I’ve known Will Robin since his sophomore year in college, when he asked me to sign a copy of The Rest Is Noise at an event in Chicago. That summer he asked if he could do any work for me as an assistant; he ended up helping me hugely with Listen to This, my second book, and with the early stages of Wagnerism. In the ensuing decade, as I continued to grind away on the same book, Will went to graduate school, became an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, married, fathered an adorable baby boy, and completed his own first book. He’s become a valued colleague and a close friend; I now feel I learn more from him than he does from me. All this by way of saying that I feel personal joy at the arrival of Industry: Bang on a Can and New Music in the Marketplace, which Oxford University Press publishes today. At its heart, Industry is the story of the emergence and evolution Bang on Can ensemble, but it goes much wider, examining the struggles within new music to find a footing as the mentality of the Reagan era dismantled arts funding. There were gains and losses in the course of that evolution, and despite his close contact with the Bang on a Can leaders Will doesn’t shy away from delineating compromises with the “gig economy” and other aspects of neoliberal economics. What I find most admirable in the book is the balance it strikes between historical narration and critical analysis: such balance is hard to achieve. Will will have a book launch “at” the 92nd Street Y tonight; he’ll be conversation with my longtime colleague Allan Kozinn, who covered the rise of Bang for the New York Times. The following day, he chats with Anne Midgette. Heartiest congrulations!

from Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise https://ift.tt/3skPPb4