Now that I’ve gone and hyped eMusic Selects, I feel I’ve earned the right to make a suggestion, for any eMusic poobahs who may be reading this: As I understand it, eMusic will have monthly Selections, which at two per month adds up to 24 Selections per year. eMusic also has a fairly substantial group of people into classical music, and has been successful in getting subscribers to try out classical releases (as noted in this recent story).

So, why not have one or two Selections this year to highlight some of the upcoming composers and performers who are bringing a true indie sensibility to the classical music scene? Yancey and friends won’t have to go far to get some advice: Justin Davidson recently wrote a New York magazine article on the “next wave of classical” scene in New York (highlighting, among others, the good folk at New Amsterdam Records), and Alex Ross did a similar article for the New Yorker last year. eMusic could probably find some worthy Selects without even having to leave the five boroughs.

So, come on eMusic: please make us indie classical fans happy in 2008!

yancey ( - 2008-02-19 19:33

hey frank – always love reading yr analysis. by all means we would love to feature some great classical artists. but this process is truly democratic – it’s what we come across, it’s what we like. if you – or anyone else – ever wants to suggest an unsigned classical artist, please do so! we would love to check them out. there is no goal here outside of helping to uncover and support great music, whatever form it may take.

hecker - 2008-02-19 20:42

Thanks for stopping by, Yancey! In terms of suggestions, there aren’t actually many “indie classical” composers or performers I’ve come across that don’t have a label contract or their own label (e.g., New Amsterdam), so I don’t know if any real unsigned finds are out there. Having said that, a few of the new composers/ensembles I’ve been listening to recently include (in no particular order or categorization) Alarm Will Sound, Ellen, Slow Six, NOW Ensemble, Nico Muhly, Judd Greenstein, Galen Brown, Eluvium, So Percussion, and itsnotyouitsme. (Some of these are actually more classical takes on post-rock, e.g., Slow Six, Eluvium, itsnotyouitsme, but they generally appear to be part of the same scene in NYC and beyond.) Note that many of the above already have releases on eMusic. Composer Nico Muhly is a major exception, which is a real shame. He has a nice album “Speaks Volumes” out on the Bedroom Community label (with a guest appearance by Antony of Antony and the Johnsons), and a piece on a NOW Ensemble album on New Amsterdam. Also, violist Nadia Sirota will be doing a release on New Amsterdam Records of works by Muhly, Judd Greenstein (who also has two pieces on the NOW Ensemble release), and Marcos Balter (whose work I haven’t heard yet). I’d definitely recommend checking all these out.