2015 Class #1: The Beat of the World

A Class in Ten Short Videos Instructor: Steven Schick Time: About 54 minutes [Class #2 Physicality of Sound] [Class #3 Stories in Sound] [Class #4 Hitting Things: A Vocabulary] The world runs on rhythm. From the movement of the planets, night and day, the tides, the seasons, the heartbeats … [Read more...]

2015 Class #2: The Physicality of Sound

A Class in Nine Short Videos Instructor: Steven Schick Time: About 52 minutes Class #1 - Beat of the World] [Class #3 Stories in Sound] [Class #4 Hitting Things: A Vocabulary] What makes something a musical instrument? A piano is a piano, a violin a violin. But a percussionist creates and … [Read more...]

2015 Class #3: Stories in Sound

A Class in Ten Short Videos Instructor: Steven Schick Time: About 58 minutes Class #1 - Beat of the World] [Class #2 Physicality of Sound] [Class #4 Hitting Things: A Vocabulary] Percussion is story-telling – physical story-telling, made so by the act of producing it. How you hear something … [Read more...]

2015 Class #4: Hitting Things: A Vocabulary

A Class in Ten Short Videos Instructor: Steven Schick Time: About 54 minutes Class #1 - Beat of the World] [Class #2 Physicality of Sound] [Class #3 Stories in Sound] We’ve seen how the language of percussion has evolved from reinforcing music to creating new musical language. We've also … [Read more...]

Introduction To Class 3: Music and Dance

WHAT'S IN THIS VIDEO: There are probably as many ways to think about the relationship between music and dance as there are people who think about it. Some of our most traditional European musical forms grew out of dance. While clearly you can have music without dance, there are some who believe … [Read more...]

2. Mark Morris: Music is key to my work

WHAT'S IN THIS VIDEO: When selecting music to choreograph, the music has to have a level of depth that allows something of interest to come through even after repeat listenings. I have to love the music. Choreographing the piece happens in a room with the dancers after certain parameters and rules … [Read more...]

Watch: Mark Morris – Lou Harrison’s Polka

Choreographed by Mark Morris with dance students from Seattle presenter STG’s program, Dance This Lou Harrison wrote his "Grand Duo" for the 1988 Cabrillo Music Festival, which is held near Harrison's longtime home in Aptos, near Monterey Bay. A "grand duo" was often used in early-Romantic music … [Read more...]

3. John Rockwell: Does dance change how we hear music?

WHAT'S IN THIS VIDEO: Does taking in dance and music simultaneously prevent an audience from understanding either purely? MTV and the music video undoubtedly impacts the way we take in music. Close identification of one art form with another limits the sole impact of any individual work of art. But … [Read more...]

4. Mark Morris: Mickey Mouse Movement

WHAT'S IN THIS VIDEO: It's considered an insult to accuse a choreographer of Mickey-Mousing the movement. But Disney animators were brilliant. My favorite kind of dancing is to be on the beat. The brilliant Disney animators came up with fabulous choreography. These feelings we get that aren't … [Read more...]

Watch: Disney’s Skeleton Dance (1929)

The Skeleton Dance is a 1929 Silly Symphonies animated short subject produced and directed by Walt Disney and animated by Ub Iwerks. In the film, four human skeletons dance and make music around a spooky graveyard - a modern film example of medieval European "danse macabre" imagery. It is the first … [Read more...]

5. Ara Guzelimian: MTV, Music And Dance

WHAT'S IN THIS VIDEO: Not all visualizations for music are created equal. A cheesy music video may only offer a pre-digested take on the music that underscores it, but a great video imagery or choreography can focus the listener's experience and heighten their music response. Different … [Read more...]

6. Eva Soltes: How music and dance correlate

WHAT'S IN THIS VIDEO: It is only recently that music and dance in America started to exist independently from one another. That school of thought was started primarily by composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham, and that schism might reflect a change in the way Americans lived there … [Read more...]

7. Mark Swed: Dancing to the silence

WHAT'S IN THIS VIDEO: Dance and music can go hand in hand, but they don't have to. Some dance is meaningful in silence, and other dance can contribute to or in some cases diminish the musical experience. Dance can either mirror the music the audience hears or offer a more independent choreography. … [Read more...]

Watch: Merce Cunningham & John Cage: Roaratorio

"Roaratorio was a commission from the West German Radio and IRCAM for Cage to realize a work based on his favorite book, Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. Cage began by making a text from the original (which became Writing for the Second Time Through Finnegans Wake, also issued here in its entirety), … [Read more...]

8. Ara Guzelimian: How dance makes you hear music differently

WHAT'S IN THIS VIDEO: Good dance can be a conduit to understand good music. Choreography is visual information. Choreographers like George Balanchine or Mark Morris — who respond directly to the music with their dance — can visually inform the ear to certain symmetry, musical phrasings or emotional … [Read more...]

9. Eva Soltes: Dance as an evolving art form

WHAT'S IN THIS VIDEO: Dance as a performance art form has taken second place in popularity to music in part because of the way it is presented. Historically dance existed at many locations and events, but contemporary Western thought relegates modern dance to the stage and few places else. Modern … [Read more...]

10. John Rockwell: Dance and music as conversation

WHAT'S IN THIS VIDEO: Dance doesn't slavishly follow music, but traditionally it is intimately linked. However, just because the two are linked — in most cases — how directly must dance correspond to the music? If the music is fast, does the dance have to be fast? Different composer-choreographer … [Read more...]

BONUS: Merce Cunningham and John Cage: Music & Dance

In the spring of 1981, during a residency at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, choreographer Merce Cunningham and composer John Cage sat down to discuss their work and artistic process. As frequent collaborators, Cage and Cunningham pioneered a new framework of performance. Their … [Read more...]

Introduction to Class #2: Exploring Place in Music

WHAT'S IN THIS VIDEO:The place in which you hear music is a protagonist in the experience of that music. Even spaces which are meant to be neutral places in which to listen have a role in determining the experience you have of that music. Composers throughout the 20th Century played with ideas of … [Read more...]

2. Tom Morris: How place frames music

WHAT'S IN THIS VIDEO: Take advantage of the unique place where you perform. John Luther Adams' Inuksuit works in different settings because the music and concept are so strong. Think about the White Cube effect. Ultimately it's the music that speaks - you want to create an experience so that it … [Read more...]