Ben Folds and yMusic behind a graphic brick wall

Identifying what we have in common with others may feel more difficult than pointing out our differences. But this act can be as revolutionary as any work of art, and it should be a hallmark of the 21st century musician. In this issue, we explore how today’s artists and thinkers work to break down the walls around them, expanding their communities and growing their creative visions along the way.

Tim Page recounts his immediate connection with the legendary pianist Glenn Gould. Positing what likely sparked this bond, a shared experienced of undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome, he celebrates the friendship not despite but rather because of its idiosyncrasies.

We explore what can be learned when engaging audiences outside of the traditional concert hall in “The Case for Pop-Up Conservatories in Prisons,” capturing a Musicambia/DePauw collaboration with the men of Putnamville Correctional Facility. Participants took part in four days of choir rehearsals and songwriting workshops that led to a final concert for their peers.

Althea Legaspi examines projects that collaborate across genres and the impact they have on artists, audiences and art forms. How can we clear new paths toward fertile music-making? And can these happenings recruit untapped classical audiences along the way?

Finally, we welcome Joe Brent as this month’s POP Picks curator, as he celebrates people, organizations and projects that can inspire us to break down the walls in our own lives.

Thanks for joining the conversation,

Mark Rabideau
Director, 21CM

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The Case for Pop-Up Conservatories in Prisons

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Musicambia brings music-making to the incarcerated, who founder Nathan Schram believes “need music more than anyone.” At Putnamville Correctional Facility, he and his colleagues showed how music workshops restore dignity, hope and camaraderie.

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