude for your continued support.

Make a contribution of any amount and receive a #LACO205 button.

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it’s chilly outside! #WarmUpJanuary

I know cold weather. I’m from cold weather. I know all about snow: heavy snow, light snow, wet snow, sideways snow, flurries, slush and the dreaded ‘mixed precipitation’. I’m very familiar with forecasts such as, “today’s high will be 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but with the wind chill it will feel more like -10”. Philadelphia may not be as bad as places like Minneapolis or Chicago, but it certainly gets its’ fair share of cold weather.

read more →One would think I have no fear of incoming weather reports such as…

L.A. cold snap: Freezing temps, frost, and now, rain expected

…but, it’s quite the opposite. My response to Los Angeles is more like Foreigner.

Since my move from Philadelphia, my constitution has adapted to LA’s fair weather climate. So, when I hear “highs in the 40s” I immediately break out winter gear and double my socks. No… I can’t see my own breath, but it feels like I should.

Every year just seems to be getting colder too. Last January, Los Angeles experienced record breaking lows.

Brrrr: Record cold temperatures set in L.A. on Monday morning

How do Angelinos prepare for this year’s cold weather?! I’ll tell you. We need to #WarmUpJanuary.

One of the greatest sources for warmth is music.

Listen. Turn up the stereo. It’s a sonic blanket.
Sing. Use your lungs! It’s an aerobic activity.
Play. For all of you who are performers… they are called “warm-up” exercises for a reason.

Let’s take it one step further and heat up #LACO205. Nothing warms the soul like contributing to a cause that brings great music to life for students, concert attendees and the greater LA community. By January 31, help us raise $1000 in online donations and #WarmUpJanuary.

When you make your online donation this January, reference #WarmUpJanuary in the “Personal note to be included with donation” section under “Dedication Information” and watch the green mercury rise in#LACO205 thermometer. Donate today because every degree counts!

Follow the progress of #WarmUpJanuary daily at laco.org/LACO205WarmUpJanuary and stay warm, Los Angeles!

The #LACO205 #WarmUpJanuary thermometer does not update immediately following an online donation. It is updated once per day based on the previous day’s accumulated contributions.

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#LACO205 october enter-to-win

Exciting news: as we reach the first milestone of the epic marathon that is #LACO205, it is time for our first enter-to-win event!

read more →You should hopefully know by now that #LACO205 is the challenge to generate a donation a day for 205 consecutive days (Mon-Fri, including holidays, but not weekends). The streak so far is a respectable fifteen days!

As extra incentive to participate these next few weeks, each person who donates during the month of October will be entered in a drawing to win a special prize package just in time for Halloween. The winner will receive a “Composer/Conductor Kit”, so named for the 18th century composers who also conducted. The dual role of the composer-conductor was typical of the era, and described a few composers you may recognize – Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven.

The lucky winner will receive a package that includes a baton (perfect for commanding the attention of your players), a pair of eye glasses (so you can decipher your chicken scratch), a cravat (frilly and fit for the classiest composer-conductor), a white wig (to pull the whole look together), Wagner On Conducting (by Wagner himself, originally published in 1869) and a few extra goodies.

The deadline to enter is October 25, the Friday before Halloween. For full details on how to enter, visit #LACO205 enter-to-win.

Thank you for your support, and good luck!

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