This analysis of the new music group EnsembleGREEN comes as the result of an in-home interview with director Paul Sherman, e-mail correspondence with other group members, and from a year of becoming familiar with the ensemble's operations. In March of this year I had the opportunity to hear a concert by EnsembleGREEN, and to perform with them on the piece In C by Terry Riley. I also had the opportunity to take a year of lessons with Professor Kira Blumberg, who plays viola with the ensemble. Throughout this year of lessons I learned, through anecdotes, about the various business and musical aspects of EnsembleGREEN. I have also listened to recordings of past concerts.
[...] EnsembleGREEN as a Musical Resident of the Los Angeles Community When asked if EnsembleGREEN would be able to successfully function in another metropolitan area, director Paul Sherman stated with a quizzical look “I've never really thought about it, and I'd never want to try (Sherman 2006.) This sentiment is evidence of the way EnsembleGREEN is rooted in the Los Angeles music culture. The musicians are so much a part of their local music scene that they've never collectively thought of taking their new music outside of the greater Los Angeles area. [...]
[...] What and Why: The Mission of EnsembleGREEN A reviewer for the Los Angeles Times provided a simplified and somewhat misleading statement of the mission of EnsembleGREEN. The group was said to be “well-equipped to fight the good fight, championing 20th -century music in a mobile music setting.” The goal of EnsembleGREEN is to promote living composers and to make contemporary music available to the public. They see the current music culture as focusing primarily on the past. Most people, whether musicians or not, have heard of Mozart and Beethoven. [...]
[...] After examining the way EnsembleGREEN fits into the Los Angeles music culture, and after receiving opinions on this topic from members of the group, the conclusion can be drawn that this new music ensemble effectively blazes a musical trail in a new direction, while preserving this trail for future generations. EnsembleGREEN pushes the boundaries of music and tries new things. Much like the orchestras of the 18th Century that were on hand to perform the works of Mozart as he wrote them, EnsembleGREEN is on hand to perform the works of living composers. [...]
[...] EnsembleGREEN gives repeat performances of the “standards of new music, which reinforces their place in the repertoire” (Blumberg 2006.) They also make compact discs of some of their concerts, allowing audiences to hear the pieces over and over again. Members of EnsembleGREEN start the preservation machine in motion, and their audiences keep it moving. Thus, EnsembleGREEN promotes innovation in the Los Angeles music culture by giving local composers a reason to compose and a way to get their works out to the public. They then preserve this trail they have carved with recordings and repeat performances. They also help preserve the universal standards of new music by occasionally programming them. EnsembleGREEN has been able to [...]
[...] “Stormbringer” by Jefferey Holmes is to be performed in the style decided by Holmes and the musicians of EnsembleGREEN. It is exactly this that makes EnsembleGREEN an identifiably ensemble. By working with local composers, they open the eyes of many to the creative geniuses that live right next door. By premiering works, EnsembleGREEN sets the canon of performance for later groups. Now that there is a recording of “Stormbringer,” future ensembles will have a basis for their performance. EnsembleGREEN pushes boundaries and pulls the Los Angeles music culture forward. [...]
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