My Project with “American Mavericks”

My Project with “American Mavericks”

So, I finally finished my “project” with the material from the American Mavericks radio project from Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). I had built a book from Kyle Gann’s thirteen essays, and from the text interviews. I also recorded with my mp3 recording software all of the approximately seventy interviews available in the audio section. I put all of these on my mp3 player (then an iRiver H10 20 gig, but now a Zune 120 gig) and took them on walks, on airplanes, to the dentist, whatever.

I have stated before, I have absolutely no music education of any kind. When asked what instrument I play, I respond a Fisher 500, which was back in the 1960’s a standout receiver.

My aim was to use this book and the audio interviews as a guide for buying music.

The project is finally a complete success. I am describing it here in the hopes of motivating others to do the same thing while MPR keeps the web sites up. When I described this book to Alan Rich, he responded to me that this was an invaluable resource.

While the subject of the project is music in the United States, with Steve Reich owning Europe, and with Osvaldo Golijov, the Berkeley John Adams and Bang On A Can active here, the truth is that this is where it is at.

As a corolary on the audio, many of the interviews were conducted by Philip Blackburn of the American Composers Forum. Philip has also at Innova’s web site two series of very similar interviews with the composers and musicians active today. There is “Measure For Measure” and also “Alive and Composing”

For the book, I saved each successive essay and then the interviews in a Word document. The pages are .html with some graphics in color. I made sure that each successive file started on a recto page, but about half way down the page, to leave me copious room for copious notes. I did page numbers. I did a Table of Contents, using the web pages with the listings and then adding in the correct page numbers for each starting file. Each essay and interview is a file. The book printed out to 515 pages.

So, here are the necessary links for anyone who is interested in getting this material:

First, the page for all of the audio files.
Second, the page with all of the essays and text interviews.

My “book” is 3.9 megs. I would be happy to put my it up on or email it; but I am afraid this might violate somebody’s copyright.

So, if you are seriously interested in serious music/classical and avantgarde, I urge you to access this material from the web sites before it goes away.

I bought all of the music in mp3 at Amazon.

So, who or what did I buy?

A bunch of Lamonte Young;a lot of Lou Harrison;some Milton Babbitt;David del Tredici; Michael Gordon; and Amy Beach. These were my choices to add to my already humongous collection. Your choices might be very different.

Now, I am on to the collected internet files of the critic Greg Sandow. My purpose here is the same, to use Greg’s work as a guide for buying music. But I am in the middle of that, so any description here would be premature.