What to Expect

Old Karman For this premiere issue, it may be prudent to say a few words about how Asymmetry Music Magazine started, and why, and what you can expect from it. Back in 1972, I first heard Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. Although I had heard a lot of twentieth century music before that, and liked it, I had never thought of the twentieth century as a thing, with its own qualities, different from the 19th or the 18th. Now I realized that Janáček’s Taras Bulba and Stravinsky’s Petroushka and Prokofiev’s fifth symphony, all favorites of mine before ’72, were Twentieth Century Music, too. You know how it works: “if you liked Concerto for Orchestra, you might like Poème électronique and Wild Women With Steak-Knives (The Homicidal Love Song For Solo Scream).” And, in time, I did.

I was not alone, but it certainly seemed like it. Practically everything I read in books and magazines about this new love of mine was negative. “Modern music” was ugly, annoying, insulting, not even music. Even the blurbs on the backs of records were apologetic at best. “This is really difficult to understand, but maybe you’ll like it anyway.” It was also being forced down everyone’s unwilling throats by the music establishment. (I have never found any firsthand evidence that this ever happened.)

It certainly wasn’t being forced down my throat. I could find hardly any of it in the stores, less on the radio, none at all in the concert hall. That has changed a little. Not a lot. Not enough.

Hence Asymmetry Music Magazine, in which new music—acoustic, electroacoustic, dodecaphonic, indeterminate, minimal, experimental, what you will—will be presented as perfectly ordinary, perfectly lovely, perfectly listenable. Since I’m directing this to the people who already like the stuff, there will be little crusading. Maybe some for electronic music, which still seems like the unwelcome stepchild to many otherwise hip listeners. You’ll doubtless have already noticed that this issue of Asymmetry is wholly taken up with the electronic and electroacoustic. It won’t always be so. But there will always be quite a lot of it on our pages. Most of our space will be taken up with fairly recent music. Most, not all. I want to be able to talk about Satie and Scriabin, too, and Cage and Varèse, for that matter.

—Michael Karman, editor

This entry was posted in Editorials and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


  • Upcoming Events

    Festival Mixtur 2017

    30 March through 9 April


    Music by

    Fausto Romitelli
    Jean-Claude Risset
    John Cage

    and many more, including people who are still alive, of course.

    Présences électronique

    14, 15, 16 April


    Most of the names I did not recognize, which makes me even more sad that I cannot attend this year. But you can. And probably should. If you love your ears, attend this festival.

    SIME 2017

    24 – 28 April


    Probably, though I'm not sure how it is possible, this will be the best SIME yet. Attend. Let me know.


    3-6 May


    Opening Performance Orchestra
    Terrible Orchestra
    Echofluxx Ensemble

    And film and more music and more performers. More of everything.

    Monaco Electroacoustique
    4, 5, 6 May


    Francis Dhomont
    Horacio Vaggione
    Annette Vande Gorne
    Hans Tutschku
    Robert Normandeau

    And many more. Two festivals that overlap is just cruel. But go to one or the other of these. Monaco or Prague, you choose.

  • Recent Articles

  • Donate to Asymmetry

    • Donations may now be made from anywhere in the world.
      For US residents, all donations to Asymmetry are tax-deductible. Asymmetry has been serving the new music community for almost seven years now. With your help, it can continue its mission indefinitely.
  • Facebook