Homer

Who is John Halle?

A composer/pianist/polemicist, I offer you my reflections on politics, music, musical politics, political music, language, culture and the arts.

Scroll down the page to view music-related business – also included are links for students taking my classes at Bard College.

More in-depth details on Yours Truly can be found on my About page.

As if that weren’t enough

Check out my blog “Outrages and Interludes” or

info on my CD also entitled “Outrages and Interludes” (links are also up top).

Music Compositions

Recordings and Scores

List of Works:

I’m slowly managing to upload recordings, notes and scores for my pieces. If there’s something you’d like to have access to, let me know and I’ll post it when I get a minute.

InstrumentTitle
Solo Clarinet:
Vonce/Mojo (1991) 12'
Solo Piano:
Piano Works 2000 (2000) 27’
Less than one (1999) 6'
False Teeth (1995) 4'
Tangos (1992) 8'
Standard Variation (1989) 12'
Six Etudes (1988) 24'
Standards (1987) 14'
Flute and Piano:
Gaze (2001-2003) 16’
Songs-Medium Voice and Piano:

God's Love 3'
A Child is Born 3'
Austerity Tango 5'
Hillbilly Heroin 3'
Anniversary Waltz 5'
Violin and Piano:
Enter Sandman (1995) 5'
Rozology (2001) 5’
Viola and Piano:
Erasure (2002) 24’
Clarinet and Piano:
Elliptical Etudes (1987) 14'
String Quartet:
Spheres (2002) 30’
String Quartet (1989) 26'
String Trio + Baritone:
Alabanza (Martin Espada) 12’
Piano Trio+ Percussion:
Plugged Doubles 15' (1993)
Piano Trio:
A Free People (2006) 17’`
Brass Quintet:
Softshoe (1990)
(revised 1992) 12'
Brass Quintet + Percussion:
By All Means (1998) 10'
Mixed Chamber Ensemble:
Apology, (2007) 11'
To the Editor, (2004) 5’
Full Spectrum Dominance! (2003) 9'
Unknown Planet, (2001) 8’
Mortgaging the Earth, (2000) 8’
Operation Chaos (1999) 12’
Spooks (1999) 10'
Vox Pop (1999) 11'
Invisible Hand (1996) 24'
Violin and Piano:
Enter Sandman (1995) 5'
Rozology (2001) 5’
Viola and Piano:
Erasure (2002) 24’
Clarinet and Piano:
Elliptical Etudes (1987) 14'
String Quartet:
Spheres (2002) 30’
String Quartet (1989) 26'
String Trio + Baritone:
Alabanza (Martin Espada) 12’
Piano Trio+ Percussion:
Plugged Doubles 15' (1993)
Piano Trio:
A Free People (2006) 17’
Brass Quintet:
Softshoe (1990)
(revised 1992) 12'
Brass Quintet + Percussion:
By All Means (1998) 10'
Mixed Chamber Ensemble:
Apology, (2007) 11'
To the Editor, (2004) 5’
Full Spectrum Dominance! (2003) 9'
Unknown Planet, (2001) 8’
Mortgaging the Earth, (2000) 8’
Operation Chaos (1999) 12’
Spooks (1999) 10'
Vox Pop (1999) 11'
Invisible Hand (1996) 24'
Large Chamber Ensemble:
To the Editor (2004) 7’
Upon This Hill (2004) 14’
NSC-68 (2002) 7’
The Twist (1999) 11’
Structural Adjustment (1994) 10'
Struwwelpeter (1992) 15'
Ashcan School (1991) 8'
Mens Chorus and Percussion:
Statement (W.S. Merwin) (2004) 10’
Orchestra:
Austerity Measures (1990) 15'
Interactive Electronics:
Pokemon (1998)

 

Writing on Musical Subjects

Various pieces I’ve written over the years, mostly on composers working within what we used to call “new music”.

Some of these, in retrospect, read as composerly score settling-mainly against critics and modernist reactionaries.  For others, the response of my old teacher Taruskin seems on the money-i.e. “they sound like a dinosaur shaking its fist at a meteor.” Most have to do with the corrosive effects of the intensifying grip of the free market on the arts, and, for that matter on most everything else worth caring about.

Music of Change: Politics and Meaning in the Age of Obama
So far, unpublished.  Comments encouraged. (7/16/11)

Kathleen Supové: The Exploding Piano
Liner Notes Accompanying CD  (8/25/2010)

Mike Fiday: On Mandarins and Stumblebums
The Music of Mike Fiday
(Liner Notes Accompanying CD 4/2009)

Deborah Wong and Adam Grabois: Ravel, Kodaly and Martinu .
Duos for Violin and Cello
(Liner notes accompanying CD 1/2008)

Martin Bresnick’s My Twentieth Century.
(Liner notes accompanying CD 7/2006)

Meditation on a post-Literate Musical Future
What seems to have been a fairly widely read essay on the medium of notation and the increasing meaningless of style in “classical” composition.(published at newmusicbox.org 8/1/04)

A Post-Classical Manifesto
(Published in the New Haven Advocate on line version will-I’m told- be available again soon. 2/2/2003)

Serialism and Revisionism:  A Response to Straus
(A response to a particularly silly defense of modernism by a distinguished music theorist in the Musical Quarterly 7/23/2001)

Rumblings from the Dustbin: A “Great Day in New York” Post-Mortem
(A Review of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center celebration of works by composers anointed “great” by Fred Sherry.)

On the Recent Activities of Mario Davidovsky
(Score settling with a modernist icon known as the Generalissimo. 5/10/1995)

On the New Musical Puritanism
(Unpublished essay-from those benighted days when we believed what the NY Times music critics wrote actually mattered. 11/2000)

Two interviews:

(from a prospective collection of interviews with young-now no longer so young-composers in 1998)
Evan Ziporyn
Sebastian Currier

Applied Pragmatism:  Seiji Ozawa’s Plans for the Tanglewood Music Center
(Submitted and withdrawn from the Boston Review 1/1999.
Seems a bit dated to me now and seemed problematic at the time.  Has some interesting info (actually dirt) on the inner workings of one of our more august musical institutions.)

On Cognition and Composition (A response to a critique on Fred Lerdahl’s “Cognitive Constraints on Compositional Systems” 4/10/1996)

Photo by homethods

BLOG: Outrages & Interludes

Free Google!

A satirical piece by me from 2009 proposing the nationalization of Google. Will the backlash from l’affaire New America be sufficient to make it happen? Doubtful, though I can see a wave of nationalizations following on the heels of a successful fight for Single Payer-now looking increasingly possible with the Kamala Harris’s endorsement. The fossil …