Michael McDonagh is a San Francisco-based poet and arts writer whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Review of Books, The Threepenny Review, and The Bay Area Reporter.
Igor Stravinsky was a constantly changing artist. He's also the most Janus-like of all musicians — always looking forward and back at once. His work, when it was new, puzzled and challenged in equal measures.
The business of art is to communicate. If it doesn't, what's the point? And though modernist music has sometimes adopted a "high art" indifference to its audiences, as with Schoeberg's Society for Private Musical Performances, which forbade vocal expressions either pro or con and critics as well, it has paid a high price. Most people like music that connects with them on a deeply personal level.
Most summer music festivals program only the tried and true. But not Cal Performances’ Berkeley Edge Festival, which offered three programs in its third biennial festival June 7-10, featuring two composers — Frederic Rzewski and Paul Dresher — in two venues on UC Berkeley’s night-jasmine-scented campus.