60x60 Project, Rob Voisey and Vox Novus
Date: April 8, 2014
I have been working on finding people and projects that might be inerested in or of interest to our community. I found Rob and his 60x60 project and asked him for more info. This guy is an innovator and has a lot to say about promoting new music. His projects could involve our members. Here is his reply to my inquiry:
I started 60x60 in 2003 with the driving idea to promote the great wealth of music written by a diverse set of composers. Specifically designed for electronic music and "Tape" concerts, I wanted to create a concert format which was interesting to audiences. Long story short, I designed 60x60 to be 60 one-minute works by 60 different composers to be performed back to back for an entire hour. The concert was synchronized to an analog clock so while the music was playing the audience can watch the clock as the listen to their place inside the minute and within the hour.
60x60 encourages composers by giving them an opportunity to get heard by large numbers of audiences. It is only one-minute of recorded music so it is relatively easy to create a piece for 60x60. It can be a singular idea or a fully formed work. It can be a signature piece of their aesthetic or it can be a compositional experiment. Anything goes as long as it is recorded in stereo and is 60 seconds or less in length. On average we receive about 700 submissions a year. Because we have more than one 60x60 mix representing different regions or themes we present more than 60 composers. We have promoted more than 2 thousand composers in over 30 countries. Our acceptance rate for composer who submit is about 40%. And on average a composer's work will get performed twice somewhere throughout the world and some works have received more than 40 performances.
60x60 is easy to present and can be done almost anywhere. Since the project is so "cheap" to do it can be presented basically by almost anyone. We try to reach out to any audience in any venue in any format. Since the project is so unique, we tend to attract the curious audience. One of our tag lines is: "if you don't like what is playing that minute, just wait... a different piece will be playing in less than that." 60x60 gives audiences the "permission" not to like everything they hear. Since it is in such short bursts where they know exactly what is going on, they listen! even if it is something they don't like. Most audiences tend to write notes about the pieces to ask questions later. About 50% or more of the audience are non-academic or musicians as well.
I think that it is easy to do the same type of projects. Get an idea and roll with it. Share your idea with as many people as possible. I think coming up with ideas is easy, it is just getting it out there which is a bunch of hard work. What you are doing with ChoralNet is great! Get composers and musicians engaged to constructively put forth new music is fantastic.
Of course you can be involved with 60x60! We are about to put out a new call for works for our 11th season. So there is a lot of different things to be involved with. The easiest is just to promote the call and get as many composers to participate. Once the call is finished, participate in the many activates and support the performances. It is the simplest best way to help the project. Of course there is much more that you can be a part. There is always presenting one of the 60x60 mixes. Presenting 60x60 is easy all you need is a venue with stereo playback and an analog clock. At the time of the concert hit play when the second hand reaches the top of the hour. A great way to show a local audience a sample of what is happening in the world of new music. If you want to get more involved you can help create your own 60x60 mix or do a multimedia collaboration. This starts to get more involved, but the effort is always worth the results. We have done a voice mix in the past which might be something you are interested in.
With all of this said, keep in mind there are some other projects at Vox Novus which might interest you too. 60x60 is a champion for electronic music as Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame is a champion for chamber music.
Let me know what you think.
and then there is Composer's Voice which Greg Bartholomew can attest to:
Plus a few other things. :)
Let's collaborate together Jack! I love what you are doing! It takes a community to grow and you guys are definitely doing it.
Talk to you soon,
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