Spektral Quartet: Celebrity for a Day, Feldman for Six Hours

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I can’t think of any more profound contradiction to the Grammys than Morton Feldman’s Quartet No. 2. You may have heard that our album 'Serious Business' was nominated this year in the Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble category. Our good buddies (and Chicago neighbors) in Third Coast Percussion took home the prize for their superlative Steve Reich album… and we took home some indelible memories.

Musing on the fate of music journalism.

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National Sawdust has not only taken a keen interest in monitoring and evaluating the current state of music journalism and criticism from its inception, but also more recently has pursued an active role in fostering its continued health. We talk regularly with journalists, critics, institutions, and other influential figures about the state of our collective affairs – now, we'll be sharing some of those conversations with the reading public.

Finding Relevance and Revelation in Jim Crow-era Black Press Arts Coverage

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On March 10 and 11, scholars from various academic disciplines and institutions will gather at Yale University for an interdisciplinary conference that will explore coverage of the arts in African American newspapers and magazines between Reconstruction and the end of legalized Jim Crow segregation in the 1960s. Over the course of two days and 12 panel sessions, participants will delve into the many ways in which the arts appeared in a perhaps paradoxically flourishing black press during this era.

Performance Response: Sarah Davachi

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Just because an event is inconspicuous, it does not follow that what's transpiring is inauspicious: a point handily illustrated by the performance that Sarah Davachi, a Canadian composer and electronic musician, presented in her New York debut at Trans-Pecos on February 28. For the fortunate few dozen in attendance, the music lived up to Davachi's sizable, well-earned reputation.

Playlist.

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Rafał Blechacz, Max Richter, Anthony Braxton, Herbie Hancock, Sarah Davachi, Misha Mengelberg, and other striking sounds heard lately at Night After Night HQ.

Performance Reponse: The Necks 30th Anniversary Series

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Struggling to find the right words with which to describe a performance by the Necks, a writer can't be faulted for veering off-road. The long-running Australian improvising trio, which celebrated its 30th anniversary with a three-concert series at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn February 22-25, consistently lives up to the hoary adage "more than meets the eye" – and, as compared to its impressive string of 18 albums, "more than meets the ear," too. Live, believe me, the group's impact encourages gonzo.