About

The Glass is an online webpage for giving people an opportunity to see the arts world both through my words and the words of the artists themselves. On this page I hope to also give the cross-section of audiences an opportunity to read up on artists they possibly haven’t discovered before and to give them an incentive for even greater support.

Chris McGovern is a writer, blogger, and musician-songwriter originally from Queens, NY. Currently residing in Arizona, Chris writes and edits the music/arts blog The Glass, in which he has covered album and concert reviews, and interviewed numerous artists in the new music and classical genres such as Sarah Chang, Zoë Keating, Nadia Sirota, Cornelius Dufallo, and Jennifer Higdon. He has also interviewed indie artists such as Lisa Germano, Julia Nunes, and Pomplamoose, and alt-country artists Dar Williams, Tift Merritt, Eleni Mandell, and Lauren O’Connell.
Most recently, Chris has launched his first podcast The Glass Shō, on which he has featured interviews with guests such as Anne Akiko Meyers, Glenn Kotche (Wilco), Arc Iris, Death (proto-punk band from Detroit) and Mikaela Davis.

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17 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello,

    I am a composer and would like to let you know about two brand new albums of my music on the Well-Tempered label. Both are available on iTunes or on CD via jaffe.com.

    “’Cluck Old Hen’ Variations” focuses on music for strings, while “Wlidlife” combines instruments with computers.

    Here’s the iTunes link and some info for “’Cluck Old Hen’ Variations:”

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/cluck-old-hen-variations/id483882533?ls=1

    “’Cluck Old Hen’ Variations and other works for strings” explores an expansive emotional landscape, from a jazz-inspired quintet for five basses, recorded in Moscow by the Russian National Orchestra; to a bluegrass fantasy performed in Canada by Ann Elliott-Goldschmid of the Lafayette Quartet; to a somber meditation on birdsong, from a concert of the San Francisco Symphony chamber music series at Davies Symphony Hall; to dreams of Havana, conjured by the Earplay Ensemble; and finally ending with an orchestral tone poem combining Brazilian samba with Texas fiddling, recorded by the Polish Radio and TV Orchestra of Krakow, with the horns and tubas playing the parts of Whooping Cranes.

    And here’s the iTunes link and some info for “Wildlife:”

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/wildlife-other-works-combining/id483888814?ls=1

    “Wildlife” and other works combining computers and instruments showcases twenty-five years of do-it-yourself computer music. From the half-human/half-bird voices of Impossible Animals, which took one month of computer time to synthesize on a mainframe in the 1980s, to the state-of-the-art computer physical models of car engines and jet airplanes of Racing Against Time which combine with saxophones, piano and strings, the music explores the connections between human and machine expression, using software custom written by the composer. Several of the pieces are performed on the “Radio-drum,” originally designed as a 3-dimensional mouse at Bell Labs by Max Mathews and Bob Boie. In Terra Non Firma, the conductor leads four cellists with his right hand while performing the Radio-drum part with his left hand; in Wildlife, the Radio-drum is combined with the Zeta electronic/MIDI violin to create an interactive improvisational duo, where each player can modify the sound produced by the other, sometimes in the spirit of cooperation, other times more like sabotage. The recording features performances by Radio-drum virtuoso Andrew Schloss, renowned contemporary music violinist Karen Bentley Pollick, the “Quarks!” ensemble, and myself.

    … and here’s a bit about me …

    David A. Jaffe has composed over ninety works for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensembles, and electronics, commissioned by ensembles such as the Kronos Quartet, Chanticleer and Cello Octet Amsterdam. His musical approach carries forward the innovative spirit of American composers Henry Brant (a close personal friend and mentor), Carl Ruggles and Charles Ives. His music has been presented by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony; and in over twenty-five countries at festivals such as the Winnipeg New Music Festival, the Berlin Festival, the ISCM Warsaw Autumn Festival, the Venice Biennale and the American Festival in London. His work “Silicon Valley Breakdown” is widely regarded as a landmark of computer music, and has been acclaimed by such diverse sources as Le Monde, Newsweek, The Manchester Guardian, Smithsonian Magazine and Computer Music Journal. Jaffe received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from Stanford University in 1983. He has been a visiting professor at Princeton University, Melbourne University, Stanford University, and the University of California at San Diego. As a computer music researcher, he has been recognized by awards from the International Engineering Consortium (IEC) and the Bourges Festival, as well as by several patents. His extensive writings on technical and aesthetic issues have been published in Perspectives of New Music, Computer Music Journal, Interface, Sonograma, and Leonardo Music Journal, and in the books “The Music Machine” and “The Well-Tempered Object.” Also a mandolinist, violinist and conductor, Jaffe frequently performs his own works, as well as a variety of other genres of music, including bluegrass, salsa, and klezmer.

    For more info see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_A._Jaffe or jaffe.com

  2. Wasn’t sure where to write this, but just had to say: I’m finding the comments about Keating over at PD quite interesting. PD readers are all ages and all stripes when it comes to music. Some claim not to be musical at all, yet Keating’s music seems to connect with everyone (well, of course, she wouldn’t have so many followers on twitter if that weren’t the case . . .). I think this may be the first time I’ve seen that. It’s quite a thrill, actually–to help in even the smallest way to build a bridge to new music across which people are not only willing to walk, but happy to walk. A comment at PD, emblematic of what I mean and which I just love, is this: Optimist = Catharsis. Over at The Glass, of course, you are building a bridge the size of the Triboro!

  3. Thanks for your comments again, Susan! I’m really happy that Zoe’s music reaches people in astonishing numbers, and if you or I have made that much difference for her with our postings, that makes it all the more sweeter!
    And I hope my bridge grows to be more like the GWB.

  4. Chris I think what you’ve done here is incredible and I’m always excited to read something from you. You’re love of music and musicians is evident and applaud you for sharing with us.

    I am the Managing Editor of an online media magazine that would love to discuss having you submit a guest post of your choosing. If you are interested, you can contact me at my email address attached to this comment.

    Keep up the good work!

  5. Hi Chris,

    I absolutely love your song “Cherish the Child” and am trying in vain to find sheet music for it to use for auditions. By any chance, do you have a website where this may be purchased?

    Thanks for your beautiful work!
    Kim Mallery

    • Hi Kim, I hate to burst your bubble, but I am not the “Chris McGovern” you are looking for, I have never written a song or a piece titled “Cherish the Child”. But thanks for your graciousness. 🙂

  6. What a small world, then. Thanks so much for the quick response. I’ll keep going with my search! Glad I found a nice wrong Chris McGovern, at least! Have a wonderful day. – Kim

  7. Hi Chris,

    Hope you’ll mention the news that SYBARITE5 is joining Frank Salomon Associates’ roster as of June 1, 2014.

    “Their rock star status…is well deserved. Their classically honed technique mixed with grit and all out passionate attack transfixes the audience…” Sarasota Herald Tribune

    We know you thought it would never happen — Frank Salomon Associates bringing on a new artist — but we found one we are thrilled to add to our roster: SYBARITE5. This marks the first addition to our roster in seven years, honoring our mission of advancing artists with truly original voices.

    Comprised of Sami Merdinian and Sarah Whitney, violins; Angela Pickett, viola; Laura Metcalf, cello; and Louis Levitt, bass, this groundbreaking quintet redefines audiences’ perception of chamber music across the country with captivating performances of new commissions, Radiohead, Piazzolla and classical music. That’s why major presenters like Washington Performing Arts have re-engaged them and The Washington Post raved,

    “What was all that impassioned playing, those hard-driving rhythms, the
    blissed-out faces of the mostly young audience? And what about the cheering –
    the actual cheering – that filled the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue when the
    group returned onstage after intermission? Is this what modern music has
    come to? Genuine, spontaneous…excitement? We can only hope.”

    SYBARITE5 is the first string quintet ever selected as a winner of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition in its 60-year history. They captivate audiences with their fresh approach to programming and with virtuosity and enthusiasm in their performance.

    We’ve always prided ourselves on helping to introduce and guide artists who have something original and compelling to say, and are delighted to have SYBARITE5 join our family. They are a rare group whose voice speaks to all audiences. They’ll be on our roster as of June 1, 2014 (for 2015/16 engagements and beyond).

    Spring greetings,

    Susan Angermeier susan@franksalomon.com

    To learn more, visit:
    http://www.franksalomon.com/SYBARITE5
    ——————————————————————————————————————————–
    ABOUT SYBARITE5
    Louis Levitt, Sarah Whitney, Laura Metcalf, Sami Merdinian and Angela Pickett

    SYBARITE5’s eclectic repertoire and dynamic performance style is turning heads throughout the music world. In describing a concert by SYBARITE5, Stephen Brookes of The Washington Post expressed it best, “In a program of serial high points, there were too many to mention.”

    This past season, the group visited 16 states and the US Virgin Islands in addition to appearances in Newfoundland, Japan and Argentina. Other recent performance highlights include SYBARITE5’s Carnegie Hall debut at Zankel Hall on the CAG series and performances at Washington Performing Arts, Library of Congress, Aspen Music Festival, UC San Diego, University of Arizona, Sun Valley Center for the Arts, University of Nevada/Reno, Chautauqua Institution, and Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival. Closer to home, the quintet has performed in New York at Lincoln Center, Time Warner Center, Tishman Auditorium, Bohemian National Hall and at such diverse locations as Galapagos Artspace, the Apple Store, the Museum of Sex, the Core Club, the cell and the Cutting Room. The group has also performed on the CBS Early Show and for his Holiness the Dalai Lama. SYBARITE5 is one of the first groups engaged at SubCulture, one of New York City’s most up-and-coming venues.

    Formed at the Aspen Music Festival, SYBARITE5 was the first string quintet admitted to the Aspen Advanced String Quartet Studies program, where the group worked with Earl Carlyss of the Juilliard Quartet, bassist Edgar Meyer and the Cavani, American and Ying Quartets. At the 2011 CAG Competition, SYBARITE5 was awarded the Sylvia Ann Hewlett Adventurous Artist Prize, which was used to commission new pieces for Radiohead Remixed and to produce Everything in its Right Place.

    Recordings
    The quintet’s debut EP disc Disturb the Silence, featuring music by Radiohead and Piazzolla plus two original works written for SYBARITE5, was released in spring 2011 and quickly reached the top ten on the Billboard charts. The group’s follow-up CD, Everything in its Right Place, is a continuation of the Radiohead Remixed Project and was released at Carnegie Hall in November 2012 on the CAG Records label.

    Ongoing and New Projects
    Ongoing projects include curating their own series at NYC’s the cell, the Radiohead Remixed Project,
    The Shuffle Effect and New Music IDOL (featuring a series of short newly-commissioned works by student composers in collaboration with university composition departments). New projects include: a commissioned suite with six movements, each by a different composer; the launch of their very own musical festival, the Forward Festival, in Sarasota, FL; and, in the spring of 2015, the premiere the world’s first ever concerto for string quintet and orchestra, entitled BEATBOX, by the acclaimed American composer Dan Visconti.

    Music Education and Community Engagement
    Devoted advocates of music education and community engagement, the quintet’s innovative new program New Music IDOL brings the energy of American Idol to colleges and universities by partnering with composition departments to create and showcase new student works. This unprecedented model transforms classical music composition into something relevant and interactive for audiences, composers and performers.

    “…expect an experience that will satisfy your inner rock star and your secret Mozart.”
    – Arizona Daily Star

    To learn more, visit:
    http://www.SYBARITE5.org

    Frank Salomon Associates | 121 West 27th Street | Suite 703 | New York | NY | 10001-6262

  8. Hello Chris, we’d love to send you a package for your consideration and review. What is the best way to do so?

  9. Hello Chris,

    Thank you for all your articles and podcasts. They are wonderful!
    I would love to be able to send you a CD of Refinersfire’s late release, which premiered at Carnegie Hall. If you are interested, please let me know what address to send the CD to.
    Thank you again for all the work you do! I am one of the beneficiaries of it!

    Karen Linton
    General Manager, Refinersfire

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