I was composing at home recently and got a text from one of ACM’s teachers that CNN had left a message on the voicemail. He was clearly excited about it and had told others who were excited and the whole thing was rather mysterious. I mean, that’s big press!
So I called back to see what it was and, as it turns out they are doing a series on innovation in different cities and had chosen to start in Chicago and came across us on the Chicago Innovation Awards which we were up for at the time. An organization looking to redefine how people think of and access contemporary music was interesting to them and so they called.
We wound up doing a video shoot about our Open House project which commissions composers to write music inspired by landmark spaces and then have musicians perform the music in the space for crowds of people.
My experience, though, was mixed. They were more interested in presenting us as a kind of flash mob that performs music in train stations for harried commuters than in really understanding the Open House project. They didn’t have any reverence for the space and they cited bogus statistics that reinforce the stereotype that classical music is dying.
But hundreds of people saw it in the first hour that it was posted. It is CNN Money after all. Is that a good thing or a bad thing for ACM and for classical music in general?