Culture and politics after the net

Mute magazine hosts an article on modern music by Ben Watson.

Just when I thought ‘contemporary music’ should be renamed ‘missed opportunity’, I came across the music of Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram, two composers from Bucharest in Romania. Despite support from the Romanian government, they’ve made little impact on the pusillanimous music scene in the UK, and it’s been left to the usual malfunded outsiders to support them. Over the last few years, London Musicians Collective (as was) and Resonance FM have organised concerts for them at Conway Hall. The Avram and Dumitrescu CDs on their own Edition Minuit label are distributed by ReR Megacorp in Britain and in the rest of the world by the network of ‘avant’ labels which drummer Chris Cutler has assiduously knitted together over the last three decades. The fact that Tim Hodgkinson (along with Cutler a member of Henry Cow in the early-’70s) is actively involved with Dumitrescu/Avram – playing bass clarinet in their ensemble, contributing his own pieces – shows that I’m not alone in considering their music as the ‘rebirth of avant garde‘.

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