Some questions came up as I started to put together the set of composer links yesterday. Of course there are a number of composers who readily apply the term “experimental music” to their own work. Those go on the list, no problem. Then there are those (Scelsi, Ives, Satie, Biber…) who lived in times when that term was not floating around. And another question arises when recent composers who are fascinating from an experimental standpoint do not apply the term to their own music. The last paragraph on this page of an interview with Ferneyhough clarified the problem for me.
So what to do? I’ve take the disclaimer option. The composers on the list may or may not say that they write experimental music, but their work is directly relevant and interesting to those who do. I’ve called the list, “Composers you’ll be glad to know about.”
Eventually I could break the list down in more useful ways:
- Unconventional Instruments
- Tuning Systems
- Theatrical Elements
- Extended Instrumental Techniques
- Text Scores
- Graphic Scores
- Chance Procedures
- Unconventional Venues
- (These are just the first that come to mind. What else?)
Those labels would overlap far too often to be useful as categories, but they may well be useful as tags or topics. Maybe later. But for now I want to beef up the links section. It’s quite something to see how organically it grows. For some time now, I’ve been looking for an up-to-date experimental music directory, that is both inclusive and on-topic. If I search for something long enough and don’t find it, it’s hard to resist trying to do it myself. This time, it seems to be working. But there is no doubt that I will need your help. Do let me know if there is another composer you think should be on the list. And the other links, especially the performers and local sites, will benefit from your local knowledge.