House music (or putting the YOU in what you do)

March 22, 2011

This isn’t a post on what you’re thinking, since I don’t know a thing about the genre of house music and it’s not about that doctor guy on TV.  What I’m talking about is music that is performed at home, as a concert, which is what composers Tristan Perich and Lesley Flanigan are doing in NYC as part of their informal contemporary music series that takes place in their apartment (there isn’t a lot of room so don’t you all knock down the doors to see the concert, ok?). Think of 19th-century salon type performances, a small group of friends getting together to play music for one another, in a nice, cozy, informal environment.

Just this morning I received a post by email from Entrepreneur The Arts author Jeffrey Nytch, Assistant Professor and Director, Entrepreneurship Center for Music at the University of Colorado – Boulder, and also a former Pittsburgher who is on the board of the PNME (Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble).  His post, “YOU are your greatest asset,”  discussed the lack of YOU found in a composition competition in which he sifted through over 150 submissions and found wonderfully technical works but little uniqueness. As he says, this applies to all musicians, not just composers.  He adds:

If you’re wondering how to build success for yourself “out there in the world,” you have to begin with what it is you want to say, what it is that only YOU can share. It might be a composition, or it might be a novel idea for presenting concerts in a different way. Perhaps it’s a knack you have for connecting with your audience through speaking to them before and after pieces, or maybe you have a new vision for how video, lighting, or other media can be employed the enhance the concert experience. Maybe it’s a burning passion to figure out how to use music for social change. It doesn’t matter what it is, but you need to find out what it is for you.

On Twitter this morning I saw Tristan’s website for Stepgaard, and I was impressed and really felt they were tapping into their YOUness by presenting concerts out of their apartment.  See them at

Putting the YOU in what you do is the secret not only to tapping into the whole conceptual age that Pink discusses, creating design that is both about utility and significance (see post on Design in Music but surely it leads the way towards a satisfying, meaningful life with purpose and success.

Laura Lentz ©2011


6 Responses to “House music (or putting the YOU in what you do)”

  1. andrea Says:

    thingNY is doing a similar, er, thing this June:

  2. Laura Lentz Says:

    thanks andrea for this link, I’ll check it out!

  3. Laura Lentz Says:

    Andrea, thanks again for this.. Here’s info for readers on their “In House” concerts coming up in Jun. 2011

    In House

    A mobile sound installation meets house concert
    The composers of thingNY have created a program of new musical meditations on the rooms of the common home. Blending improvisation with experimental and classical music, these new works will be performed in the kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms and bedrooms of historically- and culturally-significant homes as visitors roam through them.

  4. […] Recent Comments A chat with Fifth Ho… on Eighth Blackbird: What can gro…A chat with Fifth Ho… on Participatory Music-Making Par…A chat with Fifth Ho… on Participatory Music-Making Par…A chat with Fifth Ho… on The Art-Career TangoA chat with Fifth Ho… on House music (or putting the YO… […]

  5. Laura Lentz Says:

    A related article appeared in the New York Times on 11/21/11 about The Music Box,” an art project in New Orleans,the prelude to a bigger effort, “Dithyrambalina,” that would create a house that doubles as a collection of musical instruments.

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