We decided to switch things around on Thomas Deneuville, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of music/art/tech blog i care if you listen, from where we stole (borrowed?) the idea for ‘5 Questions’ interview. This year, we will honor Thomas at our Benefit with the NCP Visionary Award, which recognizes innovative leaders whose work promotes emerging artists and has made a significant impact on the new music community.
The Nouveau Classical Project:On your website, you write that: ‘The title of this blog is not directed at Mr. Babbitt, but more at the creative forces out there that tend to look down on their audience…’ Can you elaborate on that thought?
Thomas Deneuville: Well, I’m sure that we all have, at one point, heard somebody say that they really didn’t care if people listened to their music, or that people were too stupid to understand a certain kind of music. Nothing good can come from this kind of mindset. Now I believe Milton Babbitt never said anything like this, but the title of the article (not his by the way) is such an iconic statement that I decided to build upon it and turn it into something essentially positive.
NCP: We’ve heard that kind of thing many times! We do care if people listen, and we don’t have the mentality that people are too stupid; hence, we don’t program pasta commercial-type classical music even though we target non-classical audiences. So we love the ethos of your blog. What do you find the most exciting about the work you do at ICIYL?
TD: Finding talented writers and giving them a platform to express their ideas, for the benefit of the new music community. It is extremely rewarding to see a mosaic of ideas, profiles, and tastes cohere into a single voice, either on the magazine or the blog.
On a more personal level, I really enjoy the process of shooting the magazine cover+features with Axel Dupeux. Most of my work is done alone in front of a computer with a few Skype sessions here and there so I really enjoy collaborating with Axel. He works a lot with magazines and I feel really lucky to be learning from him.
NCP: You are also a composer. It seems many of us wear many hats, so to speak, for example, composing and running what seems to be a fast-growing online publication! Any thoughts on how musicians are taking on multiple roles (for example, curating, DJing, composing, performing)?
TD: In my experience, and based on conversations I have with artists, they just do it. Having a clear sense of one’s priorities help but it is just the nature of an artistic life: Apart from the need of making a living, wearing multiple hats brings more opportunities just by being exposed to a lot of people. Besides, who said that a pianist should only play piano? Musicians are entrepreneurs in essence and most of them embrace it.
NCP: What do you find inspiring right now?
TD: The amount of tools that are available today for musicians to create, share, broadcast, publish, connect, sell, fund, etc. their music.
NCP: Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share for budding artist entrepreneurs?
TD: Going back to my previous answer, since more tools are available, I would modestly advise people to learn how to do as much as possible themselves. We don’t have to be pros at everything but I think that pretty much every artist should know how to code a bit, shoot photos, edit videos, write a decent press release, schedule tweets, etc.
Of course, we all know that learning is always a good idea but I’m also talking about those skills that we know we should have but we are reluctant to learn (for me it’s accounting). Well, at one point or another, things will have to get done and chances are the funds won’t be here to pay a professional. Start working on that thing you hate now.
Be sure to check out i care if you listenif you haven’t already, especially those of you who may be new to contemporary classical and experimental music! And if you’d like to celebrate Thomas with us, join us on October 9 at our First Annual Benefit.
As reported in The New York Times, iconic fashion designer Carolina Herrera looked to classical music as inspiration to create her new collection, on display Monday at Fashion Week at Lincoln Center.
Writes the Times: "The runway show will include the debut of “Capriccio for Carolina,” an original five-minute classical music piece by Tom Hodge, an English composer, whose credits include a classical remix of Daft Punk’s “Aerodynamic.”
While some runway shows have featured original D.J. mixes — and live bands occasionally perform — it is rarer for a designer to commission a piece of music for a specific collection.
But Mrs. Herrera said she wanted to break the mold. “Fashion is all about finding something new and inspiring,” she said.”
“She and I were, after all, standing in New York…the town where interns and assistants learned to muffle their tears in swag and eat all the free food in case it was all they could afford to eat, and legends stomped wannabes on their way to breakfast at Veselka.”—This is so dead on! By Alexander Chee on his blog, Koreanish. http://koreanish.com/2009/12/06/when-to-get-your-mfa-or-not-part-2/
“You cannot study anything persistently for years without becoming learned, and although I would not hold reputation up to you as a very high object of ambition, it is a wayside flower which you are sure to have catch at your skirts.”—Pioneering 19th-century astronomer Maria Mitchell was the first woman on the faculty of the elite then-new Vassar College. She instilled in her pupils the same faith in education and women’s potential in science that she herself exuded. (via explore-blog)
“My mother was very fashionable, considering her upbringing and the amount of money she had. I remember her always wearing heels and looking impeccable. Even when I was growing up in Haiti, she got us dressed up for church. She told us, ‘It shouldn’t matter if you’re going to the park or a dinner party. You should have the courtesy to be respectful to the person who invited you.’ She instilled in me that if you do something, do it with passion.”—