Alphabet Soup, created by composers Natalie Draper and Sarah Hersh, is a space for all manner of topics related to new music in the twenty-first century. This blog asks questions such as, What is new music? What is good and who decides? Do politics have a place in music, either in its creation or dissemination? How can we advance the role of new music in society? We hope to discuss these and many other topics while thinking critically about the musical realities of our constantly-evolving world. Alphabet Soup is therefore an ongoing exploration of the field of composition from as many angles as possible--new music from A to Z, as well as from Z to A and everything else outside, in between, and upside down.
We encourage you to participate with your feedback, discussions, ideas, and questions.
Why blog about new music?
We are currently living in a culturally precarious time in the United States. Orchestras are losing audiences, the record industry is giving way to online downloading and sales, music programs are disappearing from education systems, and our political leaders continue to ignore the arts and humanities. There could not be a more urgent time to come to terms with our personal and national musical identities.
Why are we blogging about new music?
We hope that Alphabet Soup will offer a fresh perspective on new music and the world of composition in the 21st century. As young female composers just beginning our careers, we won’t be discussing new music through the eyes of the establishment because we are anything but established. Instead, we plan to offer our opinions, hopes, and fears in an effort to gain perspective on the musical issues that consume our days and to share our common experiences in solidarity with others in similar situations.
Although the composition world has many opportunities for women and has advanced substantially in its egalitarian practices in the last century, there is still a vast amount of room for cultural improvement. While gender is not the main point of this blog, it cannot (and will not) be ignored. Our politics are inevitably affected by our lives, and our writings will reflect our experiences.
Read our entire introductory post here.
To learn more about Sarah and Natalie as individuals and composers, please click here.