Proofs!

it's almost-almost-almost done

Nine days ago, an exciting arrival to my inbox: proofs! Seriously, it’s crazy to see your book look like a book, except it’s a PDF.

When I started this newsletter last July — holy crap, it’s been more than a year?! — I was wrapping up a final bit of research. In September 2019, I wrote about how I had a full manuscript drafted. Now it’s nearly a year later, and the thing is really, actually, almost-almost-almost-almost done. It’s coming out Feb 1! (Which means, funnily enough, that the Oxford lists its shipping date as Jan 20. I don’t think my book will be the most important news on Jan 20.)

So here’s where things are at: I submitted the final-final-ish manuscript to Oxford back in May; over the past few months, they (more specifically, Newgen UK, the production company) have copy-edited and formatted it and, well, turned it into a book. I’m extremely fortunate that they got a great copy-editor who knows the subject matter really well — Tim Rutherford-Johnson (read his book!). So the copy-edits are superb. Along with the proofs (proofs are, essentially, what the book will look like when printed out — a PDF that’s fully formatted and looks like a book), I also received Word files with all the changes that have been made, along with a few editorial queries and notes. So, two tasks in the coming weeks:

1) Editing editing editing. The best/worst part about almost being actually finally done is that after this step, what I correct is what people are going to *hopefully* read and buy. I’ve been poring over the page proofs and making tiny corrections and fixing little mistakes, with the knowledge that this is the last time that this will happen, and that any tiny error I miss is one that will be in the book that people read. That’s pretty stressful! The good thing about page proofs is that they look different, which gives you a fresh set of eyes to tackle editing. And yes, I’m still finding tons of little things to tweak or fix — word repetition, inconsistent endnote formatting, little factual errors that I’m so glad I caught. I almost printed that Brian Eno’s Music for Airports came out in 1979! It’s 1978, folks. Everyone knows that.

My book will have endnotes rather than footnotes — which is to say that all the citations will be in one section in the back of the book, rather than footnotes on the page in which the stuff is actually cited. I generally prefer endnotes for books, footnotes for articles. (This is a controversial issue in academia.) Until the proofs phase of the process, though, my endnotes have been at the end of each chapter (saved as a separate Word file), rather than all together in one section. Now I have a 41-page section (yes, I have a lot of citations in this book) at the end of the book that I’ve looked at in chunks but never all once together. That means there are a ton of formatting inconsistencies I’m addressing. When I cite interviews with the Yale Oral History of American Music, should it be “Yale Oral History of American Music: Major Figures in American Music: 188 a–b” or “Yale Oral History of American Music: Major Figures in American Music, 188 a–b” or Yale Oral History of American Music: Major Figures in American Music, 188a–b”? Those probably all look identical to you, but there are differences in commas, colons, and spacing that were all inconsistent across different chapters and that I thankfully caught. These things keep me up at night. (OK, actually, Ira keeps me up at night.)

So I catch these small errors, correct them in the Word docs, and send those Word docs back to Oxford for a new set of proofs. Then, the book doesn’t get changed any more, and whatever it is it will be. Crazy.

2) Indexing! This is my first time making an index, it’s a weird process. Basically, you read through your book and figure out all the key terms and names and proper nouns and stuff and make a giant list of them, make subheadings for some of them, alphabetize them, figure out which ones are passing references and can be cut out of the index. Then you add page numbers for all of their appearances — or in the case of Oxford, you add specially numbered paragraph numbers (like, C3P46 or something would be Chapter 3, Paragraph 46) which gets translated into page numbers later down the road. I’ve heard people say that they really figure out what their book is about during the indexing phase; so far I’ve just found that it is menial busywork that can be accompanied by Charlemagne Palestine, which is fine by me. Right now I’m refining my big list of indexing terms, and haven’t started the listing-all-paragraph-appearances phase yet.

Anyway, both of these tasks should be completed in the next couple weeks, and then it’s really pretty much a book that I’m done with. Except probably for something else that I’ll have to do, we’ll see! I haven’t seen any cover design work yet, I’m very excited about that.


Speaking of excitement: Sound Expertise is now halfway through its first season! You can listen to all existing episodes thus far over at our website, soundexpertise.org — this week’s ep was with Jesse Rodin, talking about Renaissance song and embodied experience, and it’s really great.

Next Tuesday’s episode will be a sprawling interview with George Lewis, it’s one of my absolute favorite episodes this season! But they are my children, I love them all equally. (Actually, they are not my children, and I love Ira, my child, the most.) If you haven’t given the podcast a listen yet, please do, and if you have, please give us a review on your podcast platform of choice and talk us up on social media! I’m happy with our metrics/downloads thus far but really want to make sure everyone who would be into this kind of thing has found us.

In case you missed it, I wrote a twitter thread outlining some of the reasons behind starting the podcast:

When I first started the podcast, it was my intent to do all episodes as in-person interviews — I was hoping to capture some of the energy of my favorite always-in-person-pre-pandemic interview podcast, WTF with Marc Maron. I wasn’t going to be traveling around the country to record my podcast (future plan!) so that meant either grabbing people during down time at conferences or when they were in my neck of the woods. So the interviews with Erika Honisch and Micaela Baranello were recorded in my hotel room at last year’s AMS , the interviews with Loren Kajikawa and Alex Ross at my apartment and then house, the interview with Megan Lavengood at her home, and the interview with Jesse Rodin in my campus office. Along with the fact that most of those spaces had poor acoustics — although I later discovered my house’s basement has excellent recording acoustics, which is why all the intros/outros sound so good (also thanks to amazing producer D. Edward Davis) — I also discovered that in-person interviewing can be really awkward! I think the interviews are all quite good, but it was hard to be only a few feet from someone else’s face, around one microphone, when doing them. There’s also a lot of sounds of tapping, chair creaking, etc that were hard to edit out.

Zoom, however, is a different story. Not only do the final four episodes sound better than the previous ones, I actually think the conversations flow better: I started doing Zoom interviews a couple months into the pandemic, so people had gotten used to talking in this format, and I think generally scholars feel less awkward about expounding about their ideas when there’s some virtual distance there. Given that the pandemic does not seem to be going away anytime soon, that means Season 2 of Sound Expertise (I’m hopefully getting started in the fall) will be done virtually as well, which makes it a lot easier to seek out different kinds of guests, which is exciting! So: stay tuned. And tell your friends to listen!


Ira is now 7.5 weeks old, which is totally nuts. He’s super sweet, super alert, and sleeping really well, and we’re very grateful. He has also been smiling a lot since almost the beginning. We’re generally keeping photos of Ira off of social media, but since I normally end this newsletter with cute pics of Georgia, I thought I would give an Industry *exclusive* to all my loyal subscribers. Here’s Ira, and his sister too. They’re pretty cute together.

a very quick plug

sound expertise: the podcast!

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the newsletter output has…slowed a bit. I’ve got a good excuse! His name is Ira, and he’s adorable. I won’t be sharing photos publicly besides this announcement, so drink it in. He’s 2.5 weeks old now and has only gotten cuter. Georgia likes to lick him.

But I have returned, very briefly, to Industry not to announce my son — I’m sure he’ll have his own newsletter soon enough — but to announce my podcast!

Sound Expertise launched yesterday, and you can listen to our first episode right here:

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1114601/4527383-harmony-and-co-existence-in-prague-with-erika-supria-honisch

In each episode of Sound Expertise, I’ll be doing a longform interview with a music scholar about their research. Show notes are over at soundexpertise.org — I’m incredibly grateful to my amazing producer D. Edward Davis for making our podcast sound amazing (and for composing the very catchy theme music). I’ll write more in the future about the hows and whys of Sound Expertise, but for now I’m just getting the word out. Season 1 will be a weekly series of ten episodes, so stay tuned for more to come — next Tuesday I’ll be talking about white supremacy and music school curricula with Loren Kajikawa.

I’d really, really appreciate it if you listen, subscribe, tell your friends, assign to students, and just generally spread the word! (Subscribe via Apple PodcastsStitcher, and/or Spotify) Email me or tweet at me (@seatedovation) to tell me what you think! This is very much a DIY affair so I’m going to be pretty ruthless about doing my own PR.

More soon!

everything needs to change

I’m not feeling particularly inspired to write newsletters these days. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor remain freshly enraging — Taylor’s killers have still not been charged. If you can protest, protest. If you can donate, donate. DC and Maryland do not have cash bail, so I’ve been giving to Black Lives Matter DC’s legal defense fund. I’ll be giving to them again on Monday for my birthday, and encourage you to do as well. Educate yourself about defunding and abolishing the police; start with Mariame Kaba.

Based on my social media feeds, a lot of people are thinking not just about changing the nature of policing in our country, but also about how to change their own worlds, to commit themselves to anti-racism where they live and work. Good. My world -- music academia, music criticism, classical music, the (white) musical avant-garde -- has devalued black music, black culture, black liveness, for centuries. To rectify this only begins with diversifying your repertoire, programming music by composers from underrepresented groups. It will be about centering black music and black culture in curricula and supporting black folks on campuses. That means, as Loren Kajikawa articulates (read his article), a necessary push beyond the genre boundaries of classical music in curricula, an understanding that music schools and departments need to upend their white supremacist roots and take seriously popular music, jazz, non-Western music. And by seriously, I mean that these musics should flow through every part of your department, not just as a bit of extra sauce in your music history sequence. And, as we teach beyond classical music, we need to foreground how white supremacy has always shaped the American vernacular (see Matthew Morrison).

Some of this work is easier than it looks (this is all easy!). Over at NewMusicBox I spoke to several musicians about what to do right now, and Nathalie Joachim foregrounded this:

We have been here before, and the only thing that hasn’t happened is a complete and utter reckoning with ourselves: who we are as a country, how we got here, why we are like we are, why we keep coming to this place. People don’t want to do the work, because it’s hard. But  when it becomes a way of life, it becomes less hard. It becomes less hard constantly. For a while, it’ll be hard, constantly. And it’s going to hurt.  But radical change, that’s it: you have to just accept where you’re at and figure out something to do to move forward that is more than lip service, that is more than likes and clicks, that is about you reaching deep into yourself and saying, “You know, we haven’t been doing the work. We say we’re about diversity and equity, but we haven’t really done anything. And our leadership doesn’t reflect that, and our actions don’t reflect that, and our programing doesn’t reflect that.” That’s just a reality that needs to be contended with. And honestly, when it comes to the arts, it’s just not that hard. It’s not that hard to hire black people. It’s not that hard to commission black artists. It’s not that hard to create space.

But we should also be frank about where the difficulties lie: there will be pushback from some who ground their understanding of music-that-matters in music that they know, that their teachers taught to them and that their teachers’ teachers taught to them. This makes a lot of sense: they have devoted their lives to a project that they think is broad and powerful and universal, and may only now be learning that it is in fact narrow, and limited, and exclusionary. (That “they” is also a “we”; I am fully implicated in this, having thought this way for much of my life and am still learning, un-learning, re-learning.) It will be work for studio teachers to learn works by black composers that they can teach, in-depth, to their students; it will be work for music theorists to learn to teach black popular music within a traditional sequence; it will be work for directors of large ensembles to find ways to collaborate with musicians across traditional genre boundaries. I am sympathetic to this work, especially in the midst of a pandemic. But I am much less sympathetic to those worried about it than I am to the labor that black scholars and musicians have been doing for a long, long time to teach everyone else how to be better. Have you read Eileen Southern’s The Music of Black Americans? You should.

Our work should have started a long time ago; it's far past time to start now. Challenge your colleagues, your professors, your students, yourselves. 


I did want to fire off a short newsletter because this forum may go dormant for some to-be-determined amount of time, because I am going to be a dad very soon. Like, any day now. We’re very excited! (Georgia is, too; she loves kids.) So, four more quick things before I leave you for a while:

  • My book is in production with Oxford, and it will likely be published around January/February!! (There’s another Bang on a Can online marathon tomorrow, tune in!)

  • I wrote a piece for 21CM about the importance of public musicology; it’s a short thing aimed towards non-musicologists, so it doesn’t go full-force into my whole “what’s the deal with public musicology” rant that I give to grad students in my seminar. But it does unpack some of the underlying values I consider when I think about this term and why it’s useful; and some of the reasons I give to students about why it’s worth pursuing as part of their scholarly work. At some point I’ll probably write a 10,000 word journal article about public musicology, but this can serve as a quick-read stopgap for now, I suppose. (I had an enlightening and humbling discussion with Matthew Morrison about the limits of #publicmusicology on Twitter this week.)

  • Book #2 is going to be a collaboration with my amazing friend Kerry O’Brien: Minimalist Music: A Reader, a co-edited volume now under contract with University of California Press. We’re re-telling the history of musical minimalism through source documents: rare archival documents, well-known manifestos, previously unpublished interviews, Voice reviews, etc. It will shed new on your favorite figures and a lot of musicians you’ve never heard of. More on that soon.

  • Season 1 of my podcast, Sound Expertise, will launch sometime in July. Stay tuned.


I leave you with the words of George Lewis:

I cannot profess surprise at any of the revelations that have been dominating the media lately. A few years ago at the University of Minnesota, I was on a public panel with a close relative of Philando Castile. For me, that earlier murder, George Floyd’s murder, and those of so many other black people, all simply fold into the daily litany of anti-black, internationally instantiated micro- and macro-aggressions from state-sponsored and privatized vectors of white supremacy that I have experienced at least from the age of nine, and with which I, and now my teenaged son, need to contend.  Perhaps this accounts for my impatience with naïve class-trumps-race denials. However, there is no number to call, no app to download, to express solidarity—not even a single “protest movement.”

So, even in the face of a growing Afro-pessimism, what people might want to do is to fight to transform their own communities where they can, with a sense of vigilance against anti-blackness, and a militant incredulity at those who would deny black subjectivity and humanity.

In opposition to an influential view that polices the borders of music to deny its crucial implication in urgently needed political and social change, we have philosopher Arnold I. Davidson’s quote from AACM trumpeter Lester Bowie: “Artists teach people how to live.” So how do we do that? To fulfill that mission, scholars, critics, curators, teachers, composers, performers, and other musical people might start by teaching themselves, retooling for a new reality, with the help of Robin DiAngelo, Ibram X. Kendi, Sara Ahmed, Tim Wise, Joe Feagin, Sylvia Wynter, and Frank Wilderson.

I am quite gratified to see, among so many people, mostly much younger than myself, the same kind of creolizing identity dynamic I have suggested for contemporary classical music, where the myth of black absence retains its death-grip. In response, a creolization of the field is needed, one that recognizes that its current identity issues amount to a kind of addiction—one that, like other addictions, you have to overcome to survive.

And the music of Courtney Bryan:

manuscript: submitted

It’s done! It’s done.

Submitting the final manuscript is a weird process. Because, as far as I can tell, no one outside of people who have already done it (and editors) really knows what it is — if you had asked me a year ago what step in the book-writing process “Submitting the final manuscript” is, I would have no idea. After all, in the last couple years I’ve submitted to my publisher (Oxford UP) a proposal and two chapters; a full manuscript for peer review; and a full manuscript for my editor to give feedback on. After this “final” version, I’ll get a copyedited manuscript to look at and correct (so that’s, I guess, the final final), and after that, I get a PDF of proofs to look at, correct, and index (that’s the final final final?). And who knows, maybe there’s another step in there I don’t know about.

So, the final manuscript: basically, it’s your full book, with everything super-duper-done and as final as you want it to be, with the understanding that there is a little bit of wiggle room in subsequent backs-and-forths (copy-editing, proofs) to make some changes. I went into it thinking, okay, if this were printed out and stapled together and handed out at bookstores, I would be okay with it, even if it it looked like it was written by a crazyperson because it was printed out and stapled and handed out at bookstores.

I am pretty good at being done with my writing and simply “letting go” when it feels right to — I’ve done enough different kinds of public writing with hard deadlines that it’s impossible not to be — but it was still hard to be done with this. One of the final stages turned out to be one of the most rewarding: my wife and I took turns reading the manuscript aloud to our unborn child, which was fun. It helped me catch a LOT of mistakes: I always tell students to read their work aloud, but usually when I supposedly do it, I’m more half-reading aloud — if you actually read it out loud, especially to another person, or have them read it, you will notice a lot of stuff! It also meant that my whole family (Georgia listened, sometimes) now knows my book pretty well!

Anyway, as to what a final manuscript is. Because it’s not just Chapters 1–7, plus introduction and epilogue.

Here is what Oxford asks you to submit, when you submit your final manuscript (you can read their full submission handbook here):

I will not bore you with a Borges-esque list of everything that this included for me, but it’s a lot.

First off, there’s a ton of additional writing that’s not just “the book itself”: within the “manuscript elements” there’s the acknowledgements (very hard to write!), the bibliography (okay that one’s obvious), the title page and table of contents (thankfully, unlike a dissertation, you don’t have to kill yourself formatting this), the photo/figure captions (this can take a while to figure out!). Then, outside of the “manuscript,” there’s also abstracts that you have to write for every chapter and the book (for online purposes), and a ton of information about publication in an author questionnaire — from your own short bio to your synopsis of the book for marketing to your thoughts on the cover to your thoughts on blurbers and potential reviewers (as in, post-publication reviews, not peer reviews). This, too, takes a long time.

Then there’s all the non-writing stuff! Gathering permissions for all images and archival stuff, which I’ve written a bit about in the past; making sure all your photos and figures are high-resolution, correctly labeled, and formatted; and a bunch of other stuff I’ve forgotten by now. My Dropbox folder titled “William Robin, Industry submission” contains 94 items. 94! Only 9 of those are chapters of my book (7 body chapers, 1 intro, 1 epilogue).

But now, now, now it’s done. Well, for now, at least, until I get those sweet sweet copyedits. The team at Oxford is working on a production schedule right now, but the potential plan for publication is very likely spring 2021. Less than a year from now, my book will be in your hands! If you choose to buy it. Crazy stuff.

Here’s the table of contents, btw:

Image

So what else is going on? I wrote a piece for the Times a little while ago about the 1918–19 flu pandemic’s effects on musical life in the United States. Honestly this is probably a topic that some enterprising grad student should seize for their dissertation, because it’s pretty shocking that there is virtually no existing scholarly literature on the topic (as far as I can tell, nothing at all on the influence of the influenza pandemic on music-making, here or elsewhere, besides scattered discussions in WWI books and composer biographies). The robust historical literature on the flu mentions various influenza blues songs, the closure of theaters, etc., but there’s definitely a lot more to dig up: I only looked at a couple periodicals in-depth, Musical America and the Musical Courier (issues from the 1910s are available on Google Books and Hathi Trust; CNTRL-F “influenza” in a 1,200 page PDF and you can find lots of stuff!). There was a ton of stuff I couldn’t fit in the piece, stuff I wanted to follow up on. Lots of dangling threads. Doug Bomberger, author of the great recent book “Making Music American: 1917 and the Transformation of Culture,” also helped fill in some gaps, and supplied a few great archival nuggets like this advertisement:

Capitalizing on a potential trend toward listening at home, the nascent record industry marketed Edison phonographs.

The semester is officially dunzo, and my public musicology seminar students put together some really awesome projects. Not all of them are publicly online yet, but a few great ones to share thus far:

  • Allie Pecoraro and Allison Coe’s COVID-19 Performing ARTSchive, an online archive of materials related to the pandemic and the performing arts (with contributions from Nicole Steinberg) http://covid19-artschive.com/home — lots of fascinating material to explore, including oral history interviews, handwashing memes, and more.

  • Syneva Colle’s podcast Cello Century: each episode explores a different 20th century cello concerto. It’s a really good podcast, and you should subscribe now. https://cellocentury.buzzsprout.com — the new Shostakovich episode is really superb (and maybe the first time that one of my students has done something on Shostakovich that doesn’t resort to the “tragic hero” cliches).

  • Patrick Allies’s video series "Renaissance Sacred Music in 100 motets,” short and fascinating videos on Renaissance motets. The initial Byrd video is great, and there are more to come!

I’m particularly proud of the students for coming up with creative alternatives to initial project ideas that required some live performance/talking aspect, and for being able to do such compelling work under hellish circumstances.

As for my music appreciation class, it went fine post-pandemic — better than I could have hoped in some regards, worse in others. I held a final class day live on Zoom, for those who could show up, and it was nice, and also sad. I’m extraordinarily grateful to my teaching assistant, Meghan Creek, who also just won our outstanding TA award!


Colloquium: Music Scholarship at a Distance is done, for now. It was really, really great: we presented around 35 papers/panels in the first weeks of the pandemic, and built a really engaging and vital community over Zoom. In a lot of ways, it was actually better than the conventional in-person conference format. I have a bajillion thoughts on why it worked and what lessons can be taken from it; Paula and I may co-author something soon-ish with advice for your own virtual conferences. We may revive the project in some form down the road, so keep your eyes peeled.


What next, for this newsletter, now that the book is out of my hands for a bit? I’ve been thinking about doing a series on “things that didn’t make it into the book and I hope people rake me over the coals for not including in reviews,” so perhaps that.

And after this book? Well, besides the way-more-important-than-all-of-this baby, two projects: one is a book I’m working on in collaboration with an awesome scholar and friend, which will become less secret in the near future. The other you should hear in the coming weeks. It’s a podcast, called Sound Expertise, and it will launch soon.

resonances

past = prologue

A couple weeks ago, Bang on a Can announced that they were calling off a big project: Long Play, a multi-day festival in Brooklyn in May. It was to be — and hopefully will be, in the future! — a major new initiative for the organization, a kind of NYC-based Big Ears. I wasn’t planning to attend — what with the baby coming in June — but I was very excited to hear about it. I even had a placeholder sentence in my book’s epilogue about it! (Bang is also putting their archives online in early May, which is going to be very exciting! I’ll probably newsletter about that.)

Anyway, coronavirus has done its thing, and there’s no festival this year. But they scrambled to do something meaningful instead, as Bang on a Can always does, and on Sunday at 3pm they’re returning to their perennial marathon format, but all-online, and from-home. It kicks off with Meredith Monk and concludes with Vicky Chow playing John Adams, with around six hours of music in-between. I’m pumped. Here’s the link.

As it turns out, this isn’t the first time that Bang on a Can has had to change its plans last-minute. Story time! Way back in June of 1991, Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe were all set to present their fifth festival — concerts by Glenn Branca and Arnold Dreyblatt, performances of Harry Partch’s The Wayward, and the marathon — at the R.A.P.P. Arts Center, a multipurpose, dilapidated venue on a rough block on the Lower East Side.

(I got this amazing photo from Michael Gordon; flanking Gordon and Wolfe are the members of PianoDuo.)

R.A.P.P. had been the festival’s home for a few years, but it also became the site of a significant local controversy in the early ‘90s. The center was owned by the Catholic Church, and the previous fall, R.A.P.P.’s founder and producer, Jeffrey Cohen, had staged “The Cardinal Detoxes”––a play about a real-life bishop who had killed a pregnant woman while driving inebriated. Cohen was courting controversy: the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York attempted to shut down the play and even padlock the theater (very strong “Cradle Will Rock” vibes!!), as Cohen had signed a morality clause in order to rent the space. The church succeeded in evicting R.A.P.P., but had agreed to honor existing contracts with organizations subleasing the venue, including Bang on Can. But as the festival approached, the Archdiocese stated that the center’s auditorium needed repairs and was unfit for use, and they kicked them out.

Here’s some local coverage I found at the NYPL a long while back:

Bang on a Can scrambled, and ended up hosting the concerts at La Mama and Circle in the Square. According to a grant application I found in the NYSCA archives, they lost about twenty grand in the process. Here’s an excerpt from Kyle Gann’s Village Voice review of the festival.

“We are starting again from zero,” Cage said. It seems newly relevant, especially because there’s a broader context to this minor avant-garde vs. Catholic Church tiff, which I have a whole book chapter about, and for which this incident serves as an introductory anecdote. In the Voice, art critic Richard Goldstein mentioned the Archdiocese/R.A.P.P. battle in the context of the obscenity court cases against Robert Mapplethorpe and 2 Live Crew; in this period artists faced hostility from the religious right and Republicans in Congress, a phase of the Culture Wars that began in 1989 with assaults on the NEA from Jesse Helms and culminated in the 1995/96 slashing of the Endowment’s budget by 40% and elimination of support for individual artists. There were significant effects on new music, too. All will be told in the book.

The arts were endangered in the 1990s, and they’re in danger again: the tendency in how we view the past, these days, is to look at how “eerily prescient” or “eerily reminiscent” certain episodes are of our current moment, whatever that may be. But in cases such as these, it’s not just that “this random old thing is newly resonant,” it’s that the past is continuous with, and prologue to, the present. We are living with the world that the 1990s created for us, an era of privatization of public goods that has left us without the social safety net we need to survive a global pandemic. But it’s not just about healthcare: the late twentieth century featured the decimation of a not-nearly-robust-enough public funding system for the arts in the United States. Unlike other peer institutions, Bang on a Can endured through those lean years -- it was their first decade, and they actually grew -- and I now know a lot of reasons why. (The book is almost done.)

I don't have much of significance to contribute to the what-the-arts-will-be-like-when this-all-ends question, if this all ends. Zach Finkelstein is the most astute chronicler of this moment. But I am wondering: who will endure today?


Anyway, I’ll be watching the marathon, excitedly, on Sunday, over at The Road to Sound. Georgia may join as well; she had fun on campus today.

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