The Pointy End

Working with Choreographers

Many years ago, before I had even begun to compose, I had the opportunity to improvise the music for a piece on a dance recital. One of the dance faculty at Northern Illinois University needed some accompaniment reminiscent of Native American music, so I brought in a tenor recorder and a drum, and worked with her over a few weeks.

New Music Box

Music provides escape from stressful semester

For many students, the semester can be stressful, packed with homework, exams and activities. And to escape the stress found in daily lives, some use music to deal with it. However, it is not only students who turn to music when life gets difficult.

Collegian Online

Willem-Alexander Dutch investiture: King's Song outcry

Tens of thousands of people in the Netherlands have objected to an official King's Song marking the 30 April investiture of Willem-Alexander.


Turkish composer and pianist convicted of blasphemy on Twitter

Composer Say Fazil was accused of denigrating Islam in a series of tweets including a retweet of a verse by the 11th-century Persian poet Omar Khayyám.

The Guardian

Covent Garden production visits Hobart’s baroque haven

Why transforming Tasmania into an island no longer uninhabited by opera was definitely a labour of love. Back in the 1986, a young director/designer team arrived to work with the Australian Opera, later inexplicably re-badged as Opera Australia.


Wagner's Dark Shadow: Can We Separate the Man from His Works?

Born 200 years ago, Germany's most controversial composer's music is cherished around the world, though it will always be clouded by his anti-Semitism and posthumous association with Adolf Hitler. Richard Wagner's legacy prompts the question: Can Germans enjoy any part of their history in a carefree way?

Der Spiegel

Star Hurls Musical Barbs Before Venezuela’s Vote

Political campaigns in Venezuela often can seem like a battle of the bands. Songs written for the campaigns blast from huge speakers at rallies and from the backs of trucks that drive around cities where candidates appear.

The New York Times

Malawi accuses Madonna of exaggerating humanitarian efforts

Malawi has launched a scathing attack on Madonna, accusing her of exaggerating her contributions to the southern African country and demanding special treatment during her trip last week.

The Guardian

Music that’s good enough to moan along to

Did you get out of the wrong side of the bed this morning? Are you hacked off with the weather? Are last night's dirty dishes still in the sink? Well if you want to hear some really good whinging, check with the Bealtaine Festival on May 1st when Ireland's first ever Complaints Choir will be moaning on and on and on – to music.

The Irish Times

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