Mission and History
MusicCentral launched on September 4, 2013 as an extension of my work at the Arts Council of Central Louisiana. Its mission was, and is, to connect non-specialist audiences with musical life. While I lived and worked in central Louisiana, this often took the shape of concert previews and reviews. When I launched my website in October 2015, however, I re-imagined and personalized this blog. You'll find that most of the early posts tell of the activities of central Louisiana music organizers, particularly the chamber music series I directed for two years—Abendmusik Alexandria. Since that time though, many of the posts appeal to the four key topics described below. In every post, as in all of my writings, I attempt to convey intelligent and often sophisticated concepts in a manner which is accessible to all. MusicCentral posts are usually more casual than my program notes and, certainly, in the newer posts, I avoid reiterating material which is already covered there. As always, I hope MusicCentral can be a general resource, which not only documents my own musical activities, but also those of the larger musical community around me. I hope, furthermore, it demonstrates what is out there for other music lovers to find and enjoy in their own lives. Now in its seventh year, I have written over a hundred entries!
I. Interviews. These posts began in January 2016 as "Composer Interviews" with the simple notion to let contemporary composers speak on their own music. I have since expanded my conception to musical people in other roles including performing musicians, music scholars and librarians, concert organizers, and concertgoers as I seek to create a more-balanced picture of musical life in the early twenty-first century. Please contact me here if you are interested in being interviewed at MusicCentral!
II. Jackson's Compositions. From the beginning, I have shared insights on my compositions here at MusicCentral. This is nowhere more true than in a series of posts running from January 2015 to April 2016 which discuss my much-played Suite for Solo Guitar, Op. 21. Other more philosophical posts describe my concept referential music while still others document how spectral music has entered and inspired recent works.
III. Listening Recommendations. These posts come the closest to program notes with the exception that they emphasize personal reflections rather than learned facts. The four-part series Contemporary Voices initiated my listening recommendations in December 2015 whereas recent posts deal with the CD purchases of my Fifth Rotation. Though this is still a work-in-progress, expect these posts to be matched with specially-curated Spotify playlists in the near future.
IV. Musical Travels. I have always enjoyed traveling, especially a good road trip! Many people in the Eurocentric classical music world forget or dismiss the rich musical heritage of our own country. These posts, which began in earnest in August 2017, document my trips to American musical destinations, especially across the southeastern United States. Earlier travel posts include my four-part Aspen Festival Journal while others recount weekend adventures to Dallas, Shreveport, and New Orleans.
Explore these topics and others by clicking the links to the right or, within the blog itself, links can be found above in the menu bar. Also try the new Search feature to find additional people, places, and events via hashtags. To supplement the posts, I have also included on this page three Documents which I often reference here at MusicCentral but which fall outside any specific post. Enjoy your read!